Today you dig a piece of ground in a garden.
The soil is crumbly and soft from recent rain.
As you turn it over you can smell the thick pungency of the earth. It is a familiar outdoor smell that you enjoy.
As the earth is turned, worms and weeds break free and fall away.
You continue to dig, deep and deeper until the spade meets some resistance. There is a dull, metal sound.
You are using your hands now, to scoop loose earth away.
You feel something hard and flat and cold.
Working your fingers beneath you lift a small box out of the ground.
Brushing it clean, you prise the lid.
You open the box.
Inside is a black, velvet pouch.
Hurriedly wiping your hands on your clothes, you loosen the drawstring, and reach inside with your fingers.
This time you touch something cool and smooth and round.
You secure it between thumb and forefinger ever so gently, because you know, even before you see it, that what you have found is precious.
You lift the pearl from the pouch. Its creamy white lustre catches the sun.
It glows with iridescent brilliance. You gaze in amazement….
And your fingers seem very dirty and out of place holding this immaculate gem. You don’t want to get it dirty...
So carefully, very carefully, you place the pearl back in its protective cover, close the box, and return it to the ground.
You have found treasure. But you need more time to think.
You cover the box with earth, gently, lovingly, knowing you will return...
You stand up and look around you. The garden looks much the same.
Nothing else has changed. But of course, it is different now....
It will never be the same again....
At Key Stage 2 or 3 this could be used alongside a few other Parables of Jesus, as part of an enquiry into the meaning of the "Kingdom" in Christianity, and helping develop skills of analysis and interpretation.