When the kids arrived at home last Monday night, they were greeted with Hootie, the Blue Stuffed Horned Owl from Ravenclaw's collection. The Vases were gone, the banners were gone, and in their place was a solitary Owl, delivering a message. Ravenclaw untied the scroll from Hootie's neck. The scroll contained instructions for the clue hunt to find out who won the House Cup. Each clue was hidden with a gem from the House Points. Whoever had the House with the Gem of their color got to read the riddle, but the team had to help solve it. After they read an understood the instructions, I gave Ravenclaw the first peice of parchment, on which was written a riddle.
Ravenclaw's clue came with a blue gem, so it was his to read. It lead the kids to the trail in the back yard. The clue was hidden next to a statue along the trail. (We call this place "the Moment Spot" because that's where the kids go when they need a moment and don't want to be bothered. Inside the container with the riddle was a golden gem. So Hufflepuff read this clue. It referenced Professor Spout. So after solving the clue, the kids found themselves in the Garden, where we held "Herbology class" earlier this year. (Since we had such a dry summer most of it is overrun with weeds, but the grow boxes that the kids planted hid clue #3.)
Slytherin read this clue as it contained a silver gem. This riddle sent the kids across the yard to the neighbor's gate. Next to the gate is a pile of bricks. They had to find out which brick hid the fourth clue. Gryffindor read this clue and pulled out the red gem. The answer to this riddle took the kids to the tree house where the final clue was found. It lead them all inside back to the table at the Great Hall (the Dining Room.)
While the kids were out searching for clues, I was inside, setting up the feast in the Great Hall.
By feast I mean Chicken Tacos served on Gold plates.
I also delivered the "owls". When the kids all came home there were just four vases lining the Great Hall.
|Before The Owls Delivered the scrolls...|
But when they came back inside, there was food on the table and Owls next to each vase. Inside each vase was a scroll, tied with a ribbon from the House's color.
"Who recieved the last clue?" I asked.
"Gryffindor!" answered Gryfifndor as she threw her hand into the air. "The person who got the last clue came in last for the House Cup," and I handed her the scroll out of Gryffindor's vase. She untied the red ribbon, unrolled the parchment and revealed a $10.00 bill. She was the least motivated by the House Cup, and it showed. She only had 62 points total, and was about 20 points behind the other participants.
"The House who recieved their clue second got third, " and Hufflepuff raised his hand. I gave him the scroll from his vase and he untied the yellow ribbon. Rolled into the parchment was $15.00.
"Hufflepuff, you only missed being the winner by 4 points!" The kids looked at me in surprise. "See? Every point matters. That leaves Ravenclaw and Slytherin." I turned to face the boys. "One of you had 82 points and the other had 83."
Ravenclaw smiled. When he counted his gems, he came up with 83. I had already counted Slytherin's points when Ravenclaw had counted his. So when he announced his number I laughed. Those two boys had been plotting to tie all along. How ironic that they actually had succeeded in tying? I decided to verify his count, which ended up in verifying all three of the boy's counts as they were so close.
So I took the scrolls out of the Ravenclaw and Slytherin vases and handed them to the two remaining participants. "Open them up and see who won." Ravenclaw's contained $20.00 and Slytherin won with $25.00. "One point," I said, "one point is what mattered." Needless to say, Slytherin was delighted at his accomplishment.
I have had to remind the kids that they are to save this prize money. It's not for spending...I know that defeats the purpose of Fun Dollars, but this money is especially earmarked for the trip.
Apparently it is imperative that we run another House Cup. The kids keep asking if we can, and I notice a definite drop in motivation to help. I think I should give the month of September over to getting established with new school routine and sports season. Then in October open the House Cup up again for another three months.
Until the Next Owl delivers a scroll...