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Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece

Today’s review of a “Lindy just loves it” book,  is The Missing Piece, by none other than regular contributor Lindy Michaels. 

Of course, most of us know of the late Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree, but The Missing Piece ($16.99, HarperCollins, all ages) is my favorite of his books.  Now who of us doesn’t go through our lives, at one time or another, feeling like we are, indeed, missing something within ourselves?

“It was missing a piece.  And it was not happy…”

IT, is a pac-manish (for lack of a better word)-looking creature  who is on a quest.  And it was exactly because of its missing piece that it could not roll along the path of life very quickly, which gave it time to… “talk to a worm or smell a flower…” always singing, “Oh, I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece.  I’m looking for my missin’ piece.  Hi-dee-ho, here I go, lookin’ for my missin’ piece.”  But all the while it desperately tried to fit different size pieces into itself so that it would feel complete.  So that it would feel whole.

But it was not to be.  One piece was too big, one too small, one too short, one too long.  And then one day, a wonderful thing happened.  It found that one special piece that fit absolutely perfectly.  “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 couldn’t even sing, any longer, since the piece fit so tightly.  And so after much inner deliberation, “…it stopped rolling and set the piece down gently, and slowly rolled away.”

What a beautiful message this book imparts to children and adults alike.  We think we are lacking somehow, so we go to great lengths to fill ourselves up, only to find that by filling what we think is a void within us, we end up losing the very things that are most important to us.  A lesson for the ages, I do believe.  Now my friends… go outside and talk to a worm!

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