Children

The Case of the Missing Key

As Ann came down for breakfast, she heard father yell, “My car key is missing! Has anyone seen it?” Immediately, Ann became excited. Though only 10 years old, she fancied herself as the next Sherlock Holmes. This was a good opportunity to prove to her parents what a great detective she was!

The search begins

She immediately asked, “Dad, where do you usually leave the key?” Father replied, “On the hook behind the door, of course! Where else would I leave it? But it isn’t there now! And I’m late for office.” Mother tried to soothe him. “Don’t worry, dear. We’ll find it soon.”

Ann put her deductive powers to work. “Dad, when did you last see the key?”

“Last night, when I returned home.” F

“Hmm. And what did you do after that?”

“Well, I washed my hands and then had dinner with you two!”

“Aha!” Ann exclaimed. “You may have left it in the bathroom then!” The three of them rushed to the bathroom, but no key was to be found. Ann continued, “Okay, it’s not here. Perhaps you left it on the dining table.” So, they went to the dining table, only to find no key there too!

“Any other bright ideas, dear Ann?” Mother asked with a smile.

The little girl nodded. “Of course! A good detective does not give up that easily. Dad, what did you do after dinner?” Father thought a moment. “I worked on the computer.” Ann dragged her parents to the computer table and searched but the key was nowhere. “his case is turning out to be rather challenging!” she thought. “Where could the key have gotten to?”

“After working on the laptop, you watched TV, didn’t you?” Ann knew her father’s habits. When Father nodded, Ann rushed to the living room where the TV was. “I’m sure it must be on the sofa.”

She searched on and under the sofa, on and below the table but the key remained missing.

A tough case

This was turning out to be a real difficult one, and Ann was fast running out of places to search. She had one remaining option. “Maybe you left it on the bedside table before going to sleep.” She ran upstairs to her parents’ bedroom, her parents following her. The key was not there. Ann was now dejected; her first case, and she hadn’t been able to solve it! Maybe she wasn't cut out to be a detective, after all.

Seeing her woebegone expression, Mother said, “Ann, those were some great ideas you had. Neither your father nor I thought of them.”

“But I still didn’t find the key, mummy!” Ann cried.

“That’s because you forgot the first thing your Dad does as soon as he comes home: he changes his clothes.” So saying, Mother took down the trousers that Father had worn the day before from where they hung behind the door. And she pulled out the car key! She handed it over to Father, who muttered a quick “Thank you” before rushing out.

Ann told her mother sadly, “Mummy, you solved the case. You are the detective.”

Mother hugged Ann. “Only a true detective would have thought of all the options you did. Besides,” she laughingly said, “I’m sure even Sherlock Holmes must have learned all his deductive reasoning from his mother!”


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2022 1:45:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/children/the-case-of-the-missing-key/article65629813.ece