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MINI01   10' Mini-mysteries: pilot: Coka Cola theft

EXT DAWN WIDE: CITY PARK

(camera flies in from high altitude toward the park)

                            MARVIN

(voiceover)

It's a beautiful new day at the city park. The park is home to a
wide variety of birds...

(camera flies over the grass-tops slowly past a robin pulling a
worm out of the ground, camera rises through the branches of two
trees showing a robin and a bluebird feeding wiggly worms to
their nested chicks, then past the high trunk of a third tree
where a red-headed woodpecker is feeding a large bug to a small
chick inside a hollow in the trunk)

... and fish...

(camera dives into the creek running through the park to see
minnows and larger fish with glistening scales and crayfish and
snails)

... and insects... lots of insects...

(camera exits the creek and pauses over a nearby ant mound to
show single-file ants carrying bits of food back into the hole,
then past some water lilies where several bees are gathering
nectar, over the creek where flies are swarming in formations,
first a baseball, then a football and finally a soccer ball)

...and, of course, where there are insects, there are the
animals that feed on the insects...

(a frog snags a fly out of the air with its tongue causing the
rest of the flies in the formation to disburse, camera flies
higher and under a tree branch where a web spider dangles and
dawns a napkin around its own neck, then sharpens it's knife and
fork as a small bug climbs into his range)

...we also have squirrels...

(camera flies by a squirrel hopping from branch to branch)

...and chipmunks...

(camera flies by a chipmunk stuffing two acorns inside its
cheeks)

...and last but certainly not least, there are the mice...

(camera flies past a trash can as a mouse takes bites out of a
piece of popcorn while another mouse removes a small chunk of
granola bar from a torn wrapper and takes a bite)

The park is a happy and peaceful place as it is this morning,
but when something goes wrong, the animals in the park come to
me...

(camera flies at grass-top level toward a large oak tree, slowly
past a shingle-sign saying Marvin Mouse Detective Agency and
through the opening door nestled into the roots of the tree,
through the living room into the kitchen, where Marvin Mouse,
wearing oversized glasses and a suit and tie sits at the table,
sees the camera approaching, stands)

(turns to camera)

Hello. I'm Marvin Mouse, Private Investigator. I'm so glad you
could....

(sound cue: phone rings)

Oh, excuse me.

(picks up phone)

Marvin Mouse, Private Investigator.

Yes, sure. I'll be right there.

(hangs up phone, turns to camera)

I'm sorry, that was a client. I have a... that is...

(motions toward camera and self)

WE have a mystery to solve.

(beckons to camera while exiting toward front door)

Come along.

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: UNDER A PICNIC TABLE

(Marvin approaches the Queen Ant in the shadow as she comes into
the sun)

                            MARVIN

(turns to camera)

Oh, I'm sorry, you probably don't know her, this is the Queen
Ant.

(turns to Queen)

Your Majesty, you said you had a mystery to solve?

                             QUEEN

(shouts)

We all had an agreement! And somebody broke the agreement!

                            MARVIN

Wait a minute. Calm down. Start from the beginning. First of
all, what agreement are you talking about?

                             QUEEN

(deep breath)

All the animals who live in the park had a meeting. We all
agreed to divide the food left behind by the humans, so noone
goes hungry.

                            MARVIN

I know. I was at that meeting. Are you saying that someone stole
some food that was reserved for your ants?

                             QUEEN

Yes.

                            MARVIN

What did they take?

                             QUEEN

(points at an empty Coke bottle lying on its side under the
picnic table)

The brown juice.

                            MARVIN

(approaching bottle)

You mean the Coka Cola?

                             QUEEN

(follows)

Yes. Last night my soldiers returned to the nest saying that
there was enough juice in that bottle to last my colony at least
one week. Now, look at it! A week's supply of brown juice is
gone! Not a drop is left!

                            MARVIN

Is this where the bottle was when the soldiers first saw it?

                             QUEEN

(to a soldier ant nearby)

Lieutenant?

                             LIEU

Yessir. That's exactly the way it laid last night after the
humans left the park.

                            MARVIN

(rounding and inspecting the bottle)

So, noone moved it, and yet all the liquid inside is gone.

(rounding and inspecting the bottle)

Well, I can tell you who DIDN'T drink it.

                             QUEEN

Who?

                            MARVIN

Let me consult with my visiting detectives.

(close up to camera)

What about you? Based on what you know so far, have you
eliminated any suspects among the animals in the park?

(pauses)

(to Queen)

Here's what my visiting detectives and I have concluded so far.
It wasn't the squirrels and it wasn't the chipmunks and it
wasn't the birds. And it wasn't even the raccoon who visits here
from the woods.

                             QUEEN

How do you know that?

                            MARVIN

Because the larger animals would have to pick up the bottle and
pour it out to drink it. But, since you're sure that the bottle
wasn't moved, the animal who stole the liquid inside has to be
an animal small enough to crawl inside the bottle. So, that
would eliminate the butterflies as suspects also.

                             QUEEN

But an animal small enough to crawl inside the bottle couldn't
possibly drink all that liquid!

                            MARVIN

The ants in your colony are small enough to crawl into the
bottle.

                             QUEEN

Yes, but there are thousands of us!

                            MARVIN

(close up to camera)

So, now we have narrowed the possible suspects to the few
animals in the park who are small enough to crawl into the
bottle. Based on what we know so far, we have eliminated nearly
all the animals in the park but just a few. Do you know who they
are? Let's eliminate more suspects.

(to Queen)

Your Majesty, is it possible that another colony of ants did
this?

                             QUEEN

(pacing)

Well, I don't know. I suppose it's possible. But I can't imagine
why they would want to. Each ant colony has its own picnic
table. The humans have always left behind plenty of brown juice
on and under all the picnic tables. I suppose I could send my
soldiers to the other colonies to investigate.

                            MARVIN

No. When the other ants see your soldiers coming, they may think
your going to war with them. Let me investigate.

(pulls out tiny magnifying glass and inspects the mouth of the
bottle)

Aha!

                             QUEEN

Did you find something?!

                            MARVIN

Yes! I found tiny grains of plant pollen!

(close up to camera)

Can you tell from this clue which animals in the park stole the
liquid from this Coke bottle?

                             QUEEN

Plant pollen?! What does that mean?

                            MARVIN

Pollen comes from flowers. There are two kinds of animals who
drink the liquid from flower blossoms: butterflies and bees.
Both of them get pollen stuck on their feet while they're
sipping liquid from the flowers.

(close up to camera)

Can you tell from this clue which animals in the park stole the
liquid from this Coke bottle?

                             QUEEN

So which one do you think drank all our coke?

                            MARVIN

Well, since Butterflies have wings that are too big to fit
inside of the bottle...

                             QUEEN

That means the bees did it!

                            MARVIN

But we still don't know which hive of bees drank the liquid from
this bottle or why.

                             QUEEN

This doesn't make any sense to me. The bees get all the nectar
they need from the flowers. We agreed that we would never drink
nectar from the flowers. And the bees agreed not to drink the
leftovers from the humans under the picnic tables.

                            MARVIN

(climbing up the leg of the picnic table)

You just gave me an idea.

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: ON TOP OF A PICNIC TABLE

(Marvin climbs the last few inches over the edge of the table
with great effort and much grunting while Queen remains on the
grass far below, he pulls out a tiny pair of binoculars and
peers through them)

                             QUEEN

(shouts)

What are you looking at?

                            MARVIN

(peering)

The rose garden.

                             QUEEN

Why. What are you hoping to see there?

EXT MORNING BINOCULARS: ROSE GARDEN ACROSS THE PARK

(pans the rose garden from left to right, then zooms in on
individual rose bushes right to left, all but a few of the white
rose blossoms are sagging and have turned yellow and brown)

(voiceover)

                            MARVIN

I'm hoping to see rose blossoms. But most of them have died.

                             QUEEN

(voiceover)

That's impossible! There are hundreds of roses in the rose
garden. They can't all be dead.

                            MARVIN

They're dead alright.

EXT MORNING CLOSE-UP ON TOP OF A PICNIC TABLE

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Do you know why dead roses are an important clue in this case?
Does this clue tell you why the bees have been drinking the Coka
Cola from a bottle that was reserved for the ant colony?

EXT MORNING BINOCULARS: ROSE GARDEN ACROSS THE PARK

(pans the rose garden from left to right, then zooms in on the
control box for the sprinkler system, then zooms in on the
frayed wires coming out of the bottom of the box)

                             QUEEN

(voiceover)

Well, the roses can't be dead for lack of rain. They're watered
every day by an automatic sprinkler system.

                            MARVIN

(voiceover)

Well, the sprinklers WOULD water the roses every day IF the
control wires hadn't been chopped off by the lawn mowers.

                             QUEEN

(voiceover)

Those pesky lawn mowers! They're more trouble than they're
worth!

EXT MORNING WIDE: UNDER A PICNIC TABLE

(Marvin slides down the leg of the picnic table to the grass
near Queen)

                            MARVIN

(close-up to camera)

We now have all the clues we need to solve this mystery.

                             QUEEN

(enters frame and pushes her face into the camera)

Who are you talking to?

(turns to Marvin)

                            MARVIN

(points at camera, turns to Queen)

Oh, these are my friends. They're helping me to solve this
mystery.

                             QUEEN

So, what exactly happened here?

                            MARVIN

We were right. It was indeed the bees who drank the liquid from

(points)

this bottle.

                             QUEEN

But why? And what does the rose garden have to do with this
mystery?

                            MARVIN

Here's the whole story:

The rose garden is watered every day by an automatic sprinkler
system, but the lawn mowers cut the wires that turned on the
water. So, the roses in the rose garden weren't getting any
water. So, the rose blossoms wilted and died for lack of water.

But this didn't affect only the roses. The roses were the main
source of food for the bees. But without water, the roses didn't
produce any nectar for the bees. So, the bees had to look for
other sources of sweet liquids in the park.

                             QUEEN

So, they had to come all the way across the park just to drink
from this bottle?

                            MARVIN

Exactly. It was either drink some other sweet liquids or die.
They chose to drink the only other sweet liquid in the park.

                             QUEEN

Oh, dear! I wouldn't want them to die.

But... But, if they drink the brown liquid from OUR bottles WE
will die! What will we do?

                            MARVIN

(exiting)

I'll take care of it.

EXT AFTERNOON CLOSE-UP: PARK PARKING LOT, WINDSHIELD

(Marvin paints with paint bucket and brush on a scrap of paper
larger than his body in big letters: PLEASE FIX THE SPRINKLER
WIRES)

(Shot widens to show that Marvin is standing on the hood of a
maintenance truck and writing against the windshield)

                             FRED

(voiceover, afar)

Quitting time, Charlie.

                            CHARLIE

(voiceover, afar)

Another day, another dollar, Fred.

                             FRED

(voiceover, afar)

One day closer to pay day.

                            MARVIN

(straightens as the last letter is painted, whispers)

Oh! Someone is coming!

(scampers out of frame)

                            CHARLIE

(voiceover, afar)

What's this? Somebody left us a note.

(a big hand enters the frame and snatches the note)

(shot widens to show two maintenance workers)

                             FRED

What does it say?

                            CHARLIE

It says I still have work to do. I need to repair the wires on
the sprinkler system.

                             FRED

Aw, come on, Charlie, it's quitting time!

                            CHARLIE

It'll only take a couple minutes. You go on back to the office.
I'll see you tomorrow.

                             FRED

(exiting frame)

See you tomorrow, Charlie.

                            MARVIN

(sneaks into frame, looks both ways, whispers, nose to camera)

Mystery solved. Thanks for your help!

(exits frame running)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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