[image description: The last bit of toothpaste (which has a happy little face) emerges from a now-completely-empty tube against a black, grey, and green marble background. Both the tube and the toothpaste are pink, white, and mint green striped. Text reads, “205, SQUIRT, the small god of THRIFT”]
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They have followers and they have believers, and those are not the same thing.
Squirt was born of necessity, of stone soup and chewed paper patching cracks in the window. They came into being the first time someone boiled grass and called it tea, the first time a child, denied a doll, dressed a stick in a cobweb gown and sent her dancing at an imaginary ball. Some grow up with them, knowing their worship from the beginnings of their lives, and some come to them later; some come willingly, and some less so. Some speak of them with scorn and others with reverence, but it’s all the same to Squirt. Squirt welcomes them all, and they don’t care if you believe in them, because they believe in themself, and that’s enough.
They know how to make do.
They are the last drop in the shampoo bottle, the last squeeze in the toothpaste tube, the last bite of the bread; they are discount meat and making do. They are mending and darning and repairing what’s broken but not quite past salvation. They are a saver of everything, and that includes the lost and the broken. No one is too battered from past experiences to be beyond the point of saving.
So come: let them take you to the thrift shops and the discount grocery stores, the stands where they sell the imperfect produce and the flea markets where lightly used goods are available for those willing to take the time. Let them freecycle your faith, and when you leave them for more generous pastures, they will gladly wave you on, knowing you have been enriched by your time in their company, knowing they will never be truly forgotten.
They are the salt at your table forever after, and the reminder to be kind to those who have less, to lift up instead of pushing down. They are a moment and a memory, or a lifetime, and they are always a lesson. They will teach you how to work with what you have, and when they are no longer right for you, they will let you go.
Every time, always.
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Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world: