Every single child in the entire group of boys replied (in their own variation), "Dude, I'd totally keep it."
If you are not aware, "finders keepers" is NOWHERE located in our Scriptures, beginning with the Torah. Actually, Yahweh commands to do just the opposite. Deuteronomy 22:1-4 states, 1"If you see your fellow Israelite's ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. 2 If they do not live near you or you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. 3Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. 4If you see your fellow Israelite's donkey or ox fallen in the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. (emphasis mine)
What does this story, and any observance of this mitzvah portray? It declares to the people you encounter every day that Yahweh is a RESTORER of all things lost. And by your obedience to the commandment, you touch Yahweh's nature into their lives in a personal way. You are His spokeswoman. Next time you see something lying on the ground, or wandering on the street, don't grumble and be bogged down by the sight of it. Jump for joy at the chance to touch someone's life in a grand way!
My son had an orange matchbox car once that he left at the grocery store. By the time he realized it was missing, we were already gone and I could not go back trying to find it. I simply told him, "Son, we're going to pray and ask our Heavenly Father to take care of it and see if it turns up next time we go back to the store." Just as we had hoped, it had been turned into Lost and Found. My son was ecstatic and instantly realized the importance of observing this mitzvah. He is so funny, he now sees something on the ground (it may be garbage) and he is asking about trying to return it to its owner. Once, we did turn something in that he found and the lady told him to keep it. He flatly refused. He told her it was not his and the owner may come back looking for it. Her eyes widened greatly but then thanked him and took it. I know by the look on that woman's face that she was just touched by the power of the Torah. It is not us, and our obedience is nothing, but it is a joy to be an eyewitness to the incredible love the Torah bestows on others. That is one that all believers need to be taught. Jew or Gentile.
So, how can YOU keep this mitzvah? I wondered that a lot myself. In many towns, it is against the law to keep a pet in your home and try to find its owner. However, this is because we are more spread out and it is harder to find the owner that way. If you come across a stray, find out what way is both most effective and legal in the area. In my town you can have fines of up to $500 if you are a "finders keepers" type guy or gal. Post ads on Craigslist if need be. My heart was so sickened to see how many postings in my area alone were for lost animals. Children crying because their dog or other treasured pet accidentally got out. Older folks whose greatest companion just went missing. Don't you just wanna throw on a Torah suit and be the heroine coming to the rescue? We all should.
As far as property goes, contact the closest Lost and Found area and furnish your number to them in the event someone comes looking for the item. Post signs. Do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do. But, DO NOT IGNORE IT. It is your duty to not walk on by and leave it for someone else to discover and decide what they think best. Food for thought: they may not have Yahweh's kingdom in mind, but HaSatan's. They may steal it. They may destroy it. They may keep it for themselves. And then, the story of who Yahweh is will not be able to shine in the situation. It will be snuffed out in that circumstance. You are called to be a light. So just trust your Father and go to it!
Keep your eyes peeled, girls....