Logan Bright 2016 – Novakovich 5e6
The backyard at grandpa’s house was full of treasures so I wasn’t surprised when I found his map. Mommy and daddy were moving stuff out the front door into a big square truck when I pulled the folded paper out of a box of papers and medals. I opened it along the creases, it was blue paper and blue lines but there was a big red X square in the backyard. The house had an address printed on it and it was grandpa’s address.
I ran out to the yard and sank to my knees in the damp grass, putting aside little piles of dirt with scooped hands. The map wasn’t specific on where exactly in the backyard the X was supposed to be so I started at what I thought was probably the centre. My nails got full of mud and my jeans were filthy before I thought to fetch a shovel from the shed.
The little wooden building was padlocked though, and daddy had the keys. His birthday was coming soon and I wanted to surprise him with the buried treasure so I went back to the house and crept up to the doorjamb. I darted inside the kitchen, which luckily hadn’t been packed away yet, and returned to the yard with the two biggest spoons I could find.
All afternoon I dug around the yard, a few inches here, behind an old washing machine; a few inches there, beside a checkered loveseat with oily stains. When the sun reached the treetops, mommy came to the back door with a glass of iced tea and found me covered in the rich soil, and the lawn full of holes like a family of groundhogs had just moved in.
I beamed up at her. “Don’t tell daddy,” I said. “I want the treasure to be a surprise.”
“You’re looking for grandpa’s buried treasure?” she asked, kneeling beside me.
I took a big sip of the sweet tea. “Yep. And I’m gonna give it to daddy for his birthday. From grandpa.”
From out front of the house my dad honked the horn of the square truck.
“That’s very kind of you, sweetie. Come on inside now. We’ll come back and find the buried treasure next time.”
I was around 10 when grandpa died. His yard was full of old furniture and half-finished projects, scrap metal and rusting toys. Treasures all, to my eyes. I’d spend hours playing in the cool, damp grass when my folks came to visit with grandpa.
The day my parents came to clear out his furniture, I found a map in an old iron box full of dusty medals and stiff photographs. It must have been a city zoning map or something, blue on blue, but I recognized the street and the address to be grandpa’s. The map had a big red X in his backyard.
I ran out back and began digging with my bare hands. My father’s birthday was approaching and I had a mind to give him the buried treasure for a present.
I was caked in mud before I thought to try for a shovel but when I got to the low wooden shed I found it padlocked and realized that only dad had the keys. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise and so I snuck into the kitchen, making sure no one would see me, and I swiped a couple of the biggest spoons I could find.
I dug furiously all afternoon, leaving dozens of holes a few inches deep scattered across the backyard.
The sun had reached the tops of the trees when my mother appeared at the kitchen door with an iced tea in hand, and called my name. “What are you doing out here?”
“Ssh,” I said. “I’m digging up grandpa’s treasure.”
She came and kneeled in the moist earth beside me, careful not to get her khakis dirty. “Buried treasure?”
“I found a map. I’m going to give the treasure to daddy for his birthday.”
Out front, my father honked the horn of the square rental van.
“That’s a very sweet idea, peach. But let’s come in for the day, hm? We can always come back another time to find the buried treasure.”