Florida is flip-flop country except for in the garden where you need protective foot gear. Even a glancing blow from an errant shovel hurts! So I keep a pair of boy’s deck shoes, size 5, on the back steps. For the past 3 weeks, however, I have come out to find one shoe out on the lawn. Just one shoe, 12 feet out near the central flowerbed.
This is starting to annoy me. It’s Florida’s dry season, I have to water regularly, but the grass is still wet and sticky and buzzing with insects in the early morning. I don’t want to have to chase after my shoes. Besides which who would want just one shoe?
It’s not the squirrels. Yes, I leave seed for them, but the feeder is near the fence and my shoe is nearly as big as they are. Size 7 in women’s, 36 European. I just buy boys’ shoes because they’re wide. A squirrel might set up housekeeping in one, but they couldn’t carry it off.
It’s not raccoons. They’ll come up to the door and knock, they’re that cheeky. You don’t even leave out water for pets when you have raccoons because they commandeer it for their washing. Nope, raccoons wouldn’t condescend to adopt a single shoe.
It’s not possums. They keep to themselves. You may see one traveling along the back fence late at night, but for the most part, they hide in the abandoned house next door. Besides which, I never see any teethmarks or possum drool on the shoe.
I did briefly consider the neighborhood cats. It has been 3 weeks since mine were confined due to the mites, but what would a cat want with one shoe? It makes no sense, but the alternative, no matter how plausible, is equally disturbing. Could it be leprechauns?
They do have that affinity for shoes, but what would be the point? The book comes out in a month and I didn’t expose any secrets that weren’t discernible in the mythology with study. And if they’re trying to undermine my credibility, hello, I’m writing about leprechauns! This game, if it is one, is beyond me, but if anyone touches my nice flip-flops, it’s going to be war!