TREASURE

Treasure

He stumbled upon the treasure quite by accident. He was exploring in the vicinity when he happened upon it. His first thought was, “This cannot be real.” He approached it gingerly, not sure if it was not some kind of trick. Someone might be observing him right at that moment, and if he were to get near the treasure, spring out of their concealment and brand him a thief. But no one sprung from a concealed location, no one yelled for him to halt his advance. It seemed safe to move forward. When he arrived at the treasure, he bent down to touch it, just to make sure it was real. After one touch, he fled to better-known and safer environs.

That night he could not sleep for thinking of what he had discovered. He thought and thought of ways he could explain it to members of his tribe. If he suddenly showed up with the treasure, anything he said would be suspect. One does not find treasure of this sort every day. No, he would have to think this through.

The next day he went to the area of the treasure, but dared not get too close. Instead, he peered at it from a distance. It was still there, and untouched! For how long would it stay undiscovered? A fire burned within him to possess it. If not for the taboo placed on matters of this sort by the Law Giver, he would claim the treasure as his own. But no, the Law Giver would never allow it.

The second night after the discovery, as he tried to sleep, he thought perhaps the Law Giver would understand. Maybe he should approach her. Tell her of his find. No . . . then if she forbade him from keeping the treasure, it would be lost forever. Conceivably, he could bring it to his village and hide it from the Law Giver. However, where could he hide it? The Law Giver knew all.

Then he overheard the Law Giver speaking of the place he had found the treasure. “When they moved out, they told me they left a few things behind and if we wanted anything we were welcome to it. I’ve been too busy to go over there, but I think I’ll take a look this afternoon. Maybe there will be something Joey might like.”

Something he might like. Something he might like! Was she toying with him? Did she indeed know of the treasure? Later that afternoon, his mother called Joey to the front of the house. He was not allowed far from home because he was only five years old. He appeared right away. His mother said, “Look what I found next door where the Simms used to live. And there it was, the treasure!

His mother handed little Joey the bright red, toy fire truck that has caused him so much anguish. You see, even though it seemed to have been abandoned, Joey was afraid his mother would think he had stolen it. And in his home, stealing was the one thing his mother, the Law Giver, would never tolerate.

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