Saturday, February 26, 2011

Suffer The Children

My husband, Joe, and I got out for a few hours of detecting this afternoon.  Being February, it wasn't exactly warm, but we'd got so tired of hearing about fellow enthusiasts recent finds that we decided to try for a few of our own.

We headed into town to a ball park where an old school had once stood.  We were pleasantly surprised to find the park empty and managed to get in a good 15 minutes of detecting before the inevitable group of youngsters arrived.  Joe and I don't usually mind when kids show up - they are naturally inquisitive and we enjoy sharing our hobby with them.  Generally they stand quietly by, shyly nudging each other until one has the courage to step forward and ask "whatcha doin'?"

Our answer is always the same..."we're hunting for treasure," and always illicits the same response...eyes widening in slight disbelief, an edge of excitement in their voices as they ask, "Can we watch?"

Today was a little different, though.  These kids, seven of them ranging in ages from 8 to 10 years, were more than inquisitive..they were enthusiastic.  After answering the usual "whatcha doin'?" question, we began to show them how our detectors and probes worked.  Joe knelt to dig a target, putting his detector down as he did so.  The next thing he knew, one of the boys had picked it up and was off and swinging with it.  

As Joe took off after his detector, I felt a stealthy hand reach into my belt and make off with my Vibraprobe as another small hand grabbed for my detector.  We got our equipment back with a firm "sorry, guys, this stuff is too expensive to play with."  But our young audience was not to be deterred.  They closed in tight around us, reaching out tentative hands to help us swing our detectors in the confined space.

One little girl asked what my pouch was for, and when I told her it was where I put any litter I found, she proceeded to empty her pockets and place her trash into my pouch.

Between us, Joe and I found a handful of pennies, two nickels, a dime, a housekey, and a variety of bottle caps and pull tabs.  Everything - even the trash - was quickly confiscated by the kids, who then proceeded to sit in a circle and show off the treasures we'd given them. 

Who knows, maybe we started something...