BY ISOLDE RYAN
Copyright is held by the author.
THE PETERS were a nice farming family at the other end of town. My mom and I would visit them sometimes and the ladies would have coffee together. Mrs. Peters was an avid gardener with a beautiful flower garden and lovely trees that she had planted all around their home. Mrs. Peters told my mother that she wanted to add another maple tree to her collection but her husband refused to be part of it. He said that they already had plenty of work and “No time to waste planting trees”.
The issue was now dealt with, and the conversation over as far as Mr. Peters was concerned. However, Mrs. Peters had an idea to get what she wanted.
The following Sunday she had invited our family to dinner at their farm, she had made rabbit stew, her husband’s favourite. The adults sat on one end of the table and the children at the other. We were all eating when I overheard Mrs. Peters telling everyone a story about her grandfather who used to live on their farm. Mrs. Peters told everyone that she had inherited a lot of jewelry and precious stones from her grandmother and how her grandfather did not believe in banks or safety deposit boxes. Mrs. Peters winked at my mother while she was talking, I think no one was supposed to see it, but I did.
The story of her grandfather’s treasure continued and everyone was waiting to hear what he had become of it. Mrs. Peters went on telling everyone how her grandmother has said that it had all been buried behind the house; so, no one would where but her grandmother who had watched from the window. This revelation had everyone’s attention, and questions were flying at her from every direction.
“Where is the treasure now?”
“What did you do with it?”
Mrs. Peters stopped us all and continued by telling us that her grandparents had never dug up the jewels and that they were still out there. She also said that she was the only one who knew the exact spot. The conversation about Mrs. Peters treasure captivated everyone that evening, everyone wondering why she hadn’t already dug it up.
When I asked about it later at home, all my mom said was “Let’s see what happens.”
I spent the night dreaming of the buried treasure.
The next day we went back to their farm to return the empty dishes Mrs. Peters had given us to take left-overs home. I asked her immediately about the treasure but she only smiled and said, “It is still out there.”
Mr. Peters had also started inquiring about it; and he insisted he tell the exact location. To him, she replied, “All right then, if you must know.”
It was then that we left, at my mom’s insistence, and I was so disappointed not to hear the rest of the conversation. I couldn’t get the treasure out of my head! My mom kept saying that it was none of our concern, and to let the story unfold.
“We’ll find out soon enough.”
I did not understand what she meant, but I listened to my mom.
The very next day, Mr. Peters grabbed a shovel, his wife having revealed the exact location of her grandfather’s buried treasure. Mr. Peters started digging, and after an hour had made quite a large hole.
Mrs. Peters came out and said, “Oh dear! I think I may have told you the wrong spot. Perhaps it was over here.”
“I hope you are right this time,” he looked at his wife and started a new hole only six feet from the other. He had made another big hole before calling it quits.
As soon as he went inside, Mrs. Peters went out to their shed and retrieved her little maple tree that she had hidden. She planted that tree in the hole her husband had dug and used the second hole for a new lilac bush.
When her husband looked out of the window that evening after dinner he asked, “Was there ever a treasure?” Mrs. Peters shrugged her shoulders and said, “How many more holes would you like to dig to find out?”
My mother told me what had transpired at Mrs. Peters’ house. With a smile on her face she said, “And that’s how it’s done.”