The Accidental Archaeologist
That's when I started finding things.
The first strange thing I found was a bone. I wasn't sure what sort of bone it was, but it looked like it might be from a chicken leg. This was strange. Normally, the ground only offered up such things as rocks, worms, and ants rushing to carry away little white oblong eggs that I'd unearthed. I'd never found a chicken bone before. That's the sort of thing normally scraped off the plate into a compost heap. It was discoloured. Pleased with my find, I ran up to show it off to my grandmother. She made me throw it in the garbage and wash my hands.
After I'd done this, I ran back down to the backyard and kept digging. In a lower stratum, I found something inorganic, faded, and red. Curious, I kept digging, and finally I'd pulled up my greatest archaeological find, yet: a chewed-up rubber dog bone.
Why was a dog bone underground? Although my grandmother had a dog, I knew this hadn't been one of its toys. I took the artefact back to my grandmother, and once again, she made me throw it in the garbage and wash my hands.
I dug more, afterwards, but I didn't find anything else of interest in the soil. I celebrated my great find by finally finishing my mud pies.
Now, several decades later, I'm studying archaeology again, but this time, my grandmother isn't making me wash my hands.