He stumbled upon the treasure quite by accident. He had been exploring the vicinity when he happened upon it. His first thought: This cannot be real. He cautiously approached. Someone might be playing a trick on him. Perhaps he was being observed. But no one sprung from a concealed location—no one yelled for him to halt his advance. It seemed safe enough to move forward. When he arrived at the treasure, he bent down to touch it, just to make sure it was real. 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 back to where he had found the treasure, but dared not get too close. Instead, he peered at it from a far. It was still there and untouched! But for how long? 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.
As he tried to sleep on the second night after his discovery, he thought perhaps the Law Giver would understand. Perhaps he should approach her, and 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. But … where could he hide it? The Law Giver was all-wise; she knew the secrets of his heart.
Quite unexpectedly, he overheard the Law Giver speaking of the place he had found the treasure. This is what he heard: “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 Billy might like.”
Something I might like. Something I might like! Was she toying with him? Did she indeed know of the treasure? Later that afternoon, his mother called Billy to the front of the house. He was not allowed far from home because he was only five years old, so 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 Billy the bright red, toy fire truck that had caused him to lose so much sleep. You see, Billy had been afraid his mother would think he had stolen it, even though it seemed to have been abandoned. And in his home, stealing was the one thing his mother, the Law Giver, would never tolerate.