Monday, March 5, 2012

Buried Treasure

I think every kid dreams of finding buried treasure. The prospect bears a certain charm of mystery and adventure, not to mention becoming rich. For most kids the chances of actually finding buried treasure are somewhere between zero and none. Unless... Unless you bury the treasure yourself and return later to “find” it.

I must have been eight or nine years old when I decided to do just that. I got a shoebox out of my Mom’s closet and set out to find a few treasures to bury in the box. I threw in some coins, a few dollar bills, and a couple of Army men, along with a wooden whistle I’d carved. There were more supposed valuables, most likely junk, but that’s the items I remember.

I took the time to place everything in plastic bags – Ziploc bags. Everything, that is, except the shoebox. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me that the box might deteriorate. I was only concerned with what was in the box – my treasure. I didn’t want the dirt and water to ruin anything.

Carrying my Dad’s shovel with the box, I walked about a quarter mile up the creek and found a good spot. The place I chose was an equal distance between two large thorn trees and lined up with a huge oak tree across the field. I dug a two-foot deep hole in the soft dirt, set the box inside and covered it over. I figured I’d come back and dig it up in twenty years or so.

I didn’t make it twenty years, more like five. We’d moved from that house but one day I made a trip back to check on my treasure. I walked up the creek to the spot where I’d buried the shoebox – or where I thought it should be. The two thorn trees were hard to find with all the new growth, including many new trees. Most of the trees looked about the same size. To make matters worse, the oak tree across the field was gone. I didn’t give up easily though. I dug several holes in a ten-foot area where I figured my treasure would be, but didn’t find anything. Widening my search, I dug some more. Still nothing. No shoebox. No plastic bags. No treasure. Apparently, the chances of finding buried treasure are not increased by burying it yourself, after all.

I never did find it. Perhaps some other adventurous kid discovered it. Or maybe I just didn’t dig in the right spot. A more likely scenario is that the flooding creek washed it away. Yet, the possibility does exist that my treasure is still there – minus the cardboard box, of course - waiting to be found. Granted, it’s not worth much, but maybe it’ll make some kid’s day when they unearth what’s left of the plastic bagged fortune, because every kid dreams of finding buried treasure. I’d even be willing to point them in the right direction – if only I knew myself.

Bruce A. Borders, author and songwriter has over 500 songs and 9 books. Over My Dead Body, and The Journey, his latest books, are available on Apple I-Pad®, Amazon Kindle®, Barnes & Noble Nook® and Sony Reader®, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords. For more information, visit See Bruce’s Amazon Author Page at or view his Smashwords Profile at

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