Lavender Biscuits

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

One morning Benson’s mother said to him, “Nanna isn’t feeling well. She has a bit of a cold, so she’s staying in bed. I’ve made her a little basket of goodies to cheer her up.”

Benson was already sniffing at the good smells coming from the basket. “Apple-and-sage muffins, and lavender biscuits?” he guessed, without even looking in the basket.

“Exactly right,” his mother said. “Would you like to take it over to her?”

“Yes, please!” Benson said. Nanna was one of the best people in the world at sharing.

There was a cold wind outside, so Aunt Moss gave him her little red hood to put over his ears. “Make sure you stay on the path, so you don’t get lost,” his mother said.

Benson set off happily. He walked along the track, smelling the nice things in the basket and thinking how good they would taste. He noticed some purple mint bush growing just off the side of the track. “Nanna would love some”, he thought, so he picked some to take to her. A little further off there was some pink swamp heath, so he picked some of that too, and before long he had a beautiful bunch of flowers for Nanna. But when he looked around, he found he had wandered a long way off the track, and he didn’t know where he was.

Just then he heard a noise. It was someone singing a weeding song: “Weed, weed this a-way, weed, weed, that a-way.” Benson went towards the sound, and there was Gordon, Aunt Lillibet’s friend.

“Hello, Benson,” he said. “I’m just doing some bushcare, pulling out these weeds. What have you got there?”

Benson said, “I’m going to Nanna’s. I’m taking her some apple-and-sage muffins and some lavender biscuits.”

“The lavender biscuits with chopped hazelnuts?” Gordon said, sniffing at the basket.

“Mmm-hmm,” Benson said, nodding.

“I don’t suppose you’ve got any spare ones?” Gordon said hopefully.

“No,” Benson said firmly. “These are all for Nanna.”

Gordon looked very disappointed. He said, “You’re off the track a bit, aren’t you?”

Benson said, “I was picking these flowers for Nanna and I got a bit lost.”

Gordon said, “Come with me. I’ll put you back on the right track.” He took him back to the track and Benson set off again. He walked along the long, winding path until he came to Nanna’s. He knocked at the door.

A croaky voice said, “Come in!” so he went in.

Nanna was in bed, with the blankets pulled up over her chin. It was quite dark inside, and Benson could hardly see her. “I’ve brought you a basket of goodies, some apple-and-sage muffins and some lavender biscuits,” he said.

“That’s nice, dear,” the croaky voice said. “Put them over there and I’ll eat them later.”

That didn’t sound like Nanna at all. Nanna always said, “Wonderful! Let’s try them now!” or “I’ll make some orange juice and we’ll have a picnic.”

Benson went closer to the bed. “Nanna, what hairy eyebrows you’ve got!” he said.

“What? No, I haven’t!” said the croaky voice.

Benson said, “Nanna, there are big hairs sticking out of your nose.”

“Big hairs? No, there aren’t!” said the person in the bed.

Benson was starting to get worried. “Nanna, what big teeth you have!”

The croaky voice said, “All the better to eat…” Just at that very moment, the door opened and Nanna walked in.

“Benson, what a lovely surprise!” she said. “I was feeling better, so I’ve just been out for a walk.” Then she said, “Who’s that person with the hairy eyebrows, lying in my bed?”

“It’s Gordon,” Benson said.

“Why is he hiding under the blankets?” Nanna asked.

“He was pretending to be you,” Benson said. “I brought you a basket full of goodies, and I think he wanted to keep them for himself. “

Nanna looked very hard at Gordon and said, “That was a very sneaky thing to do.”

Gordon pulled the blankets down and climbed out of bed, looking very ashamed of himself. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to. I met Benson in the bush, and he told me he was taking you some lavender biscuits and I couldn’t help myself. Those lavender biscuits are the best in the world.”

Nanna said, “But why were you hiding in my bed?”

Gordon said, “I took the short-cut, so I could get here before Benson. I was hoping you would invite me to stay for a cup of tea and a biscuit. But when I knocked at the door, there was no-one here. Then I thought, if I pretended to be you, Benson would give me the whole basket and I’d have all of them to myself.”

Benson said, “That was extremely greedy!”

“I know,” Gordon said, hanging his head. “I’m sorry. I’d better go. Unless…” He looked pleadingly at Nanna.

Nanna and Benson looked at each other. Nanna said, “Those lavender biscuits are pretty irresistible. They really are excellent.”

Benson said, “The muffins are good too.”

They looked at Gordon, who was looking hopeful. Nanna said, “Would you like to stay and try the biscuits?”

“Really?” Gordon said, looking much happier. “Oh, yes, please!”

Nanna said, “I’ll make a nice cup of lemon myrtle tea and we’ll have a picnic outside. Good food is always better when it’s shared, isn’t it, Benson?”

“Absolutely,” Benson said.

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