The Sock Problem

The Sock Problem

By Karena Christen, 12, lives in Riga, Latvia.

Most people lose socks, but not in my family. No, we find socks! First, we’d find one sock lying here or there throughout the house. They never seemed to match any of our other socks, which were mostly plain white cotton. Under my pillow, I found a pink sock with purple triangles. My youngest sister, Laurie, found a yellow sock with an orange cat on it in her closet. Every couple of days, someone would find an odd sock in their bed, their drawers, or on their chair. But one night, the socks seemed to get bolder. Mother had made borsch, and when she ladled a portion of beet soup for me, a blue sock with white sailboats stained pink flopped into my bowl. The next day at school, I dug into my bag to grab my permission slip and pulled out a brown sock with green horses on it. Everyone laughed. When I got home, the floor was littered with bright socks, none of which looked familiar.

At dinner that night, my family agreed we had to do something about this sock problem. People weren’t able to come over to our house because we were afraid they’d walk in the front door and see all our socks in high piles around the house. So the next day, we started leaving the house with bags of socks. We’d go around town leaving a sock here or there, hoping someone would take them. Soon, we realized no one wanted the socks. But the house was getting fuller and fuller, and the socks seemed to follow us. When I got off a tram, I had to grab the handful of socks that had appeared on the seat next to me.

Eventually, my parents told us we’d just have to move. The house was making the socks appear, they decided. So we bought a house on the other side of town. We were all excited because we were sick of the socks, and because our new house was so cool. It was a lot bigger than our old one, and it even had a hot tub!

One night, I was sitting in the hot tub, which was my favorite place in the whole house. Suddenly, I felt a tapping on my leg. I looked down and realized it was a sock being knocked against me by the jets. Right away, I got out of the water, grabbed the sock, stormed upstairs to my parents’ room, and held out the blue sock with purple donuts. My parents were furious. We were supposed to be free from our curse. We called a family meeting. Everyone gathered around the kitchen table. I picked up my glass of water and was about to take a sip when I saw a sock floating in it. It was yellow, with black smiley faces. I felt like that sock was laughing at me.

“What can we do about this?” Father asked, holding up a sock that he had slipped on going down the stairs.

“We could just throw them away,” I offered.

“That won’t solve the problem,” my older brother, Jeff, said.

“What if we sold them?” Laurie asked. We all looked at her. Why had we not thought of that?

“I could build a website,” said Marzie, my middle sister.

“We could pair them up so people who like weird socks will buy them,” Jeff said.

“We’ll make a bunch of money!” shouted Laurie. That night, Marzie started working on the website. Jeff, my parents and I rounded up all the socks we could find while Laurie shouted directions at everyone. Soon, we were up and running, the most successful sock-dealer on the Internet. And, we never had to worry about finding socks again.

—Karena Christen, 12, lives in Riga, Latvia. She enjoys reading, math, and pastries. She has lost many socks in her days, much to her distress.