"Bottersnikes and Gumbles" Was the first in a trilogy of books written by S.A (Samuel. A) Wakefield and was published for the first time in 1967 by William Collins Australia.

The three books (including Gumbles in Summer (1972), and Gumbles on Guard (1975)) revolved around a friendly group of creatures called the Gumbles, and their not-so-friendly counterparts, the Bottersnikes, and their adventures in the Australian bush.

A bit of a background:

The Bottersnikes, often described as the "Fattest, laziest creatures you could ever clap eyes on" are partial to living in rubbish heaps. This is because they are altogether too lazy to build homes for themselves, and much prefer poking around under a bit of tin in the Australian outback. It pays to find a home quickly though, for Bottersnikes shrink when wet. Incidentally, their favourite type of rubbish are jam tins, for reasons we will come to in due course.

On the other hand, we have the Gumbles. About half the size of the Bottersnikes, and not nearly as ugly, these apple-sized creatures are jolly, happy-go-lucky, and always willing to help a fellow bush resident in distress. By far their most problematic trait, though, is that they have the consistency of warm putty. Because Gumbles' bones are not of the kind that can be broken, a Gumble can be squished into any shape desired, but if squished too hard they might require help to pop back into their proper Gumble-shapes.

Unfortunately this putty-ness leads one fateful day to a Bottersnike discovery. If squished hard enough into a jam tin, A Gumble couldn't escape, and thus the laziest creatures on earth had lifetime servants. But not for long, and thusly does the book tell its story.

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