Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lost and Found

A Magpie Tale, which began with a family brainstorm
     "Mom, look what I found!"
     Melissa looked up, gloved hands full of weeds.  After a month of unpacking boxes and organizing the house, she had finally decided to tackle the yard.  The beautiful garden had been an important factor when they bought the house, but she just had not had time for it since.  Now the carefully tended beds were full of weeds.  And some other things, too.  She had found bits of plastic, a soda can, a toy car, even a broken spade.  What could Sarah have found this time?  She pushed her way through the peonies to where Sarah squatted over her treasure.
     "See?  A watering can!"
     "Well, that could be useful." 
     "And it is so pretty and green.  May I keep it, and water all the flowers with it?"
     "Of course.  The Hansens must not need it anymore.  Bring it along, Sarah."
     The little girl picked up the watering can's curved handle.  "Oh, look!  They forgot a sock, too!"
     Melissa gingerly plucked the tube sock from the dirt.  "Do you want to keep this one?"
     "Eww, Mom, no thanks."
     Placing the sock next to the pile of weeds, Melissa moved on.  Sarah set the watering can down among the daisies, and ran off in pursuit of a butterfly.  Melissa attacked a tough clump of dandelions.  Soon Sarah came bouncing back, and picked up her treasure again. 
     "Another sock!" 
     Melissa looked over.  Yes, peeking out from the daisy leaves was a man's black sock.  Mr. Hansen must have been more careless than she had thought.  She put this sock next to the first, and uprooted the last dandelion.  Sarah dropped the watering can in front of some lilies, and turned somersaults across the grass. 
     When she came tumbling back, she found a pink baby sock.  Then a soft blue lady's sock.  The stack of socks was keeping pace with the pile of weeds.  Every time Sarah picked up the watering can, she found another sock.  None of them matched.  Melissa was puzzled.  The Hansens had not seemed like people who would toss their socks off with a wild impulse to work in the garden.  But she had barely met them. 
     Then Sarah approached with yet another sock.  This time she looked troubled.  "Look, Mom.  It's my favorite sock, the one with butterflies on it." 
     "I'm glad you found your favorite sock, dear."
     "But I lost it before we moved.  A long time before."
     "Maybe another little girl lost a sock just like it, right here."  She thought the Hansens only had sons, but they must have entertained visitors sometimes.
     "No, Mom.  I didn't want to lose my favorite socks, so I wrote my initial on them.  See?"  There, on the toe, was a backward letter S.  Melissa looked back at her daughter, who solemnly proclaimed, "This must be where the socks go."
     "When you fold up the clean clothes, and the socks don't all match, you always say, 'Where do the socks go?'  It must be here, and the watering can finds them."
     Melissa stifled her impulse to call Sarah's idea silly, and proposed a diversion.  "Will you put some water in the can, and water these poor roses?"
     Sarah willingly ran to the tap and filled the can to overflowing.  She lugged it back to the rosebush, and poured.  Along with the water, out flowed five more odd socks.  Melissa jumped.  Sarah just pointed.
     Then another voice rang out.
     "Mo-om!  I can't find my soccer socks!"  Max looked out of the back door.
     Melissa sighed.  "Where did you see them last?"
     "I left them on my floor after the game last week.  And they aren't there any more."
     "Did you look in your drawer?"
     "I don't have time for this, Mom.  I need to get to practice."
     Melissa handed Max the watering can.  "Go look in your drawer.  I need to wash my hands before I help you."
     Max groaned and headed upstairs.  Melissa listened for the thump of the watering can on the floor.
     "There aren't any socks in my drawer.  C'mon, Mom, I'm going to be late!"
     Melissa stood at the bottom of the stairs.  "Max, will you bring me the watering can?"
     "What watering can?  I need my--oh, here are some socks!"
     Max returned, fully dressed for soccer practice.  He handed his mother the watering can, picked up his ball, and waved as he hurried out the front door. 
     Max's mother and sister watched him run down the sidewalk.  The white tube sock on his right leg covered his shinguard neatly.  The blue and yellow striped sock on his left leg reached nearly to his shorts.
     "I think you are right aboug the watering can." Melissa smiled at Sarah.
     Sarah was laughing too hard to answer.


  1. That watering can sounds like those cats you read about that run around neighborhoods stealing laundry off lines.

    What contented little can just wishing to have something warm beneath it.


  2. What a great tale. There is no sock monster, it's all down to a watering can.

  3. I LOVE it!!!! You are so imaginative!!!!!! Excellent job T!

  4. ha. how playful, your magpie...that was a fun read...thank you.

  5. I love the way you take Willow's Magpie photos and create magic!

  6. socks are fun to write and read about...
    lovely tale.

  7. A fun and funny tale - who would have thought to look there for odd socks? :)

  8. This made me laugh. Very good, original story. :-)

  9. I am so glad there was no body anywhere. For a long moment I was biting on my lip. Very well done.

  10. So this is what it's like to live in an alternate universe! Seems rewarding..glad it didn't match my goose-pimply imagination!

  11. This story was such a breath of fresh air. Loved it!

  12. adorable. and i love the pic at the top of your blog! so creative

  13. That was fun, playful and charming! I could use one of those watering cans for my boys socks too!

  14. Delightfully creepy story! I'd move. :-)

  15. i believe it! makes perfect sense actually.

  16. awesome! I knew it wasn't really the dryer after all. really enjoyed reading this.

  17. Glad I found your wonderful story! :-)

  18. Dear T,

    I love both your blogs and your story. The joys of a happy family comes through so beautifully. I have 5 girls myself and I can identify with this.

    In this story, a normal everyday family routine becomes a mystery...

    You asked about Malay Sajak, so here I have tried to put it as simply as possible for your perusal.

    In Malay there are many forms of poetry. Here are some...

    The most famous and elegant are the pantun, known to the French circle of 18th century high society as pantoun.

    They can be 4 line, 6 line or 8 line stanzas of abab, abcabc and abcdabcd form.

    The first half of the stanza is usually a metaphor/indication of what comes in the second half.

    There is also pantun berkait where the 2nd and 4th lines are repeated in the following stanza. Again, the 1st half is an indication of what's to come in the poetry.

    Syair, which is usually sung in a melodic rhyme is influenced by Persian origins. The form is aaaa. The most popular syair known to us is Syair Siti Zubaidah Perang China of 4300 lines - the story of a Malay prinbcess who went to war with China.

    Sajak is of free form - as such the most difficult for me.

    Please feel free to drop by for my Malay poetry. I never thought of translating them because that is so difficult, but now, I might try it.

  19. Oh, I really enjoyed this, thank you for making me smile. :-)

  20. I thought all along that it was the dryer that was eating the socks!

  21. I never believed it was the dryer, I always thought it was the tiny little troll who get in through the vent next to it, found a good dark place and stayed. Your story is imaginative and creative. Wonderful fun.


  22. Ah, what a sweet and magical story. A joy to read!

  23. I always knew it was the dryer that ate the socks, but I now know the dryer swallowed them whole and they ended up in a "watering can universe".

    Very imaginative, playful and wonderful.


  24. Ha ha! That was fun!Thanks for sharing it, and thanks for visiting my blog today.
    I will be very careful about socks from now on ;)