Uncle Elton’s Music Holder

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

One day Benson’s Uncle Elton came over for afternoon tea. Uncle Elton really enjoyed making things. He made all sorts of things out of wood and things he found, but he wasn’t very good at it. Mostly the things he made fell down or fell to pieces or wobbled or bits fell off them.

This time he said, “Benson, I’ve made you something.”

Benson looked at the thing Uncle Elton had made for him. It had a long skinny kind of stick in the middle and three different legs, one made of wood and one made from an old saucepan handle and one from a carrot. At the top there was a big flat piece of bark he had sticky-taped onto it.

Benson said, “What is it?”

“It’s a music holder,” said Uncle Elton happily. “When you play the saxophone, you can put the music on here and it holds the music up.”

“Oh,” said Benson, then he remembered his manners. “Thank you, Uncle Elton.”

Benson’s mother said, “You must have put a lot of work into it, Elton. That was very kind of you.”

Uncle Elton beamed. “Do you want to try it out?” he asked.

Benson got a music book from his room. He put it carefully and gently on the music holder. The music holder wobbled a bit, then the legs fell off and it fell down and broke to pieces.

“Oh,” said Benson.

Uncle Elton looked very disappointed. “I mustn’t have used enough sticky-tape,” he said. He looked sadly at the pieces on the ground.

Just then Aunt Lillibet came in from the garden. “What’s this?” she said. Before Benson could explain, she picked up the long skinny stick part from the middle of the music holder. “A dibber!” she said. “It’s perfect! I’ve wanted a dibber for ages! Thank you, Elton.” She took the stick out into the garden.

Uncle Elton beamed. “I made a dibber!” he said. Then he said, “What’s a dibber?”

“I think it’s a kind of pointed stick you use to make nice round holes in the dirt when you’re planting seeds,” said Benson’s mother. “Well done, Elton!”

Just then Aunt Moss came in. “Hello, Elton,” she said. “What’s all this?”

Benson said, “Uncle Elton made me this, but it’s….”

“It’s perfect!” said Aunt Moss. “A nostepinne! I’ve always wanted one of these!” She picked up the wooden leg that had broken off.

Uncle Elton beamed even more widely. “I made a nostepinne!” Then he said, “What’s a nostepinne?”

Aunt Moss said, “You hold it like this, and you wind wool around it and it makes the wool into a nice tidy ball. I would love to have this.”

Uncle Elton said, “It’s for you, Moss.”

“Thank you, Elton,” Aunt Moss said. She carried it away to her room.

Uncle Elton said, “I suppose I should tidy up the rest of this rubbish.”

Benson’s mother said, “Actually, that nice flat piece of bark would make a good fruit bowl, if you’ve finished with it.”

“Of course,” said Uncle Elton happily.

Benson’s mother put the piece of bark in the middle of the table and piled oranges onto it. “It’s perfect. Thank you, Elton.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. He was very happy. “I think I’ll go home and make some more dibbers and nostepinnes and fruit bowls.” He gathered up the other bits that were lying on the ground.

Benson said, “If you’re not going to use that carrot for anything, could I have it?”

“Of course you can,” Uncle Elton said. He gave the carrot to Benson.

Benson took a big bite. “Perfect,” he said.

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