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MINI5    5' 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 beautiful blue and white butterfly.

"You have to help me, please!" exclaimed the butterfly, "Three
of my sisters have disappeared! And something horrible has
happened to them, I just know it!"

"Where did you last see them?" asked Michaela Mouse.

"I'm so upset I can't remember." replied the butterfly, "Let me
think. My oldest sister I last saw down by the creek. We were
sipping nectar from the tiger lilies. My younger sister... let's
see, down by the creek. Come to think of it, that's where I last
saw them all!"

"Then that's where we'll start looking." said Michaela as she
closed the door behind her. As she walked, the butterfly flitted
overhead.

As they approached the creek Michaela pointed at a bush and
said, "That's funny."

"What's do you mean?" asked the butterfly.

"Ever since I can remember there's been a spider web in that
bush near the creek." observed Michaela.

"Yes, I know," replied the butterfly, "That's the first thing
our mother warned us about when we were just caterpillars. She
said, 'Don't fly near that spider web or you'll end up as the
spider's dinner.'"

There were dozens of tiger lilies growing near the edge of the
creek, so Michaela asked, "Do you remember which tiger lilies
your sisters were sipping from?"

The butterfly pointed her wing tip and replied, "The blossoms on
the end."

Michaela asked, "You mean, the blossoms closest to where the
spider web used to be?"

"Yes." replied the butterfly, "Do you think the spider got
them?"

"Well, it certainly is suspicious!" said Michaela, "Let me do
some more investigation. You go about your sipping of nectar,
but stay away from the blossoms on the end."

Michaela noticed that the tiger lilies on the end were in the
shade of a large oak tree. So she climbed the tree and went out
onto the branch hanging over the suspicious blossoms. But she
didn't see anything. So, she waited and watched for a long time.

After a while a honey bee flitting from blossom to blossom
landed on the second to last tiger lily. Suddenly, it
disappeared inside of the big blossom.

Michaela climbed down the tree and climbed up the stem of the
tiger lilly and looked down into the cone-shaped blossom. At the
bottom, a spider was wrapping the bee in spider silk.

"Hey, spider!" exclaimed Michaela, "You're not playing fair!
Spinning spiders are supposed to catch their food using spider
webs! You can only eat what flies into your spider web."

"Mind your own business, mouse!" replied the spider. "I'll catch
my food any way I like!"

"Why are you doing this?" asked Michaela, "Spider webs catch
plenty of insects."

The spider replied, "Not that it's any of your business, but I'm
not so good at building spider webs. All the insects can see my
web and avoid it. The only insects that fly into my web don't
see so good. So, I thought I would try something new."

Michaela said, "Well, it's against the rules for spinning
spiders to do that. You have to go back to spinning spider webs
or you have to leave the park."

"Go away! Don't bother me!" exclaimed the spider.

"I'm giving you one last warning." said Michaela Mouse, "Stop
what you're doing and go back to spinning webs or leave the
park."

"Get lost!" exclaimed the spider.

So, Michaela climbed down the stem of the tiger lilly and went
to visit her friend Mr Mole. An hour later, the tiger lily
mysteriously fell over and landed in the creek. The spider tried
to swim away, but two minutes later he was out of the park, just
as Michaela promised.

It made such a ruckus that all the bees and butterflies swarmed
around the downed tiger lilly.

The butterfly pointed with her wing tip and exclaimed, "Oh,
look! All the roots of that tiger lilly have been chewed off. I
wonder how that happened?"

(Do you know how it happened?)

Mr Mole's food is the roots of plants. Michaela Mouse suggested
that Mr Mole might enjoyed the roots of this particular tiger
lily. And when all the roots had been eaten, the tiger lily
could no longer hold itself up. Good bye spider! And all the
other insects cheered.

Michaela climbed up the stem of the tiger lily on the end and
found the three butterfly sisters tied up with web silk. Using
her sharp mouse teeth, Michaela chewed away the web silk and let
them go.

And Michaela Mouse, the world's greatest mouse detective, solved
another mystery!.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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