Morning. Ugly morning. The socks were laying quietly in the sock drawer, some were still asleep. Then, the drawer opened, and suddenly, all the socks were wide awake. Who would the kid choose today?
Something was up. The socks could feel it. There was a tension, a feeling of subtle electricity, in the air that wasn’t usually present. It was going to be a nervous day, they could tell. And they knew what that meant – smelly feet!
The kid grabbed Fred and Barney. Everyone else sighed in relief. They were two tough guys and wouldn’t mind getting dirty. They were whisked into the air by the hand of the young human, pulled onto feet, and were off to school.
Fred and Barney, on the feet of the kid, were grateful for the mesh covering the kid’s athletic shoes. They were going to be able to breathe a whole lot better than if they were in enclosed leather shoes.
At school, the socks could hear the kids talking as they walked down the hall.
“So, are you ready for the test?” one asked.
“Yeah, I guess so, “ answered ‘their’ kid.
“I totally studied last night,” said the first kid.
“My dad says these tests are stupid,” said the socks’ kid, whose name was Jack. “He says they are biased, whatever that means, and that the tests aren’t good for anyone except politicians.”
“Oh,” said the other kid. “Well, good luck anyway. My mom and dad said to do my best so that’s what I’m gonna do.”
“Okay,” said Jack, shrugging. Fred and Barney thought he was taking the test more seriously than he let on, though. Secretly, they wanted Jack to do well no matter what anyone thought of the tests.
After the flurry at the beginning of the test session, the whole school settled down. It was absolutely silent for at least an hour. Both Fred and Barney, each doing his job inside a shoe, was grateful for the calm. They knew from experience that it wouldn’t last.
Another hour passed, and then the test session was over.
“Yay!” yelled the kids. And they went out to recess.
It was starting to get hot outside as summer was approaching. The socks slid and slithered inside the shoes. Now they were working! It was hot and close inside the shoes, but some air was getting through the vents that the mesh made. The socks panted; Jack ran.
The bell rang at last. Jack slowed down, lined up with the other kids, and walked into the cool air of the school. He sat down at this desk, directions were given for the afternoon test section, and silence reigned in the classroom once again.
Fred and Barney cooled down. They were sweaty, but at least the air was moving inside the shoes. At least they wouldn’t stink too bad!
The afternoon wore on. Wow, thought Barney, this is sure a long test! I can’t believe they expect 11-year-olds to sit there and concentrate for so long!
Finally, the test was finished and collected, the bell rang, and the kids were freed from the constraints of the school day.
“So, how did you do?” asked Jack.
“Not great,” mumbled his neighbor, Don. “I had to go sit in the office until the test was over. I didn’t do it.”
“Why don’t you just do the work?” asked Jack, knowing how Don sat there in class and most of the time didn’t do much of anything.
“I dunno,” Don shrugged. He had no motivation. No one made him do anything at home, so why should he do anything at school?
Back at home, Jack played outside for a little while (his mom made him), then settled down to play video games. Soon it was dinnertime, then after watching one of the so-called reality shows (dumb, mostly not “reality” at all), it was bedtime. Before Jack went to bed, though, he always took a shower. Off came the socks!
“Whew!” exclaimed Fred as he landed in the hamper.
“Yeah,” said Barney. “It’s been a long day.”
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Fred. “At least tomorrow is wash day.”
“That’s lucky. I stink!” Barney complained.
So, the household settled into night mode, and in the sock drawer everyone nestled together and closed their eyes, wondering who would go out tomorrow.
Except one little sock. He was partner-less at the moment, and he knew it wouldn’t be him!