The Mystery Box consists of a polished cherry wood box placed on top of a spruce pedestal. The box has a hinged lid, which is open, and the inside is lined with black velvet.
When you see this box on a pedestal, you think to yourself
“This is some special box, and something special is inside of it.”
So you walk over to look inside. But as soon as you get within 6 feet of the box, the hinged lid slams shut and won’t open.
If you walk away from the box, it begins to feel safe again, and the lid opens an inch or so. If you leave it alone, after 5 or 10 seconds, it opens another inch or two. If you still leave it alone, it will open a bit more. Finally, it decides it’s safe once again and, like a cautious anemone, it opens all the way up. But as soon as you approach it, it slams shut.