Scottish Dancing

(Each to their own)

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.

Benson went to play at his friend Mick’s place. His mother came too, to talk to Mick’s mother, Delia, and Aunt Lillibet and Aunt Moss came too, because Delia’s sister Flora was visiting. Flora was very good at Scottish dancing. Nobody knew what Scottish dancing was, so Flora showed them. It was a kind of dancing with lots of kicking and jumping and hopping. Mick’s uncle Charlie played the bagpipes, and Flora jumped and hopped and danced around very fast, with her hands in the air.

Aunt Lillibet and Aunt Moss were very impressed. “That was so wonderful,” Aunt Moss said, clapping her hands. “I would love to be able to do that!”

Flora said that she would teach them, if they liked. She showed them how to hop and kick at the same time. Aunt Lillibet could kick, but if she tried to hop at the same time, her legs got tangled together and she fell over. Aunt Moss could hop, but if she tried to kick, she lost her balance and sat down on the floor, plomp.

“We need proper lessons,” Aunt Lillibet said. Flora said she thought that was a good idea, so they decided to come for lessons every day.

After a week, Benson’s mother said to Aunt Lillibet, “How are the Scottish dancing lessons going?”

Aunt Lillibet said, “The lessons are going very well. Flora says I have a natural sense of rhythm.”

Aunt Moss said, “I’m even taking up the bagpipes, so that I can play when Lillibet dances.”

Benson’s mother said, “Why don’t you show us what you’ve learnt?”

Benson and his mother sat down and got ready.

Aunt Lillibet put on her Scottish dancing slippers and her Scottish socks and her frilly Scottish dancing shirt. Aunt Moss got the bagpipes. There was a bag part that went under her arm, and long sticks that went over her shoulder, and a kind of pipe that she blew into.

Aunt Lillibet said, “Ready, Moss? One-two, one-two!”

Aunt Moss took a breath and blew. The bagpipes went “EeyAAhhhhh” and Aunt Lillibet started dancing. She stood very straight with her knees and elbows going everywhere. Aunt Moss ran out of breath and the bagpipes went “Yahhoooommmmmm.”

Aunt Lillibet said, “Come on, Moss, take a good deep breath, not lots of little puffs. Now, one-two, one-two!”

Aunt Moss started blowing and Aunt Lillibet leapt into action. She jumped up and kicked the table with one foot and knocked over a vase with her elbow.

The bagpipes died away again. “Moss, you’re not trying!” Aunt Lillibet said.

“I’m sorry, Lillibet,” Aunt Moss said. “It’s very tiring. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks.”

“No excuses! Let’s start again,” Aunt Lillibet said. She put her hands in the air and lifted up her pointy knee, ready to start again.

Benson’s mother gave a sort of wriggle with one of her feet and Aunt Lillibet tipped over and went crash on her bottom.

“You tripped me!” she said, pointing her finger at Benson’s mother.

“Oh, did I?” said Benson’s mother. “I’m sorry. I hope you’re not hurt.” She helped Aunt Lillibet get up.

“My knee is a bit sore,” Aunt Lillibet said.

Benson’s mother said, “Why don’t you sit down and have a rest? You could have a turn with the bagpipes, and let Aunt Moss dance.”

Aunt Lillibet considered. “Well, I couldn’t do any worse than Moss did,” she said. “Give them to me, Moss.”

Aunt Lillibet took the bagpipes and put the bag part under her arm and took a mighty breath. The bagpipes went, “Ooohhwheeeeeeeennnn!!” very loudly.

Aunt Moss started dancing. Her feet skipped up and down as lightly as a feather and she held her arms gracefully above her head. She danced and danced with a very happy smile on her face.

Aunt Lillibet stopped to take a breath. “You play very well, Lillibet,” Benson’s mother said.

Aunt Lillibet nodded. “Flora says I have a fine wind,” she said. She took another enormous breath and started playing again. The sound of the bagpipes filled the whole house and made the cups and plates in the kitchen rattle.

Benson jammed his hands over his ears, but it didn’t help.

His mother shouted, “I think I’ll go down to the Quiet room for a while!”

Benson shouted back, “I’m going outside to dig a hole and put my head in it and cover it up!”

They both sneaked away. Aunt Lillibet and Aunt Moss were having such a good time they didn’t even notice them going.

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