In ancient times we think that people believed their metal tools were alive, and had souls. I am currently reminding my students of this while we learn about smelting copper and smelting iron. We take all these metals for granted and I want to give them a hint of the magic of it all, the wonderful leap in our technology. We, thousands of years ago, even went as far as burying metallic tools and weapons as if they were people. We now know that these things aren’t alive, or are they…..

Tonight I arrived home a little later and wanted to get some wood cut before darkness arrived. I have come to the conclusion that working with a chainsaw in the dark is a little dangerous. I got all the wood out, the chainsaw out, the safety helmet out, and the cutting horse all set up. The saw was revved up and I started cutting while the little man pottered about on his tricycle shouting “NOISE! NOISE!”. I didn’t get far with the cutting before I realised that the chain was blunt and needed sharpening. I have a special tool for this somewhere…..

I looked in the toolboxes, and on the workbench, and around the workbench and in the wood shed, and on the potting table. Then I looked in the toolboxes, and on the workbench, and around the workbench and in the wood shed, and on the potting table again. The light was fading. I started getting desperate. Inside the house I looked in the kitchen, in the living room, and around the computer desk. Nothing. At this stage it was nearly dark, so I angrily gave in. All the wood cutting equipment was put back in a very grumpy manner.

Finished with the wood, and finished with any thought of doing any kind of work for the night, I went to close up the garage. Just as I was about to walk out the door my eye caught a glimpse of the tool. I reached over and pulled a fallen piece of cardboard away. I stared at the tool. We stood in silence for a few minutes just staring at each other, and under my breath I vowed that someday I will bury the dark soul of that tool so deep in the earth that it will never hear the noise of a chainsaw ever again.

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