Whistling

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

Benson couldn’t whistle. Aunt Moss could whistle, and Aunt Lillibet could whistle. Even the postman could whistle, but Benson didn’t know how.

He said to Aunt Moss, “Can you show me how to whistle?”

Aunt Moss said, “Whistling’s easy. Just put your lips like this, and blow.” She pushed her lips out in a kissing shape and started to whistle.

Benson pushed his lips out like Aunt Moss’s and blew. A whistle didn’t come out, just ‘Whoof, whoof, whoof.’

Aunt Moss said, “It takes a bit of practice, but you’ll get there. Keep trying.” She whistled some more. Benson whoofed some more.

Aunt Lillibet came along. “What are you doing?” she said.

“Benson is learning to whistle,” said Aunt Moss.

“You’re doing it all wrong,” said Aunt Lillibet. “Don’t push your lips out so far. Put your tongue out more. Now blow.”

Benson pulled in his lips and pushed out his tongue and blew. ‘Blppp, blppp.’ Spit went all over Aunt Lillibet.

“No, no, that’s not right!” said Aunt Lillibet. “Pull your tongue in and make it curve around, like this. Blow! Blow harder!”

Benson blew as hard as he could, but whistling didn’t come out, just raspberries. Aunt Moss laughed. Aunt Lillibet sent Benson outside.

The postman was just putting the mail in the letterbox. Benson went up and asked him, “Can you whistle?”

“I can’t exactly whistle,” said the postman. “I’ve got this.” The postman took out a shiny metal whistle and blew it. “Whiiit! Whiiiit!” It was so loud it made Benson’s ears stand up.

Benson felt sad. He didn’t have a whistle like the postman’s. He wanted to be able to whistle by himself. His mother came out, and got the mail out of the letterbox.

“Oh, is that the postman?” she said. “He’s given us the wrong letters.” She put two fingers in her mouth and gave the loudest whistle Benson had ever heard. “THWEEEEWIIP!” Benson fell over backwards.

The postman turned around and came back. Benson’s mother gave him back the letters. “These are for the wombats two streets over,” she said.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the postman. “I’ll take them around there instead.” He went off on his bicycle.

Benson said to his mother, “Can you show me how to whistle?”

“I can’t really whistle,” said his mother. “You should ask Lillibet or Moss.”

“You’re a much better whistler than them,” said Benson.

“I just put two fingers in my mouth and blow,” she said. “Like this.”

“Like this?” Benson put two fingers in his mouth and blew. A small whistle came out: “Whepp, whepp.”

“Just like that,” said his mother. They both whistled together. Benson’s whistle got louder and stronger, whhheeeee, wheeeeeee. They both went inside whistling. Benson was smiling so much he could hardly whistle. THWEEEE, wheep, wheep, wheep, THWEEE, wheep, wheeeeeee.

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