Decisions, Decisions

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

Benson spent the morning digging. When his tummy told him it was just about lunchtime, he came in to wash his hands. His mother and Aunt Moss were in the kitchen.

Aunt Lillibet was sitting at the table, perfectly still, not doing anything. On the table there were two plates, one on each side of her. She kept looking at one, then at the other one.

Benson said, “Aunt Lillibet, what are you doing?”

Aunt Lillibet sighed. “I made a beautiful turnip and sweet potato pie with green banana chips.” She pointed to the plate on her right. “And I also made some pasta with spinach and elephant ear stalks and okra.” She pointed to the plate on her left. “Now they both look so delicious, I can’t decide which one to eat.”

Aunt Moss said, “The pie looks very good, but the pasta looks wonderful.” Aunt Lillibet picked up her fork and turned towards the pasta.

Benson’s mother said, “The pasta smells delicious, but the pie smells amazing!”

Aunt Lillibet turned to the pie, then she put down her fork and sighed. “If I eat one, I’ll be too full to eat any of the other one,” she said. “I can’t decide.”

Benson said, “Why don’t you have a little bit of both?”

Aunt Lillibet said, “Have you ever tried having a little bit of turnip pie, or a little bit of spinach and okra pasta? It’s impossible! Once you start eating, you can’t stop at just a little bit.” She looked from one plate to the other and sighed.

Benson said, “I could taste them for you if you like, so then you’d really know which one is better.”

Aunt Lillibet said, “Hmmm. It’s worth a try, I suppose.” She gave the fork to Benson.

He put a small piece of pie on his plate and ate it slowly and thoughtfully, rolling the pastry around on his tongue. “I’d give it nine out of ten,” he said. “Delicious.”

He put a small amount of pasta on his plate and ate it piece by piece, savouring every bite. “Yummy,” he said. “I’d give it nine out of ten too.”

“That’s no help,” said Aunt Lillibet.

“Maybe I didn’t eat enough,” Benson said. “I’ll try again.” He put a larger piece of pie on his plate and ate it up. “No, I was wrong, the pie is definitely nine and a half out of ten.”

He put some more pasta on his plate and ate it up. “Fantastic!” he said. “I’d give it nine and a half out of ten too.”

Aunt Lillibet groaned.

Benson said, “I’ll just check the pie again.” He cut a very large piece of pie and and ate it. “Beautiful!” he said. “This is a ten out of ten. What was I thinking? But then the pasta might taste better now that it’s cooled down a bit.” He piled pasta onto his plate and started eating.

“Fantastic!”he said. “This pasta definitely deserves ten out of ten. I’ll just try the pie again.”

“Stop!” said Aunt Lillibet. She took the fork away from Benson. “If you keep going, there’ll be no pie and no pasta left. I know what I’ll do. I won’t eat anything for lunch, and when it’s time for dinner, I’ll be so hungry I’ll be able to eat both.” So that’s what she did. Benson’s mother and Aunt Moss had a lovely mango and finger lime salad for lunch, while Aunt Lillibet sat in front of her plates and didn’t eat anything. Benson didn’t eat much either. He wasn’t really hungry.

At dinner-time Aunt Lillibet was so hungry, she piled ALL the pie and ALL the pasta onto her plate and started eating. “Delicious! Wonderful! Fantastic!” she said. She ate up every single bit. She was so full that her tummy was bumping against the edge of the table.

“That was absolutely delicious!” she said.

Benson’s mother said, “I’m glad you enjoyed your dinner so much. I’ve made something special for dessert tonight.”

She got two big plates out of the pantry. “There’s fig and plum chocolate pudding, with extra chocolate sprinkles and cream on the top, AND there’s caramel popcorn coconut cake, with honeycomb pieces and orange cream cheese icing.” Benson’s eyes grew rounder and rounder.

His mother put the plates on the table in front of Aunt Lillibet. “Now, Lillibet, which one would you like?”

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