Benson and the Caterpillar Socks

Once there was a young wombat called Benson, who lived in a wombat hole with his mother and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.

Benson was in the kitchen doing some painting. He started painting a caterpillar, but it didn’t come out right. The paintbrush made it too smooth and he wanted it to be hairy. He went into the bedroom and got some socks. He put one sock over his hand and dipped it in the green paint, then he dabbed the paper in big blobs. It looked exactly like a big green hairy caterpillar.

The sock was big, though, so the caterpillar overflowed the paper and went on along the top of the table. Benson got rid of the paper and made a lovely long green caterpillar on the table. Then he got another sock and dipped it in the brown paint, and made a beautiful brown caterpillar curving around the other end of the table.

He still had another sock, so he dabbed it in the red paint and painted a cheerful red caterpillar winding around the other two. They were very good caterpillars.

Aunt Lillibet came in and gave a scream. “Benson, what have you done to the table?”

Benson suddenly felt a bad feeling in his stomach. He had painted caterpillars all over the table.

Aunt Moss came in, singing times tables in her head, and saw what they were doing. “Oh, I love those caterpillars!” she said.

“He’s put paint all over the table!” Aunt Lillibet said. She picked up a wet cloth. “Benson, clean it up at once.”

“Oh, no, not those beautiful caterpillars,” Aunt Moss said. She grabbed the wet cloth away from Aunt Lillibet. “You’re not just going to wipe them away!”

“Give me the cloth!” shouted Aunt Lillibet.

“No!” shouted Aunt Moss. They started fighting over the cloth, trying to get it away from each other. Benson stood there, with a red sock on his hand, feeling terrible.

His mother came in. “Girls, that’s enough,” she said. She took the cloth away from them and gave it to Benson. Benson wiped all the paint off the table.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“The table is fine,” said his mother, “but I don’t think we’ll ever get the paint out of those socks.”

They never did get the paint out of them, so Benson wore them like that, sometimes one red and one brown, sometimes one brown and one green. He didn’t mind at all.

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