Voice 1: People wear rings on their fingers for many reasons. They wear them as decorative jewellery, to show they are married or engaged, or as a keepsake from a deceased family member. Rings can be items of great sentimentality as well as items of decoration. And rings of course, are often tokens of love and great affection.
Voice 2: Mary Grams, who is now 84 years old, got engaged to her husband Norman in 1951, 66 years ago. The couple got married a year later. They settled down on the Grams’ family farm in the province of Alberta in central Canada, bringing up their family and running the farm.
Voice 1: When Norman proposed to Mary, he gave her a diamond engagement ring, which Mary wore every day along with her wedding ring. But thirteen years ago, the unthinkable happened. Mary lost the ring.
Voice 2: She’d worn this beloved piece of jewellery for more than fifty years, and was naturally devastated by its loss. What made matters worse was that Mary knew exactly where she must have lost it. It must have dropped off her finger when she was pulling weeds out of the farm’s vegetable garden.
Voice 1: As soon as she noticed the ring was missing, Mary got back down on her hands and knees and searched frantically amongst the vegetables. But no use. The ring was nowhere to be found. She went back into the farm house, sat down and cried.
Voice 2: How could she have been so careless not to have noticed the exact moment when the ring dropped off her finger? And how could it have happened? The ring was a tight fit! Or so she thought.
Voice 1: Mary told her son what had happened, but she didn't tell her husband, who luckily didn't notice that the ring was missing from his wife’s finger.
Voice 2: After a few more days of searching the vegetable garden proved fruitless, Mary went to a local jeweller’s shop and bought a cheap replacement ring. She was sure that her husband would, after fifty years, never realise that she was wearing a different ring.
Voice 1: The missing ring remained missing until the middle of August this year, when the unbelievable happened. Mary’s daughter-in-law, Coleen, who lives on the farm where her husband grew up, was picking carrots to cook for dinner, when she stopped in her tracks. The carrot she had just pulled up had a dirty band of metal wrapped around the middle.
Voice 2: It was only when she was washing the carrots, that she noticed that the band of metal that the carrot had grown through in the ground was, in fact, a ring. As the farm had been in the family for more than a century, the origin of the ring was not difficult to track.
Voice 1: Coleen showed the ring to her husband, who knew exactly who the ring belonged to. He could not believe his eyes! The family rushed over to visit his mum who was now living nearby.
Voice 2: Mary was speechless when she was presented with the carrot. She carefully sliced into the precious vegetable, easing the ring off and washing it. The ring fitted easily onto her finger.
Voice 1: Carrots appear to have a definite liking for growing through rings. Five years ago, a woman in Sweden picking carrots from her garden found one that had grown through a ring she had lost seventeen years ago. And last year, a German man found his lost wedding ring wrapped round a carrot that he had harvested from his vegetable patch.
Voice 2: Mary Grams' husband died five years earlier, just after the couple’s diamond wedding Anniversary, but Mary knows he would have been as amused as the rest of the family if he had known the story of the carrot and the ring.
Voice 1: Mary herself is still trying to work out which is the crazier - the ring turning up after such a long time or the fact that a carrot grew through it in the ground. But no matter. The ring is back on Mary’s finger. And that’s where it’s going to stay.