The Quokka and the Book

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

One day Benson went to the playground to play, and there was a quokka there, wearing a funny hat.

Benson went to the big swing. The quokka came over and said, “No wombats on the big swing. Wombats can only use the baby swings.”

Benson said, “I always go on the big swing. Who says wombats can’t go on the big swing?”

“It’s the rule,” said the quokka. “It’s in the book.” He took a book out from behind his back.

Benson looked at the book, and looked at the quokka, and got off the swing. He went over to the slippery slide.

The quokka came over to the slippery slide. “Wombats are not allowed on the slippery slide, “ said the quokka. “Wombats are too heavy and they might get stuck. It’s the rule.”

Benson didn’t feel like arguing. He decided to go and dig in the sandpit. The quokka said, “No wombats in the sandpit before eleven am. Only quokkas can use the sandpit before 11am.”

“That’s not fair,” Benson said.

“It’s the rule,” the quokka said. “It’s in the book.”

“What about the balance beam?” Benson said.

“No wombats,” the quokka said.

“What about the flying fox?”

“Definitely no wombats at all, at any time,” said the quokka.

Benson grabbed the book. He opened it up. All the pages inside were blank. There was no writing at all. He shut the book and looked at the quokka.

“All right,” Benson said, “no quokkas are allowed in the playground,” he said. “It’s the new rule.”

“That’s not right,” the quokka said.

“It’s in the book,” Benson said.

“No it isn’t,” said the quokka.

“It is if I say it is,” said Benson. “I’ve got the book.”

“I’ve got a hat,” said the quokka.

Benson looked at his hat. “That’s not a hat, it’s just an old bird’s nest.”

The quokka took the hat off. “Do you want to go play in the sandpit?” he said.

“Okay,” said Benson. They both went to the sandpit and started to dig.

“Can I have my book back?” asked the quokka.

“No,” Benson said. “Quokkas aren’t allowed to have books in the playground. It’s the rule. You can have it back when it’s time to go home.”

They played in the sandpit and on the flying fox and the slippery slide and the big swings until it was time to go home. Benson gave the quokka back his book. “Do you know what you could do with that book?” Benson said. “You could write a story in it.”

“Maybe I will,” said the quokka.

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