I remember when I was a kid (early to mid 90s) there was a cartoon, in English, I think it was on Nickelodeon but I'm not positive, that was essentially a fairy tale/legend about the origin of the platypus. It was short, I'm not even sure if was long enough to be a full episode, but it was shown through the same show/special/event as the Rikki-Tikki-Tavi cartoon as well as other similar style cartoons. There was a storyteller aspect to the overarching show, I think. I don't know if it was current to the early 90s, or from earlier.

The story was that there was a chicken that was jealous of the ducks swimming in the pond, so she went to the fairy that ruled over the forest and asked her to be able to swim like the ducks, so the fairy gave her a duck bill and duck feet. But, she still had chicken feathers, so she'd go swimming and then have to sit forever in the sun to dry out. She saw an otter go by, so she went and asked the fairy for fur like the otter that wouldn't waterlog her. She lived like that for a while, but then realized she couldn't build nests like a chicken anymore, but saw a beaver building a dam, so she asked the fairy for a beaver tail so she could build a home in the water. After a little while, she went back to the fairy, who was getting irritated, saying, "What, are you still not happy??" and the platypus said she was lonely, so the fairy made her another platypus to live with her.

I've been searching for this cartoon for years, but I've never been able to find it. I can't even find anyone else who has heard of it. I was hoping someone on here might remember seeing this.

  • 1
    Sounds like a "Just So Story". Not one of Kipling's originals, but something using that frame-work. – eshier Mar 31 '17 at 20:18
  • Yes, it was very similar to those. And it did seem to be part of a series or show with that sort of over-arching framework of story telling. – Skylark Mar 31 '17 at 20:23

The title is "Picky Chicky" and it is part of the Papa Beaver's Story Time series. The show was originally a French series named Les histoires du Père Castor. Here is the episode in French about the platypus, "Le Jamais Content":

Indeed, it is a chicken who wants to swim with the ducks, and negotiates with Mother Nature to get the various transformations. You can also find a summary (in French) here of the story:

Râleur, le poussin Jamais-content porte bien son nom. Il envie chaque animal qu'il croise sur sa route, et demander tour à tour à lui ressembler. A force de jalouser les autres et de ne jamais être satisfait, il se transforme en ornithorynque, et se retrouve seul. Mais Dame Nature, bienveillante, lui présentera une compagne.


Râleur, the never content chicken, wears his name well. He envies every animal that crosses his path, and asks time and time again to resemble them. As a result of his jealousy of others and never being satisfied, he is transformed into a platypus, and finds himself alone. But Mother Nature, compassionate, presents him a companion.

  • 1
    It would be helpful if you could link to a plot synopsis and perhaps mention how some specific points from the question are met by this story. – Brythan Aug 12 '17 at 3:50
  • This is it! I can't believe you found it! I knew I knew too many details for it to be a dream! Thank you!!! – Skylark Aug 13 '17 at 4:35
  • First time I'm ever seeing this. I'll check it out. – Russhiro Nov 11 '19 at 13:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.