Leonard by Adrienne M. Frater

Leonard by Adrienne M. Frater

Women often knit clothes. It can be either a thing for herself or a gift for children or grandchildren. Grandmothers often knit clothes for babies to help their children. Women can knit scarves or socks for husbands. Buying a gift in a store is much easier and faster, but when you do it yourself, the value of this gift increases. Leonard’s wife knits independently, although it is hard for her to do it. Health leaves the woman. Her arms aches and moves badly, but she goes on knitting. Arthritis has long prevented her from living. But this woman knits a scarf for her husband. She knits a scarf of the same color as his eyes. The woman waits for her niece, who will arrive to take her to the store. She wants to make purchases and buy more wool for the scarf. She needs blue soft and cuddly wool.

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Leonard by Adrienne M. Frater

Women often knit gifts for their families. Wives knit socks or scarves for their husbands; grandmothers knit little jackets for their children’s babies.

Buying a gift is quick and easy, but making a gift with your own hands takes longer. And if, like Leonard’s wife, your hands are old and stiff and crooked with arthritis, perhaps knitting is not the best thing to do…

Leonard by Adrienne M. Frater

I’ll knit him a scarf. Yes. I’ll knit him a scarf the same colour as his eyes.

I wait until my niece takes me shopping. ‘I want to buy some wool,’ I tell her. ‘I want to knit Leonard a scarf.’

‘But you don’t knit,’ she says. She looks at my crooked hands and quickly looks away again. ‘And Leonard doesn’t go out any more.’

But Petra takes me to the wool shop anyway.

‘I want to buy some blue wool,’ I say to the woman in the shop. ‘The colour of my husband’s eyes.’ I touch a ball of blue wool that feels as soft as a bird’s feathers.

‘Isn’t this a little too fine?’ asks the woman in the shop.

‘No, it’s just right.’

Later, tired after my shopping, I lie back in my armchair and have a little sleep.

When the car stops outside, I am still half-asleep, and in my mind, I see a younger Leonard standing at the door. His back is as straight as a piece of wood, and his blue eyes smile.

‘Is anyone home?’ Dan calls.

I wake with a jump.

‘Here we are, Mr Phipps,’ Dan says to Leonard. Holding Leonard’s arm, Dan walks him into the house.

‘Thank you, Dan.’ I take off Leonard’s coat and push some hair away from his eyes.

We eat dinner in a silence that aches. I drink red wine and Leonard eats with a spoon. Then, after I’ve washed him and put him to bed, I sit down to knit…

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