19 October 2004

The magic socks

On Pongo Snodbury's sixteenth birthday, a surprise parcel arrived at the door. There was a small note attached:

Dear Pongo,
I had such a delight making these. I hope you love wearing them equally as much!

With love,
Granny Snodbury

PS. They should last for a very long time indeed.

Pongo hastily unwrapped the parcel and found a wonderfully bright pair of fluffy socks. They had yellow and green stripes, and a shiny silver thread running from top to toe.

He couldn't wait to put them on, and found they were the warmest socks ever. They were easily the most comfortable he'd ever had the pleasure to own, although they were clearly 'round the house' socks, and not ones to be seen in public with. Come that evening however, there was a slight problem – he couldn't take them off.

He picked, he pulled, he grabbed, he dragged, he teased, he freezed – he did everything he could to those socks on his feet, but to no avail. They just wouldn't budge.

He asked his Gran why he couldn't take them off, and she chuckled. "Oh," she said, "I thought the man at the bazaar meant anything made with the silver thread would last forever, not would be worn forever!"

So Pongo was lumbered with green and yellow striped socks for all his days. Throughout college he was ridiculed for their colour. Throughout his working life he was ridiculed for his extremely whiffy feet. Even into old age, nobody would go near him because the smell was so potent.

Poor Pongo lived a sad life because of his magical socks. They commanded his dress sense, dominated his life, and ultimately they killed him. For when he was sixty he decided once and for all he would rid himself of them.

He tied his socks to a stout rope, which in turn was tied to a branch of a tree. And then, from the highest reaches of the tree, he jumped. But the socks were too strong, and brought the tree with down them. When Pongo's body was found, all anyone one could see was his yellow and green socks sticking out from the greenery.

And, of course, everyone thought Pongo loved his socks – after all, he was always wearing them – so they buried him with them. Although they couldn't have removed them if they'd tried.

So Pongo and his magic socks were partners for all eternity.