Tag Archives: ancient

1728. An ancient artefact

Russell had been grubbing thistles all day on his patch of land when the spade hit something that appeared metallic. He had hit what seemed to be a little metal box. Although it was ingrained with soil he could tell that it was once quite ornate. It seemed as if it was once embossed all over. There was what looked like a keyhole which was filled with dirt. No key of course, and a lid shut tight.

Russell took it home to clean, and hopefully open to see what was inside. It didn’t rattle but felt quite heavy.

The problem was that all ancient treasures found below the surface of the earth belonged to the whole country. Either the government would have it stored somewhere in a museum or they would sell it and some super-fat politician would dine out on the proceeds. Russell decided that the best thing was to clean and open it himself and sell it for a tidy profit.

He began the cleaning. It certainly seemed old, but in excellent condition. Then he discovered that the apparent keyhole wasn’t a keyhole at all, but simply some sort of fastener. With a little more careful cleaning he should be able to open the lid.

The metal casing of the box was thin and clearly easily dented. He didn’t want to use any abrasives or chemical cleaning solutions. Who knows what it could do to the metal, and the slightest mark would greatly diminish its value. And then… it opened!

There was nothing inside except for a folded and fragile piece of paper. Perhaps it was a map to treasure! Russell knew if he unfolded the paper it could crumble into dust. He had to find a way to unfold it. After two weeks of the most careful manipulating, impatience got the better of him. He warily opened the paper and it didn’t crumble. There was faded writing. It read:

This cleaner is recommended for use on many surfaces including sinks, cooktops and benches, white ware, stainless steel pots and pans, enamel, and tiled and stone surfaces.

709. Treasures gleaned


It was the chance of a life time; in fact, it was a rare privilege. Benjamin had been given the opportunity to live for a year far, far away from civilization, in the heartland of the indigenous peoples. He would learn from their ancient wisdoms.

He had read that by looking up at the sky, the people could tell what the weather would be like for the next week. By seeing a person’s footprint in the soil, they could tell how many hours or days or weeks or months had passed since that footprint fell. By seeing how early this or that tree flowered, it was known how long the summer would be. The height in the tree that such and such a bird nested was an indication of whether or not to make hay. Simply by placing an ear to the ground, you could tell the distance and number of a grazing herd. And the moon! They planted gardens and crops by the phases of the moon!

All these things Benjamin would learn. They would be treasures gleaned to last a life time; a richness of wisdom to serve through the years ahead!

There’s one now, sitting on his own in the corner of the local country pub! It’s the chief! The inheritor of these ancient wisdoms! The leader of the peoples!

“Hi!” said Benjamin. “How’s it going?”

“Good,” said the paramount chief. “How are you?”

“Good,” said Benjamin. “What’s the weather going to do?”

“I don’t know,” said the chief. “I haven’t had the radio on.”

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