Albert held out the gleaming brass compass with the twelve sparkling gems. So Johann could see it better he opened the top and rotated the compass, “See how the needle always points north no matter how I move the case?” His bright brown eyes twinkled as the mystery of the unknown captured his soul. “Someday I will understand why it does that
Johann’s blue eyes grew even wider. Not only had he never seen a compass before, he had never seen anything like it. In the midst of this fantastic, day, Johann paused in thought. He had two older brothers, Francis, and Daniel, who worked in the brewery, but they never talked like Albert did. His father, Frederick, a Lutheran said the Einsteins were Jewish. Maybe that was the reason he knew so much.
Albert surrendered himself to the moment. He found himself trusting his engaging and friendly companion and he allowed Johann to touch his cherished prize. Johann opened and closed the clasp. “Hey, come on!” said Johann jumping to his feet. Their eyes glued to the compass, the two boys marched around the barn and watched the needle.
Content with their first parade, they returned to their seats on the hay bale. Johann returned the compass. Albert closed his eyes and held his precious gift to his chest. “Oh I love my compass and I love my Papa, who gave it to me.” The compass tingled against Albert’s chest. From inside the compass, a shimmer of light burst then radiated out about ten inches all around Albert’s hand. Albert felt the unexpected warmth and opened his eyes to find a rainbow projecting from the gems. Above the compass floated a three-dimensional number “33”. He threw his hands up in surprise, dropping the compass onto the straw floor.
Johann struck with wonder squealed, “Look at that!”
The boys sat mesmerized for what seemed eternity.
Behind them, the barn door opened. Papa Hermann called, “Albert say goodbye to Johann, your mama has dinner waiting.”
Albert snatched up the enchanted instrument. “Johann, you must never tell anyone what happened today, you promise?”
Speechless Johann nodded his compliance.
Bonded together by a special secret, neither boy had any inkling that the compass would be instrumental in the adventure of their lives.
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