The Missing Sock

Once, in a sock factory far, far away, a new sock was being knitted.  Before it was finished, an angry supervisor snatched it away and tried it on his foot.  Of course it did not fit, as it was far too small. Loudly calling the Sock a “half-knit,” the supervisor threw it back to be completed.

A defect appeared, halfway up the Sock. Some bits did not quite line up, and a tiny hole had formed upon one side.

Before its matching partner could be knitted, one of the workers came over and scooped up the Sock, deliberately mismatching it with his own odd sock. He never cared to keep his socks properly paired.

Nobody noticed for quite some time, due to the length of his trousers. But eventually glimpses here and there gave him away, and he handed back the Sock with dismay.

As the Sock’s matching partner was nowhere in sight, it was mismatched a few times more, which no-one seemed to mind, as everyone in town wore odd socks.

However, the fashion police targeted this odd pair, and one breakup followed one more, leaving the Sock alone and forlorn.

With the Sock in this sorry state, wrung out and hung up to dry, a nasty turn of events saw the Sock stolen off the clothesline, in broad daylight, and rented out to a long string of odd-socked tyre-kickers.

They each tried on the Sock, some with big feet, some with small, and passed it on to the next in the queue. Some stretched the Sock, some tore it, some tied it up in knots.  One put holes in it by stuffing it with a sharp metal object. The Sock was tossed about between them until they tired of their fun and games and lobbed it out on the roadside. Clonk.

An alley cat carried the Sock like a kitten to a safe place, and through one adventure and another, the Sock found itself back at the sock factory, in need of serious mending.

It took some time to knit back the major damage. And more time and careful attention to patch the remaining holes.

The Sock looked extremely odd now, but was deemed wearable. After some time, a man wearing an equally odd sock turned up and happily mismatched the two together for a time. The time came when the patches started falling apart and the Sock began to show signs of wear. A hole in the heel developed and the man swapped it for a new one. (Which  appeared to be a better match).

Another man came and started wearing the worn-out Sock, as he had not much else to warm his feet, and he thought the quirky patches looked cool. However, he enjoyed trying on all sorts of odd socks, and eventually left the old worn-out Sock threadbare and unravelling in a sock drawer with a couple of ankle socks.

In time, the man who had rented out the Sock came across it blowing down the street with the two ankle socks. He took some time to mend the patches, and knit up the worn hole in the heel.

The Sock quite enjoyed this process, but suddenly realised who the man was; the Sock-Renter! The Sock rolled up into a tight sockball with the two ankle socks and ricocheted around in a most fearful manner before rolling under a chair and freezing, motionless, for a very long time. It hoped no-one would see it, especially nobody with sharp metal objects. It prayed to the Great Knitter in the Sky day and night to get over the fright.

Does the story end here? With the frozen sockball hiding under a chair?

And did the Sock-Renter just disappear?

But no, here he comes back again!

Remember his skill at mending. And how he never tried the odd Sock on. The two ankle socks he neatly folded, and kept them all safe from being torn.

And who is this? His friend? He knows much about odd socks, but what of the Great Knitter in the Sky?

Will the odd Sock ever find its matching pair? Be put back in service from out under the chair?

Will the ankle socks grow up with nary a tear?

Does the Sock-Renter still rent? Is his friend very bent?

All this and more, upon your reply.

Moral of the story: Knit long-john style socks as they never come apart. Build a fence around you property so no-one can see or reach your clothesline. Or if you like hot clothes, use an indoor dryer, and be selective about whom you allow in your home.  Have faith, the Great Knitter in the Sky can knit up your Missing Sock good as new, at the appointed time. Enforce quality standards for workers at the sock factory, as well as providing on-going training and education. Initiate a careful and thorough selection process to ensure matching socks are properly paired. Pass a law against tyre-kickers, which leaves them either sockless, or strictly wearing a matched pair till the holes join up together and the socks disappear!

Hope for the future: A happy ex-Sock-Renter with a warm matching pair. The thawed sockball disentangled; the ankle-socks knitted up nicely into a couple of long-johns, or at least matching pairs, or just being friendly and working as a team. The odd Sock re-knitted and matched into a pair, perhaps with a couple more ankle socks thrown in for good measure. Or not. Perhaps matched with a similarly treated specimen, and worn till they both gradually disappear.


(If I don’t go lay down my head, it will fall off…)

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