The pink glove lay on the ground, almost covered by a sheet of snow. But I could see the fingertips peek out just so. I bent over double and pinched one end of the glove between my fingers, holding it up in the light of dawn.
No one in my house owned pink gloves. There must have been some stranger, walking by in the dark, who had dropped this glove and left it here. Where else could it have come from? Maybe a bird picked it up from somewhere and let it fall into my garden. Either way, I thought nothing of it.
If the owner needed to find it, they would. I folded the glove and placed it on the squat square top of my garden fence.
The next day I came out to check on the plants, and the pink glove was right back where it was before. It was startling. Was someone playing a prank? Was my eyesight failing me? My memory? No, for this wasn't a second glove, because the fence was now distinctly glove-less.
I decided to leave it there and see what would happen tomorrow.
In the evenings, my daughter sat in the living room to paint. She liked to paint nature scenes. Autumn leaves on apple trees, waterfalls that shivered with white froth, large snowy lakes; all these and more decorated our otherwise empty walls. That day I came down from the loft to see she was painting a scene of the garden: including the glove.
"That yours, Mama?" she didn't look at me as she spoke.
"No," I said.
"That's odd." And she washed her paintbrush in the cup by her side.
Dawn. The night before we had heavy snowfall. I was in my sweater, groping around in the dark closet for a shovel, when suddenly I heard a noise. I thought about the mysterious glove-bearer.
I walked out. The living room window was frosted over, but I could see a shadow loping over to the middle of the garden. It looked human, thankfully. And awfully familiar . . .
"John?" I poked my head through the door.
My husband looked up from where he was picking up the pink glove. His arms were carrying a basket load of the things, as though he'd meant to sell them at a fair. "Oh, hi honey!"
"What are you doing with all these gloves?" I asked, putting my hands on my hips. If I'd known it was only John, imagine how much worry it would've saved me!
"Gloves? What gloves?" John said. I looked more closely at his cargo and realised they were pink inflatable flamingos.
"These are just some extra stock from work. Flamingos not popular with clowns nowadays, ya'know? It's elephant season!"
Maybe I had more than my eyesight to worry about . . .