The Whistle Pig Treasure Hunt and Possible Hint to Key’s Location

whistle pigThe Whistle Pig is a small armchair treasure hunt book consisting of ten short stories.  Within these entertaining fictional stories are clues (allusions and references) for the discovery of a hidden ‘key’ that has been in place since Groundhog’s Day, 2003.

What exactly the ‘key’ is remains a mystery; and the challenge of finally learning what this ‘unique and unmistakable’ key (once found) continues to draw me back; time and again.  Like the inside flap’s quote relates, it’s the joy of a search that matters most. And all searches lead me to something, even if it isn’t the intended find of a hunt. I love it.

Recently I went over what is known, and what seems suggested in the Whistle Pig.  One of the main finds of this literary puzzle involves a code that was hidden in the last chapter.  The first letter of each sentence in the chapter of ‘The Bow’ spelled out the message:


There had been hints to the importance of ‘firsts’ throughout the book, and within this code’s chapter was the sentence; ‘……Especially when one examined the big picture- aligning all the firsts- only then could one visualize the whole realm of the accomplishment.’ 

It would seem that the decoded message provides instructions for finding the key once other things are understood or found in the puzzle.

In considering if the sentence of the last chapter might hint to anything else, I thought about the ‘big picture’.  Perhaps the ‘big picture’ being referred to is the map with the highlighted circle in the book. Besides the Whistle Pig shadow and a few images of keys, it really is the only picture in the book to ‘examine’.  And the picture of the map that is displayed ‘bigger’, shows the highlighted circle of where Punxsutawney and the celebrated ‘whistle pig’s location’ is roughly about.

Something else caught my attention about this circle.  We are told by Duck Miller (the author) on page 84 to ‘move away from the shadow grey – into the light.’ Examining the ‘big picture’, the map, it is grey, except where this circle is highlighted.  Since we are told to seek the ‘Whistle Pig’, maybe we are being told to move towards the ‘circle’ (into the light from the grey area).

All good.  But how can that help? Could the following be a possible reason?

I think most who have read the stories would agree that it seems ‘three points’ or ‘three of something’ are hinted at.  We have multiples of three words with the same first letters that seem a bit forced. For instance, purple plastic pail or eager eagle eyes.  And the calendar in Grandfather’s office was only attached by ‘three thumb tacks’ leaving the bottom corner empty.  But here, three corners are said to be ‘pinpointed.’  These are only some examples.  I also find it interesting that ‘tri-state’ is mentioned, and on page 33 nonetheless.

There are many ‘tri-state’ areas in the United States, but there is one which might be associated with looking at the ‘big picture’, or looking at the map.

The circle on the map of the Whistle Pig book is close to being a ’12 mile circle.’  Is this being hinted at? There is a twelve mile circle related to a ‘Tri-state’ area and close to where the author of the Whistle Pig lives.  The tri-states are Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania and they share the borders of an area called the Wedge.  What I find really interesting is that this ’12 mile circle’ is actually an ‘ARC’ and it is an arc that was important in the last chapter.

The forming of this ‘arc’ created the disputed land between the Calverts and Penns called the Wedge- again 3 points.  The center of this circle is ‘New Castle’, Delaware (the FIRST state).  Perhaps references to ‘castles (through David Allan Coe(48 states chapter)  and the chapter ‘Sand Castles’) support this ‘center’.

Another interesting connection found following this line of thought is the Mason Dixon line.  We have hints to a Mason line on page 19 and references to North and South with Lincoln, Gettysburg, and possibly in the Two Dogs chapter.

In the chapter of Full Moon, the Potomac is mentioned and the flag of Baltimore/Maryland (Calvert/Lord Baltimore connection), which may relate to the colors Gold and Black (on grandfather’s calendar), was used in the Army of the Potomac. Could the war allusions in the Whistle Pig refer to the ‘disputed land’ between the Calverts and Penns- Maryland/Pennsylvania/Delaware?

I like the connections. But I realize it is speculation until undeniable finds, like the decoded message are found.  Because of its close proximity to the home the author, I do want to pursue these thoughts a bit more.

If the map’s circle hints to the Wedge or 12 mile circle, then could the decoded message be used in some way?  Is the center New Castle or the Cupola?

All in fun!

Best of luck with whatever you seek!


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14 Responses

  1. Mark J says:

    I wish we knew if Duck Miller was still active in this treasure hunt. I think it is interesting.

  2. GeneticBlend says:

    Great Post! And Happy Ground Hog Day!

    I have worked on “The Whistle Pig” off and on for several years. It always seems to pick up some momentum every year around Ground Hog’s Day, when people are reminded of this little book. The stories are full of strange allusions and hints, which can mean so many things.

    I like your ideas about the tri-state area. I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There is a town nearby called, New Castle.

    It would be nice if Duck Miller would surface, and announce if the hunt were still valid after all these years, or even give some kind of clue so that the hunt could be solved.

    Good luck!

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Hi GeneticBlend, I remember seeing New Castle on the map when I was into ‘Moraine Park’ as a location for the ‘key’. I still like that location. It has Duck Point and the dam there. I was thinking maybe, like described in chapter one, there would be a ‘large flat rock protruding out into the lake with a Cherry tree nearby’ on Duck Point and the ‘key’ would be there.

      One of my reasons for liking it would go for any location—but I will share it here.

      As we know page 22 is marked with an X instead of the page number 22. X always marks the spot (except when it doesn’t)…….and we know there is an importance of ‘firsts’ in the text. The first use of 22 in the stories is on page 5 with ’22 miles north of the city’.

      I feel the location of the key (x marks the spot) is 22 miles north of the city. ‘A city’. At the time I was thinking if you went from the outer boundaries of Pittsburg,(which I know you linked to) then Moraine Park/Duck Point could be considered 22 miles north.

      But if the city isn’t ‘Pittsburg’, and if another city was hinted to in the book, then I would check 22 miles north of it……and maybe then follow the directions of ‘bare the cross, leave the center, find the fruit’…..or maybe ‘bare the cross’ (since a cross could be considered a X), it is find the place 22 mile north of the city, then leave the center and find the fruit….

      Just speculating….thoughts welcomed….

  3. Hey 6er.. when are you next question/s going to be poster with Forrest? Is he done with featured questions?

    • Sixer/Jenny says:

      Hi CluesfromPhilly, Thanks for your interest! I posted this on my facebook page so will mention it here…. but tomorrow, on the anniversary (feb 4th) of the last two years of Six Questions; I’ll be posting another Six Questions.

      After that…I’m not sure. It’s always up to Forrest. 🙂 I do ask/send him others…but I’m just not sure when/if he’ll answer them…Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. I’ll post if he answers any questions I send him.

  4. Nate Beck says:

    Interesting treasure hunt Jenny. Seems to me to be quite a few Masonic elements in there as well.


  5. Nate Beck says:

    Another thought…what is it about all these various treasure guardians wanting to call their prize “a Key”?

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Hi Nate, As this site shows, I work on lots of different hunts, and I agree there are numerous lost ‘KEYS’ that need found!! Oh the fun!…:)…..I think on one puzzle, let those thoughts churn while working others, and come back to them always….:)…..I’m pretty good at keeping my ‘keys’ in line…..however when I get to talking about thoughts on the hunts with friends or family, the first question usually out of their mouth is, ‘Now wait, which key are you talking about? or ‘which key are we looking for on this trip?’……lol……

  6. Nate Beck says:

    LOL Nice

    It seems, though, that the Keys are much easier to find than the Locks to which they fit 😉

  7. Linda says:

    I’ve been reading this little book for about 2 years now and I must admit that the writing is absolutely brilliant. The stories are constructed with such precision and skill that in my opinion the author is truly gifted in literature. I’m hoping the key is still retrievable considering how time changes space.

  8. Kurt says:

    Have we thought about the cities or the towns in the book? Washington DC. Aberdeen or Havre De grace, San Francisco, Baltimore maybe… Several stories near the Chesapeake bay. I am not sure that there are stories that venture far into Pennsylvania – not further than Gettysburg anyhow.
    So yeah.

  9. John Alfano says:

    {DM} {DM} {DM} …….. between the stories….

  1. February 2, 2015

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