Maggie missed Pocket.
Or at least, she thought that was what the feeling was. When she thought of him it was like a sharp thing being driven into her heart. Some evenings, when the feeling was too strong, she went and sat on the cobbles above where she knew him to be sleeping or she told stories to strong winds, hoping they would carry them to him.
She hoped he wasn’t too unhappy, wherever he was.
Longing and sorrow does strange things to people, plays tricks on their minds.
For instance, Maggie had no idea why the broom she had stolen from Mr. Underby was important to him. She merely knew that it was. Now, as she held it, running her fingers over the deep crack in the handle and examining the scorched straw and twigs, she began to wonder if it wasn’t Pocket’s. She knew all too well that Mr. Underby liked to keep prizes from those of her kind that he met, somewhere, if he hadn’t lost it, he had a lock of her hair.
Well, even if it hadn’t been Pocket’s, it had been someone’s, and she thought it terrible that Mr. Underby should have let what was once such a finely made broom fall into such a low state.
So she sat among her sheep, whistling and telling stories to the wind, rubbing the crack out of the handle and working the damaged straw from it. She knotted new straw in using thread spun from the wool of her favorite sheep, careful not to damage the weave of the original thatching. When she was done the broom was in perfect condition, except for a faint scar on the handle where the crack had been. She admired her handy-work and tried to think of where she would hide it next time she went into the city.
It simply wouldn’t do for Underby to get it back, she was quite convinced now, that it had been Pocket’s. Perhaps Mr. Tenk would know where to keep it safe.