“Dad, have you seen my other shoe?” Charlie asked one morning.
“Have you checked the closet?” Isaac asked.
“Yes,” Charlie said. “That’s where I found this one.” He held up a blue tennis shoe.
“Did you look under the desk?”
“Yes,” Charlie said.
“Under your bed?”
Isaac thought for a moment. “When did you wear them last?”
“Yesterday,” Charlie said. “I mostly always wear them.”
“Where did you take them off?” Isaac asked.
“In my bedroom after school,” Charlie said.
“So it probably wouldn’t be by the front door or in the bathroom or living room,” Isaac said. “Is your room messy? It might be under something.”
Charlie shrugged. “It’s not that bad really. I did look around. I’ll look again if you come help me look.”
Isaac smiled. “You just needed to ask. Lead the way.” He followed Charlie back into his bedroom. It wasn’t really all that messy. There was a pile of books next to the bookshelf and some papers on the desk. A shirt was on the floor next to the laundry basket.
Isaac picked up the shirt and checked the basket. “Not here,” he said. He checked the closet and under the desk. “Not there either,” he said. “Try looking in your drawers. I’ll look under the bed.”
Under the bed was rather messy. Luckily, once Isaac pulled out a fuzzy blue sweater, he could see the missing shoe. “Here it is, Charlie,” he said. “I think it was camouflaged by the sweater, kind of like a chameleon.”
“That’s kind of funny,” Charlie said. “Thank you for finding it.”
“You’re welcome,” Isaac said. “Go finish getting ready.”
Charlie hurried out the door and Isaac started folding up the sweater to put it away. An irregularity in the pattern caught his eye. He looked closer. There were holes in the sweater. Isaac unfolded it and held it up.
The edges of the holes were uneven. Something had been chewing on the sweater. He looked closer. It had been nibbling at the edges of the sweater too. This wasn’t a good sign.
With a sigh, Isaac went to fetch a flashlight. He needed a closer look under the bed at what he might be dealing with. Soon he was back in Charlie’s room with the flashlight. He lay down on his side and directed the beam of light to sweep across the floor under the bed.
He couldn’t see anything unusual. He swept the light back across the floor. At the edge of the beam, something moved. Isaac snapped the light back. It was a dust bunny. The little ball of hair and lint seemed harmless. He moved the light away, but watched the dust bunny.
Once the light wasn’t shining on it, it moved again. He snapped the light back again and looked closer. The dust bunny didn’t move. Isaac squinted. He could see fuzzy blue bits of yarn tangled into the little ball of fluff.
Isaac slowly moved the light back and forth. He could see three more dust bunnies of various sizes, all partially composed of fuzzy blue wool. This could become a problem. Isaac shoved the sweater back under the bed so that they didn’t start chewing on the carpet.
He had to leave and get ready for work. At lunchtime, he called around and managed to find a humane trap he could rent for a few days. He picked it up after work. That night, he baited it with the sweater. Three days later, he’d caught all the dust bunnies.
He checked several times to make sure he’d got them all. Then he looked at them sitting motionless in the trap. He really didn’t feel comfortable turning them loose in the yard. If they started eating Marianne’s plants, she’d be quite upset.
He didn’t want to hurt them either. They seemed rather harmless really. In the end, he called Great-Aunt Bethyl. “Hi,” he said. “It’s Isaac again.”
“Isaac, it’s been a while,” Great-Aunt Bethyl said. “Is something wrong?”
“I’m sorry I don’t call more often,” Isaac said.
“Oh, don’t be silly. I’m too busy for small talk,” she said. “But if you have time, I wouldn’t mind getting a card in the mail now and then.”
“We could do that,” Isaac said.
“So, what’s the problem?”
“Dust bunnies ate holes in Charlie’s sweater,” he said.
“Say no more,” she said. “I’ll send someone over.”
Fifteen minutes later, a man in black slacks and a blue button up shirt was at the door. “Hello,” he said. “I heard you had a problem.”
Isaac handed over the trap. The man peered inside. “Hmmm.” He said. “I see. Is this your trap?”
“No, I rented it. Here’s a business card from the rental shop,” Isaac said, pulling the card out of his wallet.
“Excellent.” The man took the card and put it in his shirt pocket. “I’ll make sure they get the trap back.”
“Thank you,” Isaac said. “I can stop in tomorrow and pay the rental fee.”
The man smiled and tapped on the outside of the trap. “No, thank you,” he said.
Isaac smiled and closed the door. It was good he’d found them before they’d started chewing on something else. What if they’d chewed a hole in Charlie’s lucky socks? Perhaps it was time to look for a loft bed for Charlie. Then this would be less likely to happen again.