Wombat Pizza

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’s friend Mick and his little sister Bonnie Lou came over to play, and Benson’s friend Roly was there too, and Benson’s mother said they could make a big pizza for lunch. She made some pizza dough and everyone had a turn rolling it out. Benson picked it up and tried to twirl it around to make it spread out into a big circle. He threw it up into the air and it came down splat on his face.

Mick and Bonnie Lou laughed. Benson’s mother peeled the dough off his face. It still had the shape of his nose and his ears in it.

“Look,” said Mick, “wombat pizza!”

Benson’s mother straightened it out and made it a nice circle. “Everyone can pick their favourite topping,” she said.

Mick said straight away, “Mushrooms.”

“I hate mushrooms!” Bonnie Lou said.

“That’s okay,” Benson’s mother said. “We’ll put mushrooms on one side and no mushrooms on the other. What are you going to have, Bonnie Lou?”

“Fairy floss and ice-cream,” Bonnie Lou said.

Mick said, “You can’t put ice-cream on a pizza. It will melt everywhere.”

“Well, sultanas and strawberry jam, then,” Bonnie Lou said.

Benson’s mother made a line across the middle of the pizza. “Roly, what’s your favourite topping?” she asked.

“Ants, of course,” he said. He had already been outside and collected some bull-ants in a cup. He tipped them out onto the pizza.

“Hey! Your ants are walking onto my side of the pizza!” Bonnie Lou said.

The ants spread out all over the pizza, and all over the table.

Benson’s mother thought that maybe one big pizza wasn’t such a good idea. “Everyone can have their own small pizza,” she said. She rolled the dough back up again and divided it into four balls and gave them one each.

They all tried to make a nice round pizza shape, but it wasn’t easy. Bonnie Lou’s was full of holes and Roly’s was fat at one end and not at the other, but Benson’s mother said it didn’t matter really. Benson made a kind of circle and put two triangles at the top on the sides. “These are going to be the ears,” he explained.

“What are you making?” his mother asked.

“A wombat pizza,” he said. He went to the cupboard and got some coconut and the chocolate sprinkles.

“Wait,” said his mother. “I’ve got an idea.” She put some of the coconut into a frying pan and cooked it until it turned brown and smelled delicious.

Benson said, “Perfect.” He spread cream cheese all over his pizza, and then he sprinkled brown coconut all over it. He thought it looked just like wombat fur. He used his fist to make a nose-sized dip in the middle, and he put the chocolate sprinkles in the dip.

Roly’s tongue shot out, zot, zot, zot-zot-zot-zot, and ate up all the sprinkles.

“Hey, stop that!” Benson said.

“Sorry, Benson,” Roly said. “They look so much like ants, I got carried away for a minute.”

Benson put some more sprinkles on where the nose was supposed to be.

Bonnie Lou was impressed. “It looks actually like a wombat,” she said.

“What about the eyes?” Mick said.

Benson got two cherries and squooshed them onto the pizza. “There!” he said.

“No, they’re the wrong colour,” Bonnie Lou said. “They should be brown.” She took the cherries off and gave them to Mick and he ate them. Then she got two big raisins and put them on Benson’s pizza instead.

“That’s good,” Benson said, “but it needs a mouth, a smiley mouth.”

“How about raspberries?” Bonnie Lou said.

“Good idea,” Benson said. He made a curvy row with the raspberries, and the wombat pizza was smiling.

Benson was very excited. “This is going to taste great,” he said.

“I want to make a wombat pizza too,” Bonnie Lou said.

“Me too,” Mick said, “but I’m putting mushrooms on mine.”

So Bonnie Lou made a wombat pizza with a sultana necklace and a strawberry-jam smile and chocolate buttons for eyes, and Mick made his with mushroom ears and broccoli eyes and chunks of cheese for teeth. Roly made an echidna pizza covered with grated carrot and zucchini, with chocolate sprinkles on top.

Benson’s mother put all the pizzas in the oven. After a while, when they started to smell amazing and they could tell they were done, she took them out and let them cool down a bit. Roly sprinkled ants on top of his because he said everything tastes better with ants, and they took them outside to eat them. They were the most delicious pizzas they had ever eaten.

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