Martin switched on the porch light at the exact instant his wife Susan threw his sweater to the raccoons.
“Why did you do that?” Martin asked.
Susan turned to face him. “What do you think I did?” she asked.
In the yard, at the very fringe of the light from the porch, the pack of raccoons gathered up the crumpled cloth and scampered away into a hedgerow.
“You threw my sweater to the raccoons,” Martin said.
“No,” Susan said, “I didn’t.”
“Yes,” Martin said, “you did. I saw it clearly. It was my favorite sweater. The green one with the little rocket ship on the chest. You threw it to the raccoons.”
“No,” Susan said, “it was just a rag. I threw a rag at the raccoons to scare them out of the front yard.”
Martin and Susan stared at each other. The night was quiet around them. Crickets chirped in the darkness away from the porch. A gentle breeze carried the smell of night dampness off the hedges and across the porch.
Martin looked away. He studied the darkness where the raccoons had disappeared in the hedges.
“You threw my favorite sweater to the raccoons,” Martin said. “It wasn’t a rag. I saw it clearly.”
“Why would I throw your sweater to the raccoons?” Susan asked.
“Why do women do anything?” Martin asked.
“You’re imagining things,” Susan said.
Martin looked at Susan, then looked again into the darkness outside the light. He took a deep breath. He nodded.
“I’m going to get it back,” Martin said.
“A rag?” Susan asked. “A rag I threw at some animals?”
“No,” Martin said. “My favorite sweater. You threw it to the raccoons, but I’m going to get it back. I’m going out there. I’m going out into the night and get back my favorite sweater from the raccoons.”
“Think about what you’re saying,” Susan said.
“Think about what you did,” Martin said.
(Tomorrow: Martin’s Sweater #2: The Squirrel)