Image from EoinColfer.com, but I have taken out some of the grid lines, to make it easier on the eye.
NB – This code did not appear on US versions of the book.
There are 2 different codes hidden in different versions of this book. They are both decoded on this page.
New UK Version Decoded
“One of the strangest creatures on the Earth, or more accurately below, is the common stinkworm.
Stinkworms can only survive below the earth crust and so have never been seen by humans. The stinkworm can grow to a length of fifteen centimetres and a diameter of up to eight centimetres. The bigger a stinkworm is the more meat there is on its soft boned skeleton and the more valuable it is to a merchant.
Stinkworms are big business in the fairy world and have been for thousands of years.
They are very versatile and can be boiled, fried, baked or even raw, though this sushi approach can be difficult to swallow as the stink associated with the worms does not disappear until they are cooked.
The current favourite way to eat the stinkworm is in a dish similar to Bolognese, substituting stinkworms for spaghetti. Deep fried on a skewer is popular among the younger generation.
What makes the stinkworm so delicious is the juice. When the worm is heated in a pan or oven it bastes itself in a delicious spicy juice, which even the best chefs have failed to reproduce. This juice is in fact earwax from the hundreds of ears that covers each worm’s body.
Some more sensitive fairies cannot forget that they are eating earwax and do not enjoy eating stinkworms, but most are so entranced by the flavours that they are quite prepared to ignore where it comes from.
Goblins in particular love stinkworms and are constantly inventing new ways to consume them.
The rarest and most prized stinkworm dish is a stir fried bowl of stinkworm ears. The ears are shaved from the worms’ body, rolled in flour and then lightly fried. This dish takes hours to prepare and costs a fortune.
Goblins believe that if you eat a bowl of worm eras then you absorb the worms’ memories of the places they have visited. This is not an appealing thought when you consider that a stinkworms favourite environment is fresh troll dung.”
Decoded by Kristian Haaber. Thanks Kristian!
Original UK Version Decoded
“Congratulations Human. If you have cracked this code then you are more intelligent than most of your species. This is a message from the Fairy People.
We are seeking out our allies among the Mud Men. Though most Humans are dullwitted creatures there are exceptions. You for example. The reason for your intelligence is that you have Fairy ancestors. Do you feel different from those around you? Are your ears a bit pointier than most is your tongue long enough to touch your nose? Do you dream of flying? Have you ever thought that you do not belong among the Mud Men? That is because you have Fairy blood in your veins.
So young Mud Fairy I have a mission for you. As one of the People it is your duty to protect the Earth from those who would destroy it. You must become one of a new race of Mud men who love this planet as much as the Fairy Folk. There is one simple rule. Use only what you need and use it wisely. Do this and the Earth will survive. Go now and begin your quest. I shall repeat this message for those Humans whose Fairy intelligence is buried a bit deeper than yours.”
The explanation here is pretty simple. Be an environmentalist. This kind of speech is the sort of thing ‘Greenpeace’ and other environmentalist groups would be proud of. Take care of the environment. It won’t last long otherwise… Well, that, and the books thinks we are smart! Yay!
The message then repeats itself throughout the rest of the book.