The ruins and rubble stretched on for miles. The area, once a vibrant city, had been reduced to nothing but hiding holes for rats and vermin. Trees, once kept as ornamental symbols of mankind’s conquest over nature, now grew out beyond their enclosures, slowly but surely cracking open their concrete prisons.
The wind drifted through the lifeless ruins, carrying not even the scent of decay. Even the bodies were long gone, dissolved back to the dust from which they had clawed their way out.
No sound drifted on the wind.
Wait – hold on, do you hear something?
The whistling, a light and pleasant tune that meandered across the chromatic scale without any clear rhythm, grew louder, until a bushy head of hair popped up from behind the rubble that was once a skyscraper. The man paused his tune for a moment long enough to, with a grunt, dislodge one of the heavy chunks of concrete.
“Very nice!” he called out aloud, as he watched the concrete slab tumble and slide down the pile of rubble. “At least a spare, I’d say!”
After the chunk of concrete had come to a stop with a thundering boom at the bottom of the pile, the man began rooting around in the newly uncovered cavity. His voice drifted up out of the hole.
“Let’s see here… ooh, there’s something!” the man’s voice called out, filled with a burst of excitement. A few more grunts followed, accompanied by more concrete boulders being heaved out of the hole.
“Yes!” the man cried, as he wrenched out the small, cylindrical object he had dug from the rubble. He held it aloft, as if showing it off to the rest of the empty city. “Oh, how lucky am I!”
“I’ll be eating well tonight!” he kept talking, even as he carefully made his way down the pile of rubble. “Oh, this is the best day ever! I can’t wait for sundown!”
The man, once back down on the decaying city streets, turned around, surveying the crumbling buildings around him. “Let’s try that one next – it looks like a triangle!” he decided, setting off towards his next destination.
As he strolled away, he broke out once again into whistling – although now, the whistling was interspersed with little exclamations. “I can’t believe it! A whole can of beans, practically as good as new! I’m going to be eating like a king tonight!”