Snail – moneybox
MECHANICAL WOODEN MODEL
One of the first inventions of the six-years-old Mr. Playwood. The young inventor was inspired by the family’s favorite pet – a gigantic snail named Slipper.
Slipper who served as a prototype for the moneybox is known for its skittish temper. Once, offended at his master, Slipper went on the run. In twenty four hours he covered a distance of three cubits and only agreed to return home after Mr. Playwood promised to feed him daily with choice grapes.
The Box was used by Mr. Playwood to store seeds which served as currency to the residents of the Great Tree. Later, when an ancient treasure buried under the roots of the Great Tree was unearthed, gold coins found in it were also kept in the Snail-moneybox.
The Box was initially equipped with an anti-theft system. Mr. Playwood had to abandon the mechanism, though, after he nearly lost a finger that got stuck in the cunning trap.
One of the versions of the Bank featured a false bottom – Mr. Playwood used it to hide the blueprints of his most secretive inventions.
The side walls of the Snail-moneybox are made of sun-baked transparent resin harvested on the eastern branches of the Great Tree. Manufacturing of this material takes from two to five weeks and involves a high degree of risk – the resineer (that’s what they call the resin harvesting masters) can doze off from boredom and fall off a branch.
Now that the Snail-moneybox gained widespread popularity amongst the tribes residing on the Great Tree, it became an obligatory gift a groom offers his chosen bride. Should the girl decline the proposal, she empties the contents of the box on the head of the hapless contender (the box is not returned back to the grantor).
Twice was the Snail-moneybox snatched from Mr. Playwood. The first time round it was stolen by a nomad called Red Beard. As punishment, the tribe leaders condemned him to three months of community service on a nut farm. The second time the moneybox was snatched by the giant bird Ruakh who lives on the upper branches and Mr. Playwood was only able to return his property using the Shotgun.