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Stanley sighed. He’d better go and find out what he’d done this time. He had a good idea though. He hadn’t meant to cut that hole in the carpet. It was just that he’d been cutting out shapes for his school project while lying on the floor watching television on Monday. He hadn’t realised he’d been snipping away at the carpet as well as a piece of cardboard. He’d covered the hole up with some books and hoped that Mum wouldn’t tidy them up just yet. Oh, and he hadn’t meant to break the Blu-Ray on Wednesday. He’d just wondered if you could get two DVDs into it at once. Or perhaps Mum had found where he’d been hiding his cheese sandwiches every day since the beginning of term. Mum gave him cheese sandwiches for his school dinner every day and every day Stanley didn’t eat them. He hated cheese sandwiches only he didn’t dare tell Mum that. So every day, when he got home, he stuffed the uneaten sandwiches under the loose floorboard in the spare room. It was getting a bit smelly in there, Stanley had noticed. Maybe Mum had noticed the same thing.

But to Stanley’s amazement Mum wasn’t cross about those things. Well, not today anyway — she’d be mad all right when she did find out. Mum was cross about something else.

“Where is your sock?” she demanded as Stanley slunk guiltily into the kitchen.

“On my foot,” announced Stanley. He checked quickly. Yes, he had two socks on.

“Not your school sock, silly boy. I mean your football sock. I only got one to wash last Saturday. It’s football practice again tomorrow so I need to wash the other one NOW! No sock, no football practice.” Mum turned back crossly to sorting out the washing.

Stanley slunk out again quickly. Crikey! He’d forgotten all about that football sock. Now, where could it be? Stanley frowned hard in concentration.

Suddenly his face cleared. After football practice last week he’d gone home with Thomas Tonks for the rest of the day. He remembered that he and Thomas had been playing in the garden. They’d kicked Thomas’s football into the next-door neighbour’s garden, as usual, but he wouldn’t let them have it back. So then they’d played with a tennis ball until Thomas kicked that into the next-door neighbour’s garden on the other side. She wouldn’t let them have that back either. So then Stanley had taken off one of his football socks. He’d rolled it into a ball and they’d had a great game with that until teatime.

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