Benson and the Frog

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

One day Benson went down to the creek to splash about, and he saw a water dragon just about to catch a small green frog. He clapped his hands and shouted, and the water dragon slid away. Benson put his hand down and picked up the frog.

The frog said, “Thank you for scaring the water dragon away. You can put me down now.”

“I don’t want to put you down,” Benson said. The frog was bright green and smooth and stretchy. It felt cool and damp in Benson’s hand.

The frog said, “Please put me down. You’re making my skin feel warm and dry. I like to be damp and cool.”

Benson sprinkled a few drops of water on the frog. Then he said, “I could take you home with me. I could dig you a pool in my back yard and fill it up with water. And when I have a bath, you could swim in the bath with me. You’d love it.”

“I love it here,” said the frog. “I can swim among the fish in the cool green creek, and climb the trees and lie on the branches in the sun.”

Benson said, “I could ask my mother to make us chocolate cake and banana muffins and custard. You’d love it.”

“I love it here,” said the frog. “I can catch bugs and spiders and mosquitoes with my long springy tongue. I can get fresh green weed any time I want.”

Benson said, “I could take you to the playground and show you to all my friends, and we could go on the swings and the slippery slide, and play in the sand pit. You’d love it.”

“I love it here,” said the frog. “I croak with my friends all night long if I like, and sometimes we see who can make the biggest bubbles or who can burp the loudest.”

Benson said, “I could read stories to you, and let you play my saxophone, and we could do painting together. You’d love it.”

“I love it here,” said the frog. “I play games with the other frogs, leap-frog and jumping races, seeing who can jump the furthest and who can jump the highest. Sometimes we play with the turtles, and sometimes we hide from the water dragons.”

Benson said, “You could live in my house. I could get you a special box with stones and plants, and you could live in my room. I could put you in my pocket and take you for rides on my bike. You’d love it. ”

“I love it here,” said the frog. “This is my place, where I live.”

Benson looked at the creek, and the tall gum trees and the smooth rocks at the edge of the creek. Then he looked at the frog. He put the frog down. The frog hopped away into the water.

Benson sat on a big warm rock and watched the tiny fish swimming around. He picked up some stones and dropped them into the clear green water and listened to them plopp. He watched them sink to the bottom.

After a while the frog came back, and they chased dragonflies together.

When he was tired, Benson picked some lillipillies off a lillipilly tree and ate them in the shade with his toes in the water. “I love it here,” he said.

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