Once there was a young wombat named Benson who lived in a warm, tidy wombat hole with his mother and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.
Benson and Aunt Lillibet and Aunt Moss were playing cricket in the back yard with Uncle Elton and cousin Elmer and Aunt Moss’s friend, Shelley, one sunny afternoon. Aunt Moss hit a beautiful straight drive off one of Aunt Lillibet’s googlies. It went straight over Uncle Elton’s head, over the compost heap and landed just inside the fence.
“Four,” said Benson, who was being the umpire instead of Uncle Elton, because Uncle Elton had a sore eye from when he had gotten a bit too close to the stumps when Elmer was batting.
“What are you talking about?” yelled Aunt Lillibet. “That was clearly leg before wicket! A blind horse in a snow-storm could see that! She’s out, lbw!”
“Four,” Benson repeated calmly. Aunt Lillibet always said she got someone out, every time she bowled, even when the ball landed in the asparagus patch on the other side of the yard, or when the ball slipped out of her fingers and flew backwards straight over Uncle Elton’s head and knocked his hat off.
Aunt Moss said, “Oh dear! There’s a big hole in my leg-warmer. I must have over-reached myself.”
Everyone looked at Aunt Moss’s leg-warmers. The right one had a big split from top to bottom. She took it off and showed it to Shelley. Shelley said, “I think it’s beyond repairing, Moss dear. But you know, if you cut it in half and sewed the edges together, you could make two sweet little possum pouches for homeless baby possums.”
“What a good idea!” Aunt Moss said. “But what about the left one? What can I do with just one leg-warmer? It would be such a shame to waste it.”
“It would make a very nice scarf,” Uncle Elton suggested.
“Do you think so?” said Aunt Moss. She took it off and wrapped it around her neck. Aunt Lillibet picked up the other one, the one with the hole in it. She took a needle and some bright green thread out of her pocket.
“It looks very nice,” said Uncle Elmer. “It may be just a little bit too short, and a little bit too thick, but it’s lovely.”
“It’s very warm,” Aunt Moss said. “But I already have a very nice scarf. What would I do with that?”
Shelley said, “You can sew a whole lot of scarves together and make a lovely warm quilt for your bed.”
“Oh, yes!” said Aunt Moss.
“She already has a beautiful quilt on her bed,” Aunt Lillibet said, sewing away industriously.
“You can do a lot of things with an old quilt,” Uncle Elton said.
“It could be a horse blanket!” Elmer said.
Aunt Moss looked unhappy. Nanna had made her quilt for her, and she didn’t like the idea of giving it to a horse. Benson was thinking of a horse getting into bed, with horse sheets, and a horse pillow.
“Or you could make a parachute,” Uncle Elton said, “or you could join a whole lot of quilts together and make a hot air balloon!”
“Cool!” said Elmer. “We could all go for rides.”
Benson started imagining floating up into the sky in a giant balloon tied to a bed with a horse in it.
“How lovely!” Aunt Moss said, her eyes shining.
“It could get very cold up there,” Aunt Lillibet said. She cut off the end of the thread and put her scissors and the needle back into her pocket.
“You’d probably need a blanket,” Elmer said.
“And a warm scarf,” Uncle Elton agreed.
“You’d probably need some leg-warmers,” Aunt Lillibet said. “Here you are.” She held out Aunt Moss’s leg-warmer, all nicely sewn up.
“Oh, you’ve fixed it!” Aunt Moss said.
The balloon in Benson’s imagination popped and the bed with the horse in it sank slowly to the ground.
Shelley said, “You’ve done a beautiful job darning it, Lillibet. It’s funny the way the stitching is in the shape of an ‘L’. I didn’t notice it before.”
“It must be an ‘L’ for ‘left’,” said Uncle Elton.
“But it’s my right leg-warmer,” Aunt Moss said. “Unless I wear it on the other leg.”
“You wouldn’t want two leg-warmers on one leg,” Benson said. “What if you turned it inside out? It wouldn’t look like an ‘L’ then, would it?”
Everyone turned their heads on one side, trying to imagine an inside out ‘L’.
“It’s not an ‘L’ for ‘left’,” Aunt Lillibet said. “You can wear it on your right leg if you want to, Moss.”
Aunt Moss put the leg-warmer on her right leg, then she unwound the other leg-warmer from around her neck and put it on her left leg. She beamed at Aunt Lillibet. “Thank you, Lillibet. My legs feel toasty and warm again,” she said. “It must be an ‘L’ for ‘lovely’.”
“Whose turn is it to bat?” asked Elmer, who was getting impatient.
“Aunt Moss is still batting,” Benson said.
“No, I just got her out lbw,” Aunt Lillibet said.
“I don’t think so, Lillibet,” said Aunt Moss.
“Are you sure, Moss?” Aunt Lillibet said. She pointed to Aunt Moss’s leg-warmer. On the front there was a long ‘L’, and when she turned around, on the back was a ‘B’ and a ‘W’.