The Whistle Pig Treasure Hunt and Possible Hint to Key’s Location
The 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:
BARE THE CROSS LEAVE THE CENTER FIND THE FRUIT
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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