*This story is a collaboration between The Puzzled Mummy and her five year old son. It was originally published on The Confusing Stories Of A Puzzled Mummy...And Son
Hatty Hiccup was born on a Friday. It was a grey day, but there was no rain. It was cold, but there was no wind.
She was an eager baby. So eager that when her mother pushed her out she flew across the room, doing a triple somersault, and landed in a rather large vase on the window.
They say babies can't smile, but at 17 seconds old, Hatty Hiccup did. Ask anyone who was there. If she hadn't smiled people may not have noticed the one singular tooth she was born with. A front top one, to be precise. And it was the only one she ever had.
From a young age Hatty Hiccup had a habit of getting lost.
When she learned to roll over she rolled across the lounge, out of the cat flap and in to the garden. Had she not been stopped mid roll by a window cleaners bucket, no one can say where she may have ended up.
When she could crawl she crawled in to the fireplace and up the chimney. She found refuge in a large birds nest on the roof of the house, where she was fed worms for two days before the bird realised she was actually in fact a human. Although with Hatty Hiccup it was hard to tell.When she started to walk Hatty toddled out of the garden where she was playing one summers day, and got so lost that when she returned it was snowing.
Her Mother said it had been 7 months, and as punishment Hatty was to sweep the floor every day after breakfast, if she could manage not to brush herself up and tip herself out with the crumbs, that was.
It was when she was sweeping one evening a few years later (Hatty's family ate breakfast in the evening to save time in the morning), that Hatty first laid eyes upon Kelly Krabtree, poking around in her back garden.
She had heard about Kelly when her Mother didn't stop talking at the dinner table. Mother said he was a boy with a girls name because his Mother & Father thought they were fashiodable and were related to Whales.
Hatty didn't know what fashiodable meant, but she did like Whales. She thought she might like to be one when she grew up. Either that or a vet.
Hatty put down her brush and dustpan, being extra careful not to sweep herself up, and tiptoed in to the garden.
"What are you doing in our garden?" She asked.
"If my Mum catches you she'll wring your neck. She did it to the paper boy once for throwing a paper at her head. His neck ended up so long that he had to go and live in a country that has a higher sky"
Kelly, who was now scrabbling around in the flower beds, looked up and laughed.
"That's stupid. The sky isn't higher in other countries, only in space. He probably went there. I'm looking for my Dads marbles. I overheard my Grandma saying he'd lost them"
"Lost his marbles? How?" Hatty enquired.
"Something to do with the woman who works in the supermarket. She has purple and green hair. Grandma says she's a horse. She looks more like a unicorn to me."
Hatty raised her eyebrow and curled up her lip, showing her single top tooth.
"Well, why are you looking in MY garden? Why don't you look in hers?"
"I have looked in hers, stupid! I found nothing! You're the girl who always gets lost. Where would you be lost if you were a marble?"
"Ahhh. There's too many lost places. Anywhere could be lost. It's not just one particular place. Lost to me might not be lost to you. Sometimes you don't know you've even been lost until you're found. And you certainly don't find lost on purpose! Lost finds you!"
Hatty drew in a breath.
"If you want to find lost you need to get lost. I can help you do that?"
Kelly nodded gratefully, his watery eyes glistening.
And off they set. To get lost together.
"Don't we need anything?" Asked Kelly?
"Food? A map? I feel like we're not prepared!"
"No one is ever prepared to get lost, silly! It just happens!"
...To be continued
*Thankyou to both children and adults who provided sketches. And a special Thankyou to Illustrator Jaqueline Fryers whose work you can find Here