Carrots

Once there was a young wombat called Benson, and he lived in a comfy wombat hole with his mother, and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.

One morning his mother went out to the vegetable garden and picked some carrots. She took them inside to wash them. Benson came into the kitchen and saw her chopping the green parts off.

“They’re just baby carrots,” he said. “Why did you pick them?”

“Sometimes the bed needs thinning out,” his mother said. “If there are too many carrots trying to grow in one small space, they get on top of each other and there isn’t enough room for them to grow properly.”

“You know,” Benson said, “if you had great big giant rabbits, they would want giant carrots, like a carrot as big as an umbrella. Big giant rabbits like lions, but softer, and when they hop, they would make big dents in the ground and all the little animals would fall into them all the time.”

His mother smiled. “They would eat every single thing in the vege garden in one go, and we’d have nothing left to eat.”

Benson thought some more. Then he went to Aunt Moss’s room and asked her if he could borrow her orange blanket. He took it outside, and found some long green palm leaves that had fallen off the palm trees. He rolled himself in the orange blanket, tight like a long sausage, and he held the palm leaves so they were sticking out near the top of his head. Then he lay very still and waited.

After a while, and nothing happening, Aunt Lillibet came along. “What are you doing?” she said.

“I’m being a giant carrot, to see if some giant rabbits might come along,” Benson said.

“That would have to be some rabbit, if it was big enough to eat a carrot your size,” Lillibet said. “A very big rabbit.”

“As big as a sheep,” Benson said.

“With really long ears,” Lillibet said.

“As long as an elephant’s,” Benson said.

“And really big teeth,” Lillibet said.

“Teeth?” Benson said.

“To eat the carrot with,” Lillibet said. “To chomp into it and bite bits off and crunch them up. You can’t eat a great big carrot with little tiny teeth.”

Benson thought about teeth, and he put the palm leaves down and unwrapped himself from the blanket. “I think I’ll go inside now,” he said.

“Oh, don’t go yet,” Lillibet said. “I think I can hear some giant rabbits coming!”

Benson scampered inside very quickly. He told his mother that Aunt Lillibet said she could hear giant rabbits coming, with giant teeth. His mother was making carrot soup. “Oh, I think Lillibet was just having a bit of fun with you,” she said. “We both know there are no giant rabbits. But there are some very little ones. Some tiny new baby rabbits were born just this week, down by the creek.”

“Really? Are they really tiny?”

“Small enough to fit into your hand and feel like just a tiny ball of fluff. Do you want to go and see them?” she said.

“Mmm, that would be good. Should we take some baby carrots for them?” Benson said.

“I think they’re too small even for carrots. They’ll just be having mother’s milk for a while. But we could take some carrots for their mum,” she said.

“Okay,” Benson said. He was thoughtful for just a minute, then he asked, “Their mum is just normal-sized, isn’t she? Not extra-big, or super-large, or giant-sized?”

“No, she’s just normal-rabbit-sized,” his mother said.

“That’s good,” said Benson.

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