The foot was perfectly preserved and why wouldn’t it be having been encased in the region’s worst ice storm in a century, its secrets buried beneath months of snow. Things go missing that time of year: mittens, socks, late-born calves that lose their way. Spring thaw unearthed what winter had stolen. Rex barked and leaped with excitement as he presented his new-found treasure to our back porch door. Blue as it was, you could still tell it had been well-tended. Polish the color of summer melon dressed each nail and a thin ring of gold snuggled the pinky toe. Neatly severed just above the ankle bone it could have served a shoe store window donned in the latest sandal-wear. We wondered of its mate, and other parts that might be strewn about. Strangers rarely wandered out here unless they were lost. We made up stories about who she might have been. The wife thought she must be a city girl, shop clerk maybe, but the foot didn’t look like it had been stood on much, which led me to other ideas that I kept to myself. We should have called the police, but it was just so darn pretty.

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