Where has the gunni gone?

I went to Marysville to enjoy a day of village life and rainforest walks. Our group included three girls and three boys. We first stopped at the the Marysville information centre, where there was an exhibit featuring a preserved specimen of a gunni, an animal that looks a lot like a wombat with antlers. We read from the intepretive sign that the gunni (pronounced ‘goon-eye’) was extinct.

“Wow! That’s so cool! I’ve never seen a gunni before,” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cute,” Kate said. Vera peered intently into the glass box.

“Too bad it’s extinct, right?” Avi said seriously.

“Yeah.” The girls nodded.

There was silence. Joel was grinning. Avi elbowed him. Damjan was grinning too. Then they were all laughing.

I was bewildered. “What’s so funny?”

“You fell for it!” Damjan laughed.

“Huh?” Kate was confused too.

Joel said, “They made it up. There’s no such thing as a gunni.”

“It’s a joke,” Avi said kindly.

“What?! No…” I couldn’t believe it. “But the sign…! The exhibit!”

“Silly girls. So gullible!”

It wasn’t fair. Why would they want to trick us? Yet, I still wasn’t convinced that it was all a hoax.

What do you think? Is the gunni fact or fiction?

(Vera only found out about the ‘hoax’ last week. “The boys are so mean, like that time when they made fun of us for believing in that wombat with antlers, remember that?” “What? You mean it wasn’t real?!”)

Where has the gunni gone??

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