Empty Your Pockets

“Mom,” Gracie said. “Mom? Mom. MOM.”

“I’m in the kitchen,” Mom said.

“Mooooooooom,” Gracie said as she hurried down the hall.

“Gracie, what’s wrong?” Mom asked. She turned off the faucet and dried her hands.

“My super amazing beautiful glittery rainbow rock is missing!” Gracie said. “It’s gone!”

“Well, I don’t think I’ve seen any rainbow rocks anywhere today. When did you last see it?” Mom asked.

“I had it yesterday. I took it to school, and everybody wanted to see it. They passed it around class after the math quiz. Janice offered me a candy bar for it, and Scott said he’d pay five dollars for it, but I said no because it’s my rock and not theirs, and now it’s gone,” Gracie said.

“Take a deep breath, Gracie,” Mom said.

Gracie took a deep breath. And then another. It didn’t really help.   “But, Mom,” she said. “What if someone stole it? I’ll never see it again. I bet it grants wishes, too. If someone suddenly has a hundred pink bunnies, they stole my rock. Can we drive around town and see if there are any pink bunnies?”

“When was the last time you remember seeing your rock?” Mom asked.

“After everyone looked at it, I put it in my pocket,” Gracie said. “But it’s not there now.”

“Are those the same jeans you wore yesterday?” Mom asked.

“I don’t know,” Gracie said. “They all look the same to me.”

Mom sighed. “Gracie, where did you put your clothes yesterday when you took your bath?”

“Hmmmm.” Gracie thought for a moment.   “I left them on the floor.” She raced off to the bathroom. “MOM!” she yelled. “They’re not here! Someone stole my jeans.”

Mom looked in through the bathroom door. “Gracie, I put them in the wash.”

“So, where’s my rock?” Gracie asked.

“Probably in the dryer. You’re supposed to empty your pockets before you put your clothes in the laundry,” Mom said.

“But I didn’t put my jeans in the laundry,” Gracie said. “I left them on the floor.”

“You’re supposed to put your clothes in the laundry basket when you get changed,” Mom said. “So, you skipped two steps.”

“Can we check the dryer for my rock? What if the dryer breaks it?” Gracie asked.

“Okay,” Mom said. “I don’t want your rock to dent the inside of my dryer.” They went into the garage together. The dryer was rumbling.

“What’s that sound?” Gracie asked. “It sounds like growling.”

“It’s the sound the dryer makes when something small and heavy gets bumped around inside,” Mom said. “It’s not growling.”

But, when she opened the dryer door and the dryer stopped spinning, the noise didn’t stop. Gracie shrieked. “Mom! There’s a piece of my rainbow rock on top. The dryer did break it.”

Just then, the clothes started moving. Something blue and lizardy pushed some socks aside and climbed onto the top of the pile of clothes at the bottom of the dryer. The noise was louder.

“It’s a baby dragon!” Gracie said. “I think maybe it’s angry.”

Mom looked at Gracie. “Where did you get that rainbow rock?”

Gracie looked at Mom. “It was by the dragon statue in the park.”

Mom frowned. “I don’t remember a dragon statue.”

Gracie frowned. “Well, it was there.”

Mom pulled on some gardening gloves and scooped up the little blue dragon.   It stopped growling and tried to bite her fingers. “Okay, Gracie. We’re going to the park.   Show me where you saw the dragon.   This baby needs its mama.”

“So it was an egg, not a rock?” Gracie asked. “But that’s not fair. I didn’t even get a wish!”

“Come on, Gracie,” Mom said. “Let’s go.”

“But, Moooooom,” Gracie said. And she followed her mom out the door.

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