TOYS2    6' Detective and the missing toys

The little girl next door walked right into Michaela's house and
right into her bedroom.

"Michaela, you have to help me!" Emily cried.

"What's wrong now, Emily?" asked Michaela.

"Somebody stole my XBOX and WII!" Emily cried, "I bet Tommy did

Michaela replied, "The world's greatest detective doesn't jump
to conclusions. Let me look at the crime scene."

Michaela went over to Emily's house and looked for clues. "Were
all the doors locked?" she asked.

"Yes, we always lock the doors." replied the girl, "We played
both games last night. But when we woke up this morning, they
were gone."

Michaela inspected all the doors and windows beginning with the
windows closest to the room where the games were taken. Finally,
she found dirty footprints on a window sill and on the floor
under the window.

"This is how the robber got in." concluded Michaela, "This
window is unlocked."

"But we always lock all the windows at night." replied the
girl's mother, "How could he have gotten in through a locked

Then she inspected the window frame with her magnifying glass.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Did you find something?!" asked Emily's mom.

"Yes, there are small scratches here next to the window lock.
They're tool marks. Tommy didn't do this robbery."

"How do you know?" she asked.

"These are SMALL scratches." explained Michaela. "Tommy is too
young to know how to use tools without leaving BIG scratches.
This robber reached through and unlocked this window without
leaving hardly any marks at all. And Tommy is too small to carry
a ladder big enough to reach your bedroom window. No, this
robber was older."

Then, with her magnifying glass, Michaela examined the dirt left
by the robber when he stepped from the ladder through the

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Did you find something?!"

"Yes." replied Michaela, "There's a teensy tiny feather here in
the dirt."

"A feather?" asked Emily's mom.

"Yes." replied Michaela, "You don't have a pet bird, do you?"

"No." replied Emily's mom, "Maybe the robber stepped on a
feather outside in our yard."

Michaela explained, "This is not the feather of a wild bird.
It's bright green. Do you know anyone in the neighborhood who
has a pet parrot or parakeet?"

All of them answered at once, "Tommy!"

Michaela replied, "No. I've already ruled out Tommy. He's too
young and to small to get in through a second story window."

"Then maybe it was Tommy's older brother." suggested Emily.

So, Michaela went over to Tommy's house with Emily and knocked
on the door. Tommy answered the door.

"What do you want? Are you trying to get me into trouble
again?!" he asked.

"No. This time it's your brother, Jimmy." replied Michaela.

"What did he do?" asked Tommy.

"Does he have an XBOX and a WII?" asked Michaela.

"Sure. He just got them today. You don't think he stole them, do
you?" asked Tommy.

"Not sure." replied Michaela, "We'd just like to check to be

Tommy led them to Jimmy's room. But Jimmy wasn't there. So,
Tommy pushed open the door and went in.

"They're gone!" said Tommy pointing, "The games were right here
on his desk next to the computer."

Michaela pointed to a steel box and replied, "Maybe he put the
games in there."

Just then, Tommy's mom came into Jimmy's room saying, "What's
going on in here. Tommy, what did you do now?"

Michaela stepped in front of Tommy and explained, "Oh, Tommy
didn't do anything. He's helping us get back some video games
that were stolen from Emily's house last night."

"Stolen?" exclaimed Tommy's mom, "You think those two new games
Jimmy brought home are stolen?"

Michaela replied, "I think it's possible. We'd like to look at
the games just to be sure."

"But," asked Tommy's mom, "why do you think Jimmy stole them?"

"The burglar left a footprint on Emily's window sill." explained
Michaela, "The footprint had a tiny bright green feather stuck
to it. And yours is the only family on the block who owns a
green parakeet."

"Oh, well, I'm sure Jimmy has a good explanation for this."
replied Tommy's mom, "I've never had any trouble with him. But
it does seem rather suspicious that two new video games showed
up in our house the day after two games were stolen from our
neighbors house. Have a look."

"That's the problem." replied Tommy, "The games aren't here
anymore. Michaela thinks Jimmy locked the games in that box on
the desk."

Tommy's mom replied, "Well, let's have a look."

But when Michaela tried to open the steel box, the cover
wouldn't budge. She examined the box and found a wire coming out
the back that was connected to the computer. She pressed a key
on the computer and the screen lit up. The message on the screen
read, "Enter Password".

Michaela explained, "It looks like the lock on the box is
controlled by the computer. Do you know what Jimmy's password

Both Tommy and his mom shook their heads.

Michaela suggested, "Well, people usually use a password that's
easy to remember, like their own name or their birthday."

So, Michaela typed in these passwords:


JOHNSON (that's Jimmy's last name)

021291 (that's Jimmy's birth date: February 2, 1991)

None of them worked. Then Michaela got the idea to try these
passwords backward:




As soon as Michaela typed in Jimmy's birth date backward, she
heard a click and a green light went on on the lid of the steel
box. When Michaela opened the box, she found the XBOX and WII.

Emily pointed to the WII controller and exclaimed, "That's my
princess sticker on the back there!"

Sure enough, the video games that Jimmy brought home were
stolen. And Jimmy was in big trouble with his mom.

But, thanks to Michaela, the world's greatest detective,
everyone else lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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