The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

A while ago, I blogged about Shel Silverstein's story, The Missing Piece, and my feelings of betrayal, anger, and disappointment when the Missing Piece was left high and dry by the selfish other shape. This other shape, a circle missing a triangle wedge, had offered to share life with a triangle who fit (the missing piece), so that the two of them could role quickly through the world together, but then ditched it, without a word of regret, to go on its own way. (My post about this, incidentally, is one of the most frequently read things I've written, and my opinion of the book is not universally shared--see the comment. Also, just as a helpful tip for those who google for them, there aren't any poems in it).

I feel much better now, because apparently Silverstein also felt a bit anxious about the missing piece, and wrote a sequel--The Missing Piece Meets the Big O (1981). The missing piece (mp) can't move on its own, because it's a triangle. It tries to find another shape with whom it fits, but to no avail. Then it meets the Big O, who is (surprise!) a big o. The Big O tells the mp to just go for it on its own, and slowly, as mp flips itself over and over, its angles wear down and it becomes a circle too! Hurray! Off it goes...

I actually do feel better about it all now, even though, in my usual cynical way, I am tempted to reject the moral on principle. But in all fairness, this promotion of self-reliance is a moral I can live with...


  1. I'm glad you liked this one better. Generally speaking, I felt much more comfortable with this one as a parable than I did the other.

  2. Hi Becky! Believe me, I was glad too!


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