I was sorting through a box of childhood mementos that had been stored in my parents' attic for 15 years and found the dinosaur I referenced in my post about coincidences.
I also found a piece of nostalgia which reminded me of another story about taking something that didn't belong to me. My sister and I took a nature day camp one summer. Our camp counselor was named Randy Weiss and we both had schoolgirl crushes on him. He seemed much older than us at the time but now I realize he was probably not even 20. He took us all on a walk through the woods near the nature center, pointing out this and that in the forest. At one point I bent over and picked up this interesting looking pinecone. Randy commented that the pinecone looked like Tom Thumb. I kept it in my hand for the rest of the walk.
Near the end of the trail Randy said, "Remember to put back Tom Thumb. We always want to leave nature just how we found it." But my pinecone had been anthropomorphized. I couldn't leave Tom Thumb alone in the woods in the impending dark night, now. I put him in my pocket and brought him back to his new home in the suburbs, feeling at once guilty that I had betrayed nature, and pleased that I had rescued a friend.
I suppose 15 years in an alternately frigid and sweltering attic may not have been preferable to him over being slowly churned back into the soil from which he sprang.