When Ruby sets out to visit her nana, she finds she can no longer cross a stream she needs to cross. As frustration and disappointment set in, a strange figure appears out of nowhere and shows her something the stranger calls a “stuckstone.” Not only is the stone unusual looking, but when Ruby holds it in her hand and closes her eyes, her frustration turns into pleasure. Suddenly she can hear – or imagines she can hear – the stream singing and laughing and speaking a language of its own. She also hears a voice chanting a mysterious rhyme – though when she again opens her eyes, the mysterious stranger is nowhere to be seen. Was it real or imaginary? Whatever it was, Ruby is now certain she will find another way to cross the stream and visit her nana.
“Ruby took [the stone] cautiously, as though afraid it might be alive. It was a beautiful gray-lavender, but when she turned it over, the lavender looked more like blue – or was it green? Indeed, the more she turned it over and the longer she looked, the less sure she was what color it was. It seemed to contain a complete rainbow of colors constantly rising and fading away, now one, now another, even as she looked at them.” (Age 6-8)