The Missing Piece


The Missing Piece
By: Shel Silverstein

It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in search of its missing piece. And as it rolled, it sang this song:

“Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece. Hi-dee-ho, here I go, lookin’ for my missin’ piece’

Sometimes it baked in the sun. But then the cool rain would come down. And because it was missing a piece, it could not roll very fast. So it would stop to talk to a worm.

Or smell a flower. And sometimes it would pass a beetle. And sometimes the beetle would pass it. And this was the best time of all. And on it went, over oceans.

"Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece. Over land and over seas. So grease my knees and fleece my bees. I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece"

Through swamps and jungles up mountains and down mountains. Until one day, lo and behold!

“I’ve found my missin’ piece. I’ve found my missin’ piece. So grease my knees and fleece my bees"

"Wait a minute" said the piece.

“Before you go greasing you knees and feecing your bees… I am not you missing piece. I am nobody’s piece. I am my own piece. And even if I was somebody’s missing piece, I don’t think I’d be yours!"

"Oh" it said sadly. “I’m sorry to have bothered you"

And on it rolled. It found another piece. But this one was too small. And this one was too big. This one was a little too sharp. And this one was too square.

One time it seemed to have found the perfect piece, but it didn’t hold it tightly enough and lost it. Another time it held too tightly. And it broke.

So on and on it rolled. Having adventures. Falling into holes. And bumping into stone walls. And then one day it came upon another piece that seemed to be just right.

"Hi" it said.
“Hi" said the piece.
“Are you anybody else’s missing piece?"
“Not that I know of"
“Well, maybe you want to be your own piece?"
“I can be someone’s and still be my own"
“Maybe I do"
“Maybe we won’t fit"
“Well…"
" Hmm?"
“Umm!"

It fit! It fit perfectly! At last! At last! And away it rolled. And because it was now complete, it rolled faster and faster.
Faster that it had ever rolled before.

So fast that it could not stop to talk to a worm or smell a flower. Too fast for a butterfly to land. But it could sing its happy song. At last it could sing:

“I’ve found my missin’ piece"

And it begin to sing:

“I’ve frown my nizzin’geez. Uf vround my mitzin’brees. So krease my meas. An Bleez my dregs. Uf frown" Oh my, now that it was complete. It could not sing at all.

"Aha" it thought. “So that’s how it is!"

So it stopped rolling. And it set the piece down gently. And slowly roll away. And as it rolled, it softly sang:

“Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece. I’m lookin for my missin’ piece. Hi-dee-ho, here I go. Lookin’ for my missin’ piece"


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