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MINI3    4' Mini-mysteries for the mouse detective

Michaela Mouse lived in a hole under the roots of a large tree.
One day she heard a knock at the door. When she opened it, she
saw a robin red-breast.

"You have to help me! Please, Michaela Mouse, help me!"
exclaimed the robin.

"What's wrong?" asked Michaela.

"The eggs in my nest are not hatching! All of us robins built
our nests at the same time. We all layed our eggs at the same
time. The eggs of all the other robins have already hatched. But
mine still have not hatched. Something is wrong, I know it!"
exclaimed the robin.

"Let's have a look!" replied Michaela mouse as she closed the
door behind her. "Which way?" she asked.

The robin flew to her nest in a nearby tree. Michaela ran to the
trunk of the tree and climbed up to the limb where the robin had
built its nest. When she looked into the nest, Michaela, the
world's greatest detective, already knew why the eggs did not
hatch.

"Somebody stole your eggs!" said Michaela.

"No they didn't!" replied the robin pointing into the nest with
her wing tip, "My eggs are right there!"

Michaela replied, "These are the right size to be robin's eggs.
But these are the wrong color. Robin's eggs are light blue.
These eggs are grey."

The robin exclaimed, "You mean another bird switched eggs with
me?!"

Michaela tapped the eggs with the claw of her paw, then
explained, "These eggs are not hollow like an egg is. These eggs
are solid through and through. I don't think these eggs are eggs
at all."

"Well, if they're not eggs, what are they?!" asked the robin.

Michaela answered, "I think they're round smooth stones from
down by the river."

The robin cried, "But how?! How could someone steal my eggs and
replace them with smooth stones? I sit on my eggs all day to
keep them warm."

Michaela asked, "Don't you ever eat?"

"Well," replied the robin, "I leave my nest once or twice a day
to eat. But that's just for a few minutes."

Michaela explained, "Whoever stole your eggs has been watching
you. He knows when you leave your nest. And he knows how long
you're gone."

The robin replied, "Maybe it's the chipmunks. Chipmunks can
carry all four of my eggs in their cheeks."

Michaela explained, "A chipmunk could have done it. But I don't
think so. You see, chipmunks eat acorns and nuts. They don't eat
eggs. They would have no use for eggs, even if they could carry
them away easily."

The robin cried, "Then maybe it was a crow. Crows eat eggs."

Michaela replied, "I don't think it was a crow. Because a crow
would have eaten your eggs right here in the nest. All you would
have left is egg shells. But I think it was another bird. And
the bird who stole your eggs probably stole only one egg at a
time, replacing it each time with a small smooth stone. It
probably took four trips to your nest for him to bring all the
stones and take all four eggs."

Michaela visited all the trees in the area and asked all the
other robins if they lost any eggs. All of them said, "No, I
layed four eggs and I still have all four chicks."

But at the last nest Michaela visited, the robin shouted, "I
don't want to talk about it. Go away!"

This made Michaela suspicious. So, she went back to the other
robins and asked, "Have you seen anything unusual happening to
that robin over there?"

All of the robins had the same answer, "Yes. It was rather
strange. She built her nest, but she didn't lay any eggs. Then,
suddenly a few days ago, I saw an egg in her nest, then next
day, another, the next day another, and the next day another.
The day after that, all the eggs hatched together."

Michaela knew that it takes weeks for robin's eggs to hatch. So,
she had all the robins meet at the nest of the thief. And they
all told the thief what they knew. Finally, the thief admitted
that she was jealous that all the other robins layed eggs, but
she couldn't. So, she decided to steal the eggs from another
robin and raise the chicks as her own babies.

And so, Michaela Mouse, the world's greatest detective solved
another mystery. The mother robin got her chicks back and they
all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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