Pensioner spends seven years working on jigsaw only to find peice missing.
Pensioner’s seven year jigsaw battle ‘ends with one piece missing’
A pensioner, Jack Harris, who spent seven-and-a-half years working on a 5000-part jigsaw finally completed the puzzle only to find there was one piece missing.
Jack Harris with his 4,999 piece jigsaw, which had one piece missing. Photo: SWNS
The 86 year-old started the gruelling puzzle in 2002 when it was bought for him as a Christmas gift by his daughter-in-law Eve.
He began work on the jigsaw, which depicts James Tissot’s "The Return of the Prodigal Son", with the intention of completing it by the summer.
But the retired businessman, from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, struggled with the 5ft puzzle and the mass of pieces dominated his dining table for more than seven years as he strived to complete it.
When he finally began putting the final parts together he was dismayed to find that he had only 4999 pieces with one tiny hole in the middle.
The whereabouts of the missing piece is a mystery, but the family believe it may have been thrown away by mistake or eaten by one of his son’s two dogs.
His daughter-in-law, who is married to his son Trevor, said Mr Harris was "so disappointed" when he found there was one piece missing.
"We got him this one as a bit of a joke really, because he always boasted he could get them done so quickly, he’s a bit of a whiz with them," she said.
"There was so much to do. We’d all have a go at it each time we went over there, but it seemed to just take forever.
"It was marvellous to see it finally completed. But when we saw there was a piece missing from the middle, we just couldn’t believe it."
She added: "He was just so disappointed when he found one bit was missing. It’s sad really because now it will never be completed."
Mr Hughes has a new jigsaw given to him every year by his family but he has been particularly stumped by this one.
He was initially helped by Doris, his wife, before she died in February 2004 leaving him to complete the task on his own.
"I always said I could get the puzzles done by the end of March so I could get out into the garden, but this one took a bit longer," Mr Hughes said.
A spokesman for Falcon Games LTD, the puzzle’s manufacturer, said they had stopped making that particular jigsaw and it would therefore be impossible for them to provide the final piece.