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In a book called "Directions", James Hamilton writes: Before refrigerators, people used ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitting door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses, and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.


One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.


Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. "I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."


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