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MINI04    7' Mini-mysteries: three butterflies disappeared

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.

                           BUTTERFLY

(descends into frame from above, slowing to a hover)

Marvin Mouse, you have to help me, please! Three of my sisters
have disappeared! And something horrible has happened to them, I
just know it!

                            MARVIN

You're in luck.

(points at camera)

My friends here can help me solve the mystery. We'll get right
on this case as soon as we finish asking you some questions.
Excuse me for a minute while I consult with them.

(turns to camera for a close-up)

Looks like this is a missing persons case here. What questions
should we ask in a missing persons case?

(pause)

Excellent question!

(nods, turns to Butterfly)

Where did you last see your sisters?

                           BUTTERFLY

I'm so upset I can't remember. Let me think. My oldest sister I
last saw... down by the creek! We were sipping nectar from the
tiger lilies together.

                            MARVIN

And the other sisters?

                           BUTTERFLY

Let's see... My younger sister... I last saw her... down by the
creek too!

                            MARVIN

And the third one?

                           BUTTERFLY

Come to think of it, down by the creek is where I last saw all
three of them!

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

So, what do you think? Where should we start looking for the
missing butterflies?

Agreed.

(nods, turns to Butterfly)

We've decided to look for the missing butterflies at the place
where you last saw them.

(motions to camera, exiting frame with the butterfly flitting
overhead)

Let's go!

EXT MORNING WIDE: BY THE CREEK

                            MARVIN

(approaches)

Is this where your sisters disappeared?

                           BUTTERFLY

(hovers nearby)

Yes, we were sipping nectar from those tiger lilies over there.

(points with antennae, turns full circle)

Wait. Now I'm not so sure.

                            MARVIN

"What do you mean?"

                           BUTTERFLY

There was a huge spider web on that bush when I was here.

(points)

But it's gone.

(turns in all directions)

                            MARVIN

Are you sure it was THAT bush? There are bushes like that all
over the park.

                           BUTTERFLY

(looks left and right, up and down the creek)

Yes. This is the place. I remember, our mother warned us about
the spider web when we were just caterpillars. She said, "Don't
fly near that spider web or you'll end up as the spider's
dinner."

Oh dear! You don't suppose that the spider ate them for dinner!

                            MARVIN

A good detective never jumps to conclusions before all the
evidence has been examined. Do you remember which tiger lilies
your sisters were sipping from?

                           BUTTERFLY

(points the tip of her antenna)

The blossoms on the end.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

This is very suspicious. The place where the butterflies were
last seen are the blossoms closest to where the spider web used
to be.

(to butterfly)

We'll search the area for the spider and we'll investigate the
tiger lilies. You'd better leave the area until we know it's
safe.

                           BUTTERFLY

(exiting frame flying)

Okay.

                            MARVIN

(to camera, points at the bush)

You search all around the bush for the spider while I look
inside of those tiger lilies for the missing butterflies.

(camera flies high and low all around the bush looking into
nooks and crannies, then returns to the original spot by the
creek, looks left and right)

(voiceover, shouts)

Hey. I'm up here.

(camera looks up, sees Marvin waiving from the branch of an
overhanging oak tree)

EXT MORNING WIDE: OAK TREE BRANCH

(camera flies up and over the branch as Marvin looks down at the
tiger lilies below through binoculars)

                            MARVIN

(stops, turns to camera)

You find anything? Me neither. Nothing. No butterflies. No
spider. It looks like a dead end. What do you think? Should we
do a stake-out?

(closer to camera)

A stake-out. That's where the detective sits patiently and waits
at the scene of the crime for another crime to be committed so
he can catch him in the act. Yeah, that's what we'll do.

(lies face down and looks through binoculars)

Make yourself comfortable and stay out of sight.

(camera turns toward the tree trunk and dissolves to black)

(later)

(whispers)

Hey. Someone is coming.

(camera turns cautiously toward the flowers below. A bee flies
into frame, lands on the petals of a tiger lily, sips some
nectar, then flies to the end tiger lily, begins sipping nectar,
suddenly disappears)

(to camera)

Did you see that?! That bee was kidnapped! And the kidnapper is
right there inside that blossom!

(exiting frame running)

Come on! Now we close in to make the arrest!

EXT MORNING WIDE: GROUND NEAR TIGER LILY

                            MARVIN

(enters frame running, climbs up the stem of the tiger lily and
looks down into the cone-shaped blossom. At the bottom, a spider
wraps the bee in spider silk)

Hey, Spider, you're under arrest.

                            SPIDER

Why? What did I do?

                            MARVIN

You're not playing fair! You're a spinning spider. Spinning
spiders catch insects by spinning a web. But catching insects
without spinning a web is against the rules.

                            SPIDER

Mind your own business, mouse! I'll catch my food any way I
like!

                            MARVIN

Shame on you.

                            SPIDER

(sobs dramatically)

Please have mercy on me! I'm starving! I had to break the rules
or I would starve to death! Can you give a poor spider a break?

(sobs dramatically)

                            MARVIN

Oh, alright. I'll give you a break this time. But you have to go
back to spinning spider webs or you have to leave the park.

                            SPIDER

(mocking)

"But you have to go back to spinning spider webs"

(cocky)

Listen, chump, this new gig I've got here is paying off big
time. No way I'm going back to spinning webs. Too much work.

                            MARVIN

You're just lazy. I'm giving you one last warning. Stop what
you're doing and go back to spinning webs or leave the park.

(points)

                            SPIDER

"Get lost, Mouse! I don't have to do as you say!

                            MARVIN

Alright.

(climbs down the stem)

Don't say I didn't warn you.

(later)

EXT MORNING WIDE: OAK TREE BRANCH

                            MARVIN

(climbs the last few steps up the trunk of the tree, walks out
on the branch, pulls out binoculars, looks down into each
blossom as he walks, pulls out red signal flag, waves it
overhead, then points down, shouts)

This one!

                            SPIDER

(below, crawls out of the tiger lily blossom, looks around)

Who said that. Is that you again, you meddling mouse? You trying
to make trouble for me?

                            MARVIN

I warned you, Spider. You break the rules, you suffer the
consequences.

(crunching noises, rumble, tiger lily falls over and lands in
the creek, spider falls out of the blossom screaming and
swimming, as the creek's current carries him out of the park)

And don't come back.

                           BUTTERFLY

(flies into frame)

What was all that noise?!

                            MARVIN

(sliding down the tree trunk)

We found the kidnapper. It was the spider that your mother
warned you about. But he was cheating. He was lazy and decided
not to spin webs to catch insects. But he's gone now.

(a mole emerges from the ground chewing the roots of the tiger
lily)

Thanks for your help, Mr Mole.

                             MOLE

My pleasure.

(exits back into the ground, pulling the stem in with him)

                           BUTTERFLY

Did you find my sisters?

                            MARVIN

(points to bush)

Yes. We found them tied up and being held prisoner deep inside
that bush.

(points)

Your baby sisters are setting them free right now.

EXT MORNING WIDE: BUSH INTERIOR

(Caterpillars chew through the web silk binding the wings of
three butterflies and a bee, freeing their wings and feet)

                              BEE

That was a close one! I thought we were goners for sure.

EXT MORNING WIDE: OAK TREE BRANCH

(three butterflies rise into frame behind Butterfly)

                           BUTTERFLY

Oh, thank you, Marvin Mouse!

                            MARVIN

Don't thank me. Thank my friends.

(points to camera, exiting frame)

They helped me solve this mystery.

                       All BUTTERFLIES

(to camera)

Thank you for solving the mystery.

(exits flying)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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