Wombat Smith is the adopted member of a loving human family, but he only just recently realized he wasn't quite like them. Wondering if he really belongs with the Smiths, Wombat sets out to learn more about what he is—a marsupial. A trip to the library inspires him to travel to the wilds of Tasmania, where Wombat is sure to find other marsupials just like him, and maybe a new home. But frightening encounters with unfriendly farmers and Tasmanian devils make the countryside a dangerous place for a lone traveler. Will Wombat ever find out where he belongs?
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During the next few days, Wombat could think of nothing but the picture in the book, and when he slept, wombats filled his dreams. A strange new feeling stretched down into his stomach and became an ache stronger than the one he had felt the day he gobbled too many chocolate cookies. He lost his appetite and found there was nothing he wanted to eat, not even the chocolate layer cake from the little bakery down the street. His fur became dull and matted, and no matter how hard Mary scrubbed, she could not get it smooth again. "I know something is troubling you, dear," Mrs. Smith said one night, as she tucked him in his bed. "Can I do anything to help?" she asked. When Wombat did not answer, she said, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I think I understand. I think you need to go to Australia. Not to the mainland, but to the island, Tasmania, where we found you. When you meet others like you, perhaps you will learn more about yourself." With that, Mrs. Smith gave Wombat a kiss on his nose, and left the room. After Mrs. Smith had gone, Wombat snuggled comfortably under the covers. He hadn't told her anything, and yet she understood. He fell into a deep sleep that night, thinking happily about the exciting trip he was going to take, and all the wombats he was going to meet.