Florence Witkop

Published by The Jackpine Writers Bloc

Smashwords Edition

This story was originally published in 1997 in volume 4 of The Talking Stick by the Jackpine Writers' Bloc and is reprinted here with their permission. Thanks, all of you wonderful people who meet monthly and publish such a delightful literary book.

Vinny's mother picked up a bandanna that had been twisted into a headpiece and a single gold earring and stared at them. "Vinny likes pirates." She tried to smile but couldn't. "He sailed the seven seas right here in the goldfish pond." This time she managed a half smile. "He'd start near the lawn chairs at this end of the pond, and then go beneath that bridge in the middle to the other side, where he'd tie his raft to that willow tree."

The yard was laid out as meticulously as a Japanese garden. The goldfish pond was the centerpiece, melding a stone walk, a fence, a few artistically arranged boulders, and several flower beds into a single harmonious whole.

Vinny's homemade raft was the only thing missing and the lack was conspicuous because how did something that his mother described as having been made from an old barn door disappear in the middle of the day without anyone noticing? What I found even more interesting was why it had been taken at all. What could a kidnapper possibly do with an old barn door? But I said nothing. She was upset enough.

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