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A bare old tree | Source: Shutterstock
A bare old tree | Source: Shutterstock

Man Cuts Down Old Family Tree, Finds Great-Grandfather's Fateful Prophecy Inside – Story of the Day

Rita Kumar
May 27, 2024
05:25 A.M.

A desperate man finds a chained-up chest with a cryptic message hidden in the hollow of a tree outside his house. He brings it to his Grandma's home with plans to sell its contents, guessing little what's inside was locked up for a reason.

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Alan was a 41-year-old family man down on his own luck. He was already frustrated that evening after his boss denied his request for a raise, and his spirits sank even further when his wife told him that they had run out of groceries.

Despite working as a packer in a warehouse, Alan's modest earnings were barely enough to make ends meet. As he sat on his porch, sipping his coffee, his gaze fell upon the towering pine trees outside. A strange thought struck Alan. "I can sell these logs to buy groceries and gas," he pondered as he marched to his garage and grabbed an ax.

Alan began chopping down all the trees, and just as his ax struck another trunk, a strange crumpled paper plopped out of its hollow. "What's this thing?" Alan grew curious and dropped his ax. He picked up the paper and unfolded it, only to gasp at the message: "This treasure is cursed. Please get rid of it."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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"Treasure? What…Where?!" Alan was overjoyed and puzzled. He hastily pocketed the letter and peeked into the pine's hollow; his eyes widened in astonishment. Within the dark cavity lay an ancient chained-up chest, likely untouched for centuries.

"Finally! I've got you, you heavy old chest. Let's see what you've got in there," Alan grunted and panted as he pulled the chest out. He raised his ax and struck the rusty lock with a swift, powerful blow. The lock shattered, the chain snapped, and the lid of the wooden chest creaked open. But as Alan peered inside, his excitement turned to shock, and he froze to the ground.

"Oh my…Jesus Christ!" his mouth fell open. Sparkling gold jewels, rare stone-studded ornaments, and stacks of dollars stared back at him, tempting his every desire. "I… I've never seen so much gold and money all my life! A treasure chest was hidden within this tree, and I never had a clue?! Oh God…I'M RICH! I don't have to work anymore! I'm rich!!"

Alan was so excited about the unsuspecting jackpot in his grasp. But something about the cryptic warning message left him unsettled. "What a strange thing to accompany this treasure…What does it mean?" his mind haunted him.

"Grandma must know something…she used to live here. I'll meet her and find out…." Determined and curious to delve into the mystery, Alan took his findings in tow and drove to his Grandma Barbara's farmhouse seven miles away.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

"Oh my! What brought you here?!" Barbara was surprised to see Alan on her doorstep with an intricately carved box.

"Look, Grandma," Alan said, putting the heavy chest on the table and opening it for Barbara to see. "I found this treasure chest in that pine tree outside our house. And there was this note, too. Do you know where it came from? These jewels look ancient. I wonder how long they were hidden in that tree."

Barbara's eyes widened in horror as though she had seen a ghost when she read the note. Her gaze shifted to the jewels again, and she leaped back, shrieking, "Wh—Where did you say you found this, Alan?"

"Found it in a hollow in a pine tree outside our house," Alan replied. "Why, is anything wrong? Please tell me if you know something about these jewels."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Oh, my…Close it! Close the chest, Alan. Take that thing out of my house right now. My mother was right. Oh, Christ! What did you do? Why did you bring it here?" Barbara shrieked in fear as a puzzled Alan couldn't understand what had terrified his Grandma. "Jesus, I didn't think the story was true…"

"Wait…Stop. What story?" Alan pressed her to speak up, "...tell me, Grandma…I want to know everything. Why was this treasure chest hidden in that tree? How come nobody knew anything about it?"

Barbara's frightened gaze drifted back to the chest. "Your great-grandfather, Albert…He wasn't the most honest man in town. And what I'm about to tell you happened 80 years ago… in July of 1910, when I was a little girl…Everything was fine until Dad met his friend at the pub and learned of a rare treasure…."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Amidst the haze of cigarette smoke and clinking glasses in the dimly lit pub, Albert swirled the drink in his hand, engrossed in a conversation with Jimmy, an old pal and petty thief with a reputation for trouble in town.

"Albert, you won't believe what I overheard last night," Jimmy leaned closer, a mischievous glint dancing in his eyes as he whispered. "The bank in the town nearby…heard it holds precious items and an 'important cargo' ... One of the guys with the gang I hung out with last night was heavily drunk, and he let it slip… Told me it's some kinda rare treasure…something unusual the town had never seen before."

Albert's curiosity was piqued, and his mind raced. "A cargo of rare treasure? Uhm, it sounds like a jackpot to me! Go on, Jimmy. Tell me more. What have you decided?"

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"What else, pal?!" Jimmy grinned wickedly. "How long until we settle? I'm done making petty bucks and mugging people on the road…It's time to catch the whale now! If you know what I mean…Yuk! Yuk!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"I know! I know! That's exactly what I was thinking, Jim," said Albert. "I'm tired of these small-time petty scores. This is our chance to become rich. What's the plan? How are we going to do it?"

"Whatever we're going to do, we do it quietly…and we don't need any weapons. Honestly, I suck at using guns! Let's use our wits this time. If the treasure is as rare and precious as they say, we must be smart to loot it without a trace!" Jimmy explained.

The friends downed another drink and left the pub, and that night, the plan to rob the bank began to take shape in Jimmy's shabby house on the outskirts of town.

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"Alright, pal…that sounds like one helluva plan! Count me in! Let's meet here tomorrow first thing before the town wakes up!" Albert cheered as he excitedly agreed to take the risk. They met again before the break of dawn and left for the nearby town with their last bit of money, forged documents, and a strange plan brewing in their mind.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

A week passed, and after a painstaking effort, Albert and Jimmy rented an old bakery near the bank in the new town. They faked their names as Simon and Arnold and even paid the greedy landlord extra money to silence him from asking for their documents.

"Finally, pal…we're all set for the big day! Are you sure this plan will work?" Albert whispered to Jimmy as he wiped his sweaty palms on his trousers behind the counter.

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The friends were not professional bakers, but it was their only way to deceive the locals and set their plan in motion. While Albert disguised as a pastry chef, Jimmy discreetly made his way to the back of the bakery to dig out a secret tunnel leading to the bank vault on the other side.

"It's now or never, Albert! You keep the bakery busy and noisy with customers while I get down to some serious business back there," Jimmy said as he walked away with a shovel in his grip and an evil grin on his face.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Albert donned a baker's apron and stepped behind the counter as he arranged the freshly baked pastries. His hands trembled with fear, but he knew he had to play along so that nobody would suspect him.

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Meanwhile, Jimmy diligently worked on tearing down the wall at the back of the bakery. He toiled the whole day, meticulously following the markings on a roughly drawn map that revealed the location of the vault. His eyes beamed with joy when he removed a hidden panel that revealed the concealed passageway. "I'm a born thief! I knew this was the right spot leading to the vault!" he chuckled.

As he descended into the darkness and peeped, the musty smell of damp earth enveloped him. Jimmy ran back to fetch Albert and get started with their heist. "Albert, the job's done! I found the way to the vault. Let's do this. Put up the 'Closed' sign on the door and come quick!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

In the silence of the night, their heartbeats echoed in their ears as they crawled through the muddy tunnel. The passage led them to a concealed entrance in the bank's basement, just beneath the vault. The absence of modern technology and alarms made it easier for them to pull off their heist undetected.

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With a steady hand, Jimmy placed his gloved fingers on the metal door leading to the vault. He slowly and cautiously turned the handle, praying it wouldn't creak or give them away.

The wait was frustrating, but Albert and Jimmy remained resolute to bag their jackpot. After a momentous struggle, the metal door swung open as the men exchanged an excited glance. The sight before them was unbelievable! Shelves upon shelves of gleaming safety deposit boxes were stacked inside, each hiding a life-changing fortune.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Let's do this! Hurry, bring the bag…." Jimmy whispered as he carefully cracked open one safe lock after another. Their fumbling fingers moved with precision, but as they continued their search, bagging everything they found, Albert noticed a reinforced wooden chest that looked different from the rest, and his curiosity was piqued.

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"This box looks strange, don't you think?" he asked Jimmy. "You told me about some cargo with rare items. Could this be the one?"

"I'm not sure, pal. But this thing does look weird. Look at those strange carvings…And it's locked tighter than the rest. Gosh! I'm not able to open it…What shall we do? Leave this thing?"

Albert's eyes rushed with excitement. "Wait…no! We can't pass this opportunity up, Jim. What if it has something expensive inside? It could turn our lives around…Let's take it!"

When Albert and Jimmy couldn't break any more safes, they made a quick decision. "Alright, let's take this chest with us along with the rest of the loot," whispered Jimmy. "We'll break it open in my house and see what's inside."

He tossed the reinforced box in the bag, and they both crept back to the bakery through the tunnel to make their big escape that night. "That was one helluva jackpot, pal! Fine, let's not waste any time here. We need to leave this town before sunrise."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

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Albert and Jimmy burned their fake documents, erased their fingerprints, and hopped into the car. The engine roared as they escaped the quiet town, laughing and chatting about their successful mission.

"We made it, Albert! We're back home with our treasure!" Jimmy cried with delight as he pulled over outside his shabby house. "Nobody will even know we were there! The cops will break their heads searching for a fake Simon and Arnold…Yuk! Yuk!"

"Oh Yeah, Jim. I'm so glad we did it! Now, let's crack this thing open and split our share!" Albert chuckled.

"Damn, this thing is too tight," Jimmy sighed in his kitchen, giving up his quest to open the box. "Albert, let's do this tomorrow, man. Been a long week for both of us. I'm so exhausted…You take the money bundles home. I'll have this thing open by morning, and we'll share the rest of what's inside, okay?"

"That's a bad idea, pal. My wife will suspect if I take this money home tonight. Let's do one thing. You keep this with you…I'll come again in the morning and take them with my share in that box," Albert said.

But when he excitedly visited Jimmy the next morning, he was in for a massive shock. The door was locked on the inside, and Jimmy never answered his endless knocks, leaving Albert unsettled.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Did he run away with the loot? Why isn't he opening the door?" Albert stood outside Jimmy's house, growing increasingly worried. Fearing his friend had escaped with the treasure, Albert checked around the house and noticed an open window at the backside, its curtains fluttering in the morning breeze.

Albert climbed through the window and searched for his friend. "Jim, man, where are you?" he called out. But the house was eerily quiet, devoid of any signs of human existence. Albert treaded silently to the kitchen, where he last saw Jimmy with the treasure chest.

As he took another step, he bumped into Jimmy's lifeless body lying on the floor behind the counter. The treasure chest was wide open, and all the jewels lay scattered on the floor near Jimmy's body.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Oh, my God! Jim, what happened to you??" Albert's eyes bulged with horror. A chill ran down his spine when he noticed Jimmy's skin had an unnatural tone. "Oh no…did someone strangulate you?"

Albert's mind raced, struggling to make sense of the horror before him. The treasures remained untouched, and Jimmy's house was locked from the inside. Albert assumed somebody had broken into the house through the window and killed his friend. But the intact condition of the treasure puzzled him.

As Albert gazed at the glistening jewels, his eyes were soon captivated by a peculiar ring with a big, shimmery stone. The intricate patterns adorning it were unique and tempted Albert.

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"Wow, what a beautiful ring! It looks like a rare piece!" Albert excitedly muttered. Greed filled his eyes, and convinced his friend, who was the sole witness to their heist, was dead, Albert quietly gathered the treasure in the box. He erased his fingerprints and fled in his car to share the good news of their riches with his wife.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Emily, look what I found. Look at all these jewels and money! We're rich! I don't have to be a woodcutter anymore!" Albert cried out to his wife. He then displayed the jewels and money on the bed before picking the strange, stone-studded ring. "It resembles all those cursed ancient artifacts, doesn't it?" he chuckled as he kissed it.

But Albert's humor was met with solemn silence from Emily. "Jesus! Where did you get so much money and jewels from? I hope you and that robber Jimmy didn't do something wrong again," she frowned and walked away.

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Moments later, Emily suddenly heard a loud crashing sound in their bedroom. She bolted towards the room and found Albert collapsed on the floor, holding his chest and the ring still clutched tightly in his bloodied hands.

"Oh, no…Albert, can you hear me? What happened…Oh my God, why is your nose bleeding? Albert…wake up…your skin's turning blue. What happened to you…somebody, please help…" Emily panicked.

With labored breaths, Albert struggled to speak his final words, "Get rid of it, it…" he gasped, and his voice trailed off as he died on Emily's lap, leaving her haunted by his unfinished last words.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

Fear gripped Emily as she realized the treasure scattered on the floor, especially the ominous ring in her dead husband's grip, was a threat to her and her little daughter, Barbara. She couldn't shake the feeling that the jewels were indeed cursed.

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Afraid to touch the artifacts and the money, Emily carefully wrapped them in a ragged cloth and stashed them back in the chest. She secured it with a chain and lock, and her hands trembled as she cradled the box to the dumpster outside her house. Emily suddenly stopped in her tracks and stared at the chest in her grasp.

"What if this thing kills somebody else? No…I can't let that happen," she whispered and looked around. That's when she noticed a hollow pine tree. Emily hastily threw the treasure chest inside the dark cavity along with a note warning any potential finder of the curse of the artifacts.

"…And nobody could figure out how my Dad died," Barbara's eyes welled up with tears as she recounted her Dad Albert's unfortunate death all those years ago. "My mother told me about the treasure, and I thought it was just a tale. But now I understand why she never allowed me to go anywhere near that pine tree. I'm afraid you found something sinister intended to remain undisturbed and hidden in the dark…You have to get rid of it, Alan…"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

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As Alan listened intently to his grandmother, he realized he had found ancient artifacts that weren't just stolen 80 years ago but also likely cursed. But a part of him urged him not to give in to his grandma's beliefs.

"Well, Grandma, I've had these jewels with me for a day. And look! I'm alive! Nothing has happened to me. If these artifacts were cursed, I would've been dead by now!" he joked.

"You have to get rid of them, Alan," Barbara sternly demanded. "They were not only stolen but also cursed. Whoever tries to possess them meets a gruesome death. Why would you want to invite such trouble into your life?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Oh, C'mon, Grandma! You're still clinging to your old, foolish fables. Do you honestly believe in such tales? I don't! And I want to become rich, okay? This treasure will help me have everything I've ever dreamed of!" Alan argued.

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"Alan, I'm not kidding," Barbara asserted. "If you don't get rid of these jewels and put them away, I'll call the cops and have them seized." Her words unsettled Alan, and he stopped in his tracks.

"Okay…okay, cool! You're probably right, Grandma. I'll not keep them, okay? I'll bury these treasures deep in the woods…where nobody will find them," Alan instantly changed his mind, fearing Barbara would call the cops and have the treasure taken.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

With a heartfelt embrace, he bid his Grandma farewell and hopped into his car with the treasure chest in tow. As Alan drove on the deserted country road to the woods, thoughts of the valuable artifacts played on his mind. When he approached an intersection, the red light on the signal halted his drive, granting him a moment of thought.

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"Do I have to spend my life cutting down trees and working hard every day at the warehouse for such a low wage…just to scrape by for food and gas?" Alan pondered as his gaze shifted to the treasure chest on the seat beside him.

"To hell with it! Finders, keepers!" his eyes glistened with greed. Alan turned his car's wheel and headed toward his home instead of the woods. "I'll sell these jewels for a great deal and settle down with my family! Why should I feed them to the soil when I can become rich?!" he whispered with a smile. But fate had other plans.

Barely 20 seconds after Alan made that fateful decision, a speeding truck barreled through the crossway and rammed into his car with a thunderous roar. In that chaotic second, Alan died on the spot as the ill-fated treasure chest rolled over from the car seat and landed right beside his bloodied dead body.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pixabay

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Five hours had passed, and Barbara was sitting in the police station, endlessly sobbing after identifying her dead grandson's things that were retrieved at the accident site. A police officer approached her and sympathetically delivered the details of the tragedy.

"Unfortunately, the impact was so severe that your grandson had little chance of survival," he said. The words pierced through Barbara's already shattered heart. "...Seems the truck's brakes failed, and your grandson happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," the officer added.

"And one more thing, Mrs. Derek…we seized the treasure chest you mentioned in your report. We sent the contents for testing, and reports suggest the stone on the ring was coated with a rare slow poison."

Barbara looked up at the officer in shock. "And we believe this ring belongs to the Mayan civilization or something like that. Reports suggest they soaked the gems in lethal poison to make them shine brighter and deter thieves."

Barbara's heart ached with regret and pain as her face drained of blood. She hung her head sadly and clumsily left the station, heading to the morgue.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Easy money often comes at a high cost. In his rush to become rich overnight and not work at all, Alan decided to sell the cursed treasure instead of getting rid of it. Ultimately, he met with an unfortunate end when a speeding truck rammed into his car and killed him on the spot.
  • The path of hard work can be exhausting, but it leads to lasting rewards. Albert and Jimmy desired to become rich the easy way. They planned a bank heist and even succeeded, but to their shock, they met their sad fates when the loot turned out to be a deadly cursed treasure. About 80 years later, Alan, Albert's great-grandson, also met a similar fate when he desired to possess the jewels and sell them off to become rich.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

When a poor dad has no money to buy his little daughter a birthday cake, he digs up his lawn with plans to sell it. He finds a jar stashed with money buried in the soil, but that was not all. Click here to read the full story.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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