Day 242: Sally and the Wombat

Sally and the Wombat
Matt Zurbo

Dedicated to Sally Rippin and Winsor McCay


Sally had wanted an adventure her whole life.
(Girl looking dreamily outward while sitting on tree branch.)

She didn’t want an adventure like the boys wanted.
(Waling, surrounded by pirates and dinosaur chasers.)

Or anything loud and heroic!
(Other kids, all dressed as astronauts in cardboard rocket ships, running around her, pretend fighting other kids dressed as space monsters, dangling down on ropes. Sally in the middle of them, reading a book.)

She wasn’t quite sure what she wanted!
(A bit of distance back, watching other kids happily wishing on wishing well.) 

Then, one day, she saw a magic wombat, who granted her one wish!
(On edge of bush, looking up at wombat, in air, with smallest fairy wings, a little tutu and wand.)

What a precious thing to be offered!

“Nothing big,” the wombat insisted. “Just something to make you happy.”
(Wombat explaining as it flies and Sally walks. Sally is looking sideways at creatures peeking at them from behind trees and logs, etc…)

Knowing there was a wombat fairy changed everything for Sally.
(Girl watching wombat leave, deeper into the bush, the odd smaller fairy, or bush creature, and miniature dragons buzzing around it.)
“Magic…” she whispered.

“Can I wait until the right wish comes to mind?” she asked.
This was new, the wombat wasn’t used to patient children.
“Of course,” it smiled.
(Girl reaching out to wombat, that has turned to face her from edge of thick bush, now surrounded by small bush creatures and imaginary ones.)

(Girl standing in bush all alone.)

(Girl following where wombat went. Past sign that says: Little girls stay out!

(Girl walking through tall trunks with streaks of light and shade. Fantasy creatures doing their own things, lit or hidden by the light.)

(Girl sipping tea with amazing people-like goannas, galahs, kookaburras, at bush picnic.)

(Girl drifting on giant lily pads, watching giant bees on giant flowers.)

(Girl playing house with gum-nut spirits.)

(Girl pushing baby echidna in a pram, with nappy on. Other marsupials with babies watching with smiles.)

(Girl being friends with the stork that delivered babies.)

And best of all! Each of these amazing people and creatures would tell Sally stories…
(Elder telling girl stories of the Dreamtime, looming large behind them.)

after stories…
(Fairies telling tales of fairyland.)

after stories…!
(Jack-in-the-box telling tales of its time at sea.)

“I never realised until now how much I love stories!” Sally said. “Each one leads to other stories, and makes your home seem so full and alive!”
(Talking to a princess girl on floating bed, with emu and bunyip standing either side.)

“Hey!” Sally protested.
(Three koala’s sitting on each other’s shoulders, angrily kicking, picnic food, ruffling Sally.)

(Three koalas still on each other’s shoulders, top one holding Sally upside down by an ankle.)

“Are you the one creature, or three?” Sally asked.
“Yes!” the creature huffed.
“Why are you being so mean?” Sally demanded.
“Because you don’t belong here!” the creature raged.
“Psst!” the bilbies whispered. “That’s a lie. It is jealous of your fun.”
(Creature/koalas holding girl upside down, all three raging. Bilby small, between their feet.)

“Now do I feed you to the snakes, or croc, or even a spider?” the creature mused.
(Creature holding up girl for snake, croc and large spider.)
“Wombat, Sir!” Sally hollered.

(Wombat looking over its shoulder.)

“Oh, little girls shouldn’t be here,” it said. “For obvious reasons, of course.”
(Wombat flying in middle of clearing, wand glowing, all nasty creatures now in empty jam jars with 5c stickers on them, except koala creature. Top koala has jam jar stuck on its head. Sally sitting on ground, ruffled.)
“I’d like to make my wish now, Mr Wombat,” Sally said.

“I wish this creature was having as much fun as me.”
(Wombat and koalas staring, dumbfounded, at Sally.)

And the wombat was so impressed that Sally used her gift to give.
(Wombat and Sally playing on swings made from happy monkeys.)

“From now on, you are welcome back any time,” it crooned.
(Wombat in background, watching girl and koala creature riding flying fish.)

“Through dreams, of course.”
(Close-up of wombat as it watches.)

“And each time you visit, I promise, we will remember you.”
(Close-up of Sally sleeping in bed, with a smile on her face.)



The End.

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