Inspirational Stories

December 14, 2021

Boy Staying at Grandma's Old House for Christmas Learns of a Treasure Map Stashed in the Attic — Story of the Day

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A clever grandmother sets out to teach her sulky teen grandson a valuable lesson disguised as a search for a treasure map.

Doris was at her wit's end with her sulky grandson, Frank. He had only just arrived at her Colorado home to spend the Christmas holidays with her, and already she wondered if she would survive...

Frank had been a sweet, curious, and helpful boy, but he'd now grown into a petulant, lazy teen who wasn't interested in anything except his phone and his video games. Worse of all, they were now snowed in, and Doris couldn't even send him outside to play!

Doris was at her wit's end with her sulky grandson | Source: Shutterstock.com

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"Only 10 days until his parents arrive," Doris consoled herself. "You've raised five energetic children, you've got this!" That night at dinner, Doris decided to try a different tack with Frank.

"Frank dear," she said. "I was wondering if you could lend me a hand..."

Frank (who was chewing his dinner noisily and with his mouth wide open) said "What do you want?" in a nasty tone of voice.

Doris kept her smile bright and cheery. "Well, you know that our annual Christmas fair is next week, and I have the attic absolutely full of old bric-a-brac which people now tell me is considered charming and antique..."

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Frank wasn't happy to leave LA and spend Christmas in Colorado with his grandmother | Source: Unsplash

"So what?" asked Frank.

Keeping family values relevant isn't easy in today's world.

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"So..." Doris said keeping her calm, "I was hoping you could help me sort some things out and bring them down so I could give them away for the charity auction."

Frank laughed coarsely. "You're kidding, right?" he asked rudely, then he pushed his chair back, got up, and left the table without a by-your-leave. Doris sighed. She had to set Frank right... But how?

Then she grinned. "Grandpa Wilson Garret to the rescue," she cried happily.

Doris asked Frank to help her clean out her attic | Source: Pixabay

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Frank, who was in the TV room, said, "Have you gone senile now? Who are you talking to?" Doris didn't reply and that big happy grin stayed on her face. The next day she started implementing her plan.

When Frank came down for breakfast, Doris was sitting with a stack of very old sepia photos and newspaper clippings, sorting through the papers and dividing them into piles.

"What's that garbage?" asked Frank.

"Good morning dear," said Doris sweetly. "Oh, the Historical Society has asked me for some archive material on your great-great-grandfather Wilson Franklin Garret, who was quite an adventurer and had a secret gold mine."

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Frank refused to help his grandmother | Source: Unsplash

That caught Frank's attention. "A secret gold mine? So how come we're not rich?" he asked.

"Well, you see, back in those days men killed each other over claims," Doris explained. "Wilson would disappear into the mountains for months, then come back with gold. He never told anyone, not even my grandmother where he found that gold. But he told her he'd hidden the secret among his beloved books."

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Frank was now fascinated. "Wait...And you didn't LOOK?" he asked.

"Oh of course I looked, and so did my brothers, and your father and uncles," Doris said. "But I think it's probably something out in plain sight that none of us has seen yet..." 

Doris decided to teach her grandson a lesson | Source: Pexels

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"Well..." Frank's tone was now surprisingly pleasant. "Would you mind if I looked?"

"Not at all dear!" said Doris. "But there is a small problem. Grandpa Wilson's book trunk is right at the back of the attic, and we'd have to move out all the bric-a-brac before you can get to it."

Frank had become positively charming. "Gran, didn't you need that stuff for the auction? We'll kill two birds with one stone!" And they did. For the next two days, Frank enthusiastically cleared out the attic.

Finally, a huge wooden trunk with leather straps was revealed. "There it is, Frank," Doris said. "Dive in. Maybe you'll find what none of us could."

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Doris told Frank her grandfather had been a prospector | Source: Pixabay

Frank opened the trunk. It was full of old books, some of which he'd had to read at school, others he'd never heard of. Apparently, Grandpa Wilson had liked poetry a lot! Frank carefully leafed through the pages of the fragile books, and once in a while, he'd end up reading one.

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Over the next week, Frank rarely left the attic. except when Doris called him down for meals.  "Gran," he said excitedly. "Some of those books up there are really cool! One is a witness account of the big earthquake in San Francisco! And there's another book about the life of the miners right here in the Rockies. They were fighting bears and wolves..."

Doris nodded. "OH, that sounds so exciting! And the map to the gold mine?" she asked.

Doris told Frank her grandfather had hidden a treasure map in an old trunk | Source: Pixabay

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"Nothing yet," Frank admitted. "But I've started reading Granpa Wilson's diary and it's pretty cool! I think there will be a clue there."

The day before Frank's parents were due to arrive, Frank came downstairs with the diary in his hands. "Gran, I want to read you something," he said. "This is Granpa Wilson's last entry:

"My dear children, I spent my life searching the mountains for gold, but the real treasures have been here all along.- In the beauty of these mountains and this great land, in the love of my family.  

In these wonderful books, you will find the map to riches beyond your wildest dreams: riches of wisdom and endless adventures, and maybe you will set out on your own quest."

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Among the books in the trunk Frank found an old diary | Source: Unsplash

Frank closed the book carefully, reverently. "I guess I did find the treasure map, didn't I grandma?" he asked, "And I have a feeling you found that map yourself!"

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Doris smiled and hugged him. "Oh my sweet boy, yes you did! It was a discovery that changed my life, and I have a feeling it will change yours!"

Frank and Doris carefully put the books back into the old trunk and tucked it back in the furthest corner of the attic for the next treasure seeker. Frank accompanied Doris to the Christmas fair and ended up having a lot of fun and making some friends.

By the time Frank's mom and dad arrived for Christmas, Frank was a changed boy. Christmas morning it snowed and it turned out to be one of the best Christmases ever. As for Frank, he was once again the kind and thoughtful boy his grandma adored, and he became a man to be proud of.

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They had the most wonderful Christmas ever | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

  • Keeping family values relevant isn't easy in today's world. Doris was determined to pass on the family legacy to her grandson even if she had to trick him.
  • The greatest treasures we can own are not gold and diamonds, but love, kindness, and family. Frank went looking for a gold map but found a greater treasure.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who hands her teenage son to the police because she can't control him.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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