Ginger Toes

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

Aunt Lillibet had a sniffly nose. She was sitting by herself with a scarf around her head, gloves on her hands, thick warm boots and a thick winter coat on, feeling sorry for herself.

Aunt Moss was knitting. She finished the last stitch, cast off and said, “There! It’s finished!” She held up a warm red woolly hat. She put it on and pulled it down over her ears. “What do you think, Lillibet?” she said.

Aunt Lillibet sniffed. “I think it looks silly. Red doesn’t suit you. It looks ugly.”

Aunt Moss said, “Yes, it is very snuggly. I could make one for you, if you like. You look quite cold, sitting there.”

“Cold?” said Aunt Lillibet. “I’m freezing. My fingers are frozen.”

“Put vinegar on the roses?” Aunt Moss said. “Do you think that’s a good idea, Lillibet? Oh well, whatever you think.” She called Benson. “Benson, dear, would you get the vinegar, please?”

Benson got the vinegar out of the cupboard.

Aunt Lillibet said, “No, Moss, I said my fingers are frozen!”

“Bigger than Moses? Your roses will be that big?” said Aunt Moss. “They’ll need tying up, then. Benson, you’d better get some twine.” Benson put the bottle of vinegar back and got a ball of twine instead.

“No, not roses!” said Aunt Lillibet very loudly. “My FINGERS are FROZEN!” She was quite red in the face.

“Diggers and bulldozers?” said Aunt Moss. “Do you think your roses will be that big? Don’t you think a large trowel would do?” She found a big trowel and gave it to Benson instead of the twine.

Aunt Lillibet shouted, “No, Moss, you’re as deaf as a bat in that silly red hat!” She got up out of her chair and stamped over, very red in the face. “I said my FINGERS are FROZEN!!

“Ginger for your toes?” said Aunt Moss. “Oh, that’s a good idea! My mother always put her feet in a hot mustard bath whenever she had a cold. I suppose ginger would be just as good. Benson, would you get the ginger, please?”

Benson gave Aunt Moss the trowel, and got the ginger out of the cupboard.

Aunt Lillibet looked as if she was going to explode. She pulled Aunt Moss’s warm red woolly hat off and shouted in her ear, “MY FINGERS ARE FROZEN!” She took off her gloves and pointed to her fingers.

Aunt Moss looked at them. “They look nice and warm to me, Lillibet dear. You look very warm all over.”

Aunt Lillibet stopped. She did feel very warm. “I’m going out to the garden,” she said. She took the trowel and the twine and stamped off.

Benson still had the ginger. “Do you think she still wants the ginger?” he asked Aunt Moss.

Aunt Moss smiled at him, and put her hat back on. “I’ll make her a nice cup of ginger and lemon tea. It will be good for her cold.”

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