Unbored

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

Benson’s mother was in the kitchen cleaning out the fridge. Benson came out of his room and sat at the table. Then he got up and went outside. A minute later he came in again and went back to his room, but he came out again a few seconds later and stood in the middle of the room, standing on one foot and then the other. Then he lay on the floor and gave an enormous sigh.

His mother said, “What’s the matter, Benson? Are you bored?”

Benson lifted up his head and said, “No, that’s the trouble. I’ve got so many things I want to do, and I can’t decide which one to do first.”

His mother wiped up some spilled beetroot juice. “You’re bothered because you’re not bored?” she asked.

Benson dropped his head back on the floor and stared at the ceiling. “It’s such a beautiful day and I want to go and lie in the sun, but I also want to practise digging for the Fastest Digger competition, but then Aunt Moss has sharpened all my pencils and I can’t wait to do some drawing with them, and I really really want to read my new library book about a bear and a piglet who dig a hole for an elephant. Whichever thing I decide to do, it means I can’t do the other things. It’s terrible!”

He lay on the floor and groaned.

His mother shook her head at him. “What about doing them all at once?”

“That’s impossible,” Benson said. “I can’t lie in the sun and dig a tunnel at the same time, and I can’t dig and draw at the same time because the paper would get all messed up.”

“You could lie in the sun and read your book,” his mother said.

“I can’t, it’s a library book, and I’m not allowed to take library books outside, since last time when the kookaburra stole my library book,” he said.

“Well, which thing do you want to do most?” she said, trying to get some old yoghurt off one of the shelves.

“I don’t know!” said Benson. “I want to do all of them!”

His mother kept on scrubbing at the yoghurt and Benson kept on groaning, until she couldn’t stand it any longer. “While you’re deciding, you can take these out to the compost for me,” she said.

She gave him a big pile of sad spinach and some soggy zucchinis. He carried them out and dumped them on the compost pile. Just then a big raindrop hit him on the nose, then another one and another one, until it was suddenly pouring with rain. He ran inside.

“It’s raining,” he panted. “I can’t go and lie in the sunshine, and I can’t dig!”

“That’s good,” his mother said. “It makes it easier for you to decide.”

Just then Aunt Moss came out and said, “Benson, I’m just going to borrow your pencils to make a birthday card for cousin Genevieve, if you don’t mind.” She took all his nice sharp pencils into her room.

Two seconds later, Aunt Lillibet came out and said, “I love this book you borrowed from the library, Benson. You won’t mind me reading it, will you? It’s too wet to go out into the garden.” She took his library book and went into her room.

Benson opened his mouth and shut it again. He flopped on the floor and sighed as loudly as he could.

His mother said, “Are you still unbored, Benson?”

“No,” he said, “I’m completely bored. I don’t have a thing to do. I’ve never been so bored ever in my whole life.”

“That’s more like it,” his mother said. “You can come and peel all these old apples for me, and we’ll make a really big apple pie.”

“Okay,” Benson said, jumping up. “It’s a good thing I don’t have anything to do, isn’t it?”

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