Silver treasure on the beach

On our walk round the bay this morning, Bert and I both discovered treasure.

I picked up a curl of birch bark, probably arrived from Norway as we don’t have much in the way of birch trees here in Shetland. I wonder how it got here, what it’s journey was.

It reminded me of one of those intricately decorated cuffs or torcs worn by tribal chieftains or rich ladies of Ireland or Scotland in pre-Roman times, the sort of thing you see carefully displayed in glass cases in the British Museum.

Bertie thought his find was far more exciting though: an old tennis ball, or so I thought, lying soggily in the grass above the beach. But it didn’t really bounce terribly well, which was a bit disappointing. Perhaps because it was wet, I thought, but as it dried out it became evident that this was much more than just an old tennis ball. Suddenly, it squeaked. And that was it, he wouldn’t give it up for love, money nor biscuits. Until he’d chewed the squeak out that is, which took about five minutes. Actually, that’s a bit of a record, for him…


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