You never know what lies below.
Give your kid a metal detector for his birthday, and hold your breath. Pray that all he finds are innocent things like coins, belt buckles, or maybe an old-fashioned roller skate key.
My boy Eddie was ten that year. He and his buddy, Logan, loved to run free in the woods. We’d always let them. They were strong, smart boys who knew more about those woods than his mom and I ever knew.
Until the day they came home white-faced and shaken, that is. Logan had clearly been crying. Maybe Eddie, too, but he’d never show it.
“What’s up, guys? Something wrong?” I said.
“Uh, um, yeah–yeah, Dad. You, uh, you need to come look. We found–”
Suddenly his white face turned green and he ran for the bathroom. We could hear him losing his breakfast. Painful thing to listen to. When he came back, he wasn’t trying to hide his tears any more.
Logan. “C-Could I call my dad? I want him to see what we found.”
“Sure, Logan. Tell you what, I’ll call him, and he can meet us by the big birch at the head of the trail, okay?”
My wife said, “Take your cell, Honey. You may need to call for help.”
So off we went. Logan’s dad, Harry, was waiting for us. He looked confused, a little tense. “So–what’s up? You guys discover buried treasure or something?” But the boys didn’t laugh, just shook their heads.
We followed them for about a mile, I figured, when they stopped short. They were looking at a hole in the ground about the size of a grown man or woman. The hole was empty. It was maybe four or five feet deep. We looked at the boys, whose eye were the size of saucers.
“Dad! There was a body down there! A woman! She w-w-was covered, but we could see a little bit. I-I- sh-she was, like, just s-sl-sleeping? I mean, she wasn’t, you know, all—-
“She hadn’t decayed? You could see that she hadn’t been there long?”
“Yeah! Right! Like the hole wasn’t, ah, filled in all the way, you know?” Logan was clearly distressed. He looked away from his dad, looked at me, looked at Eddie. “Sh-she kind of l-looked like my mom!” He blurted, tears, rolling down his cheeks like a river.
And that right there was when I noticed the gun in Harry’s hand, and the crazed look in his eyes.
My boy Eddie, though, he was a sharp kid. He still had his metal detector, and he’d managed to slip around behind Harry without Harry noticing. Harry was focused on ME! Eddie conked him a good one on the back of his head.
I grabbed the gun. Sure was glad I had my cell. Harry started to wake up about the time the cops got there.
If you’re thinking of getting your kid a metal detector, make sure it’s a good sturdy one.