Raisins

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.

Once day Benson was putting things away after breakfast when he found an old jar with raisins in it. Benson liked raisins. Actually, he really liked raisins.

He took the lid off, to see if they were all right or if they were too old. He took a deep sniff. The raisins smelled perfectly all right.

He started to think about all the things you could put raisins in: raisin bread, apple and raisin pudding, oatmeal and raisin cookies, raisin and walnut muffins, raisin and banana bread. He imagined all of these, one at a time, warm and golden from the oven, and while he was imagining, his hand picked up raisins out of the jar and put them in his mouth, without him even noticing.

He chewed thoughtfully, and started to think about what raisins wouldn’t go with. Raisins and Vegemite. Raisin and leek soup. Raisin sausages. Raisins and watermelon. It was funny how two perfectly delicious things wouldn’t taste very good together. Raisins and tomato sauce, scrambled eggs with raisins..

Suddenly he stopped thinking. He looked down at his hand. His hand was empty. The jar was empty. He wondered where all the raisins had gone.

“Benson!” said his mother.

Benson jumped.

“What have you done with all the raisins?”

“What raisins?” said Benson. “They’ve gone.”

“Yes, I can see they’ve gone,” his mother said. “You’ve eaten them all! I was just going to make oatmeal and raisin cookies and now there are no raisins left. I can’t make oatmeal-and-no-raisins cookies, can I?”

Benson thought sadly of oatmeal and raisin cookies without the raisins. Then he had a good idea. “You could make apple and oatmeal cookies. Or caramel oatmeal cookies. Or caramel and pecan and oatmeal cookies. Or caramel and pecan and oatmeal and…”

“Benson, stop!” said his mother.

Benson kept on going. Those raisins had given him lots of ideas. “But don’t make caramel and Vegemite muffins, or corn and pecan cookies, or leek and blueberry bread, or carrot and strawberry sandwiches, or…”

“Benson!” his mother said, quite loudly. “I don’t need you to tell me what not to make. I know what I want to make and that’s oatmeal and raisin cookies, and I can’t, can I?”

“No,” Benson said sadly. Then he had another idea. “But we’ve got sultanas.”

His mother thought. “Oatmeal and sultana cookies are nearly the same, aren’t they?”

Benson nodded.

“All right, I’ll make oatmeal and sultana cookies,” she said.

“Can I help?” Benson said. “We could put in some pecans, and some cranberries, and maybe some cinnamon or banana chips…”

“ I don’t think I need any help today, thank you, Benson,” his mother said. “How about you play outside until they’re done?”

So he did. And when they were done, they were nearly as nice as oatmeal and raisin cookies.

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