Benson and the Tulips

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

Benson knew his mother loved tulips, so he thought it would be a good idea to get her some for her birthday, but he didn’t know what tulips looked like.

He asked his Aunt Moss what they looked like.

“They’re beautiful,”Aunt Moss said. “They’re red and and yellow and white, and pink, and a lovely orangey-gold, and they have long green stems and leaves.”

Benson went to the flower-shop. There were red and yellow and white and pink flowers everywhere, all different shapes and sizes, and they all had green stems and green leaves. He had no idea which ones were tulips.

He went home again. This time he asked Aunt Lillibet. “Do you know what tulips look like?”

“No,” she said. “The man at the garden shop will know. Come along.”

She took him to the garden shop, and she asked the man, “Do you have any tulips?”

“Yes, we do,” he said. He reached into a box and brought out a lumpy brown thing like an onion.

Benson said, “No, we want tulips.”

“These are tulips,” the man said. “How many do you want?”

Aunt Lillibet said, “Don’t argue, Benson. We’ll have three, please.”

The man put three of the brown lumpy things in a bag and Aunt Lillibet paid for them.

Benson thought they must both be crazy or else they were deaf. They went home. Benson felt terrible. He wanted to give his mother beautiful flowers for her birthday and all he had was three brown lumps.

They all sang ‘Happy Birthday’, and then Aunt Lillibet said, “Benson, aren’t you going to give your mother her present?”

Benson gave his mother the bag and said, “Happy birthday,” sadly.

His mother opened the bag, and smiled happily. “Tulip bulbs!” she said. “Thankyou, Benson, they’re perfect. I can plant them in my garden and grow my own tulips. Then I can have tulips every year. What a beautiful present!” She gave Benson a hug.

Benson felt very happy. He gave his mother a hug, and then he gave Aunt Lillibet a hug too. “Thankyou, Aunt Lillibet,” he said.

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