Amazing Kids! Magazine

Riddles & Riches

By Andrew Shelton, age 11, Lamar, Missouri


Jack opened the door to the closet and sitting on the floor, was a locked chest. He thought to himself, I don’t remember that being there.

Ding, dong!

“Wonder who that could be,” said Jack as he opened the door. Sitting in front of him was a sealed envelope.

Jack sat in his recliner as he pondered what could be in it.

“Well” he said to himself. “The only way to know is to open this envelope.” He quickly pried open the envelope to find a letter inside. He took it out and it said:

January 9th, 1999

Dear Jack,

If you are reading this I have thus passed. You might not know me, but I am your Great Aunt Betty. We met once, when you were a baby. You were so cute then, but to the point. Since all my family, except you, is dead, you get everything. You get my house, my wealth, even my cat, Noodles. But first you must find it. You see the chest you have holds my will. To unlock the chest you must find its key. To find it you must follow the clues I have left behind for you. This is the first of many clues to come. Follow the trail of nature’s past. At the end find the place of being fast, only then will you find the next clue. Good luck!


Your loving Great Aunt Betty

“Whoa, okay then. Well, I guess it’s time for a good old fashioned quest. Let’s see, now what could the trail of nature’s past be. Hmmm, I don’t remember there ever being a trail. I wonder. Jack picked up his phone and dialed a few numbers, then waited.

“Hello?” He sighed. “Mr. Johnson, it’s me Jack”

Mr. Johnson grumbled, “Do you know what time it is?”

“Yes Sir, I just need to ask you a question about history.”

“Fine, but make it quick,” Mr. Johnson snarled.

“Thanks, do you know anything about an old nature trail in Pinefield?” Jack crossed his fingers.

“In fact I do, in its day the trail was very nice.  They put down good quality gravel. Cleaned it regularly, and it was by Maple Avenue. Yup, a nice trail, that was. That answer your question?’’

“Yes, Sir, Thank you. Goodnight.”

Jack whispered to himself, “Now let’s go find that key.”

Jack hopped into his Honda. Put the key in the ignition, and was off. Jack took out his phone, and went to Google maps. “Now where is Maple Avenue? Hmm,” said Jack as he passed a stop sign unknowingly. Wee, woo, wee, woo! “Huh?” said Jack as he pulled over.

A police officer got out and started walking to Jack. “License, and registration please.”

“Ok,” said Jack as he fumbled to get his driver’s license. “Here you go”.

The police officer took the license and took a long look at it. “You know what you did?”

“I ran a stop sign.”

“Ok then, I’m going to leave you with a warning.”

“Thank you so much!”

“You’re welcome, just don’t let me catch you running a stop sign again.”

“Ok, oh sir?”


“Do you know where Maple Avenue is?”

“Yes I do. It’s to your left,” said the officer as he pointed to Jacks left.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Let’s go find that clue.”

Jack parked his car near a lamp post. He’d heard that light deters burglars. He looked around for about ten to fifteen minutes before finding the trail. “So this is the beginning of my quest. To the trail I go!” Crunch! Crunch! “This grass could really use some rain. Well I guess I should start thinking about what the place of being fast is,” said Jack as he walked down the trail. “Fast, fast, what could fast mean. There’s no race track in Pinefield. Wait a second, race track, track, the old high school track!” Right then Jack stumbled upon the end of the trail. With a sign in front of him that said Track, with an arrow pointing to the left.

The track was huge! By the time Jack found the clue it was dusk. Of course the clue was in the men’s bathroom. The little piece of paper that was the clue, was clearly visible in the doorway. “Well let’s just get this over with, “said Jack as he held his breath, and walked in. “Oh man, this place smells worse than when I forget to clean out the litter box, “said Jack as he took a few more steps into the bathroom. Jack walked up to the sink where the clue was and swiped it. Jack then ran out the door. “Whew, I got the second clue. Let’s see this thing.” The paper said, to find the next clue go to the place where people get licked, and give love to those who are lost and sick. Find the one who no one wants, only then will you find the next clue. “Woah, well I guess I know what to do. To the Hondamobile!”

Jack sat in his Honda as he pondered the clue. “Now what could that clue mean? A place where people get licked, gross. A place with lost and sick, maybe the homeless shelter? Nah, hmm, that last line though. Find the one who no one wants, what could that mean? Wait, maybe I’m looking at this from the wrong angle. What place would people be licked in? Oh my gosh it’s the Pinefield dog pound and Veterinary Clinic. To the pound!”

Jack went into the pound, and walked to the receptionist’s desk. “How may I help you?” asked the receptionist in a disgruntled tone.

“I’d like to look at your dogs, please,” Jack replied.

“Alright, they’re through that door to the right,” said the receptionist as she pointed to a door.

“Thank you ma’am, “said Jack as he entered the kennel area. There were so many dogs, it was great! Jack’s mom never would let him have a dog. They did, however, have two cats. One was named Sprinkles, the other was named Nemo, but back to the mission at hand.

“Now which of these dogs does no one want?” said Jack as he kneeled next to a cage with a Beagle in it. “What about you puppy, wuppie?” asked Jack as he noticed a piece of paper tied to the cage with string. Jack picked up the paper with his hand and read.  Gender: Female, Date arrived: 11/7/16, Behavioral issues:  None. “Eureka, the last line must mean the dog that’s been here the longest. “For the next six minutes Jack checked the cages, finally after he did the math and compared the dates, he knew which dog was the dog. Jack walked up to a black Pitbull. “Do you have a clue for Jack, do you?”

The Pitbull sat up, revealing a sealed envelope.

“Why thank you dog friend of mine.” Jack opened the cage door slowly. He then grabbed the envelope and closed the cage slowly. “Phew, got the clue.”

Jack then walked out of the pound to his Hondamobile. Jack sat down. “Wow I’m doing good,” Jack said to himself. “Time to open this thing.” Jack ripped opened the envelope. Inside was a letter, Jack took it out and read.

Congratulations on making it this far!  Now here is the clue, go to the place where people take and give of their wealth. Though to gain your reward you will have to do more than walk in the door. One test you must pass to unlock my chest.

“Whoa, well let’s just start on the first line. What place would people give their money to? More of a question what place would give that money back?” Jack looked down at his watch. “Holy cow, its 3:00am! I better get in bed or I won’t want to go to school tomorrow. Well, Great Aunt Betty I’m going to have to solve your mystery tomorrow.”

School was bad the next day for Jack, causing his stress to be bad. He found out he got a C+ on his geometry test. A B- on his Harriet Tubman essay. But the icing on the cake was when he found out the Kansas City Chiefs had lost 21 to 3 last night. He wasn’t sure he could live through the rest of the day. That was until he heard the familiar ring signaling for lunch. As Jack walked into the lunchroom, and grabbed his tray of stuff that the school called food, and sat at a table in the back.

“Hey Jack,” said Allen as he plopped down next to Jack.

“Hey Allen,” Jack said saddened.

“You ok man?”

“Yeah, just a little bummed out.”

“Anything I can do to turn your frown upside down?”

“There is one thing you could help me with. What place do people give, and take wealth?”

“This isn’t a question on a test is it?”

“No of course not.”

“Alright, well it sounds like a bank. You deposit your money, or wealth, and withdrawal it.”

“Allen you’re a genius.”

“I get B’s, but thanks.”

After school Jack headed to the only bank in town, Midwest National Bank. Jack walked inside, there was only one teller open. Jack walked over. “Hello.”

“Are you Jack?”


“Are you ready for your test?”

“I guess.”

“What is red, green, blue, pink, and all colors? Take your time.”

“Hmmm, a Chameleon?”

“No, but good guess. Two guesses left.”

“Paint?” guessed Jack.

“Nope, one guess left.”

“Well, um, now what could be all colors? Wait a second, where do all colors come from? I’d like to guess the Earth.”

The teller smiled at him, “Correct.” The teller slipped him an envelope.

Jack walked out of the door. Jacked sliced open the envelope, inside was a key. “Yes! Now to claim my stuff. To the Hondamobile!”

Jack drove back to his house, careful to avoid running any stop signs. Jack parked in the driveway, and went into his house. Jack closed the curtains, locked the front door, and silenced his phone. Jack opened the closet door. “This is it,” Jack said to himself as he pushed the key into the lock. Jack twisted the key in the lock. Click! The chest opened a crack.

“Thank you Great Aunt Betty,” said Jack as he opened the chest to find the piece of paper that would change his life. Jack picked up the brittle piece of paper that was inside. He then read, this here is the last will and testament of Betty Clarke. I hereby leave all my belongings and wealth to Jack Gardener. May his life be forever prosperous. “You earned this Jack,” Jack said to himself. “Well I think I’m due a much needed nap,” said Jack as he sat down in his recliner and slept.