The See-Saw

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

Benson went to the playground with his mother. It was a beautiful sunny day, and everyone was there, playing and talking to each other.

Benson’s friend Mick said, “Let’s go on the see-saw.”

They both went over to the see-saw. There were two bush turkeys sitting on the see-saw, not moving. The see-saw was exactly level in mid-air. There was a bush turkey on each end, not going up or down, just sitting there.

Benson said, “Are you going to be finished soon? We want a turn.”

One of the turkeys said, “Don’t know.”

The other turkey said, “It’s our turn.”

Benson thought he recognised them. “Is your name Kenny?” he asked.

“It’s Ken,” said the turkey. “Kenny for short.”

The other turkey said, “I’m Kenny, but my friends call me Ken.”

“You’re both called Ken?” Mick said.

“No, I’m Ken,” the first one said. “He’s Kenny, aren’t you, Ken?” he said to his friend.

“That’s right, Kenny,” said the other one.

Benson felt tired just thinking about it. “I think it’s our turn now,” he said.

“We’re still having our turn,” Kenny said. “We’re waiting for the see-saw to go down.”

“It doesn’t just GO down,” Mick said. “You have to push off the ground and one of you goes up, and that makes the other one go down. That’s how a see-saw works.”

“That won’t work,” said Ken. “Neither of us wants to go up, do we, Ken?”

The other one shook his turkey head. Benson watched his wattle wobble. “We don’t like going up, we only like going down, don’t we, Ken?”

“You can’t both go down at the same time,” Mick said.

“Why not?” said Kenny. “It’s a see-saw, isn’t it?”

Mick was getting more and more exasperated. “See-saws don’t work like that!” he said.

The two turkeys looked at each other and shook their heads. “He hasn’t done the research, has he Kenny?” said the first one.

“Not like we have,” said the other one. “Listen, when there’s a flood and the creek gets full, what happens? You wait, and the water goes down.”

“Yeah,” said the other turkey. “And when you blow up a balloon it’s big and shiny but after a couple of days, what happens? It goes down.”

“You see?” the first one said to Mick. “We just have to wait and the see-saw will go down.”

Mick’s face was red and he looked like he was going to do something he shouldn’t, like push both turkeys off the see-saw. Benson said, “You guys are turkeys, aren’t you? Can turkeys fly?”

Ken, or Kenny, said, “We’re birds, aren’t we? Of course we can fly!”

Benson sat down heavily on one end of the see-saw. The other end shot up and the turkey sitting on it flew into the air with a squawk. He flapped a few times and landed back down on the ground.

The turkey at Benson’s end was sitting down on the ground. He got up and shook his feathers.

“Now you’re both down,” Benson said. “Come on, Mick, it’s our turn.”

Mick got on the other end of the see-saw and they went up and down.

The turkeys said to each other, “See? We knew it would work if we waited long enough.” And they walked off together.

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