A Big Red Blanket

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

One day Benson said to his mother, “I had a dream last night that I was a red blanket.”

“You were a red blanket?” said his mother.

Benson nodded. “And you were cold, so I wrapped you up and warmed you up.”

His mother smiled. “That’s nice,” she said.

The next day Benson’s mother was sick. Aunt Lillibet felt her forehead and made her go to bed, but in the afternoon she was feeling much worse. Benson wanted to show her something he had made, but Aunt Lillibet said she needed to sleep. Aunt Moss fluttered and said, “Oh dear,” a lot. Aunt Lillibet shooed them both away.

The next morning, Lillibet was worried. “She’s not getting any better. I think she needs to go to the hospital.”

That made Benson feel worried, but his mother was too sick for him to talk to her. He had to stay at home while they took her to the hospital. When he went to bed that night, he thought about her empty room and he thought about the hospital and he worried instead of sleeping.

Aunt Moss looked in on her way to bed. She came and gave him a hug. “I’m worried too, dear, but it’s the best thing for her. I’m sure the doctors and nurses will look after her very well.” She stayed with Benson until he went to sleep.

The next day and the next day Benson’s mother was still in the hospital. She was too sick even for him to visit. Benson started to be very frightened. Aunt Moss was so worried she came and slept in Benson’s room.

The day after that, Aunt Lillibet went to the hospital and brought Benson’s mother home. She was very pale and she looked much thinner, and she was weak and wobbly, and she had to hold on to Aunt Lillibet’s arm to walk along. Benson didn’t care. He was so happy she was home again.

Aunt Lillibet said, “Now don’t climb all over her and wear her out. She’s still very weak. She should have stayed in the hospital longer, but she wanted to come home.”

Benson’s mother sat down and felt better. She said, “Don’t fuss, Lillibet.” She pulled Benson onto her lap and said to him, “I’m not completely better yet, but I’m getting better, so don’t worry any more.”

Benson felt shaky and happy and worried and relieved all at the same time. His mother said, “The doctor was very nice and the nurses were very kind, but there was one thing I needed that they didn’t have.”

“What?” said Benson.

“A big red blanket,” said his mother. Benson threw his arms around her and they hugged and hugged and hugged.

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