Sunday, April 28, 2013


When I was a boy I buried a small box in the woods behind the house. The box had no purpose. There was no plan. I just liked secret buried boxes, and although it would have been satisfying to give the buried box some great purpose I had nothing of value to hide and nobody to hide things from. It was simply for the joy of secret buried boxes that I did it. I'm a little embarassed to even confess this one-time hobby of mine. In truth, it was not the first box I had buried in this manner. In the quiet days of youth before the clay of a boy's brain has hardened they sometimes find interesting and frivolous pursuits to fill their days with. With a garden trowel I carved out a hole roughly the size of the box, and I buried it level with the ground so that by lifting up a flat rock the top of the box became visible. The lid was hinged and lifted easily. When all was done I scattered pine needles over the rock so that the whole thing looked as natural as can be. I was alone, and I had told no one about my plan to bury the box.

When I returned the next day the rock had been shoved aside and the lid stood open. I can recall making the discovery. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I must have been watched I reasoned, but by whom?  Where had they watched me from? I turned around in a circle taking in the woods which had suddenly become vaguely sinister. After I had left they must have come to investigate what I had buried. And why did they not leave the place as I had left it? They must have wanted me to know that they had discovered the box. Why else would they leave the stone shoved aside and the lid standing open? It remains one of the great mysteries of my youth. I buried no more boxes.

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