By the side of the street, in front of a shop, I found a large geode. Gray and rough on the edge: brilliant blue-green inside.
I carried the geode into the shop and said, "I want to use this stone for a project. Of course I won't harm it any way. I'll even give you my contact information so you can check up on it."
The man at the counter was reluctant. Of course the stone didn't actually belong to anyone, but still it was well-known in the neighborhood. Folks had become rather fond of it, like a friendly homeless person who's always on the same corner, and always humming the same funny song.
The stone wasn't valuable, its shape was irregular, even the color was actually quite tacky, but people really liked it. The shop clerk wasn't sure it was fair of me to think I could just go ahead and monopolize it.
I said I didn't want to monopolize it, I just wanted to take it home for awhile. Because I was absolutely certain we could do interesting work together, the stone and I.