Lost Nickel

Art reached down and picked up the nickel. It was a fine nickel, silver and old and not too scuffed. The sides were straight, rather than rounded, from the period of time when nickels were decagons, or perhaps dodecagons. Some kind of gon. Not monogon.

Art looked at the year. 1952. He smiled. He didn’t have a 1952 coin. He didn’t have a 51 or 56, either, but one more hole filled was fine by him.

He checked around. Across the street, an old man was walking slowly, a cane supporting him. He seemed to be examining the ground. Every few feet he stopped, stared hard for a moment, shuffled on. He stopped longer, once. Put his cane to the side. Slowly lowered himself to his knees to look closely. Then he shook his head, went through the arduous process of returning to his feet, and kept on shuffling.

Art watched all this, gripping his nickel. Probably not the old man’s, he thought to himself, and walked in the opposite direction, sliding the nickel into his pocket.

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