There were three witnesses to the loss a rabbit, a grackle and a dog. Oh, it's not like they were any help. The dog simply peered through the fence, the rabbit took off running and the grackle stayed to sneer.
I'd forgotten about the unfortunate incident until a woman in line at the grocery store mentioned losing the diamond from her ring. She was pretty sure it went into a batch of lasagna she was making for company. She planned on telling her dinner guests not to swallow .
The checker said that she had recently lost the diamond out of her ring, too, while working at the store. Fortunately, she found it on the floor right next to her feet.
My mom lost the diamond to her ring once. She scoured the house, emptied the vacuum bag, sorted through the trash and gave it up as lost. A week later, she opened a kitchen drawer and there was the diamond nestled between two placemats.
My ring used to fit loose. It would spin to the back of my finger, and I would subconsciously flick it back into place with my pinkie. One day, walking into the house from the garden, I gave the ring a spin and felt a jab. Four naked prongs, no diamond.
Retracing my steps I was able to calculate that the stone was somewhere in the backyard, hiding in an expanse of Kentucky Bluegrass, clover, and broadleaf weeds.
Craig'slist is full of ads from women pleading for help finding their lost diamonds. They've been lost in swimming pools, shopping malls, parking lots, on freeway exit ramps, at McDonald's, and the ballpark. One ad says, "Last seen in the lake, 15-foot-deep area."
Yes, diamonds are a girl's best friend, right up until you lose them.
And here's a question: How many best friends is a girl supposed to have these days? If you listen to the radio commercials, every woman needs an engagement diamond, a Mother's Day diamond, a forever diamond, a 25th anniversary diamond, a right hand diamond, a Christmas diamond, an I-did-the-laundry diamond and an empty nest diamond (I made those last two up, just in case the husband is reading.)
If women had all the bling the advertisers say we should have, we'd have jewels encrusting every finger, dangling from our noses and circling our toes.
Me? I couldn't hang onto one.
I crawled every square inch of backyard on my hands and knees. I crawled it again with a neighbor, two more times with a friend who drove across town, and again with the husband before the sun went down.
It was a steady parade of adults crouched on all four, backsides thrust high in the air, like giant anteaters slowly noshing their way through the yard.
As we hunted and searched, an ugly grackle with a iridescent green and purple sheen sat watching from a tree. His metallic back glistened brighter and brighter as the day wore on. He wore a smart-aleck smirk and cackled from time to time. It was as if he had some delicious secret he was dying to tell.
We never found the diamond, but eventually, I put two and two together. Maya Angelou wrote a book titled, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." I'm going to write a book titled "I Know Why the Gloating Grackle Shines."