Mr. Nobody

I’ve printed this and I’m hanging it up in our home this week. Perhaps you’d like to do the same. Do you have Mr. Nobody at your house?

Mr. Nobody

BY ANONYMOUS

I know a funny little man,
    As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
    In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
    And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
    By Mr. Nobody.
’Tis he who always tears out books,
    Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
    And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
    For prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
    By Mr. Nobody.
He puts damp wood upon the fire
   That kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
   And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid;
   Who had them last, but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
   But Mr. Nobody.
The finger marks upon the door
    By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
    To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill;   the boots
    That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong
    To Mr. Nobody.

When It’s Dark

candleThis week is predicted to be one of the coldest this year. The meteorologists are calling for caution, and social media is beginning to be flooded with screenshots of people’s weather apps. “Look!” we say. “It is nine degrees here. I can prove it to you with my screenshot.” Someone answers with the inevitable “five-day forecast” screenshot, displaying the projected high of minus ten.

This morning I came downstairs into the dark to find that we’d left a candle burning all night.

Yesterday I was fighting with this candle. It seemed useless to me. I had to dump out wax a few times to get it to stay lit, and I was about to throw it in the trash. But at last it had submitted to its purpose, begrudgingly holding onto a flame for a few hours last evening as we settled in for the night. But the flame was small enough that my husband didn’t notice it burning as he closed up the house late last night.

So it was the smallness and stubbornness of this flame that preserved it, and that preserved us. As people. As homeowners.

I left it burning as I began my day. It is small and steady enough; it poses no danger. For now.