The Missing Piece

My cousin, Sigal, sent to me this children’s story written by Shel Silverstin, which brings so much food for thought. Here is a shorten version of the story:

It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in search of the missing piece. And as it rolled, it sang a song “Oh…I’m looking for my missing piece…”

Sometimes it baked in the sun, but than the cool rain would come down. And sometimes was frozen by snow, but than the sun would come and warm it again.

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 looking for my missing piece”, over land and over seas, through swamps and jungles, until one day…”Io and behold! I’ve found my missing piece” it sang.

“Wait a minute,” said the piece “I’m not your missing piece. I’m 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 bother you”, and on it rolled.

It found another piece. But this 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.

Soon 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 “are you anybody else’s missing piece?”
“Not that I know of” Said the piece.
“Well, maybe you want to be your own piece?”
“I can be someone’s and still be my own.”
“Well, maybe you don’t want to be mine?”
“Maybe I do…”
“Maybe we won’t fit?”
Well……hummm….ummmm…it fits! It fits perfectly! At last! At last!

And away it rolled. And because it was now complete, it rolled faster and faster. So fast, that it could not stop to talk to a worm or smell a flower. It was now too fast for a beetle. And it began to sing “Oh my, hmmm that… nn… omom…” It couldn’t 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 rolled away….

(“The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstin. Copyright 1976 by Snake Eye Music, Inc.)

So who is it? Who or what is the missing piece?

Sigal, my cousin, used to ask people about it. As a matter of fact when she was dating men she asked for their interpretations, and from their answers she learned about them. Many saw in the story the relationships between a woman and a man. Many found the insight of “enjoy the journey while still set goals”. And maybe, just maybe, the beauty of the story is that everyone can see a different it

Fireworks (21)
Shuka, Thursday, January 15, 2009

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