Shorts story

Dropped toys are a common sight in the neighborhood Alene walks through. Kids drop them from strollers — and there must be episodes of extreme anguish on getting home to discover the toy is lost. We suspect they are often found, because they are usually rescued from the sidewalk or gutter by a thoughtful passer-by and placed in a safe, visible location so that a parent retracing steps can easily find it.

But these shorts are a different story. Alene has seen them several weekends in a row — and in several locations. They are smaller than the photo suggests, probably belonging to a child of two or three years of age. The first time Alene saw them, they had been lovingly arranged on a piece of shrubbery. Then they appeared on a piece of free-cycle furniture someone had out on the sidewalk. Now they are on top of a wall near a stairway leading down from a bridge.

Toys, blankets, pacifiers etc. dropped from a stroller are easily explained. But what circumstances lead to a pair of toddler shorts being lost on a walk? They could have fallen out of an overfilled laundry basket being ferried into a house from a car parked on the street. Or someone walking kids back from the beach might have allowed them to remain in their bathing suits and carry their clothes. But in either case, someone would surely have gone back to look for the shorts! (They are really good quality.)

So here’s our theory: the shorts belonged to a toddler who tossed them out of the window as part of an angry tantrum in a car on the way home from the beach. The family does not live locally and probably will not fight traffic to come back for a pair of shorts that they may not find anyway.

If they are still there after Labor Day, consider them up for grabs. They will wash up nicely!