The Missing Socks Mystery

by Lois Smith

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    “Joey,” Mother called from her bedroom where she was sorting laundry, “I have one of your red socks and one of your black socks. Do you know where the mates are?”

    Joey came running. “No, Mother,” he said, “I don’t know where they are, but I’ll look for them. They must be hiding in my room.”

    Joey raced to his room. He looked under the bed and under the dresser. He looked on top of the bookshelf and behind the toy box. But he couldn’t find any socks.

    He looked beneath his pillow, behind the bookshelf, and inside the toy box. He even peeked under the corner of the rug. There were no socks anywhere.

    Mother came to help look for the missing socks. She looked in all the places Joey had looked, but there were no socks in any of those places.

    “Maybe they’re stuffed down in the toes of your shoes in the closet,” she suggested.

    Joey picked up his best shoes and poked his hand down inside. “There aren’t any socks in the toes of these shoes,” he said.

    Mother looked in Joey’s sneakers, in his cowboy boots, and even in last summer’s shoes that were too small. But she didn’t find the missing red sock or the missing black sock.

    “Have you looked in the drawers in your dresser?” Mother asked.

    Joey pulled one of the drawers open wide and stirred the neat piles of socks into a confused mess. “They’re not in here either, Mother,” he reported.

    “Let’s take a better look,” said Mother as she took the drawer out of the dresser and dumped all the socks on Joey’s bed. There were blue socks and green socks and white socks. There were gray socks and tan socks and striped socks. But there was not one single red sock or a black sock either.

    Mother scratched her head in a puzzled way, and then she searched all the other drawers. She found a marble, a wind-up car, and half a ginger cookie—but no socks.

    By bedtime the mystery was still not solved. At last Joey sat down on the side of his bed and pulled off one shoe. He opened his eyes wide and began to smile. Quickly he pulled off the other shoe. Then he laughed out loud.

    “Mother! Mother!” he shouted. “Come quick. I’ve solved the missing socks mystery.”

    Mother ran into the room and glanced at Joey’s feet. On Joey’s left foot was a red sock, and on his right foot was a black sock.

    Mother began to laugh. “How about that,” she said, giving him a hug. “The missing socks were with you all day long.”

    Joey wiggled his toes and clapped his feet together. “If we ever have a missing socks mystery again,” he giggled, “we’ll know just where to look first!”

    Illustrated by Judy Capener