“Don’t forget that the neighborhood is having a community dinner tomorrow night after the Eucharist. I promised to bring a meat entrée.”
That was Diane’s way of saying, “Don’t come home empty handed.” You would think that after twenty years of marriage, she would know the things that irritate me. Or perhaps she did, and enjoyed pushing the needle in slightly and giving it a good twist now and then just see my reaction.
“I haven’t forgotten. What would you like: a nice deer, maybe a couple geese… or perhaps a big, ugly dog. I hear dogs make a good fricassee.”
She laughed. “Don’t let Max her you say that.”
Max, a blue-tick hound dog, lay in the corner of the kitchen. He perked up when he heard his name, which all dogs seem to understand, other than that loud kissing sound I make when I want his attention.
Packed in a wool blanket on the table was my bow, plenty of arrows, and a hunting knife. With the neatly wrapped food that Diane had prepared, I was ready for the hunt. After a quick kiss and a mischievous pinch on the back side, I headed out to the dense forest to do my grocery shopping.
“Father, I bless Gary with a safe and prosperous hunt. Angels of God, go with him. Keep him safe from all harm, in the name of Jesus Christ.” Diane had prayed that prayer for years. It wasn’t just repetition to her. She talked to the Father and to angels as though they were standing right in front of her.
God had prospered my hunt indeed! Soon after I had reached my favorite spot, a bounty was sent my way. By mid afternoon I had bagged a turkey, two geese and three good sized hare.
Just before sunset, my prize came walking out of the woods into a nearby clearing. She was a big doe, maybe three or four years old. I motioned for Max to stand still. To my right was a pile of rocks about four feet high. Slowly I moved behind the rocks, knelt down on one knee and took aim. A loud twang rang out as I released the arrow. She heard the sound and flinched, but the arrow made its mark before the doe could retreat.
As I watched the doe drop to its knees at the sting of the arrow, the rock that I knelt against slid under my weight. Under the rock was a metal box. I quickly opened it to find a small package wrapped in a material that was unknown to me. At first, I recoiled slightly at the strange feel of the wrap, then carefully removed it to uncover a small, black, odd looking rectangular object. There were writings on it that looked somewhat familiar, but that I couldn’t read.
That night, under the stars, I examined the curious artifact, wondering what it could possibly have been. It was very old, that I could tell… but could not imagine what it might have been used for.
Morning came, and with my bounty tied to a couple drag poles, Max and I headed back home. Diane was surprised to see me back so soon, but pleased to see the amount of game that I dragged behind me. We unpacked the game and she set up a large table to begin making the preparations for tonight’s banquet. Then I showed her the treasure that I had dug up.
“That’s an odd looking contraption. Maybe John can tell you what it is… or was.”
John was one of the Church elders in our community who made frequent trips to the State capital where Bibles and books were printed. There was also a museum there.
“Yeah, I know what this is.”, John said with a slight concerned look on his face. “This comes from about five hundred years ago in our history. It was an awful time; just before God sent the Great Awakening that changed our society. In that time, most people were Godless. They killed their own babies, refused to let children pray or read God’s Word in school, and ridiculed God’s creation by teaching their own ridiculous theory that life evolved from rocks.”
Upon a more careful examination of the small artifact, John said, “This writing is the ancient language of our ancestors. I believe that this word was pronounced: iPhone.”
It was the years 2525…and man was still alive.
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