The Time Capsule
An old metal box, dirt pasted to it, sits at the side of the hole that will be the basement. I’m here, as I am every day, to check on the progress of our house. Up till the past few days there’s not much visible progress. A worker points to the box. It’s yours. Came out of a bulldozer load. A hundred or so years ago this was a cattle ranch. The neighbor knows the layout of the ranch. Sold years ago, it’s been platted into odd-sized city lots. This one, ours, is more than a lot. It goes deep into the bloci. Whoever surveyed these lots should have been fired and the lots re-surveyed. “Okay,” I say, “let’s open it.” Startled, he looks at me. Now? “Yes, now.” He presses a bar between the top and bottom. With a twist of the bar the box opens. A moldy stuffed animal, perhaps a rabbit, is squashed inside, a crude drawing of a fence with horses inside and a letter. It is dated 107 years before. Dear Reader, it begins, I am placing some treasurers into this special box because Daddy says we must sell our home, our ranch. This is the only place I have lived and I am twelve years old. This rabbit, Jehosaphat, is like one that lived on our ranch for years and then some wild animal got him. It’s the way of the land, I know that. Mama found him in the Sears catalog and ordered him for me. The letter went on and I folded it to read at home. The worker reboxed the treasures for me, put them in the car and the crew returned to work. I thought of the little girl, Emily Ann, who spoke to me from her time capsule and wondered how she had lived her life.