Benson at the Library

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

Benson and his mother went to the library to borrow some books. They returned the books they had borrowed last time, and then they went to look for some new books.

“I want a book about pirates,” Benson said.

His mother said, “Why do you want a book about pirates?”

Benson said, “I think they’re interesting and fun and they have adventures.”

They went to the children’s section and looked for pirate books.

“Here’s one,” Benson’s mother said. “It’s called ‘Pirate Patsy and the Fairy Castle’.” She showed it to Benson.

Benson opened it up and looked at the pictures. “It has a lot of fairies, and the pirates don’t look like real pirates. They all look like gorillas in stripy shirts. I don’t want this one.”

Benson’s mother said, “Well what about this one: ‘Real-life Pirates in Real-life History’. This one has real pirates.”

Benson had a look. “Where are the treasure maps? Real pirates have maps and parrots and big black ships. Don’t they know anything about pirates?”

His mother found another one. “This one’s got a treasure map on the front cover. It’s called ‘Redbeard Blackpatch, the Cruellest Pirate in the World’. Hmm, I don’t know if it’s really suitable for children.”

Benson took a look inside. “These pictures are horrible, like big black lines with paint splashes on top of them. I don’t want to read this.”

They both kept looking. There was a pirate alphabet book and a pirate counting book, and a book with pirate poems. Benson didn’t want to read them either.

“What about this one?” his mother said. “It’s called ‘Alien Space Pirates and the Time-Travel Spaceship.’ It’s the last one on the shelf.”

Benson said, “That’s not the kind of book I wanted. I want to read a proper story about pirates doing pirate things. You know, walking the plank and digging for buried treasure and having sword fights.”

“I don’t think they’ve got any books like that here today. Maybe all the other children have already borrowed them. You could choose a different book not about pirates, or we could come back another day.”

Benson thought for a minute, and then he went back to the shelves. He looked along all the books, and finally he found one that he wanted. He took it over to his mother.

“Is this the one you want to borrow?” she asked. “We’ve read this one before, you know.”

Benson nodded. “It’s got nice pictures, and I like the story and the adventures. I like it when you read it to me.”

So they borrowed the book and took it home. Benson’s mother sat in her favourite reading chair and Benson climbed onto her lap.

She read, “’Once there was a young wombat named Benson, and he lived in a very nice wombat hole with his mother…’”

Benson smiled and snuggled down to listen.

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