"Look at the squirrels buying the
acorns," Ian snickered. "We know theyíll never remember where they put
Mac looked down and saw a squirrel
busily digging with his front paws and then it ran off.
"Do you know what? Iím going to go
down there and dig that acorn up. Iíll be right back," Ian said. He
climbed to the ground. "Now, where did that squirrel bury the acorns?" He
looked around, moving decaying leaves and parting the tall grass.
Mac smiled curiously from the top of
the tall tree.
"Here we go." Ian began digging with
his sharp claws. A few minutes later he climbed up the tree.
"Did you find the acorn?" Mac asked,
seeing no acorn in Ianís paws.
"No, but I did find this," He said,
pulling a dirty, old shortbread tin from behind his back. It had a red
tartan design with a man in a kilt standing among some heather.
"An old tin?" Toss it away!" Mac
Ian shook it. "Thereís something
inside." He brushed the dirt off. After shaking it a few more times, he
lifted the lid.
"Is it full of moldy shortbread?"
Mac asked. Ian lifted out a piece of yellowing paper and showed it to Mac.
"What does it say?"
"It says," Ian began, "To find the
hidden treasure, go to the old oak tree down by Athol burn. Stand on the
largest root and then walk ten big steps."
"Treasure? What kind of treasure?"
"Letís find out. Letís go to the old
oak tree and see what happens," Ian smiled.
Mac agreed and they headed for Athol
burn. "Ian, now what? There are two old oak trees here!"
"You go to that one and Iíll stand
on this one. The treasure will be at one or the other of these trees," Ian
Mac walked over to the tree,
searched for the biggest root, climbed on top of it and shouted, "How many
steps do I take?"
Ian called back, "Ten!"
Mac started walking, counting, "One,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Iím here." He saw
Ian, who was already on his hands and knees digging. Mac used his claws
and after a long time he hit something. "Iíve got it!"
Ian came running over. "Youíve found
the treasure? Great!"
Mac pulled a box out of the hole and
brushed the dirt off. "Itís another shortbread tin. It looks exactly like
"Open it. Itís probably got another note inside," Ian said, excitedly.
Mac lifted the lid and pulled out a
piece of paper. It was torn and smudged with dirt. He read, "Youíve
completed step one. Now go to the top of McNaught Hill. Buried two feet
down is another tin. Good luck."
"Another tin?" Ian sighed.
"If we want to find the treasure,
weíll have to do whatever the note says," Mac urged.
The two raccoons ran as fast as they
could to McNaught Hill. "Weíll have to dig again. My claws are getting
sore with all this digging. I donít know if Iíll ever get the dirt out,"
"Start digging," Mac ordered. "Weíll
take turns. You go first and then Iíll take over." He stood watching Ian
digging the hole. After a while, he said, "All right, Ian. Itís my turn
Ian gladly let Mac dig. Mac dug and
dug and dug and soon hit something hard. "Iíve found it. It is another tin
and it looks like the other two. Here, take it," Mac said. The hole was so
deep that all he could do was hand Ian the tin and then climb out.
Ian opened the lid. "Och, thereís
another note. How many times will this happen until we find the real
treasure?" he whined.
"What does it say this time?" Mac
asked, struggling to get out of the deep hole.
"It says we have to go down to
Melville Cove. Thereís a cave there and the note is buried under a big
rock. We have to lift the rock and grab the tin and we have to do it
before the tide comes in," Ian explained.
"Not more digging! Och, this tin was
only supposed to be two feet down. It was more like six feet. I wonder how
big the rock is going to be that we have to move?" Mac feared.
"Come on, Mac. Letís head for
Melville Cove and find out," Ian said.
The raccoons rushed down McNaught
Hill and headed for the beach. They could hear the waves crashing against
the sand. Seagulls flew overhead, searching for a stray crab that might be
dashing across the sand. "It smells nice and fresh here. Say, before we
start our next job, letís have a snack. I see some mussels lying on the
sand. Iíll gather them. Why donít you look for a crab? See if you can beat
the seagull!" Mac said. He started gathering mussels and Ian ran off to
find a crab.
"Iíve got one," Ian shouted, holding
it up by its claw. "Ouch! It just nipped me!" He dropped it in the sand
and it scurried away.
"Och, Ian. You lost the crab. Find
us another," Mac sighed.
Ian moved a few small rocks but
couldnít find any crabs. He rolled a log that had been washed in by the
mighty waves. "Aha! I found one!"
"This time use caution," Mac
Ian headed for Mac, carrying the
angry crab in his paws. Its sharp pincers were opening and shutting,
hoping for a nip of Ianís fur, but he was being careful this time. "Should
I bang it on the rock?" Ian asked.
"Aye, Ian. We canít eat it if itís
alive, now, can we?" Mac said, shaking his head.
They feasted on crab legs and fresh
mussels. It didnít take long before a large pile of shells lay on the sand
next to them. "Iím feeling like having a wee nap now," Ian yawned.
"The treasure, Ian. Donít forget
that!" Mac said.
"Yes, of course, letís get the
treasure first and then we can nap," Ian yawned again.
They headed for Melville Cove. A
large cave echoed with the sounds of waves rolling in. "How long until the
tide comes in?" Mac asked, looking out to sea.
"Iíd say about an hour. Do you think
we can move the rock before then?" Ian asked.
"Thereís only one way to find out,"
They crept inside the cave. "Thereís
the rock. Och, itís a big one. Weíll have to push with all our might," Ian
They stood next to the large rock.
"Letís push with our shoulders," Mac suggested. "One, two, three! Push!"
They pushed with all their might. The rock moved a tiny bit.
"It moved!" Ian shouted.
"Just a wee bit. Letís push again,"
Mac said. "One, two, three. Push!" Again the rock moved a small distance.
"I see the tin, Mac. I see the
corner of it. If we push ten more times, weíll have it in our hands," Ian
giggled. He was excited, thinking of the treasure. They pushed and pushed
and pushed and finally the shortbread tin was in view. Ian was just about
to grab it and pull it out when a wave came crashing over the top of them.
"Och no! The tideís coming in!" Ian gasped and choked as another wave
sloshed over them.
"Weíll not be able to get out of
this cave. Letís climb on top of the rock and hope that the tide doesnít
come that high," Mac said. The two raccoons climbed up high. Water swirled
all around them. They had no choice but to sit and watch. The sea crept
higher and higher.
"Yikes!" Ian shouted. "The sea has
taken our tin. Itís not there any more. It must have carried it out. How
will we find our treasure now?" Ian cried. "This isnít any fun. We should
have taken a nap and done this later. Now look at us."
Mac had to agree. They were in a
dismal state. They were trapped on the rock for at least six hours. The
sun would be going down soon and it would be dark. Their fur was soaking
wet and the shortbread tin was gone. Ian and Mac sat in silence as the
"Wake up, Ian! The tideís gone out.
We can get out of this cave now," Mac said, shaking his friend. "Letís go
Ian yawned. His body ached as he
climbed off the rock and landed in the wet sand. Several crabs went
running past. He was too tired and too cold to care. They walked into the
warm sun. "Some night that was," he moaned. "Iím not coming back to
Melville Cove ever again." He rubbed his back and the two raccoons headed
They walked down the beach, passing
the spot where theyíd gathered mussels. "Whatís that?" Mac shouted,
pointing at the red tin lying on the beach.
"Itís our tin. The waves washed it
back on shore!" Ian laughed. "Iíll fetch it." He ran across the sand and
brought it back. "Should I open it?"
"Go ahead. Letís see what it says
this time," Mac said.
Ian lifted the lid and took the
paper out. "It says, ĎGo to Noble Moor. The treasure is there. All you
have to do is dig a trench three feet wide by twenty feet long, fill it
with bog grass, and light a fire. The smoke will tell you the message.í"
Mac looked at Ian. Ian looked at
Mac. "Give me the tin," Mac demanded. Ian handed it to him. Mac threw the
tin as far as he could into the waves. "There! No treasure is worth that.
All I want is my warm tree, a few nuts and berries and a wee nap. Agreed?"
"Agreed," Ian replied, "but Iím too
tired. Letís lie down right over there, in the grass, and nap first and
then go home."
"Good idea," Mac answered and they
"Wake up Ian. Look," Mac said,
shaking the other raccoon. Two bears were walking along the beach. "Whatís
this?" one of them said, picking up the tin. Och, itís got a note in it.
Something about buried treasure up at Noble Moor. Iíll race you there."
Ian and Mac started laughing.
"Theyíve no idea what theyíve got themselves into," Mac said. "Letís go
They stood watching the bears
running towards the moor, shook their heads, and then headed for the