The Nasty Parrot
Sehen, Age 9, Sri Lanka
I was Mr. Aden, first-class detective cat. I had a small problem. I WAS LOCKED IN A BASEMENT AND I COULDN’T GET OUT!

It all started with Mr. Bob Arthur, the person who bought me, and that stupid old parrot.

I can't say it was a parrot because it looked more like a falcon with the body of a raven. He gave it a potion and he gave me another potion to drink. That was the start of the day. After drinking the potion, I could talk like a human.

The parrot kept repeating some words after Mr. Bob Arthur died. These were the last words Mr. Bob Arthur said to my present mistress and her husband: "Please keep the parrot safe and locked up in a cage." Before he could say any more, he died. I had many doubts about that bird. The cage was so weird. It had a fixed plate for the parrot. When everybody was out the parrot, repeated some words over and over again.

One day I hid behind the sofa and listened to every single word the parrot said: "Treasure key in basement. Treasure key unlocks safe. Safe has gold" The parrot continued to repeat this same thing for a few more seconds.

I pounced out to get more information from the parrot. I was about to smash the cage, when the door creaked and opened. When Mrs. Arthur entered the room, the parrot acted as if it were hurt a lot, and when Mrs. Arthur saw I was going to smack the cage, she ran towards me with a broom and hit me with it three times, took me by the collar while I was struggling to get away, and threw me into the basement. She closed the door with a thud and locked it firmly. Oh man!

Now there I was in the basement, as I told you. How was I going to stop that darn old parrot? Now I was stuck. I was so bored that staying in this useless place could have killed me. I browsed my super memory to find anything useful. Aha! The parrot said that the treasure key was under the house in the basement. Maybe it could be somewhere around here. Now I got the point. I started searching immediately. All I had to do was search for a secret hiding place and I could find the treasure key. I went on touching the walls in the basement and searching for any trapdoor or a turning wall.

At last I found a trapdoor kept under a mat in a neat way. I opened it and crept inside, and right in front of me was the key. I heard the basement door creak. Aha! Just in time, I thought to myself. When Mrs. Arthur came to lay down the food, I ran towards her and tugged her skirt. She followed me after a few minutes of hesitation and she saw the safe. "I never even saw this," she said to herself.

I spoke to her for the first time. "You may have not seen this, but your father has. Open this safe with this key, please, Mistress Arthur." She stood their stunned and after a few seconds she took the key and unlocked the door of the safe. And lo and behold, before her eyes was a collection of gold, rubies, diamonds, pearls, necklaces and everything else you could imagine. She stood there spellbound and later hugged me and asked me, "How did you know there was a safe in the basement?"

I answered, "Because of the parrot. He kept repeating these words." And I told her what the parrot said.

"Then why were you going to hurt the parrot?" she asked.

"I wasn't going to hurt him, but I was trying to get some information from that parrot. Because of your punishment, you got so much money," I said.

"I'm sorry," said Mrs. Arthur.

"Nah, it's okay," I replied.

When we went upstairs, she talked to the parrot and opened the cage and the parrot flew away, and to this day there has never been an unsolved problem in this house.
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