Each time the heavy hammer hit the stone, sharp shards of splintered rock and dust erupted from the strike point. With each swing, he adjusted his stance and the direction of the hammer’s blow ever so slightly. That tiny adjustment sent the spray of granite a few inches to the right of the last eruption. With every eighth strike, an almost perfect circle of dust and chipped rock formed around the target of his relentless attack, the central piece of stone.
Three second lapsed between the time his hammer struck the boulder and the next strike…just three seconds to pull the big hammer back over his shoulder, tense his back and stomach muscles, and swing the long wooden handle through the air for another attack. Every twenty-four seconds, he rounded his target, leaving a sparkling dust circle one sixteenth of an inch deep as evidence of his efforts.
He paused to rest for two or three minutes after seven minutes of swinging his hammer. Each time he stopped, he looked down at the circular ring, just over an inch deeper in grit and powdered rock than it had been when last he rested. And each time, the massive granite stone that shook with every blow of his hammer looked a little more like the figure he saw buried within the rock. Only he could see that figure, for now, but it wouldn’t be long until others could see it, as well.