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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

          "Can I keep this stuff Fr. O'Kenney?  Can I, huh?  Finder's keepers, you know, and you said I could dig in the back garden."

           At that very moment, Fr. Kevin was finding it hard to breathe, much less answer Irwin's ongoing questions.  Realizing that he'd left the roach clip out back was bad enough, but those little things...the chair, the bowl and the spoon, the pile of acorn tops...left him shaking.  The right side of his brain deduced that these items must belong to the wee sidhe, while the left side screamed that he had truly gone off the deep end.  Gathering himself together, the confused priest decided to work on the problem of getting rid of Irwin before he, personally, could figure any of this out.

           "Gee, Irwin.  I don't have a clue to who these things might belong to."  Kevin prayed silently that the Lord would forgive him this one tiny, white lie.  "We really should do the right thing and look for the owner first.  Maybe someone is desperately needing these things."

           "Aw, come on, Father!" the child whined.  "It's just some old junk! The wooden chair and bowl looks like doll stuff, and the old paper clip thingy smells weird.  Nobody's gonna want this anymore."

            "Well, we can't be sure about that, Irwin.   You never know what other people find important. What if some little girl is crying over her lost dolly things?"

            Tilting his head, and thinking it over, the boy replied,  "Yeah, you might be right, Father O'Kenney.  Girls are like that you know.  Always crying over stupid stuff.  Can I at least have the paper clip?  It looks kinda cool even if it does stink."

             Kevin could imagine the reaction of Irwin's parents if he brought home drug paraphernalia he said he found at the church.  The young Pastor would have a very hard time explaining its presence among his hydrangea and inpatients.  Besides, that particular roach clip was one of his favorites, and a memento of finer college days.  "Sorry, Irwin.  Until I can check who this might belong to, I think I'll just hang on to it."

            "Alright, Father O'Kenney.  But you gotta promise that if no one claims this stuff, it becomes my property, okay?  'Cause that's how it works in real life."

            "You have my word on it Irwin." said the priest, as he crossed his fingers behind his back.

             Before anyone could say another word, the sound of an elephant's triumphant call came from Irwin's back pocket.  The boy slid  out a brand new iphone, and glancing at the screen announced,  "That's my mom, Father.  I gotta go home now for dinner.  See ya later.  Don't loose my stuff, okay?"

              "Don't worry,  Irwin.  I'll keep it nice and safe."  He watched the boy hop down the stairs, and head for home, pondering the fact that a 10 year old had an iphone, and he did not.  He picked up a broom, and began half-heartedly sweeping the corners of the room, his mind on the problems that the found items might bring. Deciding full well that he wouldn't get another thing done until he checked for himself, Fr. Kevin locked up the storage room, and made his way down the stairs and over to the small garden, carrying the strange items with him, but pocketing the roach clip.

            Laying the  wee "treasures" on a stone bench near the grotto, and checking to see that he was quite alone, he began to crawl around on his hands and knees, pushing aside branches and hedges, and poking around in the dirt.  He wasn't sure what it was he was looking for, but worried it might be his own lost sanity.



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