Treasures in a little pocket

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Treasures are in the eye of the beholder (and/or the mind.) Tyler's mind is ever-expansive, stretching to include all sorts of odd finds on any of our brooktreks. He discovers a small hunk of junk, studies it, decides it's valuable and stashes it. Either it goes into my capacious skirt or his own jean's pocket. All in all, he's discriminating . Though his mind "gives" in any given direction, it can also close in about his treasure, rubbing it to a high polish, adding to its heretofore unrecognized worth.

What on earth would a worldy-wise adulet see in three grubby washers, for instance? Pity that purblind grownup who can't realize they'll make first-rate sinkers for a brother's fishline. "In case he runs out of B.B.'s." On further examination, scraping off the caked mud -- voila!m "This one's red plastic underneath. A kind of gear, Gocky. It oughta fit something in my box of Legos. A lot of pieces are missing, you know."

So. "And just look at this: it's not lead. See? It's a leather. Isn't Papa-Bob always talking about those cheap faucet washers he has to keep buying at the hardware store? Here's a val'able, old-fashioned leather one. He'll be happy now." And I must save it, just for Bob. "Put it with that big screw we found a ways back. You kept it, didn't you?"

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I'd not dare do otherwise, and displayed proof. Something else was shining at the edge of the grassy path. He salvaged it: a spring, of sorts. Maybe from part of somebody's bicycle? "Look at it shine. Some time Papa might need it to fix my bike. Here, Gock."

I accept it with due admiration. Like the reputed magpie, or the more familiar (to us) crow or bluejay, Tyler takes delight in shiny objects. "All that glitters" need not be gold. Gold's OK, maybe, but it lacks the excitement of other metals -- tin, for example, or mica winking out of the gravel.

"What's it, Gock?" A clip-on pen holder. I demonstrate its purpose, attaching it to his shirt pocket. Out of my own I fish a stub of pencil to fit. He is impressed. This will certainly be something very special for his executive-father. We speculate together, anticipating Tom's pleasure.

Returning home, Ty proposes a fair wage for helping me clean the car. "One dollar," he nonchalantly announces, brushing his cookie crumbs off the back seat. I suggest he ought to be paying me.m "OK," he agrees. What's a dollar? A piece of crumpled paper. A neat dime in his grimy palm, or a fat nickel, or a big quarter: that's different, that's bite-sizem (in the ancient art of assaying.) And when he rewards me with a penny -- for allowing him to hold the hose and slosh the car -- he's being purely generous with genuine coin of the realm. Paying me -- imagine -- for my indulgence. No, not really. Just sharing his wealth with me.

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