Urkburk and Wotbot by Grahame Wilson


If you point straight up into the sky, and then a wee bit south from straight up, you are pointing roughly in the direction of Jumjar. Jumjar is a long, long way past the milky way. It is the sixteenth planet in an unusual solar system revolving around the bright double star Dindrop.

The local language on Jumjar is gumwash, and we join two young inhabitants sitting beside a bubbling yellow lake.

"Braak' splogg." said Urkburk.

"Weezen furgels nonbong." replied Wotbot.

Now it's just possible that you don't understand gumwash, so to save you the trouble of finding someone who does, I'll translate for you.

"Beaut' sunsets." said Urkburk

"Same as yesterday."replied Wotbot, pretending he was all grown up.

They sat there watching as the two suns dived quickly below the horizon. Within a few seconds the sky was very dark and thousands of stars suddenly appeared in the night sky.

"You know what I think?" said Urkburk.

"What?" replied Wotbot, who found thinking not as much fun as eating.

"I reckon there's people out there."


"Out where the stars are."

They paused as a huge train rattled its' way across the sky high above them. Every so often someone would jump out and waving their arms, they would float gently down to the ground.

"They wouldn't look like us would they?" asked Wotbot.

"Well, Mr. Marsvars my robot teacher says they are probably just like us."

"Really?" Wotbot was hungry again and reached into his pocket to pull out a big slice of roasted cackelburger. He started crunching away at it.

"Yes, but with some small differences." said Urkburk.

Suddenly a little trapdoor opened in the ground nearby. A funny hairy machine popped out and snuffled around. It gobbled up rubbish, getting fatter and fatter as it did so. It rushed around cleaning the rocks, polishing them up bright and sparkling, ready for the next day. Then, with a lot of struggling, it squeezed and squeezed and finally collapsed back into its hole. With a little sigh of exhaustion it shut the door. A lot of muffled burping sounds came from under the ground. Soon everything was quiet again.

"Noisy little gobdob."said Urkburk.

"What sort of small differences?" asked Wotbot ignoring the gobdobs intrusion.

"Mr. Marsvars said they might be little people. They might be green."

"I don't want to go there. If they aren't nice and blue like us, they'd look weird."

" I wonder if they'd have gobdobs on other planets?" said Urkburk.

"Well, someone has to clean up the rubbish."

"Yes, and the rocks look awful if they get dirty."

They sat quietly watching big square bubbles coming out of the yellow lake. They drifted high, causing a shimmering as they crossed in front of the stars.

After a long pause Urkburk said." One day we might go out there into space and find out. They might be little green men, but they probably have four arms, four legs, four eyes and four ears."

"They'd be just like us." said Wotbok.


copyright Grahame Wilson