The Story of the Yellow String

Little Girl had a friend from the neighborhood (R) come to play at the house after school.

They ran ahead of me from the playground to the house, and when I arrived they showed me the treasure they’d found on the way.

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Oh hurray. A giant tangled ball of yellow string.

Both girls were yelling excitedly, “We’re going to untangle it!”

R added, “And then I’m gonna KEEP it!”

Little Girl nodded judiciously. “She found it first. It’s hers.”

This seemed okay by me, as that meant the string was only in my house temporarily, so I told them to have at it.

Of course, soon they had roped me into helping them –pun intended– and then soon after that they lost interest.

Somehow I ended up left alone for like an hour meticulously untangling yards and yards of string a couple of kindergartners found outside, possibly in the trash.

I know. I have no life.

This is what I was doing when R’s mom came to get her.

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She looked at me and said, “Um….”

I said, “The girls are upstairs. I’m just untangling this string they found.”

She said, “Why?”

This was a hard question. “I don’t actually know,” I admitted. “But I’ve been working on it for an hour and I’m not stopping til it’s done.” 

She said, “Oh…kay,” and went to find her child. I kept untangling; I was almost finished!

By the time R’s mom had located her kid, found her shoes and gotten her ready to go, I had the string wound into a nice neat ball.

R came up to politely say thank-you-for-having-me-over, and I handed her the ball of string.

R’s mom’s eyes almost popped out of her head at that.

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R said, “Yay! Thanks!”

R’s mom said, “Why are you giving that string to my daughter?”

“It’s hers,” I said.

“It IS!” Little Girl backed me up.

“I found it!” R said, hugging the ball.

“She DID!” Little Girl backed her up.

While the girls exulted over the string ball, R’s mom locked eyes with me over their heads. “You realize,” she said, “that the string you just spent all that time untangling, will be a tangled mess all over MY house in about ten minutes?”

“Yep!” I said cheerfully. “Sorry!”

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 As they left, R’s mom gritted her teeth at me. “I’ll get you back, you know.”

Oh yeah. I know.

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