Springing from European folklore, a wishing well is historically a sacred place, where the life giving body of water could house one’s dreams and grant them true.
Well guardians would protect the healing powers of water before bestowing its magic upon a fortunate contributor, manifesting the reality of a thought after the drop of a coin.
Today, it appears, wishing upon a star has given way to the much more practical notion of robbing under the moonlight. Here the romanticism has not been lost, merely just shifted in a more sinister, yet practical direction.
For last Saturday evening beneath an autumnal supermoon, thieves quietly made their way into Fairy Park, a theme park just outside of Geelong, Victoria.
Armed with a water pump, hacksaw and a callous disregard for children’s wishes, the thieves cut through a steel grid cover before draining a 2.5 metre deep wishing well and robbing it of its contents.
It wasn’t until the next day that park owner Garry Mayer found the well devoid of its water and roughly $30,000 in one dollar coins, some of which had occupied the well floor for the last eight years. Mr Mayer told the Herald Sun he is distraught over the theft of “a lot of heart felt wishes”.
However, the romanticism for the wish thieves stops there, as Mr Mayer says the loot not only weighs about 270 kilograms (equivalent to a female moose), but the coins are rusted, dirty and emit arguably the most unromantic odour imaginable. He says the “cold-hearted” thieves will have their work cut out for them before any gallant spending occurs.
Detective Sergeant John McKinnon has also warned banks and shops in the area to keep an eye out for any large transactions of rusty one dollar coins. Thus, it appears that dragging 270 kilograms worth of rusty, smelly coins in the dead of night may have not been worth it after all. Or was it?
Ted Bagandally, of the Supermoon Consumer Analyst Mob (SCAM), says the theft, while morally misguided, may have been more prudent than one might think.
He says not only could the supermoon have provided gravitational assistance in loot transport (rendering the cargo more like a toy feather moose), its powerful effect on the contents of a wishing well could prove auspicious, turning bad odours into ambrosial delights and cautious consumer spending into nights of thrilling moonlit adventure.