"I realized I'll never save enough to get a laptop, but at least I can buy a kindle," the Scribe said. "My friend will sell me hers. I just need eighty dollars."
Her friend--that sounded like a recipe for disaster. "And where are you going to get eighty dollars?" I asked. My four kids gathered around. For some reason even Doctor Jones (my two-year-old) wanted to hear what the Scribe would say.
"I just need a shovel," the Scribe said.
"What? Do you want to dig holes for a living now?" It made no sense to me, but the other kids seemed to understand.
"Mom, I know what she's talking about," the Hippie said. "Buried treasure! Your buried treasure!"
I snorted--those kids kill me--they're so hilarious.
"Fine." I sat on the coffee table, suddenly understanding what they had referred to. "Once upon a time, there was a little girl. Her name was . . . Elisa!" The kids giggled as I went on. "She worked, harder and harder, earning every penny, dime, nickle and quarter she could . . . She sold lemonade. She picked asparagus! She even scrounged change from her brother's room--when he wasn't looking."
It was true. I must have been about seven by the time I'd saved more than Bill Gates is worth. I toiled--feeling the joy that comes from a hard day's work. I hid all the money under my bed. Sure that sounds miserly, but I wasn't trying to be an angel. I stole a bunch of my brother's best socks after that--just the left ones. I filled those suckered with change. At dinner, I laughed into my soup when my brother asked where his socks kept going.
My mom smiled sweetly--so innocent--and said, "That's the mystery with socks. No one knows where they go."
Except me! I had them--dang it--I knew more than most grown-ups did.
Anyway, days crept into months and summer finally came. My mom knelt gardening, and when I snatched the hand shovel--she had no idea it was me. I tiptoed to the backyard and that's when I started digging.
The backyard was massive, stretching halfway with grass until it became dirt and went all the way back to a creepy alley that had my name written all over it.
I dug the biggest hole the world's ever seen--and I must have done it quick, 'cause my mom didn't even see me! I was a ninja, a rich ninja and nothin' could stop me--not even taxes.
I grabbed all my change that was still in my brother's best dress socks, then I threw them in the hole and covered 'em up. It was just a random spot in the yard--a place that needed some kind of marker. I didn't want to be obvious, so I took a rock and made a huge "X" in the ground.
It felt really great. My family didn't know how rich I was, and that was all right. I bet my mom would have let me out of chores and everything IF she knew I was a billionaire. But I didn't want them loving me just for my money--that would've been terrible. I smiled thinking about all of it. That night my dreams were wonderful about affording chocolate fountains and hosting big parties.
It wasn't until the rains came, that my hopes crashed to the ground. I stared out my window. The "X" was gone! All my hard work--was hidden.
My mom insisted on dressing me for school. I wore some pansy dress and bows that made me look like a kitten. When my mom wasn't looking, that's when I ran outside and dug into the mud. I made hole after hole, but I couldn't find my funds in the rain. That's the trouble with being good at hiding things--I even hid it from myself. I went inside and that's when I got in trouble. "What . . . Your dress! What have you been doing in the mud?" my mom asked. But I wouldn't talk--pirates NEVER reveal the location of their buried treasure. As I took a bath, my brother asked again about his missing socks and I did chuckle a bit--he'd never know. But it did bother me--maybe that's why God sent the rain. I'd hidden money in stolen socks--that made it sinful, practically.
I looked at each of my kids and finished the story.
"It wasn't until we moved to the big city that I cried. I waved to the house. My family all thought it was because I loved the place. That wasn't it at all though. I was just sad to be leaving my fortune behind."
"Wow," the Hippie said.
"How much dough did you bury?" the Scribe asked.
"I don't know. It might have been five bucks for all I know. But when I was little it seemed like a hundred."
"I knew it," she said. "How far away is that place--Does someone still live there?"
"It's too far away. Plus, someone does live there. We just can't sneak in and dig up their yard."
The Scribe nodded. "I guess I'll have to find another way. But it was a good idea . . . and a good story. After all, how many kids have mothers who used to bury treasure, just for fun."
"Not many." The Hippie laughed before continuing. "Maybe just us."
They all got up and left. I gazed through the window to our backyard. Rain splattered the dirt and for some reason I couldn't quit smiling.