The Bouncy Red Ball

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

One day Benson was playing outside when a shiny red ball fell out of the sky and hit him right on the nose.

“Ow!” he said. He looked around, but he couldn’t see anybody.

It was a very nice red ball. He bounced it a couple of times on the ground and it bounced straight back into his hand. He threw it hard at a big eucalyptus tree and it boinged straight back to him. He threw it again, really hard, but this time he just missed catching it. It flew past him and he heard a voice say, “Ow!!”

His friend Mick came around the corner, rubbing his nose. “I was just walking along,” he said, “and this ball came out of nowhere and hit me on the nose!”

“Did it?” said Benson.

Mick looked hard at him. “It wasn’t you, was it?” he asked.

Benson said, “It’s not my ball. It looks like a good ball, though.”

“Yeah,” said Mick. He bounced it on the ground a few times. “It bounces really well. Do you want to play catch?”

Mick threw the ball to Benson and Benson threw it back. Sometimes Mick threw it down on the ground first, then it bounced up so high that Benson had to jump up to catch it. The seventh time, it went so high that Benson couldn’t catch it. It flew over his head into the bush. They both heard a voice shout, “Ow!!!”

There was a scrittering noise and Benson’s possum friend, Nils, came scampering down the tree. “This ball came out of nowhere and hit me on the nose,” he said.

“Really!” said Benson.

“Did you throw it at me?” Nils asked.

“I wouldn’t do a thing like that,” Benson said.

Nils asked Mick, “Is this your ball?”

“No,” Mick said. “It looks like a great ball, though. Do you want to play?”

“All right,” Nils said.

They played catch, and then they played Possum-in-the-Middle. Then Nils got the ball and threw it high up into the air. They heard an angry voice shout, “Oww!!”

Nils ran and hid behind the tree. His sister, Nella, came scrambling down the tree, rubbing her nose.

“This ball just came out of nowhere and hit me on the nose,” she said. “Did you throw it?”

“It wasn’t me,” Mick said.

“I didn’t do it,” Benson said.

Nella looked at the ball. “It feels like it would bounce really well,” she said.

“We’ll play with you,” Mick said.

“Okay,” Nella said. “Nils!” she yelled.

Nils popped out from behind the tree. Nella asked him, “Do you want to play with us?”

“Sure,” Nils said. They played Possum-in-the-Middle for a while, and then they tried to see who could make the ball bounce the highest. Nella bounced it really hard, and it zoomed away into the bush.

They heard a deep, growly voice say, “Owww!!!”

The four of them looked at each other and then they all ran off, as fast as they could.

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