Birthday Story for a Nine-Year-Old

Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy 9th birthday Mitchell- my budding archaeologist.

            When Mitchell’s mom told him to go outside and dig up some potatoes for supper he groaned, “Do I have to? It’s my birthday.”
            “You never know what you might find,” his mother said with a wink.
            “What I’d really like to dig up is a mummy,” Mitchell answered. “There’s a mummy exhibit coming to Salt Lake City at the Leonardo Museum with real mummies from all over the world in January. I really, really, really want to go.”
            “But the admission tickets are so expensive,” his mother answered. “Now get those potatoes dug up. Since the snow melted off yesterday, you can get to the last ones next to the raspberry bushes.”
            Mitchell dragged his feet into the garage, grabbed a small shovel and reluctantly walked to the backyard. He found the spot his mother told him about and started digging. The shriveled vines were his best clue of where to dig.
            First Mitchel dug up a gigantic potato then several small ones. He brushed the moist earth off the spuds and continued digging. Suddenly his shovel hit against a solid object.  Mitchell’s heart raced. He quickly dug deeper and brushed the dirt away. Buried in the ground right next to the raspberry bushes, Mitchell found a wooden box secured with a lock.
            Mitchell wiggled the lock but nothing happened. He ran into the house yelling.
            “Mom, you’ll never believe what I found buried in the dirt in our garden. It’s a box with a lock. I want to get this lid open so bad. What do you think is inside? It could be anything . . . like papyrus or a gold goblet.”
            Mitchell immediately called all his friends to come over and bring every key in their house. He tried each key one by one. Nothing fit. The box stayed locked. All his friends went home disappointed. Then Mitchell remembered his own key collection. He tried every one, but nothing fit.
            Mitchell wondered what to do. Because he was born on December 19 there was always a Christmas tree in the family room in their home. He plopped down on the floor, flipped over on his back and looked up at the tree through the boughs. That is the moment when he noticed their giant silver key.
“The key!” Mitchell said. “I forgot about our magic key.”
That large silver key was how Santa got into their house on Christmas Eve even though they didn’t have a chimney and even if the door was locked. His family hung it on the tree each year. Mitchel always liked to leave the key on the front porch with a plate of cookies before he went to bed on Christmas Eve.
Mitchell grabbed the key off the tree and rolled it over in his hand. Then he walked over to the dusty locked box. He pushed the key into the lock and turned it to the right. He heard something click right before the lock opened. Mitchel quickly creaked open the lid to the box.
There in the bottom of the box were tickets for the mummy exhibit in Salt Lake City along with a treasure map and a secret code that looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics.
“Mom! Dad! Look what I found in the box!” Mitchell screamed running through the house. “The magic key worked. Now I can go see the mummies. And look there’s a treasure map with a secret code in here too.”
Mitchell carefully unfolded the treasure map. He carefully deciphered the hieroglyphic writings that formed the secret code in his notebook. Mitchell noticed a half moon, serpent and the bird along with the picture of a man, woman and child. He followed the treasure map through the house as he thought about what the glyphs meant. He ended up in his parent’s bedroom where they were sitting together holding hands and smiling.
“I’ve got it!” Mitchell said with a smile. This treasure map’s secret code translates to . . .  mother . . . father . . .  love . . .  son . . . Hey, does that means you guys love me. Ah shucks. Thanks Mom and Dad.”
Mitchell gave his dad a high five then he gave his mom a big hug right before he said, “You guys are a pretty great daddy and “mummy”.

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