"Charlie, where are your shoes?" Mother called from the front door.
Charlie stopped peddling his tricycle and looked down at his bare feet. Oh no, missing shoes again!
"I don't know," he called.
"We can't afford to lose your shoes" said Mother, sitting on the step. She patted the step beside her. " Come and let's see if you can remember where you left them today."
Charlie snuggled beside her.
"What did you do first?" asked Mother.
"I had breakfast," said Charlie.
"Did you have your shoes on then?"
"No," said Charlie. His bare feet had crunched some cereal on the floor and he had nearly slipped on a puddle of water from his rinsed bowl.
"You went to play in the back yard next. Surely you put your shoes on for that."
The grass had been cold and dewy-wet. The rungs of the ladder to the slide had been sharp against his bare feet. "No," said Charlie.
"I asked you to put them on when we went to the playground. Didn't you?"
Charlie looked sheepish. "No I didn't," he said remembering the mud that had squished through his toes and the warm, soft sand that had stuck to his feet. He had stubbed his toe and found treasure -- a red shovel.
"I know you didn't have them on when we went out for lunch..."
"And we had to eat at the tables outside because of me," interrupted Charlie. The red bricks on the restaurant patio had been burning hot.
"But didn't you put them on before you went over to Keith's to play?"
"No," Charlie replied. Sharp stones had poked his feet on the sidewalk to and from Keith's house.
Mother sighed. "And now you're on your trike without your shoes. We've been all through the day and you can't remember where you left them."
"Wait," said Charlie. "I have an idea."
He climbed the woolly stairs to his bedroom, opened his closet and smiled. For there on the shoe shelf, smiling back at him, were his shoes. Today they hadn't been lost at all.
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