As he began his mission that day, he had no clue what would happen. But as he looked at the metal square, he was more than happy that he did it. It was his new mission to figure out how to get it open to find out what was in it. His grandmother couldn’t have known that he would find the box, and she’d probably regret ever asking him to do it. But he needed to know what was in it.
Not too many people enjoy cleaning, and this Imgur user – who uses the name todirerl – was definitely not an exception. But he knew saying no to his grandma wasn’t an option when she asked if he would help her clean her pottery workshop. His family believed helping people was the right thing to do, especially if the elders were involved. He immediately said he would help, and didn’t show his discontent, but he had no clue what he was getting into.
The moment he entered the workshop, he knew it was going to be a long day. The room was cluttered with pottery, tools, paint, and other raw materials. It was obvious that his grandma hadn’t cleaned up in awhile. He got to work without any complaints, secretly hoping the day would pass by quickly. He continued to stay focused on the task at hand, that was until he saw something odd in the back of the workshop.
In the corner was a brown closet that he never noticed before. Boxes and random pieces of wood blocked the closet doors, proving that it hadn’t been opened in a long time. He became extremely curious, so he began to move the obstacles and made room for the doors to open. As he opened them, he was a bit excited and a bit nervous that he was about to find a dead animal. Luckily, an entirely different surprised waited for him in the closet.
There was more junk in the closet, of course. Thankfully, there were no dead animals, but he noticed there was something a bit strange about the old closet. At the bottom of the closet, there were a bunch of wooden tiles that made up the floor but they didn’t seem to be in place. Actually, they looked like they were really loose. His curiosity grew, so he began to take out all of the stuff in the closet. Once it was empty, he realized what was going on.
As he took out the middle wooden tile, he realized the closet had a false bottom. Underneath was a square-shaped hole that had been cut out and filled with gravel. Since it was just a plain wooden closet, he figured it was pretty strange that it had a false floor. He brushed away the gravel until he saw what was buried. He noticed a metal object that had a round piece of plastic in the middle. As soon as he realized what it was, he gasped.
The hidden object was an old combination safe. Things were starting to get really interesting. He ignored his cleaning duties and went to ask his grandma about the safe. She couldn’t remember who put it in there, or what was inside it, and she certainly didn’t remember the combination. Her grandson refused to give up, so he asked his grandma if he could open it. She said yes and that’s when he got really excited.
With the help of his father, todirerl used a grinder to smooth the edges of the box, then they used a chisel to pry it open. Since it had been hidden for an unimaginable amount of time, the safe was all rusted and tattered. The grandson didn’t even know if there was anything in there at all. As soon as he looked inside, he was happy to see that that the safe was not empty, but he still didn’t understand what was going on.
When he first looked, there didn’t appear to be anything valuable inside the safe. There was no money, or jewels, or important papers. As he looked closer, he noticed that one of the papers said, “Abandon All Regret Ye Who Enter Here.” The quote is from “Dante’s Inferno,” but they used “regret” instead of the word “hope.” He immediately knew who the safe belonged to.
He immediately identified his grandfather’s sense of humor as he read the note. He realized there were items tucked inside the black cloth, so he began to carefully unfold it. Inside of it was a pen, a plastic box, a leather pouch, two photographs, and a lamp. As soon as he saw the photographs, he realized what kind of treasure he stumbled across.
The photographs were very worn and yellow, and moisture had began to eat away at the corners. They were an invaluable family heirloom. One picture showed a woman standing behind a window, wearing traditional clothing. The other picture was of a man in a suit, round glasses, and holding a pipe. The man was his grandfather’s father, and the woman was his grandfather’s grandmother. But those weren’t the only items that share their family history.
Inside of the leather pouch was a pocket watch and quite a few stamps, which were still in amazing condition. When he looked closer, he noticed that the stamps came from an array of different countries, some of them don’t even exist anymore. He had stamps from Zaire (not Congo), the Soviet Union, Katanga (a province of Congo), and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (a territory that is disputed with Morocco), among many others. He then opened the plastic box where he found more goodies!
Inside of the plastic box were a bunch of coins of different shapes and sizes. Like the stamps, the coins came from all of the world and from different periods of time. He found coins from New Zealand, Jamaica, Venezuela, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Pakistan, and Cuba, among many others. Some of them were pretty rare, such as the the 1921 U.S silver dollar, which is believed to be worth quite a bit of money. There were some other things inside of the box that were even more valuable to the family.
Inside of the box, alongside the coins, was a WWI medal and a pin with a crest, assumed to belong to the man’s great-grandfather after he served in World War I. The crest, which showed a lion, could have been the coat of arms for Norway or the royal arms of Scotland. A commenter stated that it could have been given to Commonwealth troops by the British Empire for serving in combat. Even though the rest of the items weren’t historically significant, they were still pretty amazing.
The grandson was particularly amused by the tiny lamp, which looked a lot like the genie’s lamp in “Aladdin,” but this one was black. “Unfortunately not a genie’s lamp,” he joked, indicating the he rubbed it just to make sure. They also found an old key, but his grandmother had no idea what it went to. Maybe there’s more treasure in the house!