Purple Pyjamas

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

Benson’s old pyjamas were too small. “I think we’d better give those to your cousin Elmer,” his mother said.

Aunt Lillibet said, “I’ll make him a new pair. I’ve got a nice piece of fabric that will do perfectly.”

Aunt Lillibet made new pyjamas for Benson. Benson didn’t like them one bit, but he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to hurt Aunt Lillibet’s feelings. They had big white buttons like squashed cheese, and the elastic around the middle was so tight that it made wrinkles in Benson’s tummy, and they were PURPLE. They were so purple that Benson couldn’t sleep.

His mother looked into his bedroom. Benson was sitting up in bed in his purple pyjamas. “Are you okay?” she said.

“My pyjamas are keeping me awake,” he said.

“Never mind,” she said. “Just wear your old ones for tonight. I’ll give the new ones a wash in the morning, and maybe they’ll be more comfortable.”

In the morning she washed the new pyjamas and hung them on the line. Just after that a very strong wind came up, so strong that it blew the pyjamas right off the line. They flew through the air and got caught on an old banksia tree. The elastic in the pants snapped and all the buttons came off.

“Oh dear,” Benson’s mother said. “I can put new buttons on, but they’ll be odd ones from my button jar.” First she fixed the elastic, and then she sewed on new buttons, one in the shape of a pineapple, two green ones and one in the shape of a red bunny. Benson loved them.

“I’ll have to put them in the wash again,” his mother said.

She put the pyjamas in the washing machine with the rest of the clothes. When the wash was finished, she got them out again. “Oh dear!” she said. “I’m sorry Benson, but I accidentally left one of Aunt Moss’s red socks in the wash, and the colour’s come out all over your pyjamas!”

Benson’s pyjamas were a kind of glowing magenta. He loved it.

His mother said, “I’ll see if I can wash it out with some bleach.” She got the bottle of bleach, but just as she was pouring it very carefully, the bottle slipped in her hand and bleach splashed all over Benson’s pyjamas.

“Oh, no!” she said. She held up the pyjamas. They looked like they had lightning flashes all over them. Benson loved it.

“I’m sorry, Benson,” his mother said. “Maybe it will wash out.” She washed them very carefully and hung them on the line with extra pegs so they didn’t blow away. The splashes didn’t wash out and they were still glowing magenta.

Aunt Lillibet said, “Those pyjamas are ruined.”

Benson’s mother said, “I’m sorry, Lillibet.”

Benson gave his mother a hug. “Don’t worry, they’re perfect the way they are.”

At bedtime, he put his new pyjamas on and he felt so happy he went straight to sleep. He loved them so much, sometimes he didn’t take them off all day.

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