Reading fun for kids from Canada’s public libraries

The House of the Twelve Keys

By Kevin Sylvester

Chapter 4

Part 4. The Zany Zoo

Snorts and odd scraping sounds came from the darkness.

A clear and loud MOOOOOOO rang out, followed by several NEIGHS and even some OINK-OINK-OINKS.

“This house has farm animals?” Raj asked, holding his nose.

“A lot of big old houses had stables and even private zoos,” Pat said.

“Oh yeah! That was weird fact #789, from Pets of the Rich and Famous,” Raj said, remembering. “That doesn’t sound so scary.”

A shaft of light began to grow. A large double door was inching open. It was too bright to see what was outside. And shadows seemed to move around in the light, but as their eyes adjusted, they saw the shadows were animals.

But not like any animals they’d ever seen before.

“They’ve all been twisted up like pretzels,” Pat said. Raj just stared in both wonder and horror.

Spooked by the light, the animals began running around the hay-covered floor. Pat and Raj tried to run out the door, but the animals formed a line and blocked them. The door was right behind them. If they could just reach it! Pat took a step forward, and a large bull snorted and scraped the ground, looking ready to charge. Pat moved left and the bull moved left. Pat moved right and a large horse moved right. Each time Pat moved the animals moved, and looked angrier.

“Whoa fella,” Pat said, stepping back and holding up her hands. But as she retreated she saw something. “The animals are shaped like letters!”

“Holy cow!” Raj said. “That cow is like a big brown ‘O’.”

“Holy sow!” Pat said. “That pig is a shaped like a big ‘B’. And they’re spelling something.”

Pat read out loud, “Bee Funky Rumour.”

“What the heck does that mean?” Raj asked.

“Maybe I read it wrong?” Pat took a step to her left and the bull followed. She took a step right and the pig moved to follow her.

“Ruby Knee Forum?” Raj read out.

Behind them, the doors began to close. The animals became more agitated. The bull snorted more loudly. The horse stomped the ground.

“They’re going to trample us!” Raj said. He took a step toward the door, and the bull scratched the ground so hard it kicked up a cloud of dust. Panicked, Raj jumped to his left and the pig moved. Pat stepped left and the bull moved.

She moved back right and the horse moved.

Now it reads “Broken Emu Fury?” Raj read. The triangle of light continued to narrow. “What the heck does that even mean?”

Pat snapped her fingers. “Wait, I have an idea! Raj, take two steps to your left.”

Pat continued moving Raj and the animals and then yelled, “Stop!” They looked at the three words the animals now spelled.

“It’s an anagram!” Pat said, smiling.

“More like an ANIMAL-gram,” Raj joked.

The animals are shaped like these letters: BEEFKMNORRUUY.

Can you figure out the right way to organize the animals to make three separate words that will spell out the secret phrase? 



Key number four!

Sep 02

In my opinion, I think this story would be a little more exciting if it was a different phrase than “Key Number Four” but ya, that’s the phrase.

Sep 02

it reads key number four.

Sep 02
See all comments