As Ned looked down atop a rock
In sand, he saw a soily sock.
“Who left this here?” old Ned inquired.
“Perhaps the owner has expired.”
An excavation soon revealed
a rusty saw and wagon wheel.
“I must dig deeper!” Ned implored.
“A find this good must be explored.”
He asked a friend to help him out.
“I’ll tell you, Mack, what it’s about.
The origin of what we know,
lies buried in this ground below.”
Though Mack was doubtful of Ned’s claim,
Mack grabbed a shovel just the same.
And bent on helping out his friend,
Mack shoveled dirt for days on end.
Then weeks passed by, each toiled and dug.
Ned found a coin, Mack found a mug,
unearthed two bones, and one loose tooth.
They found a lot, to tell the truth.
Still deeper down their shovels bit.
Ned marveled at the size of it.
A crater grew beneath their feet.
They called in Frank, then Jim and Pete.
Ned brought in cranes and dynamite
and blasted morning, noon, and night.
He rented trucks to haul the rest.
Perhaps they’d find a treasure chest?
A scholar stopped there by the rim.
“Who is your boss? I must see him!”
From Pete to Jim, to Frank then Mack,
each echoed, “Ned, will call you back.”
Reporters swooped down on the hole.
The cops showed up for crowd control.
Inquiring minds just had to know.
How far would Ned’s hole have to go?
A source who would not leave his name,
predicted power, wealth, and fame.
“Old Ned has something special here.
A fortune’s find is very near!”
Like locusts, hell-bent for a meal
Folks swarmed Ned’s dig with lust and zeal.
They picked each pile clean in pursuit.
In riot’s wake, each grabbed Ned’s loot.
Disgusted Mack walked off the dig.
Jim just got drunk. Frank took a swig.
Pete helped himself to Ned’s best wine.
Then up they staggered from the mine.
Now friendless and still in the hole,
Ned cried out for his weary soul.
He wept great tears in pained reprise
And filled the hole in several tries.
A two-day float up through the shaft,
Marked all his labors, fore and aft.
Ned perched again on that old rock
And spied a matching, soily sock.
Ben Franklin quotes Ned’s sorry plight;
In timeless words on wisdom’s flight.
“Soily to Ned, soily he cries
Hole he dug solely, socked in demise.”