A few weeks ago, Nathan, 15, came in our office about 9 o’clock one night, really upset. He’d lost his pocketknife, and not just any pocketknife — the pocketknife Mr. Jerry gave him. Jerry was our neighbor and Nathan’s tractor buddy, an adopted grandpa who passed away three years ago. Losing this pocketknife was a big deal.
We talked through where he’d been, when he’d used it, where it might have gone. After remote school that day, they’d worked calves, preg-checked cows, washed a tractor and done evening cattle chores. There were a lotta possibilities there.
He took the Gator back up the road and looked around the chute and cattle pens, went to the shop and checked inside the tractor and around the tractor, then checked the cattle barn where he’d done chores. Nothing. He came back in the house, almost in tears. Frustration. No knife.
Ever the optimist, I told him it would probably turn up. We’d look in the daylight! These things have a way of turning up, right? Hopefully? I suggested he head to bed, get some sleep, and we’d look again in the morning, in the light of day.
But he didn’t make it that far. He was in his room when his sister Jenna walked in and asked about the knife. “Is it the silver Winchester with the wood handle?”
“Huh,” she said, gesturing toward the window. “Yeah, it’s laying there on your trumpet case.”
Friends, we laughed hard. So much looking. And there it was. So much relief.
Jenna laughed, too, and shrugged. “You found my tooth; I found your knife.”
True story. After all, it was Nathan who doggedly searched the livestock trailer this summer when Jenna knocked out two teeth at a cattle show — and found them.
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