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Chapter 6 - "Smile!"

Before class the next day, the kids met at the corner of the playground to talk about the pond and the strange things that were happening. They were talking about the map that they found and all looked at it with puzzled faces. Then, in an excited voice, Derrick practically yelled, "I've got it!" Then he continued, "The 'Tu' means Tuesday! The '11p' means eleven o'clock pm! And the 's/w' means southwest!"

The rest of the class was silent as they looked at the map and thought about it. Then, they all decided that this just might be true. But what should they do about it?

Then Phil remembered that he had taken a sample of the black substance from the pond. He took it out of his pocket and reminded the class that he had it. Grace offered to bring it to the science room and ask Mrs. Miller, their science teacher, what it was. Mike said that was a wonderful idea.

When she came to the science lab, she handed the baggie to Mrs. Miller and asked her what it was. Mrs. Miller looked at the material. After examining it, she said, "This is unrefined petroleum! Where did you find it?"

Grace mumbled something about a trash can, quickly thanked Mrs. Miller, and rushed back to the playground.

When she got to the playground she was out of breath. The students were already going back to the classroom because recess was over. She ran back to the classroom as fast as she could, and before Flo got there, quickly told the class what Mrs. Miller had said.

It was Tuesday, the day Flo's class went to the pond each week to work pulling weeds and clearing trash. At the pond, ten kids were pulling weeds while ten were sneaking out to the southwest area of the pond with the camera. Meanwhile, the other nine kids were talking to Flo. They distracted her with questions about the pond and some Hershey chocolate kisses! Flo was a strong woman, but not when it came to chocolate!

"Why did they make the island in the middle of the pond?" inquired Emily. Flo answered, in between bites of chocolate, that it protected the birds from predators like cats.

"Why aren't there any trees?" asked Mike. This question stumped Flo. The chocolate kisses were disappearing quickly! The kids were running out of ideas to keep Flo distracted. They sure hoped that the others would return soon!

When the camera was hidden safely in the bushes, Jacob, the class camera person, set the clock to start at 10:45 pm and stop at 3:00 am. The students looked at the hidden camera from different directions to make sure that it was not visible. Then they hurried back just in time. Flo had just finished talking and had one more bite of chocolate left, which was gone in less than a second!

On the way back to school, the class talked about the camera and what they might find out. Julia said, "I hope that Derrick was right and we get something on tape." Jacob said, "We'd better because my mom is going to want her camera back!"

"Well, there's only one way to find out," said Tim D., in a smart voice.


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