A lone sock cowered in the laundry room, in the lint-filled slot between the washer and the dryer. It was a deep, dark canyon, hot and close. Henry was claustrophobic anyway, and this situation was not helping. Plus, he was getting desperate because, well, when was anybody going to look down here anyway?!
Human hands couldn’t reach down that far and his rescue would require that an effort be made because whoever rescued him would have to go get a broom or similar implement to get him out. And he knew from experience that humans were basically lazy and didn’t want to expend much effort on something that wouldn’t give them instant gratification.
Henry was starting to really panic. He had been dropped down here when one of the humans had finished yardwork and taken off her socks outside the door to the house. He had been covered with bits of grass, and wanted to be cleaned, now more than ever, especially since today was laundry day. He could hear the whirring of the washing machine beside him and feel its vibration. Please find me! he pleaded to no one in particular. Suddenly, the door to the room opened as if on cue, and the girl came out to change the laundry load.
“Help!!” he yelled, but it was a silent plea. We know socks can’t talk.
She began to move clothing from the washer into the dryer. As she twisted to move an armload into the dryer (the doors of the washer and dryer were opposite and it was not an easy transition), another sock fell out, and dropped into the canyon!
“Hey!” he said, breathlessly.
“What are you doing?” cried Henry.
“Trying to help you!” said Tristan. “I jumped on purpose!”
“How is this helping?” asked Henry, morosely, thinking, oh great, now there are two of us trapped in this small space.
“Watch!” answered Tristan.
To Henry’s surprise, the girl turned – and then looked right at them! Henry held his breath.
She leaned down, grabbed Tristan and threw him into the dryer. She held Henry in her hand, examining him closely, realized he was dirty, then to his great surprise and relief, threw him into the washer! It was the perfect load, the light-colored clothing load, which he should have been in anyway.
Soon, the door of the washer closed, the hot water began to gush in, and then the soap. Great suds ballooned up, the drum inside the washer began to tumble, and Henry began to feel much better. He was getting clean!
Later, back in the sock drawer, warm, happy, and best of all, clean, he was reunited with his partner, Henrietta, who had missed him dreadfully. Henry told her all about his horrible experience. He told her how he had missed her, how miserable he had been, how dirty he had felt, and how he thought he would never get out. And he told her how Tristan had heroically jumped so that both socks might be noticed, and both might get out, and how it turned out that Tristan had been right.
Still later, when all the laundry had been done, Tristan returned to a hero’s welcome, and all the socks in the sock drawer were happy once again.