68. Then I took the remaining figure and placed it exactly in the center of the windowsill. After positioning the figure as one would any single object in such a situation, I went across the room and viewed my arrangement from a distance, and wondered to myself, it this simple trick, so obvious and yet subtle in its own way, would suffice to deceive my Mother, that nothing had changed in the house whatsoever.
69. My solution to this disaster was a complete success. The lonely shepherdess remained on the windowsill while I finished grade school, struggled through high School, and finally went to college, and in all those years of my childhood my Mother never ventured to ask the simple question, “What ever became of the plaster shepherd?”
70. I never brought up the question myself, but I certainly wondered about it.
71. Various explanations occurred to me in the silent void this event created. The disappearance of the shepherd happened, ironically, about the same time that my father disappeared.