Charlie’s Room: The Scarf

The fall leaves decorated the neighborhood lawns in brilliant fall colors. Isaac loved the fall. The air felt crisper and cleaner, the colors were brighter, and there wasn’t much pollen.   It was a great time of year.

After raking their leaves into a pile and piling them into yard waste bin, Isaac went next door. His elderly neighbor, Miss Marta, had a hard time doing her own yard work. Marianne and Isaac helped when they could, and Charlie followed along and helped out too.

But today, Marianne was busy cutting Charlie’s hair.   So, whistling a happy tune, Isaac raked Miss Marta’s leaves into a pile and tossed them into her yard waste bin.   Just as he finished, Miss Marta came outside, carrying a small bag.

She thanked him for his help and held out the bag.   “It’s just a little something that I made for you,” she said.

“You didn’t need to do that,” Isaac said. He opened the bag and pulled out a long dark green scarf. “You knitted this? It’s lovely.”

“I’m glad you like it,” Miss Marta said. “Put it on. I want to see how it looks.”

Isaac wound the scarf around his neck. At the end, he found some small felt circles stitched to the scarf.   They looked like eyes. “Is this a snake scarf?” he asked. “I like it.”

“Of course it is,” Miss Marta said. “Snake scarves are the best kind of scarves. They always find their way back to you.”

“Wow,” Isaac said.

The next afternoon, Marianne was getting ready for a bike ride. “Where did this scarf come from?” she asked.

“Miss Marta made it,” Isaac said.

“It’s great,” Marianne said. She wound it around her neck, kissed Isaac goodbye and hurried out the door.

The next day, the temperatures warmed up. For three days, everyone wore tee-shirts again and left their coats at home. But, on the fourth day, the clouds were so dark that it was hard to believe that the sun really came up that morning. It began to pour and didn’t look like it was going to stop any time soon.

Isaac took his wool coat out of the closet again.   He put it on and found his umbrella and gloves. “Marianne, have you seen my scarf?” he asked.

“I saw Charlie with it earlier. He’s in his room,” she said.

Isaac peeked into Charlie’s room. “Hey, have you seen my new scarf?”

Charlie looked up. “The snake scarf? I like it.   Can I wear it to school?”

“All right. But tomorrow, I get to wear it.”

The next morning, Isaac couldn’t find his scarf again.   “Charlie, where’s my scarf?”

Charlie frowned. “Oh, I lent it to a friend for the walk home, and I forgot to get it back.   I’m sorry. I’ll ask him for it at school today.”

“Okay,” Isaac said.

That evening at the dinner table, Isaac asked Charlie about his scarf. “I talked to my friend,” Charlie said. “He forgot to bring it to school. He’ll bring it tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Isaac said.

The next evening, he asked about his scarf again.   “My friend’s dad borrowed it and left it at work. He’ll bring it home tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Isaac said.

But, the next evening, the friend’s neighbor had borrowed it. And after that the neighbor’s grandchild had borrowed it. “Tell your friend that it’s all right,” Isaac said at last. “Tell him not to worry about it.”

A week later, Isaac was driving a friend to the store to pick up a prescription. “Thanks, Isaac,” the friend said. “I just felt too dizzy to drive.”

“I’m happy to help,” Isaac said.

The friend reached into his pocket and pulled out a long green scarf. “Here, take this,” the friend. “Someone gave it to me, but you look like you need it more than I do.”

Isaac checked the end of the scarf and found the felt circles. “Wow,” he said. “Thank you.”

The next day, Isaac was raking the leaves again, this time wearing his new green scarf at last.