Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Every so often, I recall or put together some story about things my family and I have owned. One of them came back to me recently for reasons I only dimly see and am not entirely willing to discuss, but the story itself--insofar as I recall it--might be good, so...

My daughter, the resplendent Ms. 8, is like many children in that she had pacifiers in her early life. She is like many in that she had one or two that she favored. One of them was a green plastic thing, the side-pieces that prevent it going all the way into the child's mouth open, the button behind the nipple depicting a smiling cartoon face--not a specific character, just an abstract representation of a narrow-eyed or closed-eyed smile. However often her mother or I would put the thing in her mouth in the "correct" position--with the button positioned such that the eyes sat above the smiling mouth--she would invert it, although the resulting inverted smile was far from a representation of her mood. (Ms. 8 is generally happy. I am unsure where she gets so pleasant a disposition. I suppose it must be her mother.)

Because it was one of Ms. 8's favorites, when she, her mother, her father and stepmother, and I went to the City of Thunder on a day-trip one time, we took it along with us. Because she was young, she had it in her mouth as we went about the small, near-stagnant canal with which the City of Thunder seeks to emulate the Alamo City's famous and ever-growing Riverwalk. Because she was and still is a vigorous child, prone to expressing her excitement, she squealed in delight at getting to see new things with her Papa and Granny, her Mama and Daddy, and she flung her arms about in the throes of her joy.

You can, perhaps, see where this is going.

In one such spasm, her favored pacifier went flying from her mouth and hands into the slow-flowing water of the near-stagnant canal, doing so as we sat in a small craft on a guided tour through the lower reaches of the City of Thunder, trolling about the exposed appendix of the place. She flung, it flopped, it plopped, and it was lost in the wake behind us and the dozen others on the boat, who soon found themselves annoyed at the baby crying in their midst.

We disembarked soon after, of course, and continued to look around the area while afoot, stopping in at one shop or another. Ice cream was had, for the sun was bright and the day was hot. And as we continued to walk, looking at the thick green water, we saw something floating along in it, a nephrite against the malachite swirl, a leaf of grass against the algae scum. It was the pacifier, buoyed up and carried slowly by the faint current stirring the nearly still water in the heart of the City of Thunder--carried slowly away from where we were. I, being both jealous of property and desirous of a happy daughter, soon retrieved it, wetting only my hand in the event. (All the better, since I swim like a stone--and that stone is not pumice.)

Ms. 8 did not receive the pacifier back just then, of course. But she did receive it back, in time, only to later have to give it up--but that, of course, is another story...

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