A Red Masked Bandit Tells a Story in a Rock and Gem Shop

Whilst I was looking through the three bins of rough stones another guy entered the store. There must have been half-a-dozen people in the shop and the owner went off to provide assistance to other customers. As I stood spraying water onto the pieces and seeing each side light up with a nice polished colour I started thinking about what I would need to tumble stones when my internal thinking was interrupted by a man in a pair of blue jeans, grey van sneakers, a white long sleeved button up shirt with a packet of nicotine gum in the pocket, a red bandana with white Canadian maple leafs and a brown whicker Panama style hat on. “Don’t you just love these rough stones?” He said in a slightly deeper voice than what I would have expected from such a small man. “Yes, I tend to gravitate to this corner when I want to look for those oddly shaped pieces.”

The two of us exchanged pleasantries for about five minutes, talking about the types of stones and the cuts of each. Then he brought up the bin that I was holding with the rough clear quartz and pieces of Inca and Nephrite Jade. Shortly thereafter he says would you care to hear a funny story about rocks? “Of course I would,” I said behind my bright yellow smiling mask. And that’s when it begins;

  • A friend of mine named Larry invited me out to his house to go for a walk. And when I arrived Larry was still out. So I ended up having a cup of tea with his wife. Larry and his wife, lived outside of the big city on a farm and had somewheres around 40 acres or so. On this day I asked his wife, Betty if she knew where Larry had run off to? She was surprised that Larry had gone anywhere at all, because of his slowly encroaching forgetfulness. Which she had to constantly remind him of. As they sat on the sofa a nice looking sedan pulled into the driveway which she did not recognize. And she said, “I wonder whom that could be?” That’s when I said back, there was nothing to worry about since I was here. When the car parked and the driver begin to exit she instantly noticed it was Larry. “Oh my, its Larry,” she said. Then she stood and headed to the front door. They both did. She says, “perhaps you would like to take Larry for a walk out to where the pet cemetery is?”
  • The wife asked Larry where the car came from and he informed he just bought them a new car down at the lot. She was disappointed since they didn’t have a lot of extra money and his medical bills were really piling up. Then she asked Tom to take Larry for a walk.
  • As Tom and Larry began their walk, they started talking about the new sedan that Larry had just purchased. The sales people really took advantage of him because of his condition and he wasn’t sure if the car was right for he and his wife. But had agreed to taking the car anyways as he liked how it handled on the roads and it sure would fit all the grandchildren when they came to visit.
  • Down at the pet cemetery they talked about all of the farm animals that had been around the farm and which were now buried out here in the middle of the field. There were donkeys, and horses, big brown ones and short white ones. Some of them had names and several did not. They had dogs and cats, a few mice and once there was a beaver, too. They had a couple of skunks which were pests and a handful of other smaller animals.
  • After the run down of the pets buried in the pet cemetery Tom and Larry started making the couple of kilometres walk back towards the house. On the way back Tom dipped down and scooped up a nice looking rock. A few minutes later Larry noticed Tom holding the rock and said to him, “Now Tom, where did you find that rock?” to which Tom replied, “Oh Larry, I just saw it a few steps back yonder and scooped it up. Its a real nice rock. Do you happen to know what it is?” Larry looked at Tom and then at the rock. He had him turn it left, then turn it right. Then Larry replied, “Well Tom, that there is a ‘Leverite’. Have you ever heard of a ‘Leverite’ Tom?” Tom looked at Larry then down at the stone and says, “Yeah know Larry, I don’t think I have ever heard of a Leverite. Where does a Leverite come from?”
  • Larry looked at Tom and says, “Tom, its a “leave her right there” and Larry pointed back to the ground. Tom realizing now what Larry meant, laughed then dropped the stone onto the ground.

The man in the red bandana and I laughed for a few minutes at the end of his story. Then he excused himself around to the other side of the shelving looking at things left and right. Standing at the rough stones I looked around at the tumblers where i had left off my last thought before the man in the Panama hat had interrupted to tell a story.

As soon as I started to look at the Tumble-bee his head popped around the corner, “do you happen to have any stories you would like to share?he asked. I looked at his eyes then smiled underneath my mask. “I sure do. Let me think which one to share?” I paused for a moment and said, “About eight years ago, my wife and I lived in South Korea and…”

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