Seth and the Half-Zhoot

by Brian Wittenbrook

Seth woke up one morning at half-past the hour.
He got out of bed, brushed his teeth, and took a shower.
He put on pants, a shirt, a baseball cap that was gray,
(his normal clothes for a normal day).
He looked for his favorite pair of socks (which were red)
But there was only one red sock and a note.
                                                                               “Zhoot,” it said.

Seth turned over the drawer and looked through the pile.
He searched the closet and under the bed a while.
He looked in the pockets of his best Sunday suite,
But there was only one red sock and this word:  Zhoot

“Well this is very odd,” said Seth, “how can this be?
Single red socks don’t run away. They don’t flee.
And what is this Zhoot that left the note in the drawer?
It must be this Zhoot. This never happened before.”

Seth waited for answers.
                                              He waited a minute.
                                                                                    He waited two.
When no answers came, he put on one red sock and one greenish-blue.

The rest of the day would be normal – that was Seth’s guess.
But when he went to the kitchen and he found a mess.

On the table was food.
             There was part of a ham,
                                         a piece of a pair,
                                                            a half-sandwich of pink jam.
There were marks on the fridge – dishes in the sink.
On the the floor there was a footprint in jam of pink.
When Seth looked on the counter he let out a hoot.
By a half-eaten pie there was a note that read, “Zhoot!”

“I’ll follow this footprint. I know what I’ll find,” Seth decided.
“I’ll find my Sock, this Zhoot, and whatever else it has hided.”

After the footprint, there was another … and more
The when through the kitchen and out of the door.
Strangely, the prints weren’t paired.
                                                                      There was only one side.
“I’ll find my sock, this Zhoot and my red sock.
                                                                       It cannot hide!”

Seth followed the trail outside and down the block.
It wasn’t long before he found a foot and red sock.
From behind a great leafy bush the foot stuck out.
He’d found this Zhoot. Now, he’d find out what it was about!
Seth paused a moment (it might be sinister, this Zhoot).
Then he went on to confron the thief with its loot.

The Zhoot was plump. From its head an antenna grew.
It had blue firm unlike other people Seth knew.
The oddest thing about it, you understand,
was that this Zhoot had only one eye, one leg, and hand.
It was split down the middle. It was only half.
How can that be?
                                I don’t know.
                                                          You do the math.

“Ah-ha! What is the meaning of this? Seth reprimanded.
“There is my favorite red sock. I caught you red-handed.”
The half-Zhoot gave a half smile that was half-friendly and half-sad.
Seth saw that this Zhoot was hungry and alone. He couldn’t stay mad.

“Is it OK to ask? I don’t wish to be rude,
But what is the reason for you sad mood?”

“How did you get left? Did you lose your other half?
Is it near?               Is it hiding?                 Has it lost the path?”

The Zhoot put it’s head down and was otherwise mute,
except for a sigh and a single sad word, “Zhoot.”

“I will help you find it,” said Seth,
                                                            “Please don’t be blue.
I have found one half-Zhoot today.
                                                               I can find two.”

Seth went back to the house to get his bike.
The Zhoot hopped after him (the way Zhoots like).
The Zhoot had no bike – just a thing with one wheel -
which he kicked as he sat – He kicked it with zeal.

It was awkward, but only once did the Zhoot fall.
Seth feared a crash, but no crash came, none at all.
For the half-Zhoot fell only halfway to the ground.
It hung in the air…
                                     and climbed the rest of the way down.

They search all over town for the Zhoot’s half-other.
They asked Officier Wong.
                                                They asked Ms. Crother.
                     They asked a guy washing windows,
                                                                 two girls on swings.
                                         And a lady selling gizmos, gadgets, and things.
They asked a dentist and a guy playing a flute,
But nobody,
                                       nobody had seen the half-Zhoot.

Finally, they cycled to the top of Point Phive.
No half-zhoot waited there, nor did one arrive.
The Zhoot started to quiver. It started to frown.
It cried out:
                                                            It echoed all over town.

They looked down the mountain. They looked far and near.
Then came an answer, “Zhoot…”
                                                                    It was quiet, but clear.

From the top of Point Phive they raced down.
They followed their path back through town.
They passed the guy washing windows, the girls on the swings.
And the lady selling gizmos, gadgets, and things.
They passed the dentist and the guy playing the flute.
Seth’s friend called out….
                                             …and came a reply:
                                                                ZHOOT! ZHOOT! ZHOOT!

The sound led them to old Mr. Schrodenger’s yard.
The Zhoot hopped over the fence. (It didn’t look hard.)
Opening the gate, Seth laughed to see such a sight,
as a half-Zhoot on the left and one on the right.
Just below where Shrodenger’s cat slept in a tree,
the double half-Zhoot were beside themselves with glee.

The laughed and the thanked Seth using the only word they knew.
Then they rode off…
                                      two half-Zhoots on unicycles…
                                                                                                 times two.

Copyright © 2002 – Brian Wittenbrook

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