The first day of school is over. Happy walks Noortje with Mom to her home.
‘Mom, can I go to school tomorrow?
‘No dear, tomorrow is weekend and then the school will be closed,’ Mommy replies.
Disappointed, she looks at her mom. When they come home, Noortje looks if the swans are there, but unfortunately, she cannot discover them. The crow isn’t there either, or the crazy little man with his weird hat isn’t either. He is scary, but she is also very curious about him.
She is bored and sits next to Droef’s loft. Droef is to the doctor. He stepped into a piece of glass during the exhaust. Daddy has connected his leg, but he is afraid that a piece of glass will remain in Droef’s pow. She wanted to go with them to the vet, but Dad didn’t think that was a good idea. I’ll wait for Droef, he must be home soon,’ she mumbles.
She looks bored around them. Get up and start kicking at everything.
‘I want to go to school,’ she whispers angrily, kicking the laundry basket. The basket falls over and the clean laundry falls into the mud. She looks at it with dismay and quickly throws the laundry back into the basket.
She walks to the edge of the lake and counts her fingers. Sometimes she has lost count because she still must think hard 1,2,3,4,7…. No that’s not right and she starts again.
‘Ten,’ she shouts. ‘Ten fingers.’
She sits down at the edge of the lake and takes off her shoes. I don’t need them anymore today. I am also not allowed to go to school, not to school, not whit Droef to the vet,’ she sulks and throws one of her shoes into the lake. She also takes off her socks and rolls them up, so as Mama taught her to do. She dangles her feet in the water but suddenly pulls them back. It is as if something is biting in her toes. She suddenly doesn’t like this anymore either. She gets her socks and walks home. She comes by the laundry basket and throws her socks in it.
Mommy is in the kitchen and together they sit at the kitchen table. ‘Mom, it takes a long time. Won’t be Droef in pain?’
‘It’s going to be fine, honey. Dad just called that they are on their way home.’
Mommy looks at her bare feet. ‘Where are your shoes,’ she asked.
‘I threw them into the water.’
‘No…, no..’ Mom says.
Noortje understands that she has now done something that Mama really cannot approve of.
‘Both shoes? Darling, there are new shoes.’
‘No, just one. The other one is still there; I can handle it.’ Noortje sees that Mom is a bit angry with her.
Mother takes Noortje by the hand and pulls her to the lake. The shoe is still on the edge of the lake and mother understands that the other one is really gone. Mom sighs deeply. ‘Go to your room and stay there until I call you. Are you now completely mad? For now, you just stay at home.’
Noortje sits sadly in her room and looks out the window. She is sorry, but, she doesn’t really care. She won’t get her shoe back with it. She sees Droef walking through the garden. His leg is still in the bandage. He walks through the garden as if he is searching for her. Mom is also in the garden and walks to the laundry basket. She starts shaking her head. Noortje takes her picture book and looks at the pictures. Suddenly she hears Mom calling. She can come downstairs. Maybe mommy isn’t angry anymore, she thinks. But when she comes downstairs, Mommy tells her to eat her sandwiches and then go back to her room.
Occasionally she looks at Mommy but notices that she is still very angry.
Then Dad suddenly says: ‘So now it is enough. She now knows quite well that she has done something wrong, is it not Noor?’
Noortje nods and is happy that Dad isn’t that strict. Mommy doesn’t agree, but after lunch, she can go back to the garden. She runs barefoot to Droef and hugs him. At the edge of the lake, the swans and their children are struggling. Everyone looks up when they suddenly hear a shout. ‘Oh no…, my laundry is pink. Everything is going wrong today. Who has thrown those red socks into the white wax?’
‘You’re busy today,’ the crow calls from a branch. ‘First, you throw the laundry in the mud, then you throw your red socks into de laundry basket. And then I am not even talking about your shoe that you threw it into the lake. Do you perhaps learn that at school?’
The crow chuckles. Noortje looks at him in anger. ‘Shoe, what shoe,’ asks Daddy swan. ‘Did you throw your shoe into the lake. Noortje you are a bad girl today.’
It makes Noortje shy. After all, she now knows that she should not have done all of that.
‘I was so bored. There was nobody I could play with.’
‘Yes…, yes…,’ Mommy swan calls. ‘Now we have done it. Come on children, this is not a good example for you. We must do something; this is a good exercise for all of you.’
They all stuck their necks underwater and examine the bottom. Noortje looks at it and she wonders what they all are doing. Suddenly she sees mommy swan sticking her neck deeper into the water and to her surprise she sees that mommy swan dig up her shoe end give it back to her.
‘Well, honey, you have friends for this,’ and she softly taps Noortje’s nose. Noortje is so happy and runs home with her shoe. ‘Mom…, Mom…, here’s my shoe. The swans have taken it out of the lake for me. I promise I’ll never, ever be that stupid again.’
‘Swans, swans. Are you kidding me?’
‘No…, not really Mom,’ and she looks at her father.
‘Nice that your shoe is back. That was very stupid of you, you should never do that again. Did you thank the swans for it?’
‘You two are the same. Fine, I’m going back to work,’ says Mommy.
Dad starts to laugh heartily. ‘Do you know where I suddenly to think of?’
Mom shrugs and Dad says; ‘That story what your mother told us when you lost your shoe when you were a little girl. You said literally; ‘I get it in the stove, ha, ha, ha …’
There is now also a smile around Mommy’s mouth and Noortje looks. She sees that Noortje does not look at her comprehensively. ‘Yes, you are right. I was once so stupid to do that.’
Together they laugh at the whole incident.
Noortje takes a deep breath and says; ‘My shoe is back. Fortunately, Droef is also doing well. And …, I also think pink is a nice colour for the wash.