Among Sheila's published stories, this one remains a favourite with readers...|
In Search of Teal
I hesitate to tell this story. At best it makes me look absent-minded. If you don't know me, you will think me careless and callous. All right, I plead guilty to the charge of absent-minded. And I admit I could have been more sensitive following the incident at the dock. It's just that my mind had been so focused all day on the colour teal.
You see, we had this piano bench in very shabby condition, and I hoped to find fabric in a particular blue-green shade to make a padded cover for it. Always the artist, Carl was interested in what colour exactly I was looking for.
"It's called teal," I told him, and I looked around the room for something to illustrate the shade in question. From room to room we went, but nothing in the house, it seemed. was teal.
The day went on, and every once in awhile Carl asked, "Is it like this envelope?"
"No, a bit more green than that."
Or "Is the colour on this plate teal?"
In the afternoon we took the canoe (royal blue in case you are wondering) for a rare excursion. Toward the marshy end of the lake we saw a hawk, but not another living being. The cottagers had mostly gone back home and the quiet of late August settled in.
We pulled into our little bay and Carl sat at the stern, holding the edge of the dock while I climbed out. Then it was my turn to hold the canoe against the rickety boards so Carl could get out.
I don't know why I let go of the canoe. Did I see another hawk in the sky? Was I fumbling to untie my life jacket? Was I thinking about going up to the house to get supper started? I don't know.
But suddenly, there stood Carl with one foot on the dock and one foot in the canoe, and the canoe was leaving the dock . . .rather quickly. Carl's choices were few. Being divided straight up the middle was not one of them. Into the lake he went.
And as he rose out of the water, his formerly grey-blue sweatshirt dripping and darkened to a new colour, I pointed at it and cried out, "That's teal!"
© 2003 Sheila Balls
Somebody Move the Cat! will be released in October 2003