about – extra special fanciful version

“Would you like to see a great treasure?”

The old woman spoke with a voice like broken glass. A hand, wizened and creased, silently motioned the hesitant child closer.

She smelled like dust and wet leaves, with a hint of rotting fruit. The child was terrified… but curious about the treasure. Was it gold? Jewels? A trunk full of silver coins?

“Come, come…” she crooned, as she shuffled into her shop. Fear nearly held the child back, but fascination was too strong.

Inside was dim and cluttered. Dusty, glass-topped curio cabinets grudgingly displayed puddles of forlorn household items: mismatched silver spoons, wooden spools, rusty keys, ceramic figurines.

The old woman emerged from behind a curtain that covered the door at the back of the room. She held a small, burlap sack. Her eyes flashed at the child, approvingly.

“Come, come…” she crooned.

A hand disappeared inside the bag.

“Treasure… if you’ll have it.”

The child couldn’t see what was in old woman’s hand. Then she opened her clawed fingers, as if revealing a long-lost secret.


At least… yes, they looked like seeds. The child was bitterly disappointed. Not treasure, after all.

The old woman poked through the handful with a knarled finger, selecting one seed from the rest.

“What do you think this one is? Do you know?” she queried.

“Suh… sunflower?” the child stammered.

Great caws of laughter erupted from the old woman’s belly.

“Yes! Yes! Sunflower! And this one?” she quickly pinched another, larger seed.

The child was silent, unsure.

“This will be a great tree someday. A great tree.”

And then the child recognized it – an acorn.

“And what about this one?” she shrieked.

The child started backing away, sidling towards the front door.

“Don’t go,” she commanded with a soft hiss. The child froze, mid-flight.

“Here, take.” She held out the handful of seeds, entreating the child to come closer again. “Great treasure. Great.”

The child nearly whimpered as hot fingers brushed clammy palm. She emptied the handful of seeds into soft flesh, then wrapped the child’s hands tight around them.

“Great treasure. And do you know why?” Her eyes burned.

The child’s head shook reluctantly, eyes glued to the old woman’s.

“Inside the bag, they are worthless. Nothing. But take them, soak them, scatter them, plant them – and they may grow. Little miracles, waiting to live.”

She turned her back on the child abruptly, limping away. “Soak them. Scatter them. Plant them,” she muttered in the child’s general direction.


The sunlight outside the shop was blinding. When the world came back into focus, the damp hands cautiously opened to expose their contents.

Treasures. Great treasures.

The hands closed again, this time with purpose.

The child walked home – to get a jar, and some water…

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