Into The Couch

Last spring, Luke shot a coyote that was in our yard. Just because he can, he skinned the animal and saved the hide, tail and skull. He buried the skull for a few months, hoping the bugs would ‘clean it’ to the bone. He dug it up last week, and I was surprised at how good it looked, for a dog skull. Luke wanted it even brighter, so he put it to soak in hydrochloric acid for a few days. The skull started out in a black trash bag, but was then moved to marinate in one of my loaf pans (yes, I was pretty grossed out by this). It sat out on the dining table overnight, and when Luke was leaving the next day, I asked him to please move it before he left. On to a corner of a buffet the skull was brought, with a wall of glass jars and boxes of macaroni to stand guard. As if anyone would want to touch this nasty brew.
So, yesterday, Luke pulled out the skull to look over, and discovered to his great dismay some of its teeth were missing. This was a puzzle- nobody mature enough to realize that wasn’t a weird loaf of bread in that dish would have gone near it, so we started by interrogating the very young.
Mama: Adon, did you take a tooth from the skull?
Adon (age 2): Yah.
Mama: Where is the tooth now? Is it back in your room?
Adon: Yah.
I had us all look under the beds in the kids’ rooms, just in case Adon really did put a tooth back there, but it just didn’t seem likely, since we had vacuumed the bedrooms that morning. I glanced at the couch, thinking perhaps that might be a good hiding place for a tooth. Pulling out the cushions and kneeling on them, I got to work digging in the belly of our couch, pulling out all manner of small items. From hair pretties, LEGOs, pencils, pens, scissors, marbles, grass to game pieces, there was a rich treasure hunting to be had. I did find a tooth, but it was Sam’s shark tooth that had come off a necklace. One thing surprised and gratified me that I didn’t find in the couch: not a single math manipulative! I have tried very hard not to lose any of those blocks, and I don’t think I have. They have even survived a move from Marion to here! Something I was surprised to find: a dollar or more worth of change! There were at least three quarters, quite a few pennies, and more silver. I have heard it said the average home has $90 tucked away in it as lost money, but I figure our house is the exception. We can spend our money as fast as we make it, but I guess there could be the occasional quarter fall out of the purse or pocket in to the couch belly. Sam was walking around today, boasting that he now had two dollars and some cents, “but a dollar five of that is couch money.”
Where were the teeth? Luke remembered later that the skull started out in the black trash bag, and once he fished it out of the trash and looked inside, voila! All four missing teeth. He was happy.