Thursday, April 28, 2016
Shark Teeth and Gold Flecks
My youngest child graduates from high school this June. He is headed to college in the fall. It does lead me to reminiscing. They grow up so fast. Sometimes you don’t want them to grow up. Sometimes neither do they.
When Spencer was but a bit of a thing, we went to the beach every summer. I would plant myself in a chair and soak up the sun while he gathered items of interest on the beach. One time he brought an old broken shell to me. It looked a little like a tooth.
“Daddy, look at this, is this a tooth?”
“Hmmm, why yes, I believe it is. Sharks lose their teeth and grow new ones, every once in a while one washes ashore…it is rare, but I believe this is a shark’s tooth…from a mako I think.”
“Here, save it, I’m going to look for more.”
Spencer found sharks teeth all summer, and I identified and saved them.
“Oh, this is a good one, from a great white.”
He found sharks teeth from tiger sharks, sand sharks, leopard sharks, black tip, lemon and thresher sharks. He learned a little about each shark.
When he got tired of hunting shark teeth, I showed him how if you sift through sand, you find an occasional yellow fleck of sand. These flecks were gold. A single fleck was not worth very much, but if you find enough of them…
We collected shark teeth and flecks of gold for several years.
At some point he figured out the teeth were just broken shells and the flecks of gold were just flecks of yellow sand. He never called me out on the hoax. I never knew at what point he believed, or when he just went along with the game because it was a fun game.
Anyway, he goes to college this fall and he knows a lot about sharks and the value of gold.