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A shovel lying in dirt | Source: Shutterstock
A shovel lying in dirt | Source: Shutterstock

I Came Home from Vacation to Find a Huge Hole Dug in My Backyard – I Wanted to Call the Cops until I Saw What Was at the Bottom

Byron Loker
Jul 09, 2024
12:02 P.M.

When I came home early from vacation to find a huge hole in my backyard, I was ready to call the cops. But the shovel at the bottom made me pause, setting off a chain of events that would change everything I thought I knew about treasure, friendship, and what truly matters in life.

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Karen and I had cut our beach trip short because she caught some nasty stomach bug. All I wanted was to crash on the couch, but I figured I'd better check on things outside first.

A man looking over a garden wall | Source: Pexels

A man looking over a garden wall | Source: Pexels

That's when I saw it. A massive pit right in the middle of our lawn.

"What is this?" I muttered, inching closer to the edge.

At the bottom lay a shovel, a water bottle, and some other junk. My first instinct was to call 911, but then a crazy thought hit me. What if the digger knew we were supposed to be away and was coming back?

I turned to Karen, who was looking pale. "Hey, honey? Let's keep the car in the garage. Make it look like we're still gone."

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She nodded weakly. "Whatever you say, Frank. I'm going to lie down."

A sick-looking woman reclining in bed | Source: Pexels

A sick-looking woman reclining in bed | Source: Pexels

As night fell, I set up camp by a window, peering out into the darkness. Hours ticked by, and I was about to give up when I saw a shadow leap over our fence.

My heart raced as the figure crept toward the hole and dropped in. This was my chance.

I crept outside with my phone in hand, ready to call the cops. As I approached the pit, I heard grunting and the sound of metal hitting dirt.

"Hey!" I shouted, shining my phone's flashlight down. "What do you think you're doing?"

A man crouching down on a grass lawn at night | Source: Midjourney

A man crouching down on a grass lawn at night | Source: Midjourney

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The digger looked up, squinting in the light. My jaw dropped. It was George, the guy who'd sold us this house last year.

"Frank?" he said, sounding equally shocked. "What are you doing here?"

"I live here, remember? What are you doing in my yard at midnight?"

George's face fell. He climbed out of the hole, looking sheepish. "I can explain. Just... please don't call the police."

I crossed my arms. "Start talking."

A man standing in a garden at night, looking defiant | Source: Midjourney

A man standing in a garden at night, looking defiant | Source: Midjourney

George sighed. "My grandfather used to own this place. I found out recently that he... well, he hid something valuable here. I thought I could dig it up while you were away."

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"So you broke into my yard to dig for treasure?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"I know how it sounds," George said. "But it's true. Look, I'll make you a deal. Help me dig, and we'll split whatever we find. Fifty-fifty."

An older man standing a backyard, explaining something | Source: Midjourney

An older man standing a backyard, explaining something | Source: Midjourney

I should've said no. Should've called the cops right then. But something in George's eyes — desperation, hope, maybe both — made me pause.

"Fine," I said. "But we fill this in when we're done, treasure or not."

George nodded eagerly. "Deal."

We spent the next few hours digging, swapping stories between shovelfuls of dirt.

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"So, what exactly are we looking for?" I asked, wiping sweat from my brow.

George shrugged. "Not sure. Could be cash, jewelry, anything really. Grandpa was paranoid about banks."

Two men digging a hole in the ground together | Source: Midjourney

Two men digging a hole in the ground together | Source: Midjourney

As we dug, I learned more about George. He'd lost his job recently, and his wife was sick with cancer. "This treasure," he said, "it could change everything for us."

I nodded, understanding the weight of his words. "Life's funny like that. One minute you're struggling, the next..."

"Exactly," George said, a glimmer of hope in his eyes.

We kept at it, the cool night air a blessing as we worked. Every so often, one of us would hit something hard, and we'd both freeze, hearts racing. But it was always just another rock.

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A man digging deeper into a hole in a garden | Source: Midjourney

A man digging deeper into a hole in a garden | Source: Midjourney

"So," I said, trying to keep the conversation going, "tell me more about your grandfather. What made you think he'd hide something here?"

George leaned on his shovel, catching his breath. "He was a character, my grandpa. Always talking about the government and how you couldn't trust banks. He'd tell these stories about buried treasure and secret hiding spots."

"And you believed him?" I asked, not unkindly.

A man looks up from a hole he's busy digging | Source: Midjourney

A man looks up from a hole he's busy digging | Source: Midjourney

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George smiled sheepishly. "Not at first. But then I found this old journal of his. It had all these cryptic notes and sketches of the property. One page had this big X marked right where we're digging now."

I had to admit, it sounded intriguing. "What do you think it could be?"

"In my wildest dreams? Gold coins or rare jewels," George said, his eyes lighting up. "But honestly, I'd be happy with anything at this point. A few thousand bucks could really help us out."

An older man talking in a garden at night | Source: Midjourney

An older man talking in a garden at night | Source: Midjourney

I nodded, understanding all too well. "Yeah, I get that. Life's expensive these days."

We fell into a rhythm, digging and talking. George told me about his job loss, how the company had downsized without warning. I shared stories about Karen and me, our struggles with the house finances, our hopes for the future.

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As we worked, I felt a connection forming. Here we were, two guys from different walks of life, united by the possibility of buried treasure dug from a backyard. It was absurd, sure, but also kind of beautiful.

A deep pit dug in a backyard | Source: Midjourney

A deep pit dug in a backyard | Source: Midjourney

"You know," I said, pausing to stretch my aching back, "even if we don't find anything, this has been... I don't know, kind of fun?"

George looked surprised, then grinned. "Yeah, it has, hasn't it? Thanks for not calling the cops on me, Frank."

We both laughed, the sound booming out in the night air.

But as the sky began to lighten, that hope faded. We'd dug halfway to China and found nothing but rocks and roots.

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George slumped against the side of the hole. "I really thought... I was so sure..."

An older man looks up desperately from a hole dug in a garden | Source: Midjourney

An older man looks up desperately from a hole dug in a garden | Source: Midjourney

I felt for the guy. "Hey, it was worth a shot, right? Come on, I'll give you a ride home."

We started filling in the hole with a few shovelfuls of dirt, but then gave up and piled into my car — it turns out George had caught a cab over to my place. The drive was quiet, both of us lost in thought.

When we pulled up to George's house, a woman rushed out the front door. This must be Margaret, I thought.

"George!" she cried. "Where have you been? I've been worried sick!"

A worried-looking woman standing at a front door | Source: Midjourney

A worried-looking woman standing at a front door | Source: Midjourney

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George climbed out of the car, looking like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I'm sorry, honey. I was just..."

Margaret's eyes narrowed as she spotted me. "And who's this?"

I stepped forward, extending my hand. "I'm Frank. We bought your old house last year."

Recognition dawned on her face, quickly followed by embarrassment. "Oh no. George, you didn't."

George hung his head. "I'm sorry, Maggie. I really thought..."

An old man standing on a front porch, holding his head in shame | Source: Midjourney

An old man standing on a front porch, holding his head in shame | Source: Midjourney

Margaret turned to me. "I am so sorry about this. My husband's been... well, he's got this crazy idea about buried treasure."

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"It's not crazy!" George protested. "My grandfather —"

"Your grandfather was a storyteller, dear," Margaret said gently. "Remember what the lawyer said about his estate?"

George looked deflated. "But I was so sure..."

I felt like I was intruding on a private moment. "Look, no harm done. We'll just need to fix up the yard a bit."

A man with a dirty face, standing on a front porch at dawn, smiling | Source: Midjourney

A man with a dirty face, standing on a front porch at dawn, smiling | Source: Midjourney

Margaret nodded vigorously. "Of course. We'll pay for everything. Again, I'm so sorry about all this."

"There's no need to pay for anything," I replied, "the exercise will do me good. And, besides, my wife and I have been talking about a pool — maybe now's the time!"

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Margaret laughed at that, and as I turned to leave, George caught my arm. "Frank, I... thanks. For everything."

I smiled, giving his shoulder a squeeze. "Don't mention it. And hey, if you ever want to grab a beer or something, give me a call."

George looked surprised, then grateful. "Yeah, I'd like that."

As I drove home I felt disappointed, sure, but I also felt a sense of connection. George's desperate hope had been contagious.

A man driving a car at dawn | Source: Midjourney

A man driving a car at dawn | Source: Midjourney

Karen was up when I got back, looking better but confused. "Where have you been? And what happened to our yard?"

I sat down next to her on the couch and told her everything. By the end, she was shaking her head, but smiling.

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"Only you, Frank," she said, kissing my cheek. "Only you would spend all night digging for treasure with a stranger."

I laughed. "Yeah, well, maybe I did find something after all."

Karen raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

A woman sitting on a couch, smiling | Source: Pexels

A woman sitting on a couch, smiling | Source: Pexels

"Not gold or jewels," I said. "But a reminder that sometimes, the real treasures are the connections we make. The stories we share."

Karen rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. "That's cheesy, even for you."

"Maybe," I admitted. "But I was thinking... why don't we invite George and Margaret over for dinner next week?"

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Karen looked surprised, then thoughtful. "You know what? That sounds nice. But first, you're going to fix that hole in our yard."

A man and woman having a friendly conversation on a sofa | Source: Midjourney

A man and woman having a friendly conversation on a sofa | Source: Midjourney

I groaned, but couldn't argue. As I headed out to survey the damage in daylight, I couldn't help but smile. Life might not have buried treasure waiting around every corner, but it did have its moments of unexpected adventure.

And sometimes, that's treasure enough.

What would you have done? If you enjoyed this story, here's another one for you about a poor man who found a package on his doorstep with his late father's old jacket, and what he found in the pocket shocked him.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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