How Gods and Dinosaurs Made Some Kids Very Happy (I Hope)

I want to start off today by saying thank you for all of you who share Rogue Priest on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, or even just emailing the link to a friend. The site wouldn’t be growing as quickly as it is without you, so thank you.

Okay, on to dinosaurs.

Wait what? You heard me. A few years back I read an article by a woman who left plastic dinosaurs at local playgrounds. Anytime she saw dinos at rummage sales she snagged them, took them to a playground, and left them at the edge of the sand for anyone to use.

Why Am I Talking About Abandoned Dinosaurs?

Lately I’ve been on a minimalism jag, which is making my move—and my life—a lot easier.

As I got rid of my things, I found that most fell easily into one of three piles: sell, donate, or throw. But what about stuff that didn’t fit any of those?

I’m thinking of things from my personal shrine. I’m a polytheist, and it’s common for us to keep small statues of our deities or items that are sacred to them. In my case, that includes a variety of animal figurines, stones, pictures, and trinkets.

Traditionally a shrine was a very small shelf or nook in a home with a few figures and a place for offerings. Nowadays many polytheists suffer from sprawl. Their shrines become a massive collection of sentimental knick knacks. You know how I feel about that. I decided to get back to basics.

But what can I do with this stuff?

It doesn’t travel easily. Some of it might be worth a little money on eBay, but I’m only selling big-ticket items. It feels wrong to throw them out, and not worth a long car ride to take them to charity.

Time for a Field Trip

That was when I remembered the dinosaurs. I rounded up a few choice pieces and headed out to the local playground.

The items I abandoned today include a stone tiger, owl, and dragon; and a metal deity statue. Originally I intended to leave them all in places where kids would be most likely to find them, but I couldn’t resist putting the owl on the bench at a retirement home. Someone will surely cherish it.

Deciding that the metal deity statue was too pointy for children, I set it in someone’s shrine-like garden for them to do with as they wish. The dragon took its post beneath the slide at the playground, and the tiger was left to guard a solitary tree off to one side. You have to leave something for the loner kids to find. 

My Personal Giveaway

I realize it’s a minor thing, but it really made my day to pass these items on so organically. Whoever finds them can use them however they see fit, probably never knowing they once sat on an altar. 

As a kid, If I had stumbled upon a tiger made of luminescent green stone I would have been thrilled (and mystified). It’s like finding a hidden treasure. Hopefully they will bring that same joy to somebody else.

Have you ever left something for a stranger to find? Did you get any weird looks doing it? Let me know, but first please tweet or Facebook share this post. Doing so is the only way to get into heaven, so you know it’s important.


8 thoughts on “How Gods and Dinosaurs Made Some Kids Very Happy (I Hope)

  1. Wendy says:

    One of the things I love about my new city is that people leave things outside for others to take, in ‘free boxes’ (I found a beautiful head scarf in a box marked ‘free treasures!’ last week). Its a nice way to pass along still useful stuff.

    But I haven’t seen anything like this yet, though I think the sort of things you are leaving to be found are going to be found by people who need them and appreciate them most. And heck, when I was a kid, if I found a little dinosaur or animal statue, I’d have been delighted for weeks!

    • Oh, I love the idea of “free boxes.” I’ve taken extra CDs that I couldn’t sell and left them in a college neighborhood in a box marked “free.” They disappeared pretty quickly.

  2. This is so wonderful!! I just came over from a link on 365lessthings.com. I love your idea so much. I think I’ve gotten rid of most of my “little things” through putting out free boxes and in trips to thrift stores with other large things, but if I find any more as I journey into minimalism, I will definitely do this with them.

    Once my husband and I left an ornate hookah we hadn’t used in years in the woods on the campus of The Evergreen State College. I hope we made some hippie’s day!

  3. Rogue Priest, great name. I could have used that starting a lifetime before you and then we could have done the “dread Pirate Roberts” thing. I am sure that there are quite a number of us across the span of space and time, but there seems something oddly out of place if we get together as a group? Rogue on!

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