Tiny was late for her lunch-date with Liesel Greenleaf, and reached into her drawer to retrieve her sparkly new socks. Her hand came back empty.
“Hmm, that’s strange,” she muttered, “Penny-dog, have you seen my new socks?” Penny-dog stood sheepishly in the doorway. Tiny searched around hopelessly, then flung open the wardrobe doors.
“Nooooooooo!” yelped Penny-dog, as a mountain of socks cascaded onto Tiny’s head. A whimper came from behind the door.
“Oh no Penny-dog, what have you done?” cried Tiny in dismay.
“I’m so sorry, Tiny,” thought Penny-dog, “I can’t help it. I just love socks!”
“Well, here are mine,” said Tiny, pulling the silvery knee-highs from out of the pile. “And whose are these green ankle-socks?”
“Woodmint the Badger. He was drying them in front of his fire last week” thought Penny-dog shamefully.
“And this?” she asked, holding up a footie with bumble-bee stripes.
“Mustafa’s. I took it from his laundry line. Oh Tiny, please don’t send me to THUMP!”* howled Penny-dog miserably.
“No one is sending anyone, anywhere!” urged Tiny, needing a moment to think.

Finally she spoke. “I have an idea, we could have a toe-tickling contest. If we get all of our friends in one place with their shoes off, we can return the lost socks to the rightful owners!” Penny-dog looked hopeful. “Perhaps Dr. Constanza could donate one of her delicious raspberry pies as a prize, and Liesel might let us use the Library Green!” added Tiny. It was a crazy plan that might just work.

The stage was set for the following afternoon, and the villagers queued excitedly in the hopes of winning one of Dr. Constanza’s legendary home-baked goods.  As they removed their shoes and socks, Tiny quickly matched the lonely socks with their missing twins, until every last pair had been reunited. Hoots and guffaws rang through the library green, as one by one the contestants were eliminated, and the last ticklee flexed their toes in triumph. After the final pie presentation, Tiny handed Penny-dog a gift, a basket filled to the brim with colorful bobby-socks, “So you’ll always have a pair of your own,” she said smiling.

*THUMP is the Treetops Home for Undervalued and Misunderstood Pets

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