Where The Lost Things Go (a short story)

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime | Source
teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Source
The Tool Shed
The Tool Shed | Source
Dad's Stash
Dad's Stash | Source

Where the Lost Things Go.

by John Hansen © 2014


"Mum, have you seen my Optimus Prime transformer?" Korey asked, "It's been missing for weeks."

"No Korey I haven't. Have you checked your toy box and under your bed?" his mother replied.

"'Course I have. It's not there! someone's pinched it, I bet!" he snapped sounding exasperated.

"There you go again, blaming other people." She was trying to remain calm,"I'm sure no-one has stolen it. You've probably just misplaced it."

"I haven't - it was in the tree house and now it's gone, just vanished like all my other stuff. My teenage mutant ninja turtles are all gone, my super-soaker, half my hot wheels cars, my...."

"Hush now!" scolded his mother, cutting him off, "You have to learn to take responsibility for your own things. Now go and have a proper look. You won't find anything if you just stand here whining at me."

"But Mum...," Korey started to argue, but stopped himself. He knew it was a waste of time, she just didn't seem to care. She always said the same thing, "Go and look for it." Well he had already looked, and looked, and looked, and there wasn't anywhere else left. He'd turned the whole house upside down, combed the entire yard, and even secretly looked in dad's tool room (he wasn't allowed in there. no-one but Dad was) and come up with nothing. Well, he did find a box of magazines that Dad must have been hiding from Mum....they had ladies with no clothes on in them...um....and he did find a long lost baseball, behind a barbecue and under a pile of wood. Fat good it was though, the cover was ripped and the stuffing was spilling out.

Source
Illawarra Flame Tree
Illawarra Flame Tree | Source
Source

In a huff Korey walked outside and sauntered towards the tree house, kicking aside anything in his way. He picked up the useless baseball off the ground in front of him in despair, and without aiming, tossed it with all the force his nine year old body could muster. The ball flew through the window of the tree house and smacked into the opposite wall. "THUMP!"

Now "the tree house" wasn't your usual tree house because it wasn't actually built up in a tree. Korey's dad had built it for his son's 6th birthday, at the base of a large poinciana tree which displayed whirls of beautiful red flowers at certain times of the year. The tree house was quite large with a ladder up to through the roof, and was enclosed by logs giving it a fort like appearance. When you climbed onto the roof you were actually in the tree and could hang from the branches or crawl along them. It was Korey's favourite place in all the world.

Korey stooped to enter. Originally it had provided sufficient head height for a six year old, but three years later Korey had just begun to outgrow it. As his head poked through the doorway he was startled by a loud hissing noise.

"Shit!" he exclaimed with a start, pleased neither of his parents were close by. "Molly, you scared me. Stupid cat." Korey's pet Manx "Molly" spent most of the day sleeping in the tree house, but here she was back arched, fur standing on end, hissing and spitting.

"Aw, sorry Molly," coaxed Korey reaching to pet her, "Did I hit you with the baseball?" But she just continued to hiss, and suddenly darted out the doorway. "Silly cat," he whispered as he searched for the baseball. But there was no baseball. it had vanished into thin air. "Impossible!" he thought, having seen it fly through the window and heard it hit the wall hard. But the tree house was empty.

Korey climbed up the ladder to the roof and looked around...nothing. Then, suddenly, he thought he saw something move high up in the tree. It was probably just a bird, but it had seemed bigger. He stared up between the branches, beyond the clusters of red flowers, and into the leaves. There it was again! A quick movement about five meters above and to his left. this time Korey got a clear look at what was in the tree.

The creature sat motionless on the upper branch, staring down at Korey with it's round bead-like eyes. He'd never seen anything quite like it before. It looked kind of like a cat without ears and a bit like a possum, but it was an orange colour with brown and white spots. Possums were usually a brownish grey. Korey had seen a few of them. There used to be one living in the roof of the house a couple of years ago before Dad got up in the ceiling and chased it out with a broom. It was hard to see among the brown branches and the red and orange flowers of the flame tree, and Korey wondered how long the thing had lived here without being noticed.

It finally began to move, and as it walked slowly along the branch Korey could see that it was carrying something in it's long tail...the small round shape of the missing baseball. Well, it could keep the baseball for all he cared, but then he thought, "If it took the baseball, well maybe.....," suddenly he heard his mother's voice calling from the kitchen, "Korey, come on up. Dinner is ready."

Dealing with the creature could wait 'til tomorrow, he was starving.

As the family sat around the dinner table, Korey asked unexpectedly, "Dad, what's orange with brown and white spots and lives in trees?'

"You kids are coming up with new riddles at school all the time," his father said smiling. "Let me think...um...is it a leopard maybe?"

"No Dad, it's not a leopard. It's smaller."

"I give up Korey. What's orange with brown and white spots and lives in trees?"

"I don't know Dad, but there's one in our flame tree out the back."

"Hey, that's not bad. You made that up all by yourself right?"

"No Dad, it's no joke, it's true! I saw it today, it took my baseball."

"Come on now Korey, a joke's a joke," his mother chimed in, "but you're taking it too far. Your baseball of all things."

"But Dad, Mum....," he was cut off sharply.

"Enough of that! just finish your dinner and go have your bath!" his father snapped sternly.

Korey knew it was a waste of time arguing. When his dad said "enough!" that was it. He just wouldn't listen to another thing. Tomorrow he would climb the tree and investigate it himself.

Source
Source

The common spotted cuscus is about the size of a common house cat, weighing between 1.5 to 6 kg, body length from approximately 35 to 65 cm, with a tail 32 to 60 cm long. It has a round head, small hidden ears, thick fur, and a prehensile tail to aid in climbing. It is generally found in rain forests in the Cape York area of northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands.

Early the next morning, still dressed in his pj's, Korey headed out to the tree house. He climbed onto the roof and then up into the tree. It was sturdy, but still a little scary as he had never climbed this high before and some of the branches were too far apart for him to climb easily. Eventually the trunk began to fork high up and Korey could see a kind of hollow that seemed to be filled with bark and twigs. Just as he approached, he was startled as the animal jumped from the hollow and scampered up a branch next to him and stopping out of reach to watch the boy from a distance.

Korey began to remove some of the twigs from the hole and looked inside. He couldn't believe his eyes. He reached in and pulled out his transformer, followed by the missing ninja turtles and a few cars. There was even stuff he'd completely forgotten about like an Action Man figure. The super soaker wasn't there but it was too big to fit anyway. Perhaps he would have to admit to misplacing it himself. The creature had stolen everything he'd ever left in the tree house.

At school later that day, Korey visited the library. He spent all of the lunch break going through books on Australian animals/marsupials and looking on the computer. Finally he came across a photo of something almost identical to the creature in the flame tree. The book said it was a tree-dwelling mammal, a marsupial related to the possum, and found mainly in rain-forest areas in the northern tip of Australia and Papua New Guinea. it was called a "Cuscus".

Well Korey had no idea how a cuscus came to be as far south as Rockhampton, where he lived, but even if no-one believed him he was now 100% sure of what it was. Besides, now he knew something that no-one else did. He'd discovered the answer to the age old mystery, "Where the lost things go."


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Comments 66 comments

Mary McShane profile image

Mary McShane 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hi Jodah,

Can you get Korey to check that spot for my Tiny Tears doll? I lost it and never found it and today it is worth a ton of dough. I had 7 sisters and I'm sure one of them has it and is sitting on a gold mine today. :) My mother always blamed me for losing stuff too. lol

This was a very good story, kept interest until the end and solved the age old mystery, "Where do lost things go?"

Voted up, awesome and shared. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Mary. yes i know the feeling. I often wonder what ever happened to....such and such...that I treasured as a kid, and just seemed to disappear miraculaously over time. I also think my brother or sister may have hidden things away for when they became valuable...or then maybe it was a cuscus all along...lol. We shouldn't judge should we? thanks for being the first to read and your kind comments, vote up and share.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Ahh HA ! so - it was the cuscus all along. He is a cute little fella. Interesting and delightful story, Jodah. This is a wonderful book for children -- well, I enjoyed it, too. Well done on solving the mystery of where all those lost things go.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Phyllis and your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed it. We are all children at heart still aren't we?


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Yes -- forever young and always looking for the lost stuff.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting one here things get lost and sometimes one never knows until much time later.


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I used to think lost things got eaten by a washing machine or ate each other but a cuscus is an even more interesting explanation. Cute story and voted "interesting"!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha thanks Suzanne, I don't know how I came up with a cuscus...but hey, gotta blame it on something....lol. Thanks for the vote.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks DDE. It's always been a mystery to me where things disappear to.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hahaha Thank You! Now I know where all my missing things are going, except we do not have such a tree here where I live, but I better investigate the trees we do have and see what's there! What an interesting creature that I have never heard of. I did not know where you were going with this story, but I love it. Very creative. I was agreeing the whole time about where does all the missing stuff go LOL

Thanks for the delightful read before I head off to the city for work this morning.

Up and more and sharing

Blessings,

Faith Reaper


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Jodah, you are fastly becoming one of my top five hubbers.. creative in everything you do :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This is a terrific short story, John! There's mystery, humor, and education wrapped up in this hub, and I like it. (I've never heard of a cuscus, so I learned a little something today!)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

John this was an awesome story. Thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for the wonderful comment Faith. It was my pleasure to write this tale, quite fun. I thought about making the creature in the tree some sort of elf or fairy type creature, but I thought why not make it real and just use a creature most people may not have heard of. Glad you enjoyed it. Have a good day at work.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

thanks so much Frank. that's a big compliment. I do like to try my hand at a bit of everything and be versatile. Glad you like the story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Flourish, I wasn't sure how this would be received being basically a children's story. Glad it was interesting and educational. etc. Have a good day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Eric...my pleasure. Maybe you can read t to your kids.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

What hoot and such a fun read. I bet you see such interesting things there, and whether this one has visited you or not at least there's that chance huh? An old possum is about all I could come up with! Love your imagination!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Jackie, these are in Australia so there is always the possibility. we do have some interesting creatures. Glad you found it a fun story. Thanks.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

What a delight. I was thinking Gremlins, never thought of, or heard of, a Cuscus.

You're writing is captivating! I have to say your photos were a perfect addition.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Love your imagination, John. Well done! With that kind of information that kid could make a million bucks.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks so much for reading and your kind comment tillsontitan. I was thinking of some fantasy creature like gremlins, elves etc, but decided to make it a real animal that wasn't widely known. Glad it worked. Thanks for the vote up as well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill, much appreciated. He sure could make some cash, with all the stuff that goes missing every day.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

What a fun story. You should be writing children's books. The picture of the cuscus is adorable.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey, thanks for that fine comment always exploring. A couple of my stories seem to be aimed towards the children's market. maybe I do have a calling there. Yes, the cuscus are cute looking creatures aren't they?


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Jodah, I really enjoyed the read, you should write more like this, that Cuscus is so sweet!! You're very good at it. I must say, I did sympathized with Korey's feelings of exasperation, parents; they just don't listen, do they! :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Jo. Yes, the response I'm getting for thiis story is very encouraging. I seem to be able to write quite easily from a kid's point of view. I agree the cuscus is a cute critter, and glad you could feel Korey's frustration. No parents don't listen...lol.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 2 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

I never heard of Cuscus before, John! What a fascinating animal!

I love your story! You should write that story in a children format with illustration. You touch different subjects in this story; first you introduce a strange animal :-) and then you talk about losing toys. Who know... you might start a whole series of books!

Have a nice day!


VVanNess profile image

VVanNess 2 years ago from Prescott Valley

Very cute! This is so creative!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

kind words Joelle, thank you. I do enjoy writing stories for kids so who knows. Good to have another string in my bow so to speak. Glad you liked the theme and the cuscus. Glad to bring one of our rarer species to people's attention. All the best.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading VVanNess and your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this story.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a charming story, Jodah. I'm very happy to have learned where the lost things go!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Alicia, looks like I should have released the secret before now. But at least, now you know...lol.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

What a lovely story! This creature is a charming scape-goat for losing things. Maybe that's where all the socks go! Love the illustrations too. Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Ann, thanks for reading. Things are continually going missing, you are right about the socks. Could just as easily be a cuscus as the culprit as anything else...lol....and they are cute. Appreciate your comment.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Does the bugger have my car keys?

Well done Jodah.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

What a lovely story! When we lived in PNG some people had a cuscus for a pet, but others had them for dinner. Intriguing animals and a creative story. Loved it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and your kind comment Blossom. Oh, they are too cute to eat. I have eaten couscous but not cuscus...lol. Glad you enjoyed it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Wayne. Yeah I think he probably does have your keys...haha. They are one thing that seems to go missing a lot.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

What a great creative story. Never heard of a Cuscus, but we have monkeys that would do the same thing. They steal anything that is shiny.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Nadine. I'm sure we can blame the thievery on different creatures in different parts of the world, in Sth Africa it must be monkeys...lol.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Very well-structured. Interesting introduction to the cuscus. Thank you, Jodah for a beautiful story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

My pleasure MsDora, I am glad you enjoyed this tale and thank you for your kind comment.


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

This was such a great story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

thank you for reading Mylindaelliott, and for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this story.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

finally he found the toys!. very interesting story. he even found the magazines um... hope he didn't look at them lol. lovely story


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks ubanijiioke, glad you enjoyed the story. Haha....maybe he had a little peek.


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Great story! What a tale that boy could tell.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha, thanks klidstone. Yep, he certainly could. Thanks for your kind comment.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jodah, I just love this. When Korey's mom said he should look under the bed, it reminded me of "Dennis the Menace." I save the ones that really make me laugh.

And the magazines remind me of my son. LOL. I have to figure out a way to write about that.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed this little story Shyron. I guess stories like Dennis the Menace help inspire these children's stories, as well as my own childhood experiences. Haha, you should write about your son and the magazines, that could be interesting. If you like this type of story, you may also enjoy My hub "The Blue Gum Gang", meanwhile I'm zipping over to check some more of your hubs.


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

A wonderful and very interesting story and Korey is just amazing ! Animals are sometimes unbelievable. In New Delhi, a monkey frequented a wine & whisky shop to taste a particular brand of whisky. The vendors obliged him daily. The monkey was so addicted that never he missed this routine. He used to travel the distance through boarding a bus scheduled for a specific route and the wine shop was along that way. Never he bit any guy and commuters too were used to this strange animal behavior. Loved reading this very mind-absorbing story. Voted up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Harishprasad, and your generous and interesting comment. Animals can be amazingly intelligent. That monkey must have become a whiskey expert. Imagine catching the bus to the store and only preferring one brand of whiskey.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 2 years ago from Australia

so much fun to be had, this was a good fun story that made me ache for those days of childhood where everything was an adventure, including lost toys

a great read thank you for blowing the dust of this one :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you nighthag. I often reminisce and sometimes get an idea for a story or poem. I am glad this one made you look back fondly on your childhood. I appreciate your kind comment.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 2 years ago

I loved your story. I drifted back to when I was a kid . Instantly I felt forty years younger and I was searching for clues. My answers were your dog, a childhood friend who borrowed a toy and never brought it back, brother or sister who just took it without asking and him hiding it away in a safe place and he forgot he did it. We had some of our parents old jewelry we weren't going to use it but wanted to keep it for memories. We hid it in a safe place just incase someone broke into our house it had no value but sentimental it meant a lot. As the years passed we hid it so good we couldn't even find it. Growing up I use to lose things all the time.I would ask my mom and she said where did you have it last. It wasn't till years later my mother told me my mom and dad would give us toys for Christmas and we were so excited we would play with them for awhile and then get bored with certain ones. She would hide it away. We wouldn't miss it and then on a rainy day or a day that we were aggravating her so much she would say why don't you play this game. We would be so excited it was like Christmas all over again. Then there are those toys that we loved so much we couldn't part with but we out grew. I think my mother secretly gave them to my younger cousins who loved them too. I think I remember seeing them there at their house and saying wow I have one just like that. Little did I know. Now I can blame it on a Cuscus.I can't be mad for long they look so cute. Great ending and keep at it. You have a whole lot of children that would love to read your children's stories and many adults like me who will do anything to go back to those years of being young and having so much fun as a child. Have a great day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow, Dream On. Thanks for sharing such a great and interesting comment. I'm glad my story could transport you back to your own childhood. That is a sign that it truly worked. Did you ever manage to find your parent's jewelry? If not there is a hidden treasure somewhere. They may be antiques by now and worth more...lol. I appreciate your kind praise for the story as well.I hope to write more. If you liked this you may also enjoy "The Blue Gum Gang".


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

I said it before and I'll say it again your imagination and creativity is so amazing it is astounding. This was an awesome read Jodah, you will make a killing as a children's writer. I was on the edge of my seat wondering where the heck this kids toys went. I loved it! I'll have to read this story with my lil precious one (minus the bad word). Voted up! Face book and tweet....all blessings to you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your generous comment once again Dana. So glad you enjoy my children's stories. It is an honour that you want to read it to your little one, and the true test is if children enjoy the stories. I know I often bought books for my kids based on what I liked but it didn't mean they always would as well. Thanks for the vote up, share on Facebook and Twitter.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

What a great and entertainment short story. Your photos make it feel like a real story. I never heard of or seen a cuscus. It's behaviour reminds me of some monkeys that do steal anything shiny. Voted up and shared


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Nadine, thank you for reading and for your kind comment, vote up and share. Yes Cuscus' are found in Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea area only. Similar to a possum.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Nadine, thank you for reading and for your kind comment, vote up and share. Yes Cuscus' are found in Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea area only. Similar to a possum.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 21 months ago from Long Island, NY

You kept me on the edge of my seat throughout this entire story. I just couldn't stop reading until I found out where all the things went. I ended up feeling sad that Korey's dad never gave him the opportunity to prove his point. I guess he just has to keep the secret to himself, but at least he now knows the answer.

There's actually a lot of meaning behind this story and I'm sure you had that intention when you wrote it. One has to wonder how a little boy feels when he can't share his feelings with his parents. This gives us something to think about. Well done indeed!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Glenn, you're right. The main point was the lesson that we should listen to our children and take what they say seriously. Just because they are kids doesn't mean that what they say is not important. Glad the story kept your interest throughout and the ending didn't disappoint. Thanks for reading.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 14 months ago from LOS ANGELES

I remember this piece, and reading it to my little cousin. He was so cute. He just stared at the beautiful pictures as I tried to mimic all the character voices. I love when children are young and their imaginations are still vivid. I will definitely add this one to the new board I'm creating with pintrest. I truly believe you should take all your children's short stories and self publish. It's hard work but rewarding.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this again Dana, and for proposing to add it to your new Pinterest board. I need to think more seriously at publishing my work. Thanks again.

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    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
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    John has many years writing experience including a Writing School course "Writing for Profit." He has written text for children's books etc.



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