Ricki trudged up the stairs after a long day at school followed by her afternoon program. It had been a winy day, but no rain. As is usual, Ricki was hauling with her two schoolbags, and an extra nylon bag. Tucked under one arm was an umbrella, lavishly colored in bright hues, as if to chase away the dark gloom of a cold winter’s day.
The problem was that the umbrella was not ours.
Unfortunately, I am no Sherlock Holmes, and it was not readily apparent to me where the umbrella was from. I tried quizzing Ricki, but was simply treated to repeated declarations from my daughter that the appliance was her own. But, of course, it wasn’t, and I said so.
Compounding the situation was the fact that this umbrella could easily have come from any of three places:
-her afternoon program
-the neighbors (Who often leave wet umbrellas in the stairwell as they dry)
Repeated attempts at interrogating her led nowhere, and I was faced with the prospect of trying to track down the owner of an umbrella who may very well be a classmate or other special-needs child, and who may not have even been able to post a notice about the loss.
That afternoon, I had some errands to run along with Ricki, and when we reached the bottom of the stairs I noticed that she was again in possession of the pilfered object. So I had her go back inside and hang it on the stair rail, to await our return.
Later that evening, on arriving home, I noticed that the umbrella had disappeared. I pray that the umbrella was taken by it’s rightful owner, undoubtedly a neighbor. THEY are probably wondering how their rain gear fell one or two floors down, and happened to land exactly right-side up in place on the railing.