Monday, 09 May 2016 16:20

Short story: Snig

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in Fiction
309

Snig was always losing things. One day he lost his hat. The next day he lost his umbrella. When he put things down, he forgot where he had put them. When he picked things up, he forgot to put them down. He was very forgetful. Sometimes Snig thought he had lost his memory. But where had he put it? He couldn’t remember. Poor little Snig.

It wasn’t much fun being Snig. He wanted to have fun, but the other silly creatures kept all the fun to themselves. Some people have all the fun. And they wouldn’t share it with Snig. When Snig complained, they said he was spoiling everyone else’s fun. They said he had lost his sense of humour.

Perhaps they were right. Snig used to have a sense of humour. But he didn’t know where he had put it. He looked under the bed. He looked in the cupboard. He looked in his pockets. But he just couldn’t find it anywhere. It wasn’t funny. Poor little Snig.

He tried to be patient. But his patience was wearing thin, especially when the other silly creatures called him names. Snig didn’t know what to say.
‘Lost your tongue! Lost your tongue!’ they shouted. ‘Loser! Loser!’
Snig’s patience finally snapped. Ow! That hurt!

Snig ran away into the forest and bumped into a tree. Ow! That hurt too.
He tripped over a root. Ow! So did that.
He sat down on some nettles. Ow! And that.
Poor little Snig had hurt his feelings.

And now he had lost his patience. Snig looked everywhere in the forest for it. He looked high and low, but he couldn’t find it. He looked down and out. But he still couldn’t find it. Snig looked up at the silvery stars and the cold and lonely moon and closed his eyes. He felt sad that he had lost his patience. It was even worse than losing his sense of humour. But where had he put it? Snig walked deeper into the forest to find his patience.

‘Are you looking for trouble?’ asked the grizzly bears.
‘Certainly not,’ said Snig. He didn’t want any trouble.

‘Are you looking for an argument?’ asked the prickly bushes.
‘Certainly not,’ said Snig. He didn’t want an argument.

‘Are you looking for a fight?’ asked the wild flowers.
‘Certainly not,’ said Snig. He didn’t want a fight.

By now it was cold and dark. Poor little Snig was all alone in the middle of the forest. He didn’t know which way to go. It wasn’t fair. Why was he always losing things? First he lost his hat and his umbrella. Then he lost his sense of humour. He had lost his tongue. He had lost his patience. And now he had lost his way. The other silly creatures were right after all. Snig was just a loser.

Snig continued walking into the forest. After a while he met a creature who looked very hot and bothered. ‘Have you seen my patience?’ asked Snig.
‘I’d like to help you,’ said the hot and sweaty creature, ‘but I’ve lost my cool, and I need to find it.’ He started sweating again and ran off.

Snig continued walking into the forest. After a while he met a creature who kept falling over. ‘Have you seen my patience?’ asked Snig.
‘I’d like to help you,’ said the clumsy creature, ‘but I’ve lost my nerve, and I need to find it.’ He fell over again and ran off.

Snig continued walking into the forest. After a while he met a very thin creature. ‘Have you seen my patience?’ asked Snig.
‘I’d like to help you,’ said the very thin creature, ‘but I’ve lost my appetite, and I need to find it.’ He rubbed his thin ribs and ran off.

Snig sat down under a tree and tried to sleep. It was cold. Brrr! Just then it started raining. Snig wished he had brought his hat and his umbrella. But then he remembered he had lost them. Poor little Snig.

When Snig thought about his hat, he felt a hot tear roll down his face. When he thought about his umbrella, another tear rolled down his face. He thought about his sense of humour and his patience. And he cried and he cried and he cried.

Snig was still crying when he arrived home. The other silly creatures were running around, having all the fun, as usual. When they saw Snig they stopped and pointed at him.
‘Loser! Loser!’ they shouted. Snig tried to ignore them.
‘Loser! Loser!’ they shouted, more loudly. Snig pretended he couldn’t hear them
‘Loser! Loser!’ they shouted louder and louder.
This was too much for Snig. He looked up at the silvery stars and the cold and lonely moon, closed his eyes and began to frown.

‘He’s lost his manners,’ said one of the other silly creatures.
The frown turned into a moan.
‘He’s lost his marbles,’ said another.
The moan turned into a groan.
‘He’s lost the plot,’ said another.
Then the frown turned into a growl. And the growl turned into a great big ROAR!

‘I’ve NOT lost my manners!’ roared Snig. ‘I’ve NOT lost my marbles. And I’ve NOT lost the plot! But I have lost something else. Look – I’ve lost my temper!’ And he roared and he roared and he roared so loudly that all the other silly creatures lost their balance and fell over on their bottoms with a bump. Ow! That hurt!

Snig smiled. The smile turned into a grin. The grin turned into a giggle. And the giggle turned into a great big barrel of laughs. HO! HO! HO!

‘Look!’ laughed Snig, ‘I’ve found my sense of humour!’ And he laughed and laughed at the other silly creatures. He laughed so much that he lost his balance and fell over on his bottom. Ow! That hurt!

The other silly creatures began to smile. The smile turned into a grin. The grin turned into a giggle. And the giggle turned into another great big barrel of laughs. HA! HA! HA! Snig wasn’t a loser after all. He was just like them.

Snig was still laughing when he felt something inside his coat. He put his hand in his pocket. ‘Look!’ he laughed, ‘I’ve found my hat and umbrella! They were here all the time!’

And so Snig stood to his feet, put on his hat, picked up his umbrella and started to hop. And the hop turned into a skip. And the skip turned into a jump. And the jump turned into a dance.

When the other silly creatures saw this they stood to their feet and followed Snig. And soon they were all lost in the dance as they hopped and skipped and jumped together beneath the silvery stars and the cold and lonely moon.
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Andy Croft

Andy Croft has written and edited over 80 books, including poetry, biography, teenage non-fiction and novels for children. He writes a regular poetry column for the Morning Star, curates the T-junction international poetry festival on Teesside and runs Smokestack Books. He lives in North Yorkshire.