Monday, 11 January 2010

Pieces of String too Short to Save

An old woman had died. Her son was given the unenviable task of executor of her estate. Unfortunately for him, his mother was an old-school packrat, saving anything and everything that might have use in the far-off future. Stacks of yellowed newspaper towered throughout the house, cardboard boxes that had been eaten by silverfish lay in dusty piles against every wall. The closets burst with clothing, more boxes, mouldering books, and receipts from fifty years ago. It seemed an insurmountable task, but the son persevered.

While cleaning out the kitchen pantry full of expired food and home remedies, the son came upon a shoebox with a yellowed strip of masking tape stuck on the lid. In spidery handwriting, he read, Pieces of String too Short to Save. And yes, the box was full of pieces of string, some of them less than an inch long.