1. EcoTreasure Hunt
was shaking with excitement as she picked up
the package. For two days it had been all she
could think about, and she'd had to stop herself
a hundred times from tearing it open. Now at
last it was time for the BetterWorld Kids Club
meeting, and she could finally show it to her
with the package tucked tightly under her arm,
she typed in the Club's web address on her computer
keyboard. In an instant she was transported
around, she saw that she was the first one there
in the empty, milky white void she knew so well.
She didn't even wonder anymore how or why she
was magically transported there every week for
their meeting. She did at first, of course,
but by now she was used to it, and just grateful
that she got to meet her friends there. Especially
the other kids started to arrive from their
homes all around the world. She did her best
to try and sit patiently while they appeared
one by one.
week's meeting of the BetterWorld Kids Club
is officially called to order," Ahmed, the club
secretary, typed on his laptop after all of
the kids had materialized.
took a deep breath and hugged her package tightly.
She wanted to jump up and share her news with
everyone, but she reminded herself, yet again,
that she was trying to work on being more patient.
there any new business?" Ming finally asked.
Michiko politely waited for Sol to finish telling
the Club about a big Peace Festival in his town,
that kids working with the international organization,
PeaceSeeds, had organized. It brought Israeli
and Palestinian children and adults together
for a weekend of cultural sharing.
Jamal told everyone about all the scientists
and politicians who had just come to his city
from all around the world for a United Nations
conference about saving endangered animals and
Michiko congratulated herself as she successfully
waited until no one else seemed to have any
more news to share. Then just as they were about
to move on, she leaped up and showed everyone
look at this. It was delivered by special messenger
to my father's office. He's an attorney for
a big law firm in Japan, and he says this is
Michiko was so excited that she was jumping
up and down.
what is it?" everyone wondered.
letter that came with it said it's a TREASURE
MAP!" Michiko exclaimed.
treasure map?" the kids said in disbelief. They
were a little disappointed. After all, only
pirates in story books get excited about treasure
really guys!" Michiko insisted. This is for
real. Haven't you heard about that rich, eccentric
mega-billionaire who hid a billion dollars.
It was in the news all over the world, not just
in Japan … Don't you remember, they called it
'The Great Eco-Treasure Hunt' beause he's known
for being concerned about global climate change...
Most of the BetterWorld Kids remembered hearing
about it. "But that was last year," Sunanda exclaimed.
"And all the newspapers said it was just a hoax
just said that because no one found it!" Michiko
laughed. "But it's real. The note said he's
been following the work we've been doing with
BetterWorld Kids Clubs. He's so impressed at
how we've inspired kids all around the world
to start their own local clubs… And because
of all of the amazing events and activities
that all the Better World Kids Clubs are doing,
he thinks that WE should be the ones to find
the treasure… So he's giving us a treasure map!"
The BetterWorld Kids were still pretty skeptical.
sure would be great to have that much money
available for people who are working to make
the world a better place," José sighed. "Think
of how much it would do to make our wish for
a more peaceful, just and sustainable world
billion dollars could really change the world!"
Ming said, and all the other kids agreed.
where does the map say we're supposed to look?"
Ming asked. All the BetterWorld Kids seemed
to be a little more interested in at least checking
into this a little further.
don't know, I haven't opened the package yet,"
Michiko smiled. "I was waiting until we all
opened it together."
open it!" everyone exclaimed, quite excited
Michiko carefully opened the flaps, slowly so
as not to rip it. She was trying very hard to
keep her pledge to be more patient, and was
feeling quite proud of herself. But the BetterWorld
Kids didn't think this was the time to practice
patience. "Tear it open, Michiko," they begged.
Finally the package was open and Michiko reached
inside and pulled out a thick folded wad of
paper. Carefully she opened each flap until
the paper was completely unfolded. But there
was nothing inside. The BetterWorld Kids looked
at the large six foot wide sheet of blank paper,
and then at Michiko.
a treasure map supposed to have a map on it?"
everyone wanted to say, but no one said a word.
Michiko sat down and there were tears in her
don't know what's going on. My father said the
lawyers that brought it assured him this was
a real treasure map…"
Guys, look at this," Johnny said. He had picked
up the box and found a tiny magnifying glass
it's not a blank page after all," he said as
he began poring over the page with the magnifying
glass. Everyone stared over his shoulder.
He stopped at the very center of the page. "Look!
There's something here…"
map?" everyone wondered at once.
well, not exactly," Johnny said. He looked up
at his friends.
what is it?" Michiko piped out. So much for
it's a website…"
website?" the BetterWorld Kids exclaimed.
It's tiny, but that's definitely what it is,"
what's the address?" Erin gasped and all the
other kids exclaimed the same question.
you're not going to believe this…"
is it?" everyone demanded.
It seemed too obvious to take seriously, but
all the BetterWorld Kids thought they should
check it out anyway. It didn't matter, because
Ahmed was way ahead of them. He'd already typed
the address into his laptop, and the kids suddenly
found themselves zipping down the information