a view from under the pew: the sudoku maze

By Gary Mitchell: Local columnist

boss i m swearing off
numbers for the rest of
my little mousy life i m
sure by now you ve heard
about my most recent escapade
when i happened to stumble
into a sudoku maze

it s the latest craze
says freddy flea to me

says who says me
says everybody says he

oh well if everybody
says it it must be says me

that s so says he and off
we went into the sudoku
numbers maze set right up
here in the bugtussle
town square

boss when i stepped onto
the first square a big
number 9 shouted
you don t belong there
whatchu doin in dat square

i dunno i just happened
to step here says me

this here maze is just
for numbers says he
by the way what number
do you be are ye a
number 1 you re kinda
big and puffy for one son

i m number 1 says a
big yellow skinny
character coming up
behind me boss i m
number 1 — ain t no
other one — i m
number 1

all right all right that s
fine says big number 9
then he leans over to me
and says he thinks he s the
only number around
here on this big
sudoku square

what do you do on this
square and why are
there empty spaces in
this grid says me

the object of the maze is
to fill in those blanks with
numbers — but not with just
any number — you can only
use one number once in a
nine-square grid and you
can only use a number
once in either a vertical
or horizontal row says he

sounds hard to me says me

aw naw says he it just
takes a bit of logic
don tcha see

not really says me

a number can only go in a
certain hole — or it will mess
up another grid or row — now
tell me you hairy soul — what
number are you — you look
like a fuzzy zero

i m not a zero — i m a
mouse says me

sudoku mazes don t have
zeroes says he so you ll
have to go little zero

i m not a zero says me
vociferously

where s a zero says a blue
number 2 and a royal purple 7
we ve never seen a zero
before can we see him
before he goes out the door

here he is says 9

no i m not says me a little
hot go away and let me play

it s okay little zero says
perfect number 7 we all have
a place in this world and in
god s heaven

well boss after i calmed down i
realized he was right i needed
to back off to see the light

in a sudoku maze every
number has its place and in
the church pew underworld
every mouse and bug has
its own matchbox space

god has created each of us
for a time such as this and
for a purpose that gives us
joy peace grace and bliss

amos