NECKLACH 7' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Michaela was sitting in her classroom one day when a man in a
police uniform walked in the door. She knew why he was there, so
she packed up her books and things into her backpack.

Her teacher said, "Michaela, you need to go with this

"I know." replied Michaela as she hurried out the door with the

When they got into the police car, Michaela said to the
policeman, "Don't tell me. Let me guess. Lucifer Snidely hired
someone to steal the world's most expensive necklace again."

"That's right," replied the policeman, "But this time they
didn't sneak in and sneak out. They stole an army tank from the
army and rammed it right through the side of the building. And
they stole the whole display with the necklace inside. We know
that there had to be two robbers, because while one was driving,
the other one broke open the display, removed the necklace and
threw the display out of the tank at the police car that was
following them. When we found the tank a few minutes later, the
robbers and the necklace were gone."

He took Michaela to the tank and let her examine it with her
magnifying glass.

"Aha!" she exclaimed from inside the tank.

"Did you find something?!" he asked as he poked his face into
the tank.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "here on the gas pedal, I found some
pollen that probably rubbed off of the robber's shoe."

"Pollen?" asked the policeman, "I don't know what that means."

Michaela explained, "Pollen is only given off by flowers with

"Well," replied the policeman, "That doesn't tell us anything.
There are flowers all over the place."

"Yes," explained Michaela, "but, its winter. The only flowers
with blossoms in winter are INDOOR flowers."

"Well," replied the policeman, "there are flowers in all the
hotel lobbies, in all the best restaurants, in shopping malls.
That still doesn't tell us where the robbers have been."

"Not yet." explained Michaela as she climbed out of the tank
with some of the pollen in her hand, "but it will."

She put the pollen under her microscope and compared it to
pictures in her picture book.

"Aha!" she exclaimed.

"What is it?!" asked the policeman.

"This pollen comes from a very rare orchid." explained Michaela,
"You won't find this flower in hotels and shopping malls!"

"Where DO you find it?" asked the policeman.

Michaela asked the policeman to have someone call the city parks
department to ask them about this orchid. Sure enough, the city
zoo was the only place for miles around to have a flowering
orchid like that. So, Michaela and the policeman went to the zoo
and to the snake exhibit where several orchids were on display
in and around the snake exhibits. The botonist in charge of all
the plants in the zoo met them there and pointed out the orchid.

"Why are the police interested in this orchid?" she asked.

"The robbers who bashed in the side of the art museum and stole
the world's most expensive necklace had pollen from this flower
on their feet." replied the detective.

"Well," said the botonist, "the only way anyone could get pollen
on their feet from THIS flower is to work here. The public never
comes near this flower."

"How many employees work here?" asked the policeman.

"Over two hundred fifty." replied the botonist.

"Rats!" he exclaimed, "It will take us forever to question all
of them!"

Michaela asked, "Wait a minute. The robbery happened this
morning, right?"

"Right." he replied.

"If they were off robbing the museum, they didn't show up for
work." she explained.

"She's right!" exclaimed the policeman.

"Well, everybody showed up for work today." replied the

"Everybody?!" asked Michaela.

"Wait a minute." she replied, "The two snake handlers who look
after the snakes in this exhibit were late for work this

"Where are they?" asked the policeman as he drew his gun.

The botonist pointed and said, "There!"

When the snake handlers saw the botonist pointing at they, they
ran away. But they were later arrested at the gate by police.

"Now all we have to do is find the necklace." said the
policeman, "Any ideas?"

Michaela thought for a moment, then asked, "Have you noticed any
new equipment or containers in this area?"

The botonist thought for a moment, then pointed and answered,
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I did notice a new steel box in that
python exhibit."

The policeman exclaimed, "I'm not going in there! That snake has
to be 15 feet long!"

"Don't worry," explained the botonist, "We just fed the snakes.
These pythons won't bite. They're snoozing. But I'll get the box
for you."

It turned out this box was almost identical to the box from the
laundry room in the prison. It had a ten-key pad like a
telephone, except that, instead of numbers, each key had a
different word:











"Now we need the combination." said the policeman, "Any ideas,

She looked around the area for several minutes, then pointed to
the plaque in front of the python cage saying, "There it is!"

Sure enough, on the back side of the plaque that described the
snake and where he was from, there was a sticker with a list of
ten words:











(can you tell which buttons to push from this clue?)

Michaela examined the words on the sticker and compared them to
the words on the vault. After a few seconds, she exclaimed,

"You got it?!" asked the policeman.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "The words on the vault are rhymes of
the words on the sticker."

(can you tell which buttons to push from this clue?)

"I don't get it." said the policeman.

Michaela explained, "The words aren't spelled the same, but the
ends of the words SOUND the same. Look here. MEAN rhymes with

"Oh, I get it!" exclaimed the policeman, "Even I can see the

So, he began pushing the buttons in the order the rhymes
appeared on the sticker:

mean rhymes with green

June rhymes with moon

meat rhymes with feet

tree rhymes with me

sign rhymes with pine

salt rhymes with vault

train rhymes with cane

crutch rhymes with much

money rhymes with sunny

run rhymes with done

There was a click and a buzz and a hum and the vault opened,
revealing the world's most expensive necklace. And, because of
the great detective work by the world's greatest detective, the
robbers were caught and the necklace was returned to its owner.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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