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MINI02    7' Mini-mysteries: eggs of a different color

EXT DAWN WIDE: CITY PARK

(camera flies from high altitude down to grass-top level toward
a large oak tree, slowly past a shingle sign saying "Marvin
Mouse Detective Agency" and to the opening door nestled into the
roots of the tree, Marvin Mouse comes through the door wearing
oversized glasses and a suit and tie, smiles)

                            MARVIN

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

(exits frame past camera)

You can help me solve this new mystery.

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: BRANCH OF A TREE

(Marvin climbs the last few steps up the trunk of the tree,
steps onto the branch, walks toward a female robin standing on
the edge of her nest, she sees Marvin approaching, flits and
hops toward him)

                             ROBIN

Oh, Marvin Mouse, I am so glad you're here. Something is wrong!
Something is wrong!

                            MARVIN

You said something about your eggs.

(points)

Show me.

(follows Robin to the nest)

It started a few days ago. At first, I could hear the little
baby birds moving around inside my eggs, then one-by-one, the
baby birds stopped moving inside of the eggs.

(four eggs in the nest come into view, but the eggs are dull
grey)

                             ROBIN

I sat on the eggs every day for weeks, but they're still not
hatching. Can you tell me what went wrong?

                            MARVIN

I can see one thing that looks out of place.

(turns to camera)

Can you?

It's the color.

(to Robin)

The eggs are the wrong color.

(to camera)

Do you know what color robin's eggs are supposed to be?

(to Robin)

Have you noticed that these eggs changed color recently?

                             ROBIN

Not really. You see, I'm color blind. I can't tell one color
from another. Everything I see is in shades of grey.

                            MARVIN

Uh huh.

                             ROBIN

(straightens)

Now that you mention it, I did notice that my eggs seemed to
turn a darker shade of grey.

                            MARVIN

Darker, you say?

                             ROBIN

Yes. It didn't happen all at once. But every day, first one
turned darker, then, another, then another until they were all
the same color again.

                            MARVIN

This you're first time being a mother?

                             ROBIN

Yes. I thought all eggs get darker the more you sit on them.
What color should they be?

                            MARVIN

(turns to camera, then to Robin)

Robins' eggs are light blue. These eggs are all grey. That's why
they look darker to you.

                             ROBIN

Are you saying it's not normal for eggs to turn grey?

                            MARVIN

No. It's not normal at all. Somebody messed with them.

                             ROBIN

Do you think someone painted them?

                            MARVIN

(to audience)

Something she already told us answers this question. Do YOU
think someone painted these eggs?

(to Robin)

No. You told us when we first arrived that the baby birds inside
of the eggs were making noise, but the noise stopped. Changing
the color of the eggs wouldn't have shut them up.

                             ROBIN

Oh, dear! Then, what do you think happened?

                            MARVIN

Have you ever left the nest?

                             ROBIN

Yes, of course, I have to leave the nest for a few minutes every
day to get something to eat and drink. But it's just a few
minutes. I suppose that would give someone time to paint my eggs
a different color.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

What do you think? How did the eggs change colors?

(to Robin)

Somebody swapped eggs with you.

                             ROBIN

You mean these aren't my eggs?!

                            MARVIN

No.

(approaches the eggs)

Do you mind?

                             ROBIN

You mean someone stole my eggs?!

                            MARVIN

(taps all the eggs with the tip of his claw, listening
carefully)

Yes, and someone replaced each egg with another egg.

Oh, wait a minute!

                             ROBIN

What's the matter?!

                            MARVIN

Eggs are hollow. They make a hollow sound when you tap them. But
these eggs are not hollow. I don't think these are eggs at all.

                             ROBIN

If they're not eggs, what are they?

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Do you know what these solid grey things are and where they came
from?

(to Robin)

These are stones. Smooth rounded stones. Whoever stole your eggs
lives by the creek.

                             ROBIN

How do you know that?

                            MARVIN

I know they're stones because stones are solid through and
through, they're heavier than eggs. But stones have rough edges
unless they are jostled around in moving water like the water in
the creek.

(exiting)

We'll find your eggs for you.

                             ROBIN

Wait a minute. How do you know that someone didn't just eat my
eggs. Lots of animals eat eggs.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

What do you think? Is there any evidence that whoever stole the
eggs also ate them?

(to Robin)

I don't think so. If crows had eaten your eggs, they would have
eaten them right here and left the shells behind. In fact, any
animal that eats eggs would leave the shells behind. No. Your
eggs are still around somewhere.

(exiting)

We'll find your eggs for you.

EXT MORNING WIDE: CREEK SIDE

(Marvin enters frame as a bluebird lands nearby)

                           BLUEBIRD

Morning, Marvin Mouse.

(sips water from the creek)

                            MARVIN

Morning, Bluebird. Have you noticed any Robins in these trees
with new eggs?

(motions broadly)

                           BLUEBIRD

As a matter of fact, I have. And it's really strange.

                            MARVIN

How so?

                           BLUEBIRD

Well, a Robin in that...

(nods toward a nearby tree)

tree right there went to all the trouble to build a beautiful
new nest, but then weeks went by and she didn't lay any eggs in
it. We all felt sorry for her. But then suddenly she laid four
eggs in four days. It was all like magic.

                            MARVIN

What's so magical about a robin laying four eggs in four days?
Robins do that all the time.

                           BLUEBIRD

It wasn't that. It was how fast the eggs hatched after she layed
them. It takes weeks of sitting on my eggs to hatch them, but
all four of her eggs hatched the next day! How do you suppose
she did that?

                            MARVIN

She stole the eggs from another nest.

                           BLUEBIRD

Oh, dear!

                            MARVIN

(to audience)

From the clues we have so far, can you tell how the thief stole
the eggs over a four day period?

Here's how she did it.

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: BRANCH OF A TREE

(crime scene: the thief robin lands on a nearby branch and
watches stealthily as the victim robin sits on her eggs)

                            MARVIN

(voiceover)

The robin with the empty nest went to another part of the park
to steal some eggs, but before she stole them, she watched the
victim and noted what time of day the victim left the nest.

(Victim Robin hops up onto the edge of the nest, then flies
away)

The thief now knows what time of day the victim leaves the nest
to eat and drink, and she knows how long the victim will be
gone.

EXT MORNING WIDE: CREEKSIDE

(thief robin flies into frame and lands near the water, she
turns over three small round stones with her beak, then picks up
the third stone in her beak and flies off in a different
direction)

                            MARVIN

The next day just before meal time, the thief flies down to the
creek and selects a smooth round stone that looks like an egg
and carries it to the scene of the crime, where...

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: BRANCH OF A TREE

(crime scene: the thief lands on a nearby branch with a smooth
stone in her beek, and watches stealthily until the victim robin
leaves the nest, thief robin flies to the nest, deposits the
stone into the nest, picks up an egg and flies away. This
sequence is repeated four times)

                            MARVIN

(voiceover)

...she waits for the victim to leave her nest, then, the thief
replaces one egg in the victims nest with the stone and carries
the egg to her own nest. After four days, all the eggs in the
victim's nest are now in the nest of the thief.

EXT MORNING OVER-THE-SHOULDER: BRANCH OF A TREE, THIEF'S NEST

(Marvin climbs the last few steps up the trunk of the tree and
walks out to the thief's nest as the victim robin lands behind
him)

                             ROBIN

Is this it? Is she the one?

                            MARVIN

She's the one!

                             THIEF

(feeding worms to four open-mouthed chicks, notices Marvin and
Robin approaching, hops off toward them)

What's going on?

                            MARVIN

The victim has come to reclaim her babies.

                             THIEF

These aren't HER babies, these are mine!

                            MARVIN

Look. We don't want any trouble. Either turn over the stolen
chicks or else.

                             THIEF

Or else... what?

(puffs up)

                            MARVIN

(beckons toward off-screen)

Mr Hawk, what will happen if this thief doesn't return the
stolen chicks?

                             HAWK

(flies into frame, lands next to Thief, towers over her)

You look delicious! Shall we have lunch?

                             THIEF

(extends wing as if looking at her wrist watch)

Oh! Look at the time. I have a... an appointment with the
dentist!

(flies away)

                             HAWK

(laughs)

That's very funny.

(laughs)

A dentist for a bird.

(laughs)

Birds don't have teeth.

(laughs and flies away in a different direction)

Very funny.

                            MARVIN

(shouts)

Thanks for your help.

(turns to victim robin)

Well, it looks like the nest and the baby chicks are all yours.

(exiting)

Enjoy.

                             ROBIN

(hops up onto the nest and nuzzles with her babies)

Hello, children, Mommy's home.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Thanks for helping me solve this case.

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