Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)
TITLE: I Am So Confused!
By Deborah Engle
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“Maybe Shelley would like this...she’s a major puzzle addict.” The picture of five chubby bluebirds huddled together on a tree branch was rather charming. “No, Shelley isn’t really into birds and besides, this is only 5oo pieces. It probably wouldn’t be up to her standards. I’ll just put it away in the closet.”
The mail-order company eventually cancelled my back-order and I never did receive the puzzles I wanted, but after a couple of months I decided to give that jigsaw puzzle a try. Slitting the cellophane cover open, I dumped the pieces onto the coffee table. For several minutes I turned the dusty bits of cardboard over, separating out the border pieces and searching for corners. Then I set the box cover up in a convenient place where I could see the picture and got started.
After several minutes I had gotten bits and pieces of the border together, but I couldn’t figure out where they were supposed to fit. “Maybe the picture is offset just a little,” I mused. “That would change the border some.” Another hour passed and I still hadn’t made much progress. “It is a puzzle, after all,” I told myself, “It’s supposed to be hard... but I wonder why there is so little blue.”
“These colors don’t match the box very well. I’ve got magenta here, and some lovely dark green, but the picture on the box doesn’t have either one. And what are all these black pieces supposed to be? If the colors are off, how am I supposed to even get started?” I complained. Remembering the challenging 3-D puzzle of the Capitol Building I had done several years ago, I decided I could surely put this little thing together. “ I’m just off to a slow start. After all, it’s been a few years since I did a puzzle,” I thought. “It’ll come back.”
I worked for a while longer, fitting a piece together now and then, but not really getting anywhere. “Boy, Shelley does a puzzle this size in one evening. It’s beginning to look like I’m not even going to get the border together tonight,” I grumbled. That thought was a challenge to my pride and I doggedly continued. “Puzzles always appear to be missing some pieces or have some kind of problem, but in the end it all works out. I’m not giving up!”
Fingering a cluster of yellow pieces that seemed to have no place in the puzzle, my mind began to protest. “I really can’t imagine where these are supposed to go. I’m just not getting this. I’ve had a few birthdays since my puzzle building days. Could I possibly be too old to do a jigsaw puzzle?”
“No, I’m not that old,” I declared. “I’ve done bigger and more complicated puzzles. This one’s not about to conquer me!”
I tossed the box aside since it hadn’t been any help and kept plugging away. That was the turning point, for now I began to see some progress. After many hours I finally had enough of that puzzle together to confirm what I had begun to suspect. My darling little bluebirds actually turned out to be cheese and a bottle of wine! I didn’t know whether to be upset or amused.
“Is this supposed to be a joke? They sent me a puzzle in the wrong box? No wonder they were giving it away!” I fumed. In reality, though, I was laughing with relief. At least I knew there was a reason for my unforeseen struggle.
Not too long after that I received a new catalog from The Puzzle Company. I still haven’t figured out why they continue to offer those wonderful puzzles they don’t deliver, but they are still in the catalog, so if you’re looking for a challenge...
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