One warm morning during an endless summer long ago, I was admiring the beautiful flowers that grew next to our white house with green trim around the windows.
I don't know what kind they were, but they were the deepest red and gave off a beautiful fragrance that would greet us as soon as we stepped outside.
On this particular morning, something shiny lay half-buried next to one of our flower bushes. I dug up the ground and pulled out a ruby about the size of my thumbnail.
I held it in my hand, then held it up to the sun so I could look into it. Such wonderful things were inside! I could see red spires, glowing spheres and crystal castles with tall, glistening towers. Every time I turned it, I would find some new wonder.
How much was this priceless gem worth? My mind immediately traveled to the big mail-order catalog that sat next to our wing chair in the living room and all the things I could finally send for.
I bet I could buy lots of dolls, games and fancy clothes!
My days would be filled with trips to those faraway places I had seen in magazines and long days at amusement parks. I might even visit family members whom I'd only heard about and tell them of my great fortune. Then everyone would know how lucky I was.
Deep inside, I knew it was plastic. I put it — along with my dreams — in my pocket and started walking toward my white house with green trim around the windows.
Mom, in her apron, undoubtedly would be cooking in the kitchen. Dad would be home from work later, and my sisters and brother were out playing somewhere.
As I walked, I played with the treasure in my pocket, twirling it between my fingers. What would I want with such silly things? I was already rich.
Ruby Celeste lives with her husband and 11 (four-legged) kids near White City.