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Where Your Missing Socks Go

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Once upon a time, so long ago that no one can quite say when, there was a man who had hundreds of pairs of socks. He had socks for all sorts of occasions: for going to the village, for eating meals, for going to the store, for going to bed, and even for going to the outhouse. He was very proud of his socks, and he always kept them in a safe place so they wouldn’t go missing.

This man didn’t want to lose any of his socks, but it was hard to keep track of them seeing as he kept on changing them every minute of the day. Finally, one day, he decided to make a system by painting a picture of every pair of socks that he had and hanging the pictures on the wall; this way he would never forget which socks went where. By the time he was half done painting, his whole house was filled with pictures of socks, and there was not a single space on any wall that did not have a picture of a sock. “This will not do,” he said to himself. So he went and got some wood and built another room onto the side of his house. Even then, his whole house was still filled with pictures.

One day, when the man was looking at his socks, he noticed a couple of his socks were missing. The strange thing about it was that he did not lose a pair of socks, but there was one sock missing from a couple of different pairs. The man started to get worried, and because he loved his socks so much, he decided to look through the whole house to try and find them. He looked here and there, under couches, in the bed, behind the closet, but he could not find a single sock out of place. He even went outside to see if he had left some there, but there was no sign of any socks. Just as he was about to go back inside, he noticed some footprints in the sand. They were human footprints, but there was one strange thing about them: they were only left feet. The man got curious, so he followed the footprints into the forest. He followed them until he came to a tree, surrounded by brightly coloured mushrooms. The man had heard of poisonous mushrooms, so he didn’t dare go near them. Not finding anything else of interest, he went back to his house.

The next day when he went to get a pair of socks, he found that more socks were missing, and only the left ones; the right ones were still hanging there. When he went outside he saw the footprints again, but this time there were more of them. “Who are these people who are taking my socks? I will go find them at once!” So he set off to go find the thieves again. Once again he came to the same tree, where the same brightly coloured mushrooms were standing. So again, he walked home. “Tonight I am going to stay up to catch these thieves who think they can get away with my socks!”

That night, he sat in his living room, waiting for someone to come in. Around midnight, he heard thumping sounds coming from outside. He jumped behind the couch, so as not to be seen. The door quietly opened, and what he saw surprised him greatly. For there, standing in his doorway, was a troop of tiny people. They looked exactly like humans, except for one thing: they only had one left foot. They hopped about, taking a sock here and a sock there. After they had their small hands full, they hopped right out again. The man sat there, stunned. Little people were taking his socks? Where did they come from? When he came back to his senses, he quickly followed the little creature out the door. Their tracks were easy to find, for they were so unusual no one could miss them. The tracks led him to the same tree that they had the days previously. This time there was something different about it: there were no mushrooms. In their place were the little men, hopping around in the man’s socks.
The man looked at them, full of fright. How did these people come to be? One of the little men noticed him behind the bushes, and when they made eye contact, the man got scared and ran away. From that day on, the man forgot about his precious socks, and he threw his many socks into the forest. Many people wondered what had changed the man’s mind about his socks, but they never found out. After the little men wore out the man’s socks, they went into the village in search of more. More and more people’s socks started to disappear, and ever since then, that is the way it has been.




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