You are in the woods and you stumble across a tin box sticking up out of the ground. You dig it up to find…
It was early May. It had been raining for several days. My father and I had decided it was the perfect time to go mushroom hunting.
We slipped on our slickers and grabbed our Wal-Mart plastic bags and our mud boots. Off we went to the woods near our home.
We had been walking for a short distance when I heard my dad yell out to me,” I found some”. I was instantly thinking,he always finds them first. He has the eye of an eagle. I didn’t say anything back to his call but kept looking.
The only reason I went with him on this power hunt was to spend time with him. My dad is color blind and I will never figure out how he even found one, let alone the bushels he sometimes discovered. I usually went home empty-handed, but filled with more love as the two of us had spent some quality time together.
It was getting close to noon and my stomach was beginning to let me feel its roar. I was just getting ready to go hunt dad down, when a bright object was sparked by the sun. I looked closer to whatever it was that caught my eye and saw that it was a box, a tin box.
I had some work gloves in my pocket and I slipped them on so I wouldn’t come up against any slimy worms. It didn’t want to come out very easily. I had to do some light digging and used my boot to wiggle it out of the buried ground.
I picked it up and carefully wiped the dirt off of it. It was dull in color but the more I cleaned it the brighter it got. I shook it a little and heard some jingles coming from within. The design on the outer tin were related to holidays. A picture of Christmas cookies. Words wishing Merry Christmas were imprinted.
I tried to lift the lid off but it was like glue and was going to have to be pried. I took it and put it in my empty mushroom sack and took off to find my dad. When I did find him, he just
smiled at me. He already knew that he had hit the jackpot and I had not. Dad always liked to rub it in when he made his golden finds.
I said, “Ya dad, go ahead and smile. I didn’t find a one”.
He said, ” You probably stepped on them like you usually do”. We both laughed. It was alright. Let him have his royal moment. I had found a tin box. I took it out of the bag and showed it to him. I explained that I had just dug it up a little ways back on our path.
He asked, “What’s in it”?
I said, ” I don’t know. I tried to open it but couldn’t. The lid is on pretty tight”. He took it and tried to open it but he had no luck. He led me to one of our favorite tree branches and we both sat down. He took his pocket knife out of his pocket and started lifting the edges. When it was almost ready for the lid to pop he handed it back to me. “Here, you open it. You found it”. I took it from him and shook it one more time. Trying to guess the prize before seeing it.
With no answers I slowly lifted the lid. My dad and I looked at each other in awe. There sitting in the can were several silver dollars, a bank note and a small black box. There was a rolled note with a string attached to it.
I had to open the box first. I recognized those boxes and was wishing. Dad said,” come on, open it. What are you waiting for”? I was like a kid in a candy store. I was savoring the moment, but listened to dad and opened the box.
To our surprise there sat the biggest diamond I had ever seen. The flawless cuts cast highlights against the tree leaves. I lifted it out and looked closer at it. It was so beautiful. I tried it on and oh my gosh, it fit! It fit like it was made for me.
I didn’t take it off but watched dad’s eyes as he was reading the bank-note. He thought that it was real and that from what it said there was validation of this in the city bank downtown.
I untied the piece of yellow yarn from the scroll and it said this. If you find this, consider it your lucky day. Please take this and the note to the Main bank on Center Street.
Dad and I looked at each other and I don’t know about him, but my insides were beginning to rumble like a science project. Excitement was rearing its head and I could not wait to get to the bank.
“Let’s go dad, let’s get back to the house and get cleaned up and get to the bank”. I didn’t have to twist his arm. I think he was just as curious as I was. We headed back to the house and the count of mushrooms had been laid aside. We got cleaned up and took off for town.
Once we got to the bank, we each became nervous. I was thinking, what are they going to think of me? Here I am carrying some old tin box in and professing it may have value. Maybe they will call the police and say there is some nut here.
My curiosity got the best of me and we got out of the car and took it in. Dad stayed behind letting me deal with my find. I walked up to the teller and said, ” I know this sounds crazy, but believe me I am not. I was out walking this morning with my dad and I came across this box”.
She put her finger up to her lips to show me silence. She said,” We have been waiting for you. We knew that one day someone would come across this box and now the day has come. Please follow me to that office across the hall”.
I looked at dad and he motioned to me it was alright, go ahead, follow her. I did as the two instructed and in a daze sat down in a comfy black chair. The bank teller had been replaced by the Vice President of the bank. He sat across from me and studied me over the gold-rimmed glasses he was wearing.
He motioned for the box and I nervously handed it to him. He took the lid off and then I saw moisture fall upon the lid. I looked at this important man and was surprised that he could feel. He looked so stiff in his blue pin striped business suit with his red tie showing power in his name.
I asked,” Are you alright sir”? He nodded his head and sat in silence for a moment. He then licked his lips and wiped his eyes with his white hankie. He said, ” I have not seen this tin for some time. This belonged to my father. A few years before he died, he discovered his wife had cheated on him. From that moment on his heart quit feeling emotion. It seemed like his soul had died”.
My heart fell as I listened to the softness of this man speak about his father. I told him how sorry I was and then retained my silence. The VP stood up and told me, “I will be back in a few moments. Will you be alright here while I am gone? Would you like a cup of coffee”?
I shook my head no to the coffee and said, ” I will be alright. Please do what you need to do”. He left me sitting there to ponder on what he may be doing. I looked around the bank and gazed over the artificial flowers sitting in various spots. The son came back and sat.
He took out another piece of paper that he had taken out of his father’s vault. He said that he would like me to hear what had been written on this single page. I sat still giving him permission without speaking to continue.
He read, ” To whom ever finds this tin box, I wish you good health as I once had. I wish for you good wealth as I was fortunate enough to enjoy. I leave for you these gifts. Ten silver dollars represents how many years I was married to my lovely wife. The ten carat diamond ring represents the sparkle that my wife had once brought me. The bank-note, I leave you is for ten million dollars, which represents the money that I made while I was married. My life is coming to its final days and I want to pay if forward. Now it is your turn to enjoy”.
I looked at the broken man sitting across from me. Tears were streaming down his face from the love he carried for his father. His father’s heart had been broken but he had left a piece of it with his son and now I also carried a slice of this within my own heart.
I stood up and walked over to him and gave him a big hug and told him how sorry I was for his loss of his father. He hung his head and motioned for me to pick up what now belonged to me. I said nothing but did as he requested. I made my way back to where my father was waiting and he looked at my tearful eyes, and I said,” I love you dad. I never tell you enough, and you need to hear it from me more often”. I put my arm around him and we walked out of the bank together.