Two wombats

A Tale Of Two Wombats

Tale of Two Wombats

“But image on image like beads on a rosary
Pulled through my head as the music takes hold
And the sickener hits, I can work till I break
But I love the bones of you that I will never escape”

Elbow – ‘Bones Of You’

You’ve heard the old story , usually attributed to the Cherokee, to lend it gravitas, of the two wolves. There are two wolves inside us , and they are always fighting, one is darkness and despair and one is light and hope.

Which one wins ?

The one we feed.

Sometimes it’s attributed to the Lenape people , or the Mojave. Then the Presbyterians got a hold of it in the 1960’s and changed it to feature two dogs, one black and one white. They can be very matter of fact those Presbyterians. But they maintained the notion of an Indian grandfather explaining it to either his son/grandson/pastor/warrior.

I thought about them as I dozed off one evening…the wolves..not Presbyterians…

I met my internal spirit animals.

They weren’t wolves.

They weren’t dogs.

They may have been Presbyterian.

They weren’t black or white.

They were wombats.

They were both a fuzzy fawn colour.

They were called Hansel and Fiona.

“What kind of wombats were they ?”

A very good question ,, they are Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats, the very best kind.

And they weren’t fighting, they actually seemed to get on quite well…mostly. When they do fight it’s usually over something trivial, like who left the toilet seat up…spiritually speaking, obviously, as wombats don’t use loos…they do poop cubes, but that’s not important right now.

If there is something important, they act as one, decisively , and cuddly.

 At different times they like different things. Hansel is currently going through a nostalgic music journey through the late 80’s and early 90’s, while Fiona is currently obsessed with bands and artists that begin with the letter ‘P’, Pillow Queens, Public Service Broadcasting, Pip Blom, and Pixey , to be exact. But they can  enjoy these differences, even cherish them, and appreciate each others choices…mostly.

When they are both happy, they are very happy indeed.

And when they are a little sad for no particular reason, they are both a little sad for no particular reason, and no amount of prodding or asking what’s wrong will lift the other…in fact it can have quite the reverse reaction.

This then interferes with my sleep and we all meet in dreams.

We dreampt of another wombat, Ezekiel. I wrote a whole five chapter story about Ezekiel one time, I think about 5 people read it. I liked that story, it also featured a wee dinosaur that had pink and yellow furry squares. She was called Barbara, and she was a Battenburgasauraus.

I’ve just looked it up. Would you believe that I wrote that story exactly 2 years ago ? It consumed me for a while. I was a little proud of it. And up until I started writing about my spirit animals, Hansel and Fiona, I hadn’t thought of it at all. Funny that.

Similarly , the things that annoy Hansel and Fiona this week, will be forgotten next week.

Hansel will be rediscovering The Velvet Underground, and Fiona will be listening to  The Beths’ playlist  ‘Live Tunes We Like’.

And I will get some sleep…I’m even nicer when I get some sleep…

The epic 5 chapter saga of Ulysses and Ezekiel follows……..



P.S. This is Hansel’s current favourite ‘Our Lips Our Sealed’  by The Go-Gos.

P.P.S This is “Ulysses & Ezekiel “ a story that it was hoped would help kids struggling with life.

Up until a week ago , John Smith was exactly the same as everyone else in his class at St. Epicurious, The Imaginary’s School For Very Ordinary Children, in almost every single aspect . The boys and girls in his class were all moderately good at Maths, English, and Science, and absolutely awful at Irish, and so was John.

The boys and girls in his class were all moderately good at football, soccer, athletics, and absolutely awful at tennis, and so was John.  

The boys and girls in his class were all moderately well behaved in Mrs. Hudson’s class, in Mizz Johnson-Jonson’s class, and in Master Thunderzz’s class, but they were all demons in poor Mr.Master’s class, and so was John. 

They all had equally appalling taste in music, games and movies. It was hard to see any differences at all. Except one. John Smith’s family had a tradition of naming their first born after both Grandfathers.

“So what ?” you say, “Lots of families do that.”

Granted. But John Smith was not a first born son, he was a middle child, and in his family the tradition was that this child was given the names of all of his uncles. So John’s full name, which was revealed to his class a week ago by the hapless Mr.Master by mistake during roll call was John, Arthur, Sean, Sean, John, Francis , Frank, George,Ryan, Ulysees Smith.

Before you feel it necessary to point out that there are two Seans and two Johns in there, I’d like to assure you that this is not a typo, oh no. John had two uncle Seans and two uncle Johns, one each on his mother’s and father’s sides, and they felt it wasn’t fair to leave out one. I should also point out that John did not actually have an Uncle called Ulysees, but his mother had bought a book with that name long before John was ever born ,and even though she’d never actually read it, she loved the name and when John was being given so many other names she decided to throw it in for good measure.

So, John, Arthur, Sean, Sean,John,Francis, Frank, George , Ryan, Ulysses Smith now stood out from the rest of his class in spectacular fashion , and they let him know it. As Mr.Master had read out his full name the class had giggled at the second Sean, laughed out loud at the second John and shrieked with malevolent joy when they hear the name Ulysses. “ULYSSES !” they’d all roared together. And when they saw the bright shade of pink that John had gone they proceeded to shout at the top of their voices “ULYSSES! ULYSSES !ULYSSES ! ULYSSES !” until Mizz Johnson-Jonson came hurtling into the classroom to tell them all to be quiet, assuming that there was no teacher there or they wouldn’t be making such a racket. Now Mr.Master and John were both the same shade of pink.

Any thought that John had that the class would have forgotten about it by breaktime were quickly banished when kids from other classes started shouting “Ulysses !” at him in the playground. At lunchtime every single child he met, older, younger it didn’t matter, yelled “Ulysses !” as soon as they saw him. After school he was pursued the whole way home by a gang of children he didn’t even know chanting “Ulysses !” repeatedly and laughing out loud each time he turned around.He thought he’d never get home.

He went straight to his room and only came down to the kitchen when his hunger overcame his … I was going to say ‘shame’ , but John was not ashamed, he hadn’t done anything wrong. He wasn’t angry, well he was a bit, but his overriding emotion was confusion. He simply didn’t know why everyone in his class , even those that he considered his friends, had decided to pick on him this way over a name…well several names. His Mum and Dad asked him about his day, but he simply mumbled something and quickly hurried back upstairs to the safety of his room.

At least it would be different tomorrow.

And it was. It was much worse.

By lunchtime on the second day even the teachers were referring to him as Ulysses , as they’d heard the other children calling him that name so often. And on the way home from school even kids from the other school in the town were following him home and chanting “Ulysees !”.

He fell into a pattern of going to his room as soon as he got home now and rarely spoke to anyone. He even had to be called repeatedly for meals, but usually delayed coming down the stairs until everyone else was finished. If he couldn’t avoid his Mum and Dad they’d invariably ask what was wrong, but he couldn’t answer, as he didn’t really know himself.

After a week of this he’d had enough and as the pack gathered at the school gates to follow him home he made a run for it. He ran to the end of St.Epicurious The Imaginary street and turned left up towards the Main St. and the shops. This proved to be a mistake for two reasons. Firstly he was now heading in the opposite direction to his house and towards the other school while be chased by a baying mob, who thought this was great fun altogether and were yelling and whooping “Ulysses !” as they chased after him. John was now tired, warm and crying. He was crying so hard that he ran into a small alley ,Dead End Alley to give its full title, just off the main street that was bricked up at one end. There was no way out. He ran to the end and stared up and the tower of faded orange bricks. He’d never get over that. He turned around to face the mob that he knew would soon find him and leaned with his back against the dead end. “He must be down the alley.” He heard someone shout. “We have him now.” someone replied, and then he heard a roar of “ULYSSES ! ULYSSES !” and then…….

Well, it’d hard to describe what happened then. He was leaning, terrified , against the bricked up dead end and then he wasn’t. He was falling backwards at first and then sort of tumbling, like you see sky divers do when they are showing off after jumping out of a plane. He knew he was falling, but he didn’t feel as if he was falling very fast, and didn’t feel at all scared. He looked around as best he could and could just see colour everywhere, the air around him seemed orange, and in fact it smelt of orange, the nice fizzy kind, but he also saw pockets of purple and brilliant blue, the odd green and yellow, but they were all more like large splodges rather than clouds. He was busy trying to work out what they were when he landed with a loud squish on something soft that looked and felt like a giant marshmallow. He turned his head to one side and gave it a lick. It was marshmallow. He smiled and closed his eyes and breathed out a sigh of relief. And then laughed. “So this is heaven ?” he said out loud and laughed.

“It most certainly is not !” someone answered. John opened his eyes in fright and found himself staring into the large brown eyes of what he would later learn was a larger than average sized wombat. John pushed himself back , further into the indentation he’d made in the giant marshmallow, a little taken aback. He’d dealt with the colours, falling slowly, and giant marshmallows quite well he’d thought, but a talking wombat was just too much.

“There’s no need to be afraid” the larger than average sized wombat said, extending his hand in friendship towards John. John only now noticed that the larger than average sized wombat was wearing an orange and blue stripey sweater and was carrying a small walking stick in his other hand. John shook hands with the larger than average sized wombat and said “Hello”.

The larger than average sized wombat smiled a very large smile and said “My name is Ezeikiel and I am very, very, very, very, very pleased to ….I’m so sorry, how many ‘verys’ was that ?”.

“Four.” John replied.

“Oh that will never do. My name is Ezeikiel,” he continued, and this time he counted out the very’s by clicking two of his claws  together as he said “…and I am very,very, very, very, very, very, very pleased to make your acquaintance.” He was beaming from cute furry ear to cute furry ear.

This time John smiled and said “ My name is Ulysses, no ! John damn it !”.

Ezeikiel smiled and said “ What a lovely name. Ulysses No John Damn It, how unusual. I’ve never met one of those before.”

“No, I meant that my name is John, but people have been teasing and bullying me lately calling me Ulysses, and it seems to be sticking, even with me …and I hate it.”

“Well I think you’re wrong, and I have to say that whenever it comes to a disagreement between me and a human, I’m invariably proved to be correct. Ulysses is a fine name. A very , very, very fine name….oh dear, how many verys was it this time ?” Ezeikiel asked.

John/Ulysses replied “Three.”

“THREE !” Ezeikiel shouted “Oh no, no, no, NO ! Ulysses is worth at least 8 verys, don’t you think ?”

John/Ulysses laughed. “You may be right”. And he held his hand out again to Ezeikiel who grabbed it warmly, “ My name is Ulysses and I am 9 verys pleased to meet you.”

At this Ezeikiel lifted Ulysees off his feet and gave him a greater than average hug, saying “You do me a great honour Ulysses and it will be my great pleasure to be your guide home and to a happy life.”

And then using his stick he poked the giant marshmallow with his walking stick and it disappeared to reveal a kaleidoscope coloured world with giant flowers, flowing waterfalls of multi colours and giant fluffy birds that seemed to bounce rather than fly across the sky over a vast plain filled with castles and surrounded by herds of weird and wonderful animals….at least I think they were animals.

“Let’s begin” Ezeikiel smiled.

Chapter 2 – The River

And so they began.

They headed off through the forest of giant flowers and soon found themselves walking along a river path, Ezekiel pointing out this and that and idly swinging his walking stick from side to side, while Ulysses just stared , open mouthed at everything . They’d only gone a short way when they had to stop again as , what Ulysses would later describe as a small furry Stegosaurus. The little Stegosaurus’s fur was made up entirely of yellow and pink squares , exactly the same as Ulysses’s favourite cake, the Battenburg.

“Is that ….” He started to ask.

“Why, yes , it is a Battenburgasaurus ! How clever of you. Her name is Barbara.” Exekiel answered as he bent down to tickle the little Battenburgasaurus under her chin. She wagged her tail and made a noise that sounded like a cross between a cat’s purr and a racing car engine.

“It looks exactly like …” Ulysses started to say.

“A tiny ,furry Stegosaurus, I know. But this one is better , don’t you think? “ Ezekiel replied. “ However , we have lots to do and if we stop to say ‘Hello’ to everyone we meet, we’ll be here forever.”

“Mightn’t be so bad.” Ulysses said quietly as he bent down to pet Barbara.

“Now, now, now, don’t be like that. Things are almost always never as bad as they seem. Stand up, if you pet that Battenburgosaurus any more she’ll follow you forever. I want to show you something.”

Ulysses gave Barbara one more tickle and then got up and stood beside Ezekiel. They both looked at the river.  He thought it was more of a stream really, he could easily have waded across without getting his knees wet. He noticed that the river bed was covered completely with brightly coloured pebbles.

This river flows from high up in that Great Mountain over there, all the way to The Obvious Sea. It weaves and twists and turns, finding it’s path to its’ destination. It’s wide in places, narrow in others. At the moment it is gentle and shallow, but watch.” Ezeikiel stamped the ground three times with his walking cane and immediately there was the loud unmistakable rumbling of thunder and dark purple clouds seemed to gather in from all directions. Barbara made a loud whimpering sound and then shrank back into the forest of Giant Flowers. Overhead blue lightning flashed across the sky and torrential rain erupted from the clouds. Ezekiel used his walking cane to pull a giant leaf down so that it sheltered them from the rain. The river started to swell. The rain fell harder still and the river now ran faster and the level got higher and higher.

“See how the river copes with the extra water ?” Ezekiel said quietly.” That’s like you when things are not going well , you’re upset, being teased and feel that you have no where to turn, or worse, no one to talk to. Watch now as the river reaches a level that’s too high for it’s banks. The water will overflow and cause harm, chaos.”

“But what can I do ?” Ulysses asked.

“Talk to someone.”

“What good will that do ?” Ulysses asked again.

“This.” Ezeikiel said and he tapped his cane in front  on the river bank in front of where they stood. A little channel opened and water flowed off the river. Ezeikiel ran up and down the river bank taping his cane here and there and many little streams started to run off the main river. He arrived back beside Ezekiel, panting larger than usual wombat pants and continued “ You see what’s happening now ? The little streams are all taking pressure off the main river, the water level is falling. Each one of the streams is like a chat you can have about your worries with someone. Every time you talk it helps you and makes things easier for you.” As he spoke it stopped raining, the clouds faded away and the river returned to the stream it had been before.

“I think I understand” Ulysees said after a moment or two.

“Good I’m very, very, very, very pleased to hear that. Now lets carry on.” Ezekiel then scooped up one of the pebbles from the riverbed and threw it to Ulysses. “You can keep that as a memento.”

As Ulysses put it in his pocket he noticed how smooth it was and that one side was brightly coloured, mostly white, and flecked with bits of colour. The other side was dark, but also flecked with bits of colour.

“Come on Ulysses ! We’ve lots to see !”

Ulysses looked up, Ezekiel was now far ahead of him on the path. He put the pebble in his pocket and hurried to catch up. If he’d looked back he would have noticed that a tiny furry Battenburgasaurus was following him. 

Chapter 3

Ulysses caught up with Ezekiel , he was surprised how fast the larger than average wombat walked. But walking through a forest of giant flowers , with a talking wombat who owned a magic cane, the speed of their walk was not the most surprising thing. Eventually he plucked up the courage to ask :

“Is this a dream ?”

“No.” Ezekiel replied.

“I think it’s a dream.”

“It’s not.”

That’s exactly what someone in a dream would say.

What do you know about dreams ?

I know that they are your subconscious mind and you only remember ones where you wake up , and you can’t die in your dreams…or feel pain .

“ Indeed. Well you won’t feel this then” And with that he whacked Ulysses across the shins.

OUCH !!!! Ulysses screamed.

So, not a dream. OK?

“OK !” Ulysses answered a little mournfully , as he bent down to rub his shins.

They carried on in silence for a few moments walking along the riverbank , downstream towards the Obvious Sea. Ulysses wasn’t talking , he was still a little miffed that Ezekiel had whacked him with his cane. Magical , or not, it had hurt. Ezekiel wasn’t really saying anything either. To his mind he’d taken Ulysses into this wonderful world and was being accused of being imaginary. Every few steps he muttered “Dream indeed, the very idea.”, under his breath.

Their relative silence was shortly broken by the gentle whistling sound that signifies something falling towards the ground at great speed. Ezekiel looked up and then immediately pointed his cane at the falling object , which , to Ulysses looked like a bright green fuzzy ball. A loud bang emitted from Ezekiel’s cane and the green fuzzy object’s fall started to slow. Then two wings emerged from it and then a head poked out and it squawked. It was one of those fluffy birds that Ulysses had seen bouncing across the sky earlier.

The green fluffy bird flapped its wings lazily once or twice and then landed with a very gently pop on the ground in front of them. It looked quickly from Ulysses to Ezekiel several times and then settled it’s gaze on Ezekiel and emitted three short squawks in quick succession.

“Why, you’re very welcome.” Ezekiel replied, nodding his head gently towards the green fluffy bird. And then Ulysses gasped as the green fluffy bird seemed to hover slightly above the ground and then turned and glided along the path ahead of them and what seemed to be a little pool of mist.

“What is that ? And why doesn’t it have any legs ? And how does it do that ???” Ulysses asked rapidly, forgetting his annoyance.

“That” Ezekiel answered” is a Phluffy Phart bird. It doesn’t have any legs as it doesn’t need any. It’s undercarriage is composed of a dense cartilage material that both resembles and acts like rubber. So it can either bounce along, or as you can see , it can control it’s flatulence very cleverly and uses it to effectively float along the ground like a hovercraft.”

Ulysses started to laugh out loud “So it farts it’s way along the path ???”.

Ezekiel started to laugh as well, “ Do you know , I hadn’t really thought about it, but , yes, yes it does.”

Up ahead the Phluffy Phart bird stopped and turned around to face them and from a distance shrieked five loud, indignant squaks and then flapped its wings and emitted a rather loud fart noise as it took flight.

Through their laughs and tears Ezekiel managed to say “Sorry….didn’t mean to offend…” and then they collapsed on the path laughing together. After a few moments they collected themselves together and carried on walking. “What are you thinking ?” Ezekiel asked. “ I can see your brow furrowing.”

“Well, and please don’t think I’m trying to be rude, but it that bird travels around a lot by…well, farting….and there are a lot of them ….well….why doesn’t the whole place stink ?”

“That is a very, very….in fact a five verys good question !” Ezekiel was beaming from ear to ear.” You are a smart chap and no doubt know that what their…emissions smell like is heavily influenced by what they eat. And thankfully they simply love to eat the most pointless, tasteless and useless vegetable known in this world or yours. Can you guess ?”

Ulysses thought for a moment. Surely everything tasted of something ? And then it came to him.

“Cucumbers !”

“Well done. They are ghastly, but the Phluffy Pharts love them and , thankfully they neither taste , and therefore smell of anything.”

“One other thing, why was it hurtling towards the ground , asleep ?”

“Again, a very good question Ulysses. The cucumber is 95% water and provides very, very little nutrition, so the Phluffy Pharts have to eat an awful lot of them. So may in fact that the birds can become so bored eating them that they fall into a deep bored sleep and literally fall out of the sky. Hence they have developed their rubber bottoms so that they can bounce when that happens. If we hadn’t been here that grumpy one would have been unharmed, I just wasn’t sure if it would hit us if I hadn’t woken it when I did.”

“My Dad would love to have one of those Phluffy Pharts at home so that he could feed it all of the cucumber that Mum tries to get us to eat. She thinks it’s healthy. Dad hates it, so he always slides it off his plate and then hides it later….very badly , usually under a cushion on the sofa, and Mam always finds them and gives him a lecture about being a bad example.”

“And is he ?” Ezekiel asked.

“Is he what ?” Ulysses answered , a bit confused.

“Is he a bad example ? Do your parents fight very often ?”

“No, not at all. They are only joking about the cucumbers. They’re OK , I guess.”

“Parents invariably mean well.” Ezekiel said as they continued their journey along the river.” They really have the best intentions for you, but as they get older they seem to become the worst communicators in the world. I’ve found that they invariably start out to try and help you, get frustrated with your answers and then….well, then everyone puts walls up and nothing changes.”

Ulysses nodded. This did indeed sound familiar.

“So”, Ezekiel continued, “ You have to help them understand what you’re going through. They need all the help they can get. That pebble I gave you will help.”

“How ?”

“I’ll explain when we get to the Obvious Sea.”

Behind them there was a whistling sound and they looked back to see two Phluffy Pharts plop down and bounce two or three times before coming to a halt and lifting their dazed heads and yawn. Ulysses and Ezekiel laughed and carried on their way.

They didn’t look back when they heard the birds squawk, so they didn’t see that they were squawking because Barbara, the tiny fluffy Battenburgasaurus had walked up behind the two Phluffy Pharts and given them both a lick before she barged past and knocked them into the river. Barbara did not seem happy to let Ulysses out of her sight.

Chapter 4 – The Obvious Sea

The river widened and deepened as they got closer to the Obvious Sea. Long before they saw it Ulysses could hear the roar of the ocean, the sounds of waves crashing and the gentle taste of salt in the air.

“We’re nearly there, just around the next bend.” Ezekiel said. ”I must say I do love the Obvious seaside.”

“Why do you call it that ?”

“Because that’s it’s name and it would be rude to call it anything else, obviously.” Ezekiel had a smirk on his face as he answered .

“I know that. But why do you call it the Obvious sea ?”

“When we get around the bend , you’ll see.”

They walked the last bit of the riverbank and as they turned the corner Ulysses gasped as he saw the most beautiful picture perfect white sandy beach bookended on both sides by purple craggy crystal cliffs with bright blue, white crested waves gently crashing upon it. “Wow.” He said.

“What is that ?” Ezekiel asked, pointing out to sea with his cane.

“The sea.” Ulysses answered.

“Obvious, isn’t it ?” Ezekiel said, sniggering larger than average wombat sniggers, which sound a lot like your own sniggers, except wombats make them while breathing in, instead of out.

“Seriously ?” Ulysses asked “ That’s why its called the Obvious Sea, because it’s obviously the sea ?”

Ezekiel was sniggering so much that he couldn’t answer, little wombat tears forming at his deep brown eyes ,he just nodded his head.

“That is both the lamest and coolest thing I’ve ever heard.” Ulysses said as he started to laugh.

They laughed and sniggered for a few moments until they got to the point where you sometimes get to when you can’t really remember what started you off laughing and you start to feel a little self conscious.

“Ahem , well that’s quite enough of that.” Ezekiel said as he straightened up and wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes. ”Now Ulysses, this is the serious bit. How would you describe the sea ?”

Ulysses looked across the gentle , rolling waves and answered “Calm.”

“Very good ! Now look.”

Ulysses watched as Ezekiel closed his eyes and scowled then raising his cane above his head with both hands he suddenly and fiercely drove it down into the sand. All at once the wind whipped up and the waves grew larger, their white crests twisting and turning in anger. The waves now started to crash onto the beach, getting closer and closer to where they stood. Ulysses looked to Ezekiel for reassurance but his eyes remained tightly closed. A very large wave started to take shape out on the horizon, growing ever larger and louder as it approached the shore. Ulysses was very worried now, this one would swallow them up. He started to gently tug on Ezekiel’s sleeve. “Eh, sorry Ezekiel, but I think we should move a little further back.”

“Wait.” Ezekiel answered, keeping his eyes closed.

The wave grew darker, in fact everything grew darker, the wave was growing so large that it was blocking out the sunlight. He tugged harder on Ezekiel’s’ sleeve. “We really should go.”


“But we’ll be drowned….”  The wave was starting to crash upon the shore. Ulysses turned to run, but Ezekiel grabbed him.

“Look.” Ezekiel said. The wave crashed upon the shore with a loud rumble and started to roll up the shore towards them. Ulysses again tried to leave , but Ulysses said, 2Keep looking.”

And then Ulysses notices that as the wave raced towards them it got smaller and smaller, and when it actually arrived at their feet it couldn’t even dampen the soles of their shoes…well , Ulysses shoes.

“You see my young friend that the sea is calm once more and the turmoil and giant waves have exhausted their own energy. That’s exactly how you are. One moment calm, the next consumed by inner turmoil. But you have to realise that the turmoil will not last and that the calm will return. You must also realise that the turmoil will resurface every so often, but it will not destroy you. You can let it fizzle out, you can even float above it, swim through it, but you never have to fear it. No storm or wild ocean can last.” He patted Ulysses on the shoulder.

Ulysses smiled “I think I understand.”

“Of course you do, you’re a very clever chap. But there will be days that you forget and you will be scared and it will seem that there is no end of trouble. Those are the days that you need help. Those are the days that you need to talk. To ask for help.”

“But it’s so hard to say what I feel… especially to Mum or Dad.”

“That’s why I gave you the pebble. Take it out and have another look.”

Ulysses took the pebble from his pocket and studied it for a moment. It felt smooth in his hand. One side was light coloured with flecks of bright colours, the reverse side was dark .

“When you go back to where you came from you can use the pebble to let your family know how you are feeling. Bright side up – Ulysses happy. Dark side up – Ulysses sad. Simple as that.”

“But how would my parents know what the pebble meant ?”

“That is a 5 verys good question !” Ezekiel beamed. “Perhaps you and I could remember what has happened today and I could make it into a book which you could give to your parents.”

“How ?”

“Like this.” Ezekiel replied and he reached up and patted Ulysses gently on the head and when he brought his paw back down he was holding a book. This book. He handed it to Ulysses. “Now it’s time for you to go, your  tea is nearly ready and your Mum is starting to get concerned that you’re not home.”

“Can’t I stay ?” Ulysses asked.

“You know you can’t. You have glorious future ahead of you.”

“What will it be ?” Ulysses asked excitedly.

“Whatever you want it to be. You are more powerful than you think. And in any case I’d be worried about how your parents would cope without you. People don’t realise how needy they actually are. Now , have you got everything you came with ?”

Ulysses thought for a moment , “My schoolbag ! I must have dropped it in the alleyway.”

Ezekiel tapped the sand with his cane and then motioned Ulysses to step back a bit and just as he did the schoolbag fell onto the sand with a thud. “That schoolbag ?”

“Yes that’s the one.” He smiled a half smile. “Will I ever see you again ?”

“Yes.” Ezekiel answered. And then put his paw over his mouth to indicate that he wasn’t going to answer anymore questions. Then he opened both his arms wide and embraced Ulysses in a larger than average wombat hug.”

Neither of them noticed that they were no longer alone. Something had quietly  padded its way towards them on the sand. They were so busy saying their goodbyes that they did not see an excited tiny furry yellow and pink Battenburgasaurus wagging its tail as it borrowed its way deep into the schoolbag.

“Now I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and hold onto the cane and when I count to three you are to let go , and you will be back in your room at home lying on your bed. Ok ?”

Ulysses nodded. He held onto the cane and closed his eyes.

“Three, two……………………”

He opened his eyes just as he fell backwards onto his bed with a loud thump, quickly followed by a loud thud as his school bag hit the floor and emitted what sounded like a tiny angry growl.

“John ? John ? Is that you ?” his mother called from the kitchen.

“Yes Mum !” he answered back.

“Good. I didn’t hear you come in. Your tea’s ready.”

“OK, be down in a minute.”

He rubbed his eyes and yawned as he got up off the bed.

“Must have been a dream.” He thought.

He was about to open the door and head down stairs when two simple things happened almost at once. He put his hand in his pocket and took out the pebble, and as he did so he heard a scuffling noise coming from his school bag and then a tiny furry pink and yellow Battenburgasaurus popped out and landed on his bedroom floor, holding something larger than itself in its teeth.

He reached down and gave Barbara a tickle underneath her chin. She purred and dropped the book. He picked it up and looked at the cover , it was a drawing of Ezekiel and himself looking out across the Obvious Sea and in large writing it said.

“The Many Adventures of Ulysses & Ezekiel – Part 1”

Author: paul

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