My husband’s work badge was missing. It was a weekend, so we weren’t too worried. It would turn up somewhere.
I was cleaning and searching at the same time. While making my daughter’s bed, I noticed an unopened can of condensed milk wedged next to the wall. I grinned, my daughter loves to lick the spoon when I make Brazilian lemonade, so she must have been saving some for rough times. There was more. I reached down and found a glittery pipe cleaner, my metal measuring spoons, and …. the ever-disappearing nail clippers.
I moved the mattress out of the way to see what else was hidden underneath and fished out some hair clips that had mysteriously vanished from the grocery bag a week ago, a bobbin from my sewing machine, a calculator, an old birthday card from great grandma, my Sam’s Club card, and an eyeglass repair kit. And, probably the newest item in the collection, there was my husband’s work badge.
I had discovered my daughter’s secret stash.
I took the badge and nail clippers, and left everything else in tact (fortunately, she is old enough not to put things in her mouth). I was reminded of the magpie, a European bird that collects anything shiny. Later, I deposited an old beaded hairband for our little magpie to find.
Weeks later, I couldn’t find my cell phone. I asked my daughters if they had seen it. The younger one quietly turned around and walked down the hall into her room. I heard her pull her cash register off the shelf, heard a loud “ka-ching!”, and a few seconds later she came back and wordlessly handed me my cell phone.
I noted that we now have two magpies.
Maha Ezzeddine lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three daughters. She is a dedicated MAS worker, part-time writer, and creative homemaker.