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MINI06    7' Mini-mysteries: flower blossoms being chewed off

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.

                             QUEEN

(descends into frame from above, hovers)

Marvin Mouse, you have to help us!

                           BUTTERFLY

(descends into frame from above, hovers)

Marvin Mouse, you have to help us!

                            MARVIN

Well, my friends here...

(points to camera)

and I would love to help you. But we can only solve one mystery
at a time. So, who's first?

                             QUEEN

Well, I was here first...

                           BUTTERFLY

But mine is more important!

                            MARVIN

Wait a minute. Slow down.

(points to butterfly)

You. Tell me what your mystery is.

                           BUTTERFLY

Somebody ate all the flowers in the flower bed by the wall.

(points with curly antenna)

                            MARVIN

Ate the flowers?! Did you say ATE the flowers?

                           BUTTERFLY

Yes.

                            MARVIN

You mean they ATE the flowers, not the nectar from the flowers?

                           BUTTERFLY

Yes.

                            MARVIN

(points to Queen)

Now you. What's your mystery?

                             QUEEN

Somebody is eating the flowers in the Rose Garden.

                            MARVIN

Just to be clear, you mean they ATE some of the flowers in the
rose garden, not the nectar from the flowers?

                             QUEEN

Yes. If this keeps happening, there will be no flowers left.

                           BUTTERFLY

There are no flowers left in the flower bed by the wall.

                            MARVIN

Excuse me for a moment, while I consult with by friends here.

(points to camera, turns to camera)

Well? What do you think? Do we have TWO mysteries to solve? Or
do we have one mystery to solve in two different places?

(nods)

Yes. That's what I thought too.

(turns to Queen and Butterfly, points over shoulder)

My friends and I agree. You both have the same mystery to solve.
We think that the same animal that ate all the flowers by the
wall has now started eating the flowers in the rose garden.

(beckons to camera)

Come with me. Since the mystery started in the flower bed by the
wall, we'll start there too.

EXT MORNING WIDE: FLOWER BED BY THE WALL

(small flower bed is filled with flower stems but no flowers)

                            MARVIN

(enters frame, looks around, then to camera)

This is obviously the work of an outsider. The last time we had
a mystery like this, the perpetrator turned out to be a goat
that escaped from a petting zoo. Let's examine the damage.

(climbs up the closest flower stem, pulls out his magnifying
glass and examines the cut edge, stem bends and approaches
camera, to camera, points at the cut edge)

Well, we can eliminate the goat as a suspect. This stem was not
chewed off by a goat.

(offers a view through the lens)

Look here.

As you can see, the marks left behind by the animal are not from
teeth. There are several much smaller marks across this one
stem. This means that the perpetrator was a much smaller animal,
probably an insect. Don't you think?

                           BUTTERFLY

(descends into frame from above)

Well, did you solve the mystery yet?

                            MARVIN

Not yet, but we HAVE eliminated any animal with teeth. These
marks on the stem are too small for animals with teeth. That
eliminates the squirrels, the chipmunks, the rats and the mice.

                           BUTTERFLY

So, what kind of animal would do a thing like this?

                            MARVIN

We think it was some kind of insect.

                             SNAIL

(slithers slowly into frame afar, singing very slowly)

                            MARVIN

Excuse me, sir, we're looking for the insect that might have
chewed off the flowers from the tops of these stems. Did you see
anything?

                             SNAIL

(speaks very slowly)

Ah... yup... ah... yesterday. Ah, I seen him eating the flower
petals, then he ate the middle of the flower, then he started
eating the stem.

                            MARVIN

It was an insect, right?

                             SNAIL

Ah, right.

                            MARVIN

(pauses)

Well? What kind of insect was it?

                             SNAIL

Ah, I think it were one like her.

(points with antenna at Butterfly)

                           BUTTERFLY

Like me?! It wasn't me! It wasn't!

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

What do you think? Do you think a butterfly could do this kind
of damage?

Me either.

(to Butterfly)

You can relax, Madam Butterfly, we know you didn't do this
damage. Butterflies have pointed mouth parts for sipping nectar.
They have no jaws for chewing. We're looking for an insect with
jaws for chewing.

(to camera)

Just between you and me, I'm confused. The snail said that the
insect that was chewing the flowers looked like a butterfly. I
don't know of any insects with butterfly wings that has jaws for
chewing.

(to Snail)

When did you see this butterfly chewing the flowers?

                             SNAIL

Started... couple days ago and...

Now that I think about it, I didn't see him around yesterday.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

This is a lot of damage for one insect to do in one or two days.
You think there was more than one of them?

(to Snail)

Did you see more than one of these insects eating the flowers?

                             SNAIL

Now that you mention it, there was more than one. But they
wasn't all the same kind.

                            MARVIN

What do you mean?

                             SNAIL

They was all different colors.

                            MARVIN

Oh, dear!

(to camera)

Usually the more questions you ask, the fewer suspects you get.
But now there are several different butterflies involved.

                            SPIDER

(enters frame)

Hey, Marvin Mouse, I'm glad you're here. I have a mystery for
you.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Looks like we have a regular crime wave in the park today!

(to spider)

Look, Mr Spider, we're a little busy now. We're already
investigating another mystery.

                            SPIDER

Well, what about the damage to my web?

                            MARVIN

What about it?

                            SPIDER

Some animal chewed half of my web off.

                            MARVIN

CHEWED it off?! Did you say they CHEWED it off?

                            SPIDER

Yes. About half of my web is completely gone!

(points)

See for yourself!

(camera turns toward a bush, where the spider web is only half
intact)

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Did you notice that the half that was chewed off is no where in
sight?

I agree. Whoever chewed off the web also took it with him.

(to spider)

When did this happen?

                            SPIDER

Couple nights ago.

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

That's when the mystery insects started chewing on the flowers.
I think your mystery is connected to our case.

(to camera)

But what can insects use half a spider web for? Once the insects
cut down the spider web, it wouldn't be any good for catching
other insects anymore. So, What would they use it for?

(exiting frame)

Let's head over to the rose garden. I think I know who we're
looking for.

EXT MORNING WIDE: ROSE GARDEN

                            MARVIN

(enters frame, stops, scans the rose blossoms above)

We're looking for large insects, because large insects wouldn't
get as easily caught up in the spider web when they chewed it
apart. And we're looking for large insects who are not allowed
in the park. Large insects like... grasshoppers.

Yes, that's it, grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are big and they have
chewing mouth parts.

                             QUEEN

(descends into frame from above, hovers)

Have you solved the mystery yet?

                            MARVIN

Yes, we think the insects who chewed up the flowers are
grasshoppers.

                             QUEEN

It can't be. Grasshoppers are not allowed in the park. If any of
us saw them, we would report them.

                            MARVIN

Yes, you would... UNLESS you didn't recognize them.

                             QUEEN

I don't understand.

                            MARVIN

These particular grasshoppers are wearing disguises.

                             QUEEN

Disguises?!

                            MARVIN

Yes. I think they chewed the petals off the large flowers in the
other flower bed and attached them to their own backs to make
themselves look like butterflies.

                             QUEEN

That's ridiculous! They couldn't get away with that.

                            MARVIN

They're getting away with it right now.

                             QUEEN

Where?! How?!

(turns and looks in all directions)

                            MARVIN

What do you and the other bees do when they come across a flower
with a butterfly on it?

                             QUEEN

We move on to the next flower.

Oh, no. We don't even give them a second look! If we see their
big colorful wings, we just move on.

                            MARVIN

(points)

There! There's one!

(offers a look through the binoculars, the view shows a big
grasshopper chewing on the edge of a blossom wearing large
yellow flower petals sloppily tied to its back with spider silk)

                             QUEEN

It's a grasshopper... dressed like a butterfly!

                            MARVIN

That's what I said.

(to camera)

Isn't that what I said?

                             QUEEN

We can't let them get away with this.

(flies straight up above the blossoms, shouts)

Ladies! Fellow honey bees. Gather around.

(a swarm of bees surrounds Queen)

Some of the insects in the garden who look like butterflies are
actually grasshoppers in disguise.

(elsewhere in the garden)

                            MARVIN

(climbs to the top of a rose blossom where a butterfly is
sipping nectar)

Excuse me. The Queen be is about to declare war. If you and your
friends don't want to be mistaken for grasshoppers, you better
get them out of the garden for a while.

                           BUTTERFLY

(exiting frame)

Oh, dear.

(flits all over the garden repeatedly shouting the warning)

All butterflies out of the garden.

(one by one the butterflies rise from the blossoms and join the
school of butterflies in the air, then they all fly off into the
distance.)

(elsewhere)

                             QUEEN

(descends into frame, hovers near Marvin)

My bees are ready for war. Have the REAL butterflies evacuated?

                            MARVIN

All clear, your majesty.

                             QUEEN

(rises up out of frame)

Attack! Attack!

(the bees swarm and sting the grasshoppers in the butt, they
leap and yelp as they exit the park in a hurry, their makeshift
wings shedding as they go, finally the buzzing sounds are
replaced by silence, then the chirp of a cricket as the camera
pans to Marvin exiting the garden)

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

This was a tough case. I'm glad you were here to help me solve
this mystery.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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