It was a hot evening in the field. The sun was gradually dying in the sky but savouring every last moment as it sucked the moisture from the world below. He sat in the field and looked. The holes surrounded him now, some large and deep, others just handfuls of earth hastily scooped out. The sweat sat heavily on his brow, muddy streaks lined his cheeks and forearms. Where had it gone? Why couldn’t he find that place he had marked so clearly only hours before? It had been such a beautiful stone – dazzling. Sending out extraordinary and delicate shafts of light as he had twisted it in his fingers. Incredible to find it here amongst the ruts and debris. Like a dream. Perhaps it had been a dream.
His mind wandered back over the hectic events. The visit to the estate agent, the sale of his car, the scrambled phone calls, the incredulous response from friends. And all for what? So that he could buy up an empty field and sit in it surrounded by mole hills? He stood up and stretched his aching limbs, then stumbled across to the first hole he had dug. Surely he had not been mistaken. Dropping to his knees he burrowed again, a frantic dog, the earth flying around his heels. He stopped. His hand clasped something he had missed earlier. It certainly wasn’t his diamond. More like an old piece of coal. He pushed his face close to the handful of rock. In the dying sun something glinted against the black surface of the stone. He twisted it in his fingers. There it was again. A faint flash of beauty that took him right back to the discovery he had made only hours earlier.
He stood up, wrapped the rock in a cloth and slipped it into his pocket. Could this be the diamond he had sold everything to possess?
He would see. It seemed to him very strange, but he resolved there and then to keep it, work at it for a while and hope and pray that one day he would once again see his precious stone.