“Julie! Julie! Where is the sugar bowl?” Alice Fortner called, leaving the kitchen to search for her daughter.
“It’s right where it always is, Mother,” Julie answered. “Middle cupboard, first shelf.”
“It is not. Where are you?”
“In the kitchen now. Where are you?”
Alice re-entered the kitchen to find her daughter pointing to an open cabinet, on the shelf of which sat a shining porcelain bowl.
“Really, Mother,” Julie sighed in exasperation, “just what is the matter with you lately? On Monday you said all the silverware was missing from the drawer. Then, on Tuesday, someone stole your favorite coffee mug; and yesterday your garden tools disappeared. Yet every time Jack and I looked, all those things were right where they belonged. You know, I think you’re getting senile.”
“I am not!” Alice snapped. “Those things were not in their proper place. Someone moved them so I couldn’t find them and then replaced them later. Somebody is playing a cruel joke on me.”
“Oh, Mother, don’t be ridiculous. Who would do such a thing?”
“I don’t know. Probably some prowler.”
“Prowler? Why would a prowler hide a coffee mug and garden tools and then replace them?”
“Who knows?” Alice shrugged. “People do crazy things these days. Maybe it’s some sinister plot like in the movies.”
“Mother, admit it. It’s your age catching up to you. You are seventy-six years old, you know.”
“Seventy-six or thirty-six, my age has nothing to so with it. I’m perfectly all right. I tell you someone is playing a prank on me, and I don’t think it’s funny.”
Julie threw up her hands in frustration.
“You don’t believe me?” Alice clamped her hands on her hips. “Well, come outside and look. Someone’s trampled through my flower beds last night. I got up early this morning to water my geraniums, and Ifound footprints stamped all over the place. We have prowlers, I tell you.”
Alice Fortner grabbed her daughter’s wrist and led her out the back door and into the warm morning sun. Lugging her offspring behind her, Alice marched determinedly to her favorite spot: her flower garden.
“There!” Alice announced pointing, head tossed back dramatically.
“Where?” Julie asked.
The flower bed lay before the two ladies, immaculately weeded, painstakingly arranged and perfectly smooth.
A look of puzzlement flashed across Alice’s face.
“Am I getting senile?” she mumbled barely audibly.