Here’s a true story. A few weeks ago on a very sunny early evening, I drove to Cullen beach with the intention of walking my dog along the coast to Portknockie and then back again. It was a plan and the dog and I thought it was a good one. And so we set off and I threw many a ball for her to chase, which she proceeded to drop at my feet, ready for another chase. When both of us started panting it was our cue to head back. This was a good sign because the rain had also begun to fall. This time however, I decided to walk along the grassy path, which runs parallel with the golf course rather than saunter back along the beach.
All was good, well that was until I arrived back at the car. With the dog lying prostrate at my feet with her tongue hanging out her mouth I went into my coat pocket to retrieve the car keys. They weren’t there. I checked all my other pockets and they weren’t there either. I knew that I had them before I started the walk (for how else could I have got there?) so I must have dropped them anywhere/somewhere between Cullen and Portknockie! Catastrophe. I had to phone home for someone to come down to the beach car park with a spare set of keys.
An hour or so later I retraced ‘some’ of my steps but to avail. The keys were well and truly lost.
That evening I happened to mention my lost keys to a good friend.
“Have you asked St Anthony to help you?” she said?
“What?” I replied.
“St Anthony is the patron saint of lost items, she replied. “He’ll help you find your keys.”
With no disrespect to my catholic friends and colleagues I guffawed.
“He’s never let me down.” She answered giving me a look of pity and despair.
The following morning I set off with dog, back along the same stretch which I had taken the previous night but this time stopping every now and again to look at the ground. I must confess I uttered a few words to St Anthony but didn’t hold out much hope. However at one point when I called my dog back and she obeyed, I went into my pocket for a dog treat – (not for me I hasten to add) but there, lying more or less at my feet, in a patch of long grass, were my keys! Whoop! Whoop! How amazing was that?
Now this was either sheer coincidence or something in the words I used to a long dead saint worked. My keys were found and I was a happy Presbyterian.