Benson Plays the Piano

Once there was a young wombat whose name was Benson. He lived in a nice little hole with his mother, and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.

One day Benson sat down at the piano. Aunt Lillibet came along. ‘You can’t play the piano,’ she said.

‘Sure I can,’ said Benson.

‘You’ve never played the piano in your life,’ said Aunt Lillibet.

‘That won’t stop me,’ said Benson.

Aunt Lillibet called Benson’s mother. ‘Benson says he’s going to play the piano.’

‘Lovely,’ said Benson’s mother. She sat down to listen.

‘He’s never had a piano lesson. He doesn’t know the first thing about playing the piano,’ said Aunt Lillibet.

‘It doesn’t look hard,’ said Benson.

Aunt Lillibet called Aunt Moss. ‘Benson is trying to play the piano and he doesn’t know how. He’s going to make a mess of it,’ she said.

Moss said, ‘Why don’t you show him how?’

‘Me?’ said Lillibet. ‘It’s years since I played the piano.’

‘You can play the piano?’ said Benson. ‘Would you like to go first, Aunt Lillibet?’

‘I’ve forgotten all my music. My fingers are too stiff. I’m out of practice,’ Lillibet said.

‘Okay, me first, then’ said Benson. He raised his hands over the keys.

‘Stop! You CAN’T play the piano. It takes years of practice and hundreds of lessons. Don’t touch that piano!’

Benson brought his hands down on the keys. He played a chord. He played some of the notes of Twinkle Twinkle and some of the notes of Happy Birthday. He played loud and he played soft. He ran his fingers up and down the keys and played rivers of sound. He played some high notes and some low notes and a whole bunch of notes in between. When he finished, he lifted his hands off the keys and smiled.

‘Lovely,’ said his mother, smiling. Aunt Moss clapped. Benson bowed.

‘That’s not playing the piano,’ Aunt Lillibet said.

‘Sure it is,’ said Benson.

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