It was a perfectly sunny spring day and Mary was happy to be throwing off the heavy coat after a long and frigid winter.  Walking through the park, she spotted a woman furiously knitting away on a large blanket.  Mary smiled.  She loved knitting and any chance to sit and chat with a fellow knitter was a welcome one.  Standing near the other knitter, she reached into her bag and pulled out yarn and sticks.  As she was about to introduce herself, she found herself thrown off by the other woman’s lack of arm.  With one needle jammed under her partial arm, clacking away with one good arm,  she knitter faster than Mary could with two perfectly good hands.  Mary realized she was staring and shook off her fascination.

                “Do you mind if I join you?” The other knitter didn’t even look up.  She was fixated on her work and kept knitting.  The silence was awkward, Mary stood quietly waiting for some sort of acknowledgment.  It didn’t come, Mary sat anyway.    Wrapping the yarn through her left hand, she picked up her circular needles and began to knit quietly.  After a few more moments of quiet, Mary introduced herself.

                “Gwen,” the other woman spoke quickly.  Mary nodded politely.

                “I’m knitting up a hat for my granddaughter,” she tried to make small talk.  Gwen grunted softly, seeming rather wrapped up in her project.  “What are you making, there?  Is that a blanket?”

                “Net,” Gwen said as she was starting a new row.  Mary looked over and cocked her head a bit imagining that she was making it for her grandson with an active imagination.  She could see it.  Not last week she knitted up a crown for her granddaughter so she could be a princess.

                “A net?”


                “For your grandchild?”  Gwen shook her head and picked up speed, racing along.

                “My son.”  Mary was confused and so she began to knit again.  Questions began to gnaw at her before she finally asked one.

                “What does he need a net for?”

                “To catch dragons.”  Brows furrowing in question.

                “Dragons?”  Gwen stopped knitting for a second, just one second, and it was to give Mary a long-suffering look that a parent might give a child for being too loud.

                “How do you think I lost the arm?” she gave her a wry smile.

Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on

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