Isn't there some beach in Hawaii with black sand where it is forbidden to take even a souvenir bottle of sand home with you? I've never been to Hawaii, but I kinda like the music. Don't need black sand, either.
I guess some people just like to have a souvenir (the word is French for "remember") of places they've been and people they've been with. A tiny Statue of Liberty makes a fine decoration for any library, and a coconut shaved and shorn to look like a shrunken head is a sure conversation starter for when the in-laws drop over and won't leave.
Deep in the heart of Texas there is a park called Enchanted Rock. Wonderful things are supposed to happen there, mystical things, things that cannot be explained by your science.
"We've had Native Americans living here for over 11,000 years, so, of course there's some legends of the mystical powers of Enchanted Rock," is how Doug Cochran, park superintendent at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area puts it.
That must be why a park visitor, a woman named Maria, walked off with this little rock in her hot little hand not long ago, and we can only surmise that she expected to a) win the Megaball Lotto b) come into a fortune such as that left behind by fleeing Nigerian princes whose nephews want to share it with you and c) establish an adult relationship with Matthew McConnaughey.
And it didn't work out, and perhaps Maria felt that the act of purloining that rock was what brought out the negative juju on her, keeping her away from the lotto, the Nigerian loot, and McConnaughey. All right, all right, all right.
So.....she mailed the rock back to the park with a note that reads:
“I'm returning this rock to its owner, Enchanted Rock. I've had nothing but bad luck since I took it. Sorry I did it. P.S. not able to do it in person."
Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Stephanie Garcia said, "It's definitely unusual. It's one of those stories that are probably going to stick around with us for a while." Because who doesn't enjoy getting rocks in the mail?
But Mr Cochran seems to think there is still some untapped magic in that stone. "We’re going to put it in a very special place where nobody knows it except me and one other person," he promises.
We talked before about the old fireman I knew who carried a horse chestnut in his pocket for the purpose of "drawing out the rheumatiz'." Do you believe in carrying around amulets or talismans to bring you better luck, or health, or love?
Do you believe it might be time to believe?