The 13,000-year-old discovery during a fishing trip

by Shirley Williams
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Whenever I go fishing the best case scenario is to catch some fish. The usual occurrence is that I either catch nothing or a bunch of seaweed. As Andrew and Eric set out for a day of fishing on a hot June day, they likely had the same expectations. However, what they found was far more surprising than either boy could have imagined. 

Andrew Gainariu and Eric Stamatin are two best friends, the type that classic wholesome movies are often made about. They are both eleven years old and cousins. In summers they spend as many days together as they can and they dream up adventure after adventure but rarely do the reality of these adventures match what their imagination cooks up. That can not be said about the day they found the Mastodon bone though. 

The boys had set out early that day and were fishing for crayfish. Luckily the crayfish were not biting and the boys soon grew bored. As we all know, on a summer day young boys don’t stay bored for long and they soon got distracted by their aims of building a dam across the river. They lifted heavy rock after heavy rock until one of the boys picked up something that was clearly not a rock at all.

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They didn’t know what it was but realized they had to bring it home to get an adult opinion. Eric’s mother was the only one at home at that time and was not too delighted to see the boys bring home more garbage to the house. After looking at the item she decided that it must be a cow bone. Still, it had an ornate look about it and was clearly very old so she cleaned it up and popped it on the mantelpiece. Months passed before she thought of it again when her friend mentioned knowing a paleontologist. 

If anyone ever mentions a paleontologist and you have a bone sitting on your fireplace at home, you take advantage of the coincidence. While we all grew up watching Friends thinking that paleontologists were commonplace in your average cafe, they are not. The expert examined the bone and said it was not a cow at all, it was a mastodon and it was 13,000 years old!

The boys were delighted and still are. Hours of sleep have greatly been reduced since the discovery as the boys delight in the fact they are now, according to them, famous. We asked the boys what they are going to do with the bone, at present, they are still unsure. They know for sure that they will bring it to their next ‘show and tell’ class in 6th grade but after that, who knows.

They say they have been trying to decide whether to keep it, give it to a museum or sell it for a fortune but have innocently asked the question, who would pay a fortune for a mastodon bone? As the mastodon has been extinct for 10,000 years we are sure that there is someone out there who would love to have this prize possession. The state mascot for Michigan (where the bone was found) is a mastodon after all so the bone clearly would hold pride of place somewhere. 

While the future of the bone is unclear, what is certain is that those boys will be telling this story for a very long time. The bad news is that they will likely never have a day of fishing that will live up to this epic one unless they can catch something even greater than a 13,000-year-old bone.

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