The Golem of Socks
by Gerald Saul,October, 1994

When Frederick realized the necessity of protecting the neighbourhood from the vicious nail biting Nick and his howling bookbinder bikers, the only things Frederick could find to construct a golem from were socks.

Undaunted, Frederick sat in his tiny rooftop garret and began to sew. While the needle stitched and stitched and stitched, he remembered how Nick had pushed little Inga into a mud puddle and ruined her Sunday dress, how Nick had raced his motor bike up and down the street and kept the Hopstein twins awake the night before the big geometry test, and how Nick and his gang always hung around the corner of Shannon and Riddell, causing a ruckus, looking mean in their gang jackets, scaring the old people and bringing down the property values. Nick and his gang were bad boys and girls.

Pleas for help were written to the Baron of Shivers, but he was a cold man and did nothing. He did not even send Randolph, the court handyman, to give Nick a stern talking to as was usually the Baron's solution. Frederick wondered if the letter to the Baron even reached him, for Mrs. Stoattoadlich was getting on in years and oft wrote incorrect addresses on envelopes, but no one wished to embarrass her by taking the job away from her.

So Frederick took it upon himself to solve the problem. Down to the library he went, to the dusty, uncatalogued section of books with questionable moral fibre and loose spines. There he found what he needed; the Tome of Giddy Rumpleswanger; Monstermaker!

Fortunately able to avoid further interruptions from flashbacks, Frederick finished the shell of the sock golem and began the laborious chore of filling its limbs with lint. Now lint is common enough, but to fill a large man took some effort. Frederick left no belly button unpicked in his quest. Old or young, thick or thin, he visited them all. But alas, though the body was stuffed tight, the chest wide and the arms strong, the head remained sorrowfully lacking.

Desperate to complete his creation, Frederick took a ragged old flag and stuffed it in. No sooner was the head filled that the golem sprang to life.

It hopped around Frederick's garret. It hopped across the floor and into his wall. It hopped on his furniture and on his countertops. It hopped as only a man of socks could and never needed a rest.

"Get rid of Nick", commanded Frederick with his fingers crossed tightly for luck. But no luck seemed needed as the golem of socks hopped through the window, down the street, across the square and up to Nick and his howling bookbinder bikers.

"Ho, Ho, Ho" laughed Nick as he poked his finger towards the sock golem to try to pick some lint from his gaping seams. Not wanting to be picked on, the golem hopped around the hoodlums, up and down and all around.

Now Nick's gang, like all gangs, was easy to anger and so began to chase the golem of socks. The golem always stayed ahead. It led them up first street, down second and across 43rd. 72nd. 86th. 93rd. It took them to numbers they didn't even know existed. Nick got so hot that he and the rest had to take off their jackets so as not to sweat to death. When finally the golem stopped, they were all back in their own neighbourhood. Everyone looked out and saw the boys. Without their jackets, they no longer looked mean so the townsfolk gave them jobs helping out in shops where they became valuable and respected citizens.

With no more use for the golem of socks, Frederick locked it in the tallest tower so that its infernal hopping would stop annoying the neighbours. However, when a breeze blew through the top window into the golem's ear, the flag inside; it flew! And he did too!

Out of the window, past Frederick's garret and over the Baron of Shivers' castle, who never did know what was going on. The golem flew and flew until at last he reached big puddle full of fish called the Elastic Ocean. The fish went up and down, up and down, up and down and all around. This looked like so much fun that the golem of socks could not resist joining in.

SPLOOSH!, into the water he went. Suddenly the golem, even though he only had a sock for a head, knew he'd made a mistake. His arms and legs and body and even his head got all filled with water. He was soggy and wet and too heavy to hop. This made him very unhappy.

Then an octopus came along and suggested a reputable laundromat where he could dry off. Once there, the water logged golem of socks discovered why no one trusts octopuses. The laundromat charged two bucks for a half hour of drying! An hour of dripping and begging later, he had enough quarters and set about tumble drying himself. Around and around he went. Always a lover of action, the golem did not get dizzy but when he was done, to his dismay he discovered all his lint had been trapped!

"Boo Hoo Hoo", cried the golem, "Boo Hoo Hoo."

"Shucks, darnit", came a familiar voice from behind. It was Nick. Nick had a job doing errands for the Baron of Shivers. Today he was washing the Baron's favourite sweater but then discovered that it could not be machine dried.

"If you get my lint from the trap, I can help you." said the golem hollowly.

"Well I don't want to lose this swell job you helped me get, so okay", he agreed and quickly re-stuffed the golem.

Once filled, the golem of socks flew around with the Baron's sweater until it was dry. The Baron was very happy with Nick's work so raised his salary to minimum wage. Nick and the golem of socks became best of friends and started hanging around in all the best places, raising property values.

the end

Gerald Saul 2005