MONSTERS 7' Detective conquers the monsters from the woods.

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far away, Michaela,
the world's greatest detective woke up with a headache. When she
opened her eyes, she saw that the room she was in was perfectly
round and it was small. It was not much larger than the bed she
was lying on. The walls were made of stone. The floor was made
of wood.

"Where am I?!" Michaela asked herself, "I don't remember falling
asleep here. In fact, I don't remember falling asleep! How did I
get here? Where is HERE anyway?"

The only light in the room was leaking through the boards on the
window shutters. So, she went over to the shutters, unlatched
them and pushed them open. Bright sunlight spilled into the

"It's midday!" She said to herself as she squinted, "Last I
remember I was eating dinner and drinking.... THE APPLE JUICE!
Somebody must have put a sleeping potion in my apple juice at

Michaela put her hands on the windowsill and leaned out.

"Wo!" shouted Michaela as she looked down, "I must be at least
two hundred feet off the ground!"

She leaned further out the window to look at the outside of the
building she was in.

"I'm in a castle!" Michaela exclaimed, How did I end up in a
castle?! I don't even live near a castle! This room is a round
tower. This tower must have been built as a lookout tower to see
the enemy coming. But I've also seen these towers used as jail
cells to keep people from escaping."

Seeing no doors in the walls, Michaela found a small square door
in the wooden floor next to the bed. But the door wouldn't open,
no matter how hard she pulled.

"I'm a prisoner!" said Michaela, "But why? I didn't do anything!
I haven't even been accused."

Michaela thought about shouting, but after looking out the
window, she saw that the castle she was in was deserted. It
seemed to have been deserted for a long time because there were
vines growing up the walls all the way up to the window.

"The vines!" Michaela shouted. "That's my way out of here!"

She knew that vines that grow up walls hold onto the walls using
tiny green fingers that attach themselves to the wall every few
inches. At first Michaela thought about climbing down the vines,
but the vines near the window were new and green and thin. If
she tried to climb down them, the tiny green fingers weren't
strong enough to hold her weight. They would let go and she

"That's it!" shouted Michaela, "The fingers will let go, but
they won't all let go at once. If I just hang on to the end of
the vine, it will let me fall slowly.... I hope."

So, Michaela chose a vine that looked sturdy enough to slow her
fall and she grabbed onto it and jumped. The end of the vine was
young and green, so the fingers let go easily, Michaela fell
like a rock for a few feet before the older part of the vine
slowed her fall.

Michaela screamed, "I'm not sure this was such a good ideaaaaaa
ag ag ag ag ag ag."

Every time the vine pulled loose from the wall it made her voice
sound like a woodpecker. Then suddenly, the vine held firm.
Michaela was dangling in midair half way to the ground. Thinking
quickly, she found another green vine and grabbed it and let go
of the other.

Michaela screamed, "Here I go again ag ag ag ag ag ag."

She hit the ground and tumbled head over heals several times
because the castle was built on the side of a mountain, but
there was no blood and there were no broken bones. Michaela had
escaped from the castle.

She stood up, dusted herself off and removed the grass and
leaves from her hair while deciding which way to go next. Since
the castle was on a mountain and her home was in a valley, she
decided to walk downhill until she saw something she knew.

When she came to a forest, she decided to walk through it
instead of around it, in spite of the warnings from the people
in her village that there were monsters in the forest. Michaela,
being the world's greatest detective didn't believe in monsters.

Besides, if this forest was the same forest that was next to her
village, this was the fastest way home. But while walking
through the forest, Michaela couldn't help but think about all
that talk of monsters in the woods. In recent nights, people
have heard the monsters howling, lots of people. Some people
swear they could hear the monsters inside their houses, even
though they had locked the doors. But only a few people saw
them. All three of the people who saw them said that the
monsters were big and hairy with long fangs, and long fingers
with long sharp claws. They all said they were alone when the
monsters appeared and they all said that the monsters were "big
and hairy with long fangs, and long fingers with long sharp
claws." Those exact words.

"Isn't it odd that they all said the same thing?" Michaela asked
herself. "They described the hair first, the teeth second and
the claws third. All exactly the same."

Last night at dinner, everyone was talking about the monsters
and Michaela started asking questions, questions that noone had
asked yet.

Question: "Was anything damaged after the monsters came?"

Answer: "Just the school house. Just one classroom was messed
up, the classroom of the seven-year-olds."

Question: "Was anything missing after the monsters came?"

Answer: "Cookies, candies, and pies mostly. And a couple of

Question: "Do the three people who saw the monsters know each

Answer: "Yes, they're all the same age."

Question: "How old?"

Answer: "Seven."

Question: "Who were these three people?"

Michaela couldn't remember the answer to the question. The
sleeping potion must have put her to sleep by then. The people
pretending to be monsters must have thought Michaela's questions
would find them out.

By now it was getting dark outside. Michaela was coming out of
the woods near her village. She could already hear the growling.
Michaela decided to sneak around the village after all the other
villagers had locked themselves in their houses. She went to the
houses that reported the growling and howling, especially those
who thought the monsters were inside the house.

Michaela found a ladder up against a chimney. Whoever was
pretending to be a monster was growling and howling down the
chimneys. The sound would go right down the chimney into the
house and be very loud. That's why some thought a monster was
inside the house.

Michaela sneaked up to another house. Another ladder was leaning
up against the chimney. The chimney would also make the voice
sound deeper and full of echoes. These "monsters" were actually
the three seven-year-old boys who said they saw the monsters.

Michaela followed the boys to the bakery. There was that naughty
boy Tommy and his two little friends. They were eating the
candy, cookies and pies from the display cases!

Michaela fetched the sheriff and brought him to the bakery,
where he caught the boys red-handed. The naughty boys had to
clean up the messes they made in the school house and the
bakery. And they had to apologize to everyone in the village for
lying, thanks to Michaela, the world's greatest detective.

So, they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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