I started life in a pack of four. Well sixteen to be precise. Yes, four fours are sixteen. That’s, right isn’t it? But life sure was boring for the first few years.
We left the factory and I thought we were heading for somewhere exciting, then I heard we were on our way to a retail store in a small Spanish market town. Now I know that may sound fun, the possibilities endless. A homely Spanish villa or a small bar buzzing with activity. Not so! Life sure turned out to be dull.
I believed us to be rather attractive, made of the most perfect stainless steel with ivory coloured handles. I’m sure that’s why we were purchased quite quickly and taken to a modernised finca in the countryside, but soon to discover it was a property used as a retreat, and all too often empty. Not much holiday fun then, I thought. What a disappointment. And what about picnics in the sun? Well it didn’t happen. We might as well have been in the North Pole ‘cos we didn’t see any warm sunny days at all.
Most of the time was spent laying in this dark miserable drawer waiting for someone to open it and allow some meagre rays of daylight to enter. Then shock horror, another set of sixteen arrived and there was no chance of any of us getting out of the drawer after that. The new guys had bright red handles. Without a doubt they were so much more noticeable.
So, the days passed. Long lonely days and nights. Occasionally there would be a burst of activity for a while when someone came to stay. And then, all would go quiet again.
Of course, as I expected when anyone was in the house the red handles were out. We were left lingering in the dreaded drawer. Ignored. Never used.
Well, after what seemed like an eternity, not a sound to be heard for an endless span of time. Yes, the residents had not been around, when suddenly the house came to life again. And this time there was a real buzz. Not to mention the pleasurable chatter of children. Wonderful!
The drawer was open most of the time because the boy was a greedy little thing. Well big thing actually. You know the sort. Couldn’t see his toes for his belly. Always eating. Obviously, no one complained it was good to feel useful for a change.
I kept pushing and wriggling to try and get to the top, but to no avail. The bright red handles were always out.
How I longed to linger in a pot of fruity yogurt or strawberry ice cream, but it wasn’t happening.
There was talk of picnics and barbecues, even drives to the beach. And I still didn’t get out of that stinking drawer. I just wasn’t attractive enough to get noticed. I began to feel I had no purpose in life. The vision I once had long gone. I was rendered useless!
Then, finally I heard some talk of going to the airport and there was a real flurry of activity as everyone started darting about as though they had a plane to catch or something. Well obviously, they did. And I ended up as one of the passengers. Oh my gosh! The excitement was almost too much to bear.
I’ll tell you what happened.
The boy – the greedy one who I said was lazy – liked honey. He had this habit of going to the refrigerator and scooping up a spoonful as he pleased. Well the red handles had all been used. Sitting in the bowl for washing they were, and he clearly wasn’t going to wash one, was he? So, I was out. Yeah! Yeah!
Out of the drawer at last. The interesting thing was having been used to scoop the honey greedily, he dropped me into a bag with other things which he randomly stuffed in. A couple of chocolate bars, some crisps, fruit, savoury snacks and more. I said he was greedy!
The owner of the finca – Mrs Bentley – said they should leave all the chores as the housekeeper would be in after they left to change the beds and tidy through. So, the red handles were left in a heap with all the dirty pots and I was out. Separated from the rest of my clan. Remember we were once sixteen. I was sure to be missed, but I didn’t care. My adventure had begun. It would have been nice if I’d had a wash because I did feel rather sticky. But I wasn’t going to complain after all that time in the dreaded drawer, now was I?
Someone rustled around in the bag a few times taking out biscuits and chocolates but there was still no purpose for me. Until our journey came to an end hours later and a voice exclaimed, ‘why is there a sticky horrible spoon in the bottom of this bag. Who put it in here? Mathew Bentley was that you?’
‘No mum,’ he insisted. Then admitted to the two squashed and leaky chocolate fromage fraise, also in the bottom of the bag.
I realised more and more that Mathew Bentley was indeed a very greedy boy, disrespectful and actually quite badly behaved. Consequently, I had gone from being bored and having no purpose in life, to suddenly being abused. Mathew Bentley was constantly eating, and as I had landed in the top of the drawer in my new home, I was in and out constantly. The school lunch box became a regular occurrence and yogurts, jelly, trifle, and cheesecake were all on the menu. Until someone decided that he was getting too fat and a discussion between health professionals and Mrs Bentley was the deciding fact in the matter. He was on a diet. ‘Obesity is a problem in this school,’ exclaimed the head. ‘For the sake of our children’s health we need to address this issue.’ School dinner menus were altered, and sugary puddings were banned from the packed lunch menu.
Well, a little time passed but Mathew Bentley was having none of it. He was a devious little trickster and whilst he ate healthily when anyone was looking he spent all his pocket money on sugar treats. I blame Mrs Bentley for not taking more notice.
I never knew what happened to him because isn’t it interesting how things pan out in life. Pan, who said anything about pans? I lived in the cutlery drawer. Nothing to do with the pans. Anyway, one Wednesday evening Michael Bentley sneaked me out of the house to eat the chocolate mousse that he had bought from the corner shop.
The naughty boy then threw the empty mousse carton into the undergrowth in the village square and you guessed it. He tossed me in there too!
Abandoned, wasted! I had come from the inside of a dark miserable drawer in a Spanish finca to now be cast aside in the undergrowth of some small English garden. I think the only activity I saw for weeks after being chucked aside was a horrible little terrier which had regular walks with its owner and always insisted on running over to my corner for a pee.
No no no. What next? I daren’t think about it.
Well the proverbial what next did finally come. Through a sequence of strange events I ended up in a plastic carrier bag once again. Some dippy but kind old lady had found me, taken me home and given me a good wash. Then in another bag, I was taken to a
charity shop in the city. Isn’t this where I started life in a store somewhere waiting to be purchased? But then I was in a pack of four. Well sixteen to be precise. Yes, four fours are sixteen. Remember? Who would want me now? An odd spoon!
But someone did, I was purchased with lots of other odd bits and pieces. None of us matching but who cares?
I finally found my mission in life. They say, ‘the vision awaits an appointed time.’
I began to feel empowered, not like the little spoon I thought I was. But a big spoon with a real purpose in life.
I had always wanted to have an exciting life, to feel useful and be fulfilled. I had in those early days looked forward to adventures but now I had real purpose. Life at the homeless shelter every day was fulfilling.
Listening to different stories became the norm. Stories of trial and endurance. I was appreciated and kept very busy.
Sometimes things never turn out quite like we expected, do they?