The Three Turtles

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

One morning Benson and his mother were in the kitchen making strawberry jam. They chopped up lots of strawberries, and put them in a pan with sugar and water and lemon juice. Benson’s mother was stirring it very carefully because it was very very hot, when she noticed something odd near the doorway.

“Benson, there are three turtles trying to get into the kitchen. Can you take them outside, please?” she said.

Benson picked up one of the turtles. Its little legs waved in the air. He carried it outside and put it down near the garden. He went back inside and picked up another turtle. It was quite heavy, for a small turtle. He carried it with two hands, and took it outside.

He went back in and picked up the third turtle. By now, the first turtle was coming in again and climbing up the curtains. Benson hurried up and took the third turtle outside. The second turtle was coming in again too, biting the table-cloth. Benson grabbed the first turtle away from the curtains and ran outside with it. The third turtle was already inside again, walking up the kitchen table legs.

Benson picked up the third turtle and put it on top of the second turtle but they were too heavy to carry both together. The first turtle came waddling back in and started nibbling on Benson’s mother’s toes.

“Benson,” said his mother, “get a box.”

Benson ran to his room and got a box. He put the first turtle in the box. He put the second turtle in the box. He picked up the third turtle. The other two turtles were already climbing over the side of the box. He put the third turtle into the box and grabbed the second turtle. The first turtle was in the saucepan cupboard, looking around. Benson put the second turtle in the box, and started chasing the first turtle.

“Benson, get the broom,” said his mother.

Benson ran and got the wide, soft broom. He got the first turtle out of the cupboard and carefully pushed it towards the other two with the broom. He pushed the three of them along gently, past the box and towards the door. The first turtle slid around the end of the broom and started to eat the carpet. Benson ran after it, and the other two turtles starting toddling away towards the bathroom. Benson sat down and put his head between his hands.

Just then Aunt Moss came along. “Oh, look at those turtles!” she said. “Come along, little fellows, come on.” The three turtles came up to Aunt Moss, and followed her in a straight line down the hall.

Benson looked at his mother. He felt exhausted. “I think this jam is ready,” she said. “I think we deserve a sandwich.”

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