|The Carpenter Creek Digging (standard:Suspense, 1024 words)|
|Author: Roger Gene Ritchey||Added: Sep 15 2008||Views/Reads: 2192/976||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Kids explore an unearthed box.|
THE CARPENTER CREEK DIGGING The slip made another undetectable pass through the very large hole in the ground. So slow was the progress that each trip was virtually immeasurable, even to the trained eye. It was a stretch to observe discernable change even after ten trips. The slip was pulled behind a tractor with one adroit man riding the device and controlling each shaved sliver of earth removed. The slip device worked similar to peeling an apple, only the future hole was one humongous apple. This dirt was not giving it up easily, especially the clay part. The miniscule amount of shaved dirt was dumped onto a slowly growing mound nearby. I was only eleven years old but my thoughts flashed back to what little I knew of the Egyptians. This plodding progress was probably their everyday norm. No whips were cracking, but blisters were still being made and broken. There were at least six men slaving away on this backbreaking, gut-straining project, plus us kids. Of course, kids didn't count for much, our main job was staying out of the way, and it's surprising how hard that is to learn. My Dad, two uncles and three hired men were working on the basement excavation of my youngest uncle's new home. The men and, occassionally we kids, were picking and shoveling out the corners of this thirty by forty foot pit that maybe, just maybe, someday would be ten feet deep. This was during the spring of the year when the soil was presumably more kind to our Herculean efforts. The bright, shiny shovels were sharpened at least once a day. And, the shovels' home at night was a bucket of used motor oil to prevent rust, probably an old Oregon trick learned by necessity. Efforts put forth by my cousin and me were undeniably feeble and borderling worthless. Carpenter Creek was just fifty feet away and the slowly growing dirt mound was a magnet for us Tom Sawyer wannabees. There had been a very old house owned by a pioneer family on the site and it was now a cold pile of ashes. This torching was only after complete searches by you know who. On and on the work went, day after day. And, these were not eight hour days, not even ten measly hour stints. Our usual was twelve hours with animal chores on each end. Finally, we kids had a mound we could really get running down. Playing king of the mountain was the living end, especially when neighboring kids ventured into our domain. The men were straightening the back south wall when it happened. The end of a large box slowly appeared. It was a good five feet deep and still looked pretty sturdy with only a few bugs doing their thing. All work came to a stop! At first there was a lot of excited jabbering with us youngsters joining right in, because our imaginations could fly with anybody's. But my dad and oldest uncle were not saying much. It took a lot to get them excited! My cousin and I were pretty sure it wasn't pirate's treasure, but then how did you know? So, cooler heads then ours were weighing in about the possiblity of "it" being a coffin. Well now, we'd always wanted to dig one up. What to do? Maybe talk with the pioneer family about their recollections, or we could open the end and pull the body bones out to be reburied in a safer place. It was already proven: digging was one of our family's long suits. But, we kids wailed, "What about all the gold or silver probably in there?" It was a mental logjam for the adults, which my cousin and I could not figure. No one was ever going to have a better chance to find an honest to God treasure. So, we kids decided to sneak down into the pit at night and take the end off the box. The first thing that went wrong was a skunk falling into the excavation. My younger, slower cousin got mixed up with the wrong end of him Click here to read the rest of this story (46 more lines)
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