Something wasn't right with my kid's head.
The same thing has likely been said of everyone in my family. But this was different. My 4-year-old had less hair.
I grabbed a handful to make her a ponytail, only to realize there was only half a handful to grab. I let go and examined. Her hair indeed was shorter and slightly uneven.
If I were a mother, this would've sent me into a fit. But because I'm a father, I sort of shrugged my shoulders, went back to eating a turkey leg and immediately forgot all about it.
A couple of hours later, my wife entered the room and asked no one in particular, "Did someone cut her hair?"
Oh. Was I supposed to remember that?
Luckily, we didn't have to
Suspect No. 1 was the 11-year-old, who has a streak of deviltry in her but is basically honest and not even close to being dumb enough to think she could get away with slicing three inches off her sister's hair.
Suspect No. 2 was the 10-year-old, who had spent a very stressful day occupied by her science project. Besides that, she often has to be reminded that she even has a little sister.
Suspect No. 3 was the victim. Most kids do the self-hair-cutting thing at some point, so the questioning started there. In her favor was the forensic evidence, which clearly showed that it was next to impossible for her to
"Who cut your hair?"
"Grandma," the child replied.
"You haven't seen your grandma in five days. This happened over the past 24 hours."
You haven't seen your teacher since Thursday."
"Um ... (mumble, mumble, some combination of the names of her stuffed animals)."
"I don't think so."
The investigation's focus shifted to the other girls. Naturally, they denied any involvement.
"She did it," the 4-year-old blurted out, pointing to her sister. Ten minutes later, she pointed to her other sister and said, "She did it."
The victim then giggled and skipped into the next room.
The 10-year-old, who communicates telepathically with pets, said she had an idea. I immediately knew where she was going.
"No," I said. "It wasn't anything supernatural."
"But you don't know that," she said, completely serious. "It could've been anything."
"She's right," said the smirking 11-year-old. "It could have been a ghost. Or the devil."
Thanks for that.
The search for evidence began. All the household scissors were where they were supposed to be. None of the trash cans contained clumps of hair. The dog was questioned. The mystery deepened. I considered getting search warrants for my neighbors' homes. Anything was possible.
Days later, and we're still no closer to solving the mystery. Meanwhile, my wife has fixed the girl's hair, and they both have moved on with their lives. Unless someone comes forward, I may never know how my daughter got her new hairdo.
But I did notice that the dog has had a knowing smile on his face since Saturday ...