A young man’s theft of a 400 million-year-old fossil rock from an Arkansas state park years ago prompted a heartfelt note of apology from the now much older and wiser collector from Texas.
He shipped the stone back to Buffalo National River officials last week, regret evident in his words.
“Please return to Lost Valley State Park,” his note reads. “I was young and hid it from my folks. I’m very old now & very sorry. Forgive me.”
The inch-thick stone contains fossilized tracks from prehistoric worms that left their trails in mud that later turned to stone, according to park spokesman Caven Clark.
It’s an eye-catching piece, but Clark reminded all park visitors that removing mementos or archaeological finds from a national park not only is ethically wrong, it’s also illegal.