“Mom! I can’t breathe!” The smoke filled Bethany’s room as the fire swept through the house. She frantically looked around, knowing that she would only be able to save one item.
As her mom ran into the room and grabbed her hand, the box in the corner caught Bethany’s eye. Pulling away from her mom, Bethany ran over and lifted the box, wrapping her arms tightly around it.
“Bethany, we have to go now!” her mom yelled. Bethany quickly ran to her and together they made their way through the heavy smoke. Right as they stepped past the front door, the house began to collapse behind them.
Bethany stood with her mom, as they watched their home burn, leaving nothing but ashes in its place. As tears flowed down her cheeks, Bethany looked down at the box she was holding. It contained all of her most cherished keepsakes, each one linking back to a special memory. Although saddened by the loss of her home, she was relieved that her most important possession was safe, there in her arms.
Days passed by and Bethany continued to carry the box every where she went. She was terrified to put it down for even a moment. At first the box was light, but it seemed to get heavier with each passing day. One day, as her arms were shaking from the weight of the box, Bethany knew that she had to make a choice. She could either continue carrying the box with her and struggle along each day, or she could hide it in a safe place.
It was a difficult decision, but she knew what she had to do. Looking around her, she spotted a tall, beautiful oak tree off in the distance. It was away from the road and sat on the edge of a lush green field. “I can hide it there”, she thought. Bethany walked over to the tree, where she began to dig a large hole in the ground beside it.
Once the hole was large enough, she lifted up the box and placed it inside. Slowly, with one handful at a time, she covered it with the dirt until it could no longer be seen.
With tears streaming down her face she thought, “It should be safe here. Some day I will come back to get it, and hopefully it will still be here. There’s no certainty that it will be, but I just don’t have the strength to carry it any longer.”
Wiping away her tears, she stood to her feet and slowly walked away, leaving the box behind her.