“Hey, do you see it anywhere?”
“Where could it have gone?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen it since it’s been opened.”
“Did one of the cats maybe drag it off?”
“I have no idea. But it’s completely possible.”
The hunt continued.
The package had been opened this morning. In the excitement of its discovery, we had unfolded the contents of the package and laid out the pieces to this wondrous gadget. Only to be interrupted by tradition and necessity.
All of us clambered back into the kitchen to get our fill. And then, upon returning, we made the discovery.
We were now missing a piece.
A very small, very vital piece.
Because why make vital pieces easy to find? That’d make the whole process boring. Why not leave it small? Then the cats can drag it away, or the dog can swallow it, while no one is looking.
We were all looking for the piece. All of us excited about our new gift.
Or so I thought.
In the spare room, I found my little brother sitting all alone in the dark.
“Hank? What’re you doing in here?” I inquired.
He sat solemnly. Holding onto something.
“Hank? What’s that you’ve got?”
Guiltily, he opened his hand, revealing the vital piece to our present puzzle.
“I took it,” he said simply.
But I knew that it was not that simple.
Hank shrugged, clearly befuddled by the reasoning. “I don’t know. I just… didn’t like that it had all the pieces. It’s not really fair. We have to search for ours.”
That Christmas Day, looking at my little brother, hearing such strangely philosophical words put in such an existential way, I couldn’t help but wonder.
What the hell? How is this kid so smart?
And I meant that in almost every way.
Taking the piece from him, I patted his shoulder. “You’re right. It kind of isn’t fair. But, it’s what makes everything worth it.”
Winking, I left the room. “I FOUND THE PIECE!”
Rejoicing could be heard throughout the house.
And the present that was already the center of our focus became an even greater gift.
Because we found the vital piece.
And yeah, it was kind of annoying to have to search. And, I won’t lie, I was a little annoyed at first when I found out Hank had it all that time. But, I got his point.
It was worth the goose chase.
Author’s Note: Merry Christmas! (or whatever you, personally, celebrate)