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MINI05    8' Mini-mysteries: more stolen robin's eggs

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

(to camera)

Good morning. It's a beautiful morning to solve a mystery, isn't
it? Unfortunately, I don't have a mystery for you today....

                             ROBIN

(flies into frame, lands)

Marvin Mouse, you have to help me!

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

I take that back. It looks like we do have a mystery to solve
after all.

(to Robin)

You're in luck. My friends, here,

(points to camera)

can help me solve this mystery. What do you have for us?

                             ROBIN

Somebody stole my eggs!

                            MARVIN

All of them?

                             ROBIN

Yes! Right out of my nest.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this is the
same robin red breast whose eggs were stolen in a previous case.
But it's not the same robin. This

(points)

particular robin lives up

(points up)

in this tree. She's my neighbor. Let's find out if the same
thief is involved in this crime.

(to Robin)

Did the thief leave behind some round stones that look like
eggs?

                             ROBIN

No. My nest is empty!

                            MARVIN

When did you notice the eggs were missing?

                             ROBIN

I left my nest for a few minutes this morning, like I do every
day at this time to go get something to eat. And when I came
back, all four of my eggs were gone.

                            MARVIN

Excuse me while I consult with my friends.

(to camera)

This may look like the previous mystery that we solved.
Remember that case?....

EXT MORNING WIDE: CREEKSIDE

(flashback: 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

(voiceover)

the thief took a smooth round stone from the creek bed and flew
up to the crime scene.

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

(flashback: the thief lands on a nearby branch with a smooth
stone in her beak, 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 waited for the victim to leave her nest to go get something
to eat. Then she dropped the smooth stone into the victim's nest
and took one of the victim's eggs and flew away with it. It took
four days for the thief to steal all four eggs.

EXT MORNING WIDE: MARVIN'S FRONT YARD

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

So, what do you think? Is this the same thief?

I agree. This case has TWO differences: In the first case, the
thief replaced the eggs with smooth stones. There were no smooth
stones in this case. Also, in the previous case, the eggs were
stolen one per day over four days. But in this case, the eggs
were all stolen at once.

So, what should I tell her?

Good idea.

(to Robin)

One thing we know for sure is that your eggs were not stolen by
another robin.

                             ROBIN

How do you know that?

                            MARVIN

Robin's can only pick up one egg at a time. But you said all the
eggs were taken at once. So, the thief MUST BE another animal.

(exits frame climbing tree trunk)

Let's examine your crime scene.

EXT MORNING WIDE: TREE BRANCH

(Marvin climbs the last few steps up the tree trunk, then walks
on the branch out to the nest with his head down and his hands
clasped behind his back)

                             ROBIN

(landing and flitting ahead of Marvin)

See anything?

Did the kidnappers leave any clues behind?

Well? What do you think?

Any sign of my eggs or the kidnapper?

                            MARVIN

Not a thing so far.

(hops up on the edge of the nest, then side-steps around the
circumference examining the nest)

                             ROBIN

That's bad. Now I'll never get my eggs back!

                            MARVIN

(picks up and studies a small feather with his magnifying glass
as he speaks)

Now, now! Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm not done
examining the crime scene yet.

(to camera)

This is interesting.

(shows feather)

The only feathers in the crime scene are from the mother robin.
The only hairs left behind are from the squirrel who lives...

(points up)

up there.

                             ROBIN

You don't suspect the squirrel, do you?

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

You don't suspect the squirrel of stealing the eggs, do you? Do
squirrels eat eggs?

(to robin)

No, we don't suspect the squirrel nor any of the chipmunks who
live in the park, because squirrels and chipmunks eat nuts and
seeds.

                             ROBIN

What about the crows? They eat eggs.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

What do you think? Could the crows or other birds have stolen
these eggs?

(to Robin)

No. We ruled out all the birds in the park. For that matter,
almost any animal that eats eggs would have eaten the eggs right
here in the nest and left a pile of egg shells and egg yolks
behind. The robber who stole these eggs took all the eggs with
him. The strangest thing is that he did it without leaving
behind any hair from his fur or flakes of skin from his paws.

                             ROBIN

Maybe it was an animal from outside the park.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Hey! She might have a point there! What do you think?

(to Robin)

You might have a point there, Mrs Robin. But the lack of
evidence left behind doesn't support it.

                             ROBIN

What do you mean?

                            MARVIN

Well, for one thing, I live in the roots of this tree. An animal
that was big enough to haul away four eggs at once would be big
enough to make a loud scratching noise on the bark of this tree
as he climbed up to this branch. And I didn't hear the
scratching of any large animals this morning.

                             ROBIN

So, you don't think it was the big raccoon or that ugly opossum
who took my eggs?

                            MARVIN

I didn't say that. What I said was, I didn't hear any large
animal climb up the trunk of this tree.

(to camera)

Look around and see if you can see how a raccoon or an opossum
could get up here without climbing up the trunk of this tree.

(camera pans in a complete circle, then returns to a close-up
view of Marvin's face)

Did you see it?!

(to Robin)

Well, I think we found a way for one of those large animals to
get up here without climbing the trunk of this tree.

                             ROBIN

How?

                            MARVIN

(points, camera pans to the branches of a neighboring tree
overlapping)

(special affect: a semi-transparent raccoon materializes walking
out on the branch of the neighboring tree and jumps down to the
branch of this tree)

The branches of this tree overlap with the branches of that
other tree. The robber COULD HAVE climbed up the trunk of THAT
tree and then walked out onto that branch, then jumped across to
this tree.

                             ROBIN

(shows teeth)

Let's go get him!

                            MARVIN

Wait a minute. We still don't know whether it was the raccoon or
the opossum, or maybe some other animal from the woods. And
whoever it was, he did it without leaving any skin cells from
its paws or any hair from its fur.

(to camera)

You know, it's almost as if he flew up here in a hot air balloon
or in a helicopter and plucked the eggs out of the nest, then
floated away without leaving any clues.

Look around and see if you can see how a raccoon or an opossum
could steal the eggs without walking on the nest or this
branch.

(camera pans in a complete circle, then returns to a close-up
view of Marvin's face)

I have an idea. Come with me.

(exits frame)

EXT MORNING WIDE: THE BRANCH ABOVE THE ROBIN'S NEST

                            MARVIN

(climbs the last few steps up the tree trunk, then strolls out
onto the branch)

(to camera)

What if the robber was able to somehow steal the eggs from up
here?

(points down at the nest below)

If he did, we would find skins cells from his paws and hairs
from his fur on THIS branch!

(kneels, examines branch with magnifying glass)

Yes! Here they are: skin cells...

(moves glass, POV: close-up of short dark hairs)

Yes! And hairs! Dark hairs! I've seen these hairs at crimes
scenes in the park before. These hairs are from an opossum!

                             ROBIN

(flies into frame from below)

Did you find something?!

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

I think we know who stole the eggs. There's only one mystery
left to uncover: HOW did he do it? How did the opossum steal the
robin's eggs from up here?

(shot widens to show an 18 inch gap from the branch to the nest
below)

I think the key to this mystery is in how the opossum is built.

(to Robin)

I think we solved the mystery.

                             ROBIN

Well, who did it?! Who has my eggs?

                            MARVIN

We think the opossum from the woods

(points)

did it.

                             ROBIN

But how?! You said he didn't step on my nest or my branch.

                            MARVIN

An opossum has two tools built into his body that allow him to
steal your eggs from up here.

                             ROBIN

I... I don't understand.

                            MARVIN

(As he speaks, a semi-transparent opossum materializes on the
branch next to Marvin, it grasps the branch with its tail and
then lowers itself to the nest below while dangling from its
tail)

The opossum has a tail like a monkey's. He can hang from this
branch and lower himself to the nest below.

                             ROBIN

So, that's how he can steal my eggs without touching my nest.

                            MARVIN

Yes.

                             ROBIN

But how did he steal all four eggs at once? He can't carry them
all in his paws and climb down the tree at the same time.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

That's a good question. How does he carry them while he uses his
paws to climb down the tree?

(to Robin)

The answer is HE is a SHE.

                             ROBIN

I... I don't understand.

                            MARVIN

Female opossums have a pouch to carry their babies around in.

                             ROBIN

Yes. Yes, of course. That's it! She carried away my eggs inside
her pouch!

                            MARVIN

Now we know WHO did it, and HOW she did it....

(exiting frame)

Let's go get your eggs back.

                             ROBIN

(fluttering in midair)

I have four eggs. I'd better ask three of my friends to come
along with me to help me carry the eggs back here.

(exits frame flying)

EXT MORNING WIDE: HOLLOW TREE IN THE DEEP DARK WOODS

                            MARVIN

(climbs the last few steps up the tree trunk to the branch just
below the opening to the opossum's hollow, as the four robins
land side-by-side next to him, finger to lips, whispers)

Okay, you stay here until I get the opossum out of her nest.
Then you can go in and carry away the eggs.

(turns to climb the trunk)

                             ROBIN

You're not going in there ALONE, are you? Opossums EAT mice, you
know.

                            MARVIN

(climbing)

That's what I'm counting on.

INT MORNING WIDE: OPOSSUM'S NEST INSIDE THE HOLLOW TREE.

                            MARVIN

(climbs into the opening, looks down, sees the four eggs in the
corner of the nest, stands erect, fists clenched, shouts)

Alright, opossum, you're under arrest!

                           OPOSSUM

(rises up, shows teeth)

Those are very brave words for a mouse who is about to be EATEN!

(lunges, Marvin ducks, Opossum flies past, out the opening
hissing, falls out of frame, CRUNCH AND THUD)

EXT MORNING WIDE: OUTSIDE THE HOLLOW TREE.

                            MARVIN

(dangles from the opening, climbs up, looks down at the opossum
groaning on the ground below, shouts to the birds)

Okay, ladies, the eggs are all yours.

(birds fly in formation upward past Marvin as he climbs down the
tree trunk)

                             ROBIN

Thank you, Marvin Mouse.

                            MARVIN

Don't thank me. Thank my friends. They helped me solve this
mystery.

(Robin appears in the opening of the hollow tree with an egg and
flies away)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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