* Mama Sets Her Wombat Babies on Their Way

It was a hot morning, a morning much like a morning in God's land no doubt. Sunrays sliced through the gum leaves creating a tattoo of hot and barely cool. Mama Wombat was up with the dawn. She enjoyed the morning cool, before it evaporated like a dream leaving only wisps of memory under the shrubbery or the black fur on her belly. This was a special morning. It was the morning she was going to send her beloved wombrats, as she liked to call them, on their way into the world.

"Oi! Robbo, Bruce, Raelene, get yer fuzzy butts out here." She yelled.

Her three darlings came trotting out from their beds eyes half open, limping in that way that you do when you haven't properly stretched yet. They all loved their mother and couldn't be bothered leaving her.

"My dear wombrats," she said, "It has become obvious to me that you've all grown into bloody nuisances and it's about time you shifted for yourselves. I've done all a mama can do to prepare you for this moment. Now I want the lot of you to get out. However, your old mama still has a heart, so to get you started in life I've put aside a little money that I'm going to let you have." And with that she gave to each of her children a bright red five dollar bill. Being a fairytale, we presume that this is a lot of money in the world of magical talking wombats.

This was certainly more than the wombats were expecting on such a day. At first they sat in their places and blinked. It was a grave temptation to just eat those shiny plastic bills in contemplation of the turn of events, but finally they digested the thought with a shrug. A few tears were shed by all. Mama told them that once they were settled, they could always come home for a visit and a Sunday roast. And so she left them.


Copyright May 1996 Katherine Phelps