Dusting Fins

By Linda Porter Carlyle

 Trevor Paul Monroe unfolded the piece of paper he had drawn from the cookie jar. He read it and groaned. “I hate dusting!” he exclaimed.

Trevor watched his big brother Brad reach his hand into the cookie jar. He watched him read the piece of paper he pulled out. “Yeah! Outside sweeping! I get to use the new push broom!” Brad shouted.

Ben, Trevor’s other big brother (Brad’s twin) stuck his hand into the jar. “I can’t believe it!” he whooped. “I got the ‘no job today’ paper! I’m going to go work on my models!” He headed down the hall.

Trevor looked at Dad. “It’s not fair! Brad got a good job, and Ben doesn’t have to do anything at all! I thought it would be fun to draw our chores out of the cookie jar, but it isn’t!”

Dad looked at Trevor with a twinkle in his eye. “Give the idea some time, and see how it goes,” he suggested. “Maybe next time you’ll draw a chore you like a little better.”

“I just hate dusting,” Trevor grumbled.

“Oh, dusting isn’t so bad,” Dad said encouragingly. “Come with me. I have an idea.”

Trevor followed Dad down the hall to his bedroom.

Dad opened the top drawer of his dresser and began to examine his white socks. “Here,” he said. He handed Trevor a sock. “This one has a hole in it. You can use it.” He rummaged around some more. “You can take this one too,” he said.

“Why are you giving me socks with holes in them?” Trevor asked, puzzled.

“Those may look like socks, but they aren’t. They’re dusting mitts!”

“What?” Trevor asked.

“Put one on your hand,” Dad instructed.

Trevor slipped his hand into a sock and looked at it.

“That’s what you dust with,” Dad said. “Put a sock on each hand, and you can dust with both hands. It should be twice as fast.”

Trevor caught the idea. He laughed. He put a sock on his other hand. He looked silly—as if he had fins instead of fingers.

Back in the living room, Trevor rubbed his sock-covered hands all over the coffee table. Then he looked at them. Sure enough. He had picked up dust. He walked over to the mantel and carefully took down the family pictures Mom had arranged there. He took down the candles, too, and set them on the floor. Then he ran his white fins across the mantel. Wow! Dad’s idea really worked. The socks just seemed to grab the dust. And it was a lot more fun that swishing around a dust cloth.

After he dusted the mantel, Trevor bent down and picked up a picture to put back. He noticed a thin film of dust on the glass and the top of the frame. Maybe he should dust each picture frame too. But that was such a lot of work! Mom wouldn’t really expect him to do it. He set the first picture in its place and reached for the next.

Suddenly, a thought began to circle around in Trevor’s head. “Serve whole-heartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Oh, bother! Trevor thought. Those were the words of his memory verse for the week. And, unfortunately, he knew what they meant. Who would have thought the Bible talked about dusting?

Trevor sighed. He rubbed one fin carefully over the glass of the picture frame. Then he picked up the next frame and dusted it and the next.

Trevor stepped out on the front porch to clap his fins together. Dust flew out in little puffs. It looked sort of like smoke.

“Too bad you didn’t get the ‘outside sweeping’ paper!” Brad teased. “I’m almost done! Hey! What’s wrong with your hands?” he asked.

Trevor just waved both white fins at his brother and went back inside. He looked at the bookcase. He ran his dusting mitt across the shelf in front of the books. Then he took a deep breath and began taking all the books off the shelf. He pulled the socks up to elbows and rubbed his arms across the shelf. The he picked up each book, dusted the top of it, and put it back. Trevor heard Mom’s car turn into the driveway. He heard the car door shut as she got out. He heard her ask Brad to help carry the groceries into the house. He heard the two of them come through the kitchen door and set the bags on the table. He heard Mom’s step as she came into the living room.

“Are you really, truly taking the books out of the bookcase and dusting each one without being asked?” Mom asked, amazed.

Trevor grinned at her. “I drew the dusting card,” he said.

“And the dusting card said to dust each book?” Mom asked.

“Nope,” Trevor answered. “My memory verse did.”