It was a warm summer day and Maddie knew that could only mean one thing: the beach! She flung the car door open and with her bucket in hand she ran straight down to the water's edge. As she trotted along the waterline, her foot hit something hard that was half buried in the sand. She looked down and gasped when she saw...
This was like something from her favourite adventure books.
She reached down to unearth it from the sand.
She opened the lid to retrieve the note. She unravelled what looked like a very old scroll that was filled with very cursive, ink writing.
The letter was dated 1834.
Woah, Maddie thought, this is really REALLY old.
She read on.
"Whoever finds this, whenever that may be, my name is Greta and I am a pirate"
Maddie couldn't believe it.
She read on...
Maddie looked around nervously to see if anyone was watching her. Treasure! She was already imagining the sturdy wooden chest, banded in iron, spilling necklaces and jewels, rubies and emeralds, ancient statuettes and doubloons from the Spanish Main.
"Whoever finds this note, I grant you the right to search for the buried treasure of Pirate Greta! But, be warned, your search will be packed with puzzles and danger! And possibly also some crocodiles, depending"
Maddie wasn't sure she liked the sound of crocodiles, but the treasure did sound very tempting...
Maddie's heart dropped with disappointment. How frustrating! Could it be that Greta had been rather forgetful and simply not included the map? What would she do now? All of that treasure out there, but no way of finding it.
Maggie plonked herself down in the sand and thought to herself "Come on Maggie, there must be a clue here. You can't give up yet!" And as she did so, she noticed the cork where she'd tossed it down, in her excitement to open the bottle. With the sun shining on it, it caught the light. "How odd", she thought.
She picked it back up and upon closer inspection discovered the very top of a key, glinting away, carefully tucked within the cork, for safe keeping she assumed.
"Aha!" . . .
She chewed on the cork in order to set the key free. It was beautiful: golden and shiny, kept in mint condition in its snug hiding place. But a key without a lock to open doesn't get you very far, Maddie thought.
She read the note once more. Could it be the first puzzle Greta wrote about?
She looked closer at the parchment. She suddenly remembered an invisible ink trick she had learned in the first grade and lifted the paper up to the sunlight to see if any new clues would appear.