Selling Sea Shells Down Under


It was a long way to the bottom of the ocean. The nuclear missle I had tied to my foot helped me reach the deepest part of the jagged underwater crevasses. As we got closer to the ocean floor, the peaceful blue of the water had turned to a rather scary black. And then, in the distance, I saw her. The meanest, most terrifying creature under the sea, the giant octopus.

"Hi ," she said in a oily voice. "Iím glad to see youíve changed your mind. Did you have any trouble finding the place? May I offer you a refreshment? The shark is fresh."

Letís just get down to business. How much do you want for it?"

"Fine. If thatís what you want. The map will cost you 100,000,001 clams."

"How much?" I asked in amazement.

"100,000,001 clams," she replied, stubbornly crossing all eight of her arms.

"There is no way, Iím going to pay 100,000,001 clams for a piece of driftwood! Why itís not even a pretty color, itís blue with black polka dots!"

"All the same," the ornery octopus insisted, "itís 100,000,001 clams. But I tell you what. Iíll throw in some shark and some green coral at no extra charge."

"You know this is highway robbery!" I shouted.

"Well, it might be...if we were on a highway," she chuckled, "but weíre not, are we? In fact weíre more on a low-way if you get my drift. Now do we have a deal or not?"

She and I both knew that I had no choice. Without the map I could not find the secret code and without the secret code the treasure would be lost forever.

"All right you eight-armed bandit. We have a deal."

"Cool!" she crooned. "Letís shake on it."

But I knew better than to let her get even one of her arms around me. "Here are the 100,000,001 clams. Just give me the map."

"Donít be so cool...Iím getting it, Iím getting it."

"Are you sure the map shows how to get to all four rooms in the cave?"

"Yes, and thereís a clue in each room. After you have all four clues, the magic word will be crystal clear. Now hereís the map...," and she handed me a piece of wood with a drawing on it.

"Bye. I have to scoot."

And with that she vanished in a cloud of ink. As the water cleared, I realized to my dismay that the ink on my map was also vanishing. Quick, take a look so you can help me find the clues to the secret code in the underwater caves.

Click here to begin!

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