September 2, 2014 – The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t need a private detective’s license to figure out who keeps sending anonymous presents in the mail to Charlotte. I can handle a stake out without first having to spend countless hours taking some online course. I’ve done it before when I spied on the cat. I don’t want to wait any longer. Today, I had Violet draw a picture of me and I put it in my reporter’s notebook. If someone asks for identification, I’ll flip it open and show them who I am. That will have to be good enough. And besides, like I told Waffles, we’re chickens. We can make up our own rules. It’s how we roll.
My decision to skip over the gumshoe training was accelerated when Rick, the mailman knocked on the door of Coop #1 this afternoon with a special delivery for Lottie. She’s gone loopy over the attention and doesn’t even wait anymore for me to check out the box for signs of tampering. Solving this mystery can’t wait any longer.
Thankfully, I was standing in the driveway when Rick pulled in with his mail truck. I walked with him to the first henhouse in our chicken yard and witnessed Charlotte’s exuberance as he handed her a white mailing tube addressed to her. She thanked him and pulled the end cap off before I even had a chance to shake or smell it.
“Good grief, Lottie!” I chastised. “There could have been a poison dart inside, triggered to release and shoot you in the eyeball when you opened it!”
“Oh, Happy!” she laughed. “You worry too much. Do you see a poison dart stuck anywhere in my head?”
I did not, but it didn’t mean the package was safe.
“You need to be more careful,” I said frustrated. It’s nearly impossible to keep this girl safe, I thought.
“What are you expecting,” Lottie replied looking down the long length of tube for a clue to what was inside, “fowl play?”
“Very funny,” I snickered. “Go ahead then, pull out whatever gift your creepy admirer sent this time.”
She flipped the tube upside down and shook it until a hint of yellow paper peeked out.
“What is it?” I asked looking over her shoulder.
“It seems to be some sort of map,” she said taking it out and letting the parchment unroll before her.
“IT’S A TREASURE MAP!” I gasped, for I had only ever heard of them in pirate stories.
“A treasure map?” Charlotte echoed. “What good is that?” Then she picked up the empty tube and held it over her head hoping that the map was merely wrapping paper for a more dignified gift.
“Well, that’s disappointing,” she snorted dropping the tube on the ground. “I think I’ll go put my head feathers in curlers. This humidity is wreaking havoc with my perm.”
“But what about the treasure map?” I asked flabbergasted.
“Keep it. I have no use for such silly things.” And with that, she was gone, off to find Addie so they could do each other’s feathers.
I couldn’t believe it. In my hands was a mapped out route to riches and jewels and who knows what else. Then again, it could be a trap set by the anonymous patron. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to investigate the possibility of a hidden fortune – especially if I was careful.
Oh, this was too good to keep to myself! I ran to the smelly bush to find Waffles and hatch a plan.