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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Pencil Warden

Buchler_ShortStories-Cambs47c93aa084Yes, it’s true, a little-known side of moi:  I am a pencil warden, running a pencil prison where wayward pencils reside.  It’s not just that they’ve gone astray in life, it’s that they are worn down to a stub, and my second son insists on using them.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe in wastefulness, as in when an item is half worn-down, or half-used, you throw the whole thing out.  But there are limits.

Pasha has a love affair with long-gone things, from holey clothes or socks, to chewing on chicken bones that have not a scrap of meat on them, to stubby pencils.

“Hand it over,” I motion when he pulls out yet another stubby writing tool from his stable of seemingly-endless pencilsupply.  “Let it go-o-o-o….”

“MA-ma,” he moans.

“Let it go,” I lift my hands in relief and pry open my paws, as though a great weight has been lifted from me and letting him know that he can have new pencils in return… which he will promptly sharpen down to oblivion.

Reluctantly, with a lot of dramatic exasperation, the 16-year-old presents the prisoner.  We tell him that we’re saving them for a pencil museum, and figure we should have enough by the time he turns 21.  I believe it may be the only pencil museum in the world, not that I’ve googled it or anything.  I wonder if the interest would be there for the public to flood the place.

The-PencilA bit quirky.  It may prove beneficial for schools with low fieldtrip budgets.  Or we could have a traveling exhibit of sorts.  Might give the guy a meaningful job, since not a lot of schooling is happening with all of this pencil-sharpening going on.  (And yes, we’ve tried pens, but he’s a perfectionist who needs to erase numerous times to create a paper that’s a work of art, never mind if he knows the material or not, it looks nice.)

These stubs have a way of multiplying.  I have a couple in a cup by the side of my bed.  I confiscated another one when we were out and about somewhere, and it’s now marking up the inside of my long wool coat’s pocket.  Some more are in a ziplock in my carryon suitcase.  We’re going to have to find a central holding zone and ensure that these strong-willed stubs make their way there.

This hoarding behavior comes from the dyetsky dom (orphanage) and if I turned my back, he would continue towindchime revel in his holey socks, and chomped-clean chicken bones that he thinks still have a 5-minute gnaw left on them, and his sharpened-down pencil points.

“But Mama, they are my friends,” he argues, cradling the stubs.

We smile with understanding as the stubs come our way and he becomes used to normal life.  Are you a warden in your family?




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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    You know what would be really kind of a neat gift for him…..
    seriously save those pencil stubs and when you have enough, mount them one next to the other and fill in a shadow box. Save this for a time when he knows you did this because it says this is our Pasha and then give it to him. It would be unique, fun and very individual as well as handsome if done right.

  2. avatar Winnie says:

    That is a neat idea!

    I’m a pencil warden for another reason. My kid gives them away. Yes constantly loaning pencils to kids who are forever without. I suppose it’s a sign of generosity, however roughly 60 pencils since September is a little excessive. We’ve had the talk about refusing nicely and/or asking for the pencil back at the end of the day, so far the last box of ten pencils (I wrote his name on each one in sharpie) seems to have lasted at least a month now.

    • avatar admin says:

      Yay, they’re lasting, Winnie! Pasha gives his away, or lets his youngest sister borrow them. She refuses to carry a pencil case with her when she knows she can bum one from him-! Maybe she gives them back when they’re stubs, lol.

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