To put it mildly, Ralph was tired.  After the last couple of weeks he’d had all of the vacation he could stand for a while.  The first sign of what was to come was when he came home to find his wife looking over information about London hotels.  Since they’d just gotten back from a family vacation a couple of months ago he didn’t figure it was anywhere near time for the next one.  Besides, he was loaded down with work and didn’t see himself getting away for at least a week or more and that would only give him about five days.  Long enough to rest before the next project but not long enough for another vacation.

“I heard from my aunt’s lawyer this morning.” she said.  “Oh? Does that mean they’ve finally settled the lawsuit over her will?”  “Yes, we’re going to have to be in London for the reading tomorrow.”  Ralph was stunned.  “Tomorrow?!  You can’t be serious.”  She turned to him with a sparkle in her eye, “oh, yes. I’m serious alright.  She was worth a fortune and we’re named in the will.  The lawyer says that the will is written so that whoever doesn’t show up gets nothing.”

With that, they got down to business and made the hotel reservations and arranged the plane tickets.  About twelve hours later they arrived at the lawyers office in London.  The lawyer met with them briefly and explained that their arrival has been noted and that as part of the requirements, they had to be at another lawyer’s office in New York in exactly twenty four hours.  They went back to the hotel and started looking up New York hotels and making more reservations before going to sleep.

They arrived in the New York law office five minutes ahead of schedule.  This lawyer made a record of their arrival and told them that the next step they had to fulfill was to appear before a third lawyer where the will would actually be read.  Once again they had twenty four hours.  Again they return to a hotel room only to spend time looking up Dublin hotels and making more reservations.  Late that night they boarded the flight to Dublin.

When they finally sat down in this last office the lawyer told them that they were the only family members that had been willing to do all of the traveling required to qualify under the terms of the will.  “Here is your inheritance.” he said as he gestured to a crate in the corner of the room.  When they opened it and looked inside Ralph wondered about the sanity of this whole thing.  The box contained a two foot high green ceramic frog.

“I’ll understand if you don’t wish to keep it.  In any event I am authorized to reimburse your travel expenses for the last several days.” the lawyer told them.  “No,” Ralph replied, we haven’t been through all this only to go home empty handed.  They closed the crate and returned to the hotel to make arrangements to return home.

When they arrived home they decided to just un-crate the frog and use it for a lawn decoration and put the whole mess behind them.  Ralph was carrying the frog out to the front yard where it would sit at the edge of the garden when he tripped and almost fell.  He recovered his balance but not before the frog hit the walkway in front of him and shattered.

Lying amidst the shattered ceramic were hundreds of small to medium sized diamonds.

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