It was a cool Autumn day, and strange things had been happening at the local elementary school. Miss Kelly had stepped on a pin in the middle of teaching fractions and had to go to the nurse. Zecky had slipped on a handful of beads during gym and lost his race. And peculiar bits of fabric and ribbons had been showing up all around the school. No one could figure out why!
This was a case for Zeerlock Holmes. As soon as the other Zee Zees called him, he dropped everything to come to the local elementary school to investigate, magnifying glass in hand and ready to detect. Some Zee Zees reported having heard curious tales from their human friends for weeks now, but none of them had seen the mystery themselves. There had been casual remarks about finding sewing needles where they didn’t belong and curious scraps of fabric in odd places. It sure sounded like something strange was afoot.
He started in the third grade classroom, where the first incident occurred. Miss Kelly retold the whole story as she rubbed her hurt foot. She said Zeerlock he was welcome to explore, but she didn’t know anyone who had a reason to dislike fractions everyone was doing so well.
Zeerlock could hardly contain his excitement as he pulled out his magnifying glass and got to detecting. He examined the floor and the cubbies and the cabinets. When he reached the window, he found something strange: a frayed scrap of fabric. Just as he suspected! Zeerlock took a picture of the placement and angle of the fabric, then picked it up to examine it further. It was pale blue and there didn’t seem to be anything special about it. But, Zeerlock knew better than to write off such a clue. He pocketed it and continued exploring.
The second and fourth grade classrooms turned up more strange scraps of fabric, all different colors, as well as some sewing needles inside a cabinet, which Zeerlock was careful to pick up safely. He found a pin cushion filled with pins in the band room, and also his good friend Zecky. Zecky told him about the foot race adventure.
“I want to help,” Zecky declared. “This has gone from curious to dangerous. Did you hear about poor Miss Kelly?”
So, the two Zee Zees took off, ready to find more clues. They scanned the rest of the school, but there didn’t seem to be any other strange things to find. Zeerlock decided a regroup was in order. He sat down with Zecky and laid out what they’d found: the pin cushion, the beads, and the scraps of fabric. He drew up a map of where everything had been found and traced the order of events. It formed a line—straight to the cafeteria.
They hurried off to see where the trail led. He found a stray pin just inside the cafeteria door, and also his good friends Quadzi and Zelda. He explained that he’d heard of curious things happening in the school and that he was here to investigate. Quadzi, who loved puzzles, was thrilled to help, and Zelda also excitedly offered to pitch in, but only if she could wear Zeerlock’s hat.
“Oh!” Zelda exclaimed when Zeerlock pulled out the fabric. She seemed to recognize it, and Zeerlock began to put the pieces together. “Oh! Those are mine,” cried Zelda.
“Zelda,” Zeerlock asked, “What were you and Quadzi doing here?”
“We’ve been getting a head start on Halloween costumes,” Quadzi answered. “Zelda’s been teaching some of our friends who go here how to make their own costumes, and I wanted to learn as well.”
“I didn’t realize I’d been leaving things behind,” admitted Zelda sadly.
“Looks like you cracked the case, Zeerlock,” Quadzi said, “And helped clean up after Zelda along the way. Zel, we should be more careful!”
“All in a day’s work,” Zeerlock announced. “Thank you both for helping me! And do you think you can help me make a costume as well?”