Something Ate My Hat

Kendra's mother was always knitting mitts, socks and tuques. She wasn't a very good knitter, and she had lots of other things to do, but she still seemed to be knitting most of the time.

The reason that she did so much knitting was because Kendra and her three brothers were always losing a mitt, a sock or a tuque. Sometimes they lost them at school. Sometimes they lost them at the swimming pool, and sometimes they lost them when they were over at friends' houses. But most of the time they didn't know where they'd lost them.

When Kendra's mother asked Kendra what happened to a missing article, Kendra always said: "I think something must have eaten it." This answer didn't please her mother one bit because she knew that there was nothing at school, at the swimming pool or at a friend's house that would eat Kendra's clothing.

One day, in early spring, Kendra's class went on a field trip to the petting zoo. Kendra was wearing a bright yellow tam that her mother had knit to go with Kendra's new brown jacket.

While Kendra was leaning over to pet a tiny goat, the mother of the little kid took Kendra's hat in her mouth and began to chew. Before Kendra could grab the tam, the goat had jumped into another pen and all Kendra could do was cry while the goat, looking very pleased, began nibbling her bright yellow hat.

The teacher saw what had happened, but the teacher also saw that Kendra soon became so interested in the other animals that she forgot all about her lost hat. She had a wonderful time at the zoo.

But on her way home from school, Kendra remembered her new tam and knew that she would have to tell her mother that, this time, something really had eaten her hat. She was sure that her mother would not be happy about that. Kendra also knew that her mother would tell her that there was nothing at the petting zoo that would eat her hat. But Kendra's mother did believe her story! Kendra's teacher had phoned to say: "A goat at the petting zoo ate Kendra's new hat."

But that didn't stop Kendra's mother from being disappointed when her children continued to lose mitts, socks and tuques.

The next time Kendra lost a mitten, the left mitt of her brand-new, mom-knit, green pair, she still told her mother: "I know I had it at Tina's house. Something must have eaten it."

Her mother looked defeated, but tried one more time. "There might be something at the petting zoo that would eat your clothes, but there's nothing at the school, the swimming pool or Tina Lamory's house that would eat a mitt."

That's what Kendra's mother thinks. But Kendra's friend Tina, says that there are clothes-eaters in all kinds of surprising places.

Do you have a friend who has a goat living in her house? Well I bet somebody does. Or maybe you've seen a sock-eating alligator hiding under a bench in the dressing room at the swimming pool? Well I wouldn't be surprised!. And there's a school not far from here that's supposed to have a mitt-eating bear. He stands around the lockers, on his hind legs, pretending he's the janitor in a fur coat. He eats sneakers in the summer! Let's go over sometime to see for ourselves. But we'd better not wear our good clothes.

Is Kendra's mom going to have to keep right on knitting?

Copyright  Bill Rollans 1994   All rights reserved.
illustration by Kay Rollans (age 7)

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