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An attic | Source: Shutterstock
An attic | Source: Shutterstock

Boy Finds Old Tube in Late Grandma's Attic, History Teacher Opens It and Gasps – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Jun 18, 2024
06:49 A.M.

Danny found an old brass tube among his late grandmother's things, but an antique dealer said it was only a novelty. Still, the boy took it for a show-and-tell presentation, and his history teacher managed to open it, uncovering the actual value inside.

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"Mom, look what I found!" Danny exclaimed, rushing down from the attic to where his mother, Sienna, was organizing old belongings. The house buzzed with relatives sorting through heirlooms and memories of Danny's recently deceased grandmother.

Sienna looked over, wiping her forehead. "What's that, hon?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"I found it upstairs," Danny said, showing a metal tube with intricate patterns he'd discovered among his grandmother's things.

"Exploring Grandma's treasures?" Sienna teased, taking the tube. "Let's see."

Uncle Jerry, passing by, glanced at the object. "I remember Mom with that. Always thought it was her little secret."

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"I think there's something inside," the boy continued, so the family puzzled over the tube, its purpose, and its opening mechanism, but they couldn't figure out how it worked. That only sparked Danny's curiosity further.

"Keep it if you want, just be careful," Sienna said, turning back to her tasks as her son sat, fascinated by the tube.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

That night, after returning home, Danny sought answers online, posting pictures of the tube on an antiques forum and social media, hoping for clues.

The next morning, someone on the forum responded with a hint of the tube's nature—a puzzle brass tube, similar to those in historical mysteries but without a clear way to open it.

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Hours passed with Danny twisting and turning the tube, determined to uncover its secrets, considering its value, and more importantly, its connection to his grandmother.

***

"Mom, can we go to an antique shop?" Danny asked.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Why?" Sienna peered over her glasses, swamped with paperwork on the living room table.

"I think this tube could be worth something, or maybe they'll know how to open it," Danny replied, shrugging.

With a deep sigh, Sienna agreed, intertwining their trip with her list of errands.

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***

The antique shop was a journey back in time, its door chime announcing their arrival to the quaint space. The owner welcomed them with a smile that wrinkled his face.

"We're hoping you can appraise an old item," Sienna explained.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Danny stepped forward, presenting the tube. "Found this with my grandma's stuff. Is it worth anything?"

The owner's inspection was brief. "Not much, I'm afraid. It's a novelty item, possibly from the 50s or 60s. Mainly brass."

"But it's old, and there's something inside," the boy insisted.

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Sienna interjected gently, "Danny, it's the memory it holds that matters, not its price."

Danny nodded but turned back to the shop owner. "Can you solve it, though?"

"Sorry, kid. That's beyond me," the man admitted with a shrug.

"Thank you anyway," Sienna said, ushering Danny out, suggesting that his father, Franklin, may know something.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

But at home, Franklin's attempt was short-lived. "Sorry, kid. This is for the brainy types," he laughed, excusing himself from Danny's room.

Left to his own devices, the boy dove back into the puzzle with renewed determination, mapping out his attempts with the meticulousness of a cartographer charting unknown territories.

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"Danny, dinner!" Sienna's call was a welcome break from his intense focus.

***

A few days later, for his history class show-and-tell, Danny chose the puzzle tube, following Mr. Warner's request to present something familial and significant. His preparation was thorough, supported by his mother's encouragement.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"I found this in my grandma's attic," he shared with the class, explaining the mystery surrounding the tube and his ongoing efforts to open it. "It's like a combination lock. You have to move the pieces just right."

Holding up his charts, Danny detailed his systematic approach. "I've been documenting every attempt. It might take a while, but I'm determined."

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"So? What's so special?" a classmate asked in a mocking tone.

"Anderson, respect Danny's presentation," Mr. Warner warned.

Danny was unfazed as he acknowledged the other boy's words. "True. It's not worth much. It's just brass. But it's special to me."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

The rest of the kids clapped as Danny finished his presentation, and he sat down to watch what others had brought.

After class, Mr. Warner asked him to stay back, so he could examine the tube. "I like solving puzzles too," the teacher admitted, taking a closer look and consulting Danny's notes as he moved the pieces.

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A sudden click signaled success—the tube opened. "Oh my God! You solved it!" Danny exclaimed.

Laughing, Mr. Warner credited Danny's groundwork. "Your charts helped me eliminate several possibilities. Let's see what's inside," he added before a diamond ring emerged, astonishing them both.

"There's more, I think," the boy noted, peering into the now-open tube. The intrigue around Danny's grandmother's past deepened as they discovered an old letter inside.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

Mr. Warner, with a mixture of enthusiasm and reverence, began to read the words aloud, revealing a love message from a man named John to Marlena, Danny's grandmother.

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"Dear Marlena, I know being drafted to war was not in our plans... My soul is yours forever," Mr. Warner recited, echoing John's promises and dreams of a future together—a future that included a proposal with a ring passed down since World War I.

"Was John your grandfather?" Mr. Warner queried, looking up from the letter.

"No!" Danny quickly clarified, "We called him Grandpa Charlie."

Mr. Warner nodded as they kept reading.

***

At home, the letter and the ring sent Danny's parents into a serious discussion about the past. Franklin had noted something important. "It's just… you know how Marlena and Charlie married three years after Jerry was born…" he trailed off.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Sienna denied the implications, but Franklin insisted. So, she called her estranged Aunt Carol for answers. "Hello, Auntie," she cautiously began, her voice tinged with hope and apprehension. "We found this note on something belonging to my mother. We were wondering if you knew about John."

She listened for a few moments before pulling the phone away from her ear. "She hung up," Sienna revealed. "She said, 'Don't talk to me about John. Ever.' And just ended the call."

She suggested calling her siblings, Jerry and Silvia, but Franklin shook his head. "Maybe we should keep it between ourselves," he reasoned, fearing the impact this mystery could have on the family.

"That ring is huge. It's gotta be worth thousands of dollars," Sienna pointed out, biting her nails.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Franklin proposed a compromise. "Let's just wait. Let us not implode your brother's life until we find out more," he suggested, wrapping his arms around her in a comforting embrace.

They told Danny to keep the tube, letter, and ring safely away while they figured things out. He complied, placing them in a drawer in his room, but Aunt Carol's abrupt reaction lingered in his thoughts.

***

The next day, Danny set off to find Aunt Carol and was met with a gruff yet curious reception.

"You look like Sienna," the old woman noted, her initial suspicion giving way to a reluctant welcome.

Inside, the conversation started with cookies but quickly turned to family secrets. "Why would your mother even ask about John?" Aunt Carol asked after a while, cutting through the pleasantries.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Danny recounted the discovery of the tube, the letter, and his family's speculations, especially concerning Uncle Jerry's parentage.

Aunt Carol thought about it in silence for a long time. "I will not tell you unless your parents let me," she stated seriously.

***

"Aunt Carol!" Sienna exclaimed, spotting Danny and her aunt coming up their driveway. "What did you do?!"

"I went to find her. She's going to tell us the truth," Danny declared, getting out of the car.

Aunt Carol parked and faced Sienna's dismay. "I didn't say anything to him," she clarified, closing the vehicle door.

Sienna fuzzed as she welcomed everyone inside and suddenly wondered, "Should I call Jerry?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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"Do you think he's ready for this story?" Aunt Carol questioned, her lips tight. After some discussion, they decided to hear the truth before telling anyone else. Then, Aunt Carol asked, "Is Danny allowed to listen?"

"He found the letter and the ring," Franklin pointed out, and they all nodded.

"I don't know how much you know about Marlena, but she was popular among boys. She didn't date, though. Until John transferred to our school during her sophomore year," Aunt Carol began. "He was a junior. I was a freshman."

Danny leaned closer to listen.

"They fell hard for each other," she continued. "The most popular couple in our school. Everyone knew they would get married. I was so excited for her, too. We started buying wedding magazines when she was in her senior year. John had promised to propose after her graduation."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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Carol revealed that John was drafted, and soon, the family found out that Marlena was pregnant. That's when Danny's aunt revealed the big reason they had been estranged all this time.

"I guess I should mention that I had a boyfriend at that time, too. Charlie," she said. "I supported my sister so much during her pregnancy that he was around her often, too, and…he fell for her. It was…the biggest betrayal of my life."

Sienna started crying.

As the story concluded, Aunt Carol expressed regret for never reconciling with Marlena, which was now impossible due to her passing. The old woman left after a couple of hours, leaving them to decide what to do with this information.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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In the end, Sienna begged them to keep things between them to protect her brother. The story was too heartbreaking for anyone else to know.

So, Danny went to his room. The tube was still in his drawer. But he grabbed it, made sure it was shut tightly with the original items inside, and took it to the attic. He placed it in a box full of old yellowing blankets.

Some secrets were better kept hidden forever.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a boy who would scream every time he looked at an old family photo, so his mother took a closer look.

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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