Once there was a young wombat named Benson, who lived in a warm, dry wombat hole with his mother and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.
One night Benson was asleep and he woke up because he had to go to the toilet.
He went to the toilet and on his way back to bed he noticed that the front door was open. He went to have a look, and he saw Aunt Moss, lying on her back in the middle of the grass, staring up at the sky.
He went out and asked her what she was doing.
“Just watching the stars,” she said.
Benson looked up. “They’re not doing anything. What are you watching them for?”
“Sometimes when I’m out walking at night, I can tell where I am by looking at the stars. I look at the shapes and the patterns the stars make,” she said.
Benson lay down beside her and stared at the stars. It was just masses of white sparkly spots and spaces between them.
“I don’t see any patterns,” Benson said.
“I learned the shapes and the patterns and the different stars from my grandmother. I look at them and remember the stories,” Aunt Moss said.
“What stories?” Benson asked.
“See those three little stars in a row, like little turtles? Well there’s a story my grandmother told me about three turtles going on a long journey…” And she told him the story.
“What about those four like a flag flying?” Benson asked.
“Well, my grandmother used to tell me a story about a young wombat with a flag…” And she told him the story. Benson listened, and he gazed up at the stars. After a little while, Aunt Moss stopped talking and went to sleep. Benson kept looking at the stars, and he could see all sorts of patterns. He started thinking of his own stories.
Then a very strange thing happened. One of the stars fell right across the sky and disappeared.
Benson woke up Aunt Moss. “Did you see that?” he said. “One of the stars fell out of the sky!”
“Oh, I missed it!” said Aunt Moss. “I’ve never seen a falling star. Never mind, maybe another night. I think it’s time for bed.”
They went inside and Benson went to bed. It was warm and snuggly and he fell asleep straight away. But the next night, and every night for a long time, he went out to look at the stars again before he went to bed.