A Tin of Paint

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.

Aunt Lillibet decided she wanted to paint her cupboard. She measured it carefully so she would know exactly how much paint she would need. “Exactly one tin of paint,” she said.

She went to the paint shop and bought a tin of yellow paint. She took it home, and got her paintbrush and then she was ready to paint. She went to her room to put on her painting clothes.

While she was gone, Aunt Moss came along. “Oh, what a pretty colour!” she said. “I’m sure Lillibet won’t mind if I use just a tiny bit to paint my little table.” She took the tin of paint and the brush into her room and painted her little table. She was back in no time. “It looks lovely,” she said.

Aunt Lillibet came out and started painting her cupboard. She painted the top and the sides and the back and the doors. She was nearly finished the last door when she ran out of paint.

“I’ve run out of paint,” she said. “How annoying! After I measured so carefully!”

Benson said, “You could paint the last bit of the door another colour, like orange.”

“No, it wouldn’t look right,” Aunt Lillibet said. “I’ll just have to buy another tin of paint.”

She went to the paint shop and bought another tin of paint. The assistant in the shop noticed her painting clothes with all the yellow dabs and smears, but he didn’t say anything.

When she got home, she opened the second tin of paint and stirred it carefully and painted the last bit of the cupboard. “There!” she said. “Perfect! But what am I going to do with the rest of the paint? I know, I’ll give the cupboard a second coat. Two coats of paint always look better.”

She painted the cupboard all over again, the top, the back, the sides and the doors. She was nearly finished when she ran out of paint. “Oh! How exasperating!” she said. “I’ve run out of paint.”

Benson said, “It’s only a little bit of the door. No-one will notice.”

Aunt Lillibet said, “I will notice. I’ll have to get another tin of paint.”

She went back to the shop and bought another tin of paint. The nice young shop assistant noticed a lot more yellow splashes on her painting clothes but he didn’t say anything.

She painted the last little bit of the cupboard. “Very nice,” she said. “But what am I going to do with the rest of the paint?”

“You could paint the inside of the cupboard,” Benson suggested.

“That’s a very good idea, Benson,” she said. She painted the inside of the cupboard, the top and the bottom and the sides and the back and the inside of the doors. Just before she finished, she ran out of paint.

“Oh, I’ve run out of paint!” she said. “How irritating!”

Benson said, “It’s on the inside. No-one will notice.”

“I will notice,” said Aunt Lillibet. She went back to the shop and bought another tin of paint. The shop assistant noticed the yellow paint in her hair and on the back of her neck but he didn’t say anything.

She finished painting the inside of the cupboard. “That’s better,” she said. “But what am I going to do with the rest of the paint?”

Benson said, “You could fill in the spaces on your painting clothes, then they’d be yellow all over.”

“Don’t be silly,” Aunt Lillibet said. She set to work and painted the kitchen cupboards yellow. There was still some paint left so she painted the fruit bowl and the fridge and the toaster. There was still a little bit of paint left, so she painted her favourite hat and her gumboots, and then she painted a sign that said, ‘WET PAINT’.

“Perfect!” she said. “There’s not a drop of paint left.”

She went outside to clean her brush. Benson’s mother came home from her bush care group, and said, “Why is everything yellow?”

Aunt Moss said, “I think it’s very pretty. I wonder if it’s still wet.”

Aunt Lillibet finished cleaning her brush and came inside.

Aunt Moss said, “Lillibet, do you have a little bit of that paint left over? I think I’ve accidentally left a tiny mark on your cupboard.”

Aunt Lillibet looked at the cupboard. Right in the middle of the door, there was a big wombat hand-print.

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