Benson at the Playground

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

Benson’s favourite thing at the playground was the swing. It went up very high and came down very low. One day when he got to the playground, there was a monkey on the swing.

Benson said, ‘It’s my turn, get off the swing!’

The monkey said, ‘I only just got on,’ and kept on swinging.

Benson tried to think of a way to get the monkey off the swing.

“Hey, monkey,”he called, “do you want a banana?”

The monkey looked down at Benson. He could see he didn’t have any bananas. He kept on swinging.

Benson got annoyed. “Get off the swing, or I’ll push you off!” he said.

The monkey said, “No, it’s still my turn.” He swung higher and higher and faster and faster, so Benson couldn’t get near him.

Benson thought of another idea. “Hey, monkey,” he said, “there’s a great big snake coming to get you! He’s going to climb up the swing and eat you!”

The monkey was really scared of snakes. He grabbed on tight to the swing with his arms and his legs, and started to cry.

Benson was sorry then. “There isn’t really a snake, I made it up,” he said. He tried to think of something to make the monkey feel better. “Do you want to come and play in the sandpit?”

The monkey stopped crying. “Really?” he said.

He got off the swing and they both went over to the sandpit. They played cars, and Jump-on-the-Castle and Buried Treasure until their mothers came to get them, and they had so much fun they forgot all about the swing.

Benson’s mother said, “Did you make a new friend today?”

Benson said, “Yes, we both like swinging and he doesn’t like snakes.”

“I don’t like snakes either,” Benson’s mother said. “Was there a snake?”

“Nearly,” Benson said. “But I didn’t let there be.”

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