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MINI08    7' Mini-mysteries: the floating magic show

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. If you came to
the park expecting to solve a crime today, I'm sorry to
disappoint you. Everyone in the park is on their best behavior
because of the magic show.

                          HUMMINGBIRD

(flutters into frame, hovers with a buzz)

It's here! It's here! The magic show is here!

(darts out of frame)

                            MARVIN

(smiles)

Why don't you stay for the show?

(beckons as he exits frame)

Come on. The magicians in the magic show are insects from the
park upstream. And they're really quite good.

(shot widens and elevates to show all the animals from the
smallest insects to the largest squirrels converging in columns
toward the creek)

EXT MORNING WIDE: CREEK

(camera descends from on high as Marvin Mouse approaches
the creek bank. Birds sit on overhanging branches by kind and
local insects by kind stream out onto the blades of grass and
shrubs that overhang the creek. Small animals group together on
the edge of the creek with larger animals crowding behind them
high on the banks. The animals let out a loud cheer as a pizza
box rounds a bend in the creek and floats down stream toward the
crowded creek bank. Two local spiders toss their web silk to the
insects on the box who tether the pizza box to the shore. Marvin
Mouse stands behind a group of other mice and applauds with them
as an insect band on the pizza box plays circus music, all of
the magic tricks take place on the floating pizza box)

(In the first magic trick, a caterpillar crawls into a small
box, then a praying mantis closes the lid, one second later, he
opens lid and out flies a butterfly. The audience erupts in
"Ooo! Aaah!", then they clap and cheer)

(In the second magic trick, a centipede crawls into a small
piece of garden hose -- but out of the other end crawls a
cockroach. The audience erupts in "Ooo! Aaah!", then they clap
and cheer)

(In the third magic trick, a grasshopper hops into a long box,
the praying mantis closes the lid, then he saws the box in half
as the audience groans and grumbles "Oh no!")

                           MRS MOUSE

(covers the eyes of her baby)

Don't look. You don't want to see this!

(two scantily clad female wasps pull the halves apart, then they
join the cut ends again. The praying mantis, opens both lids,
reaches in and helps the grasshopper, unharmed, out of the box,
as the audience erupts in "Ooo! Aaah!", then they clap and
cheer)

(In the fourth magic trick, the same praying mantis holds out a
stick for all to see. Then the stick turns into a bouquet of
tiny white flowers, again the audience shouts "Ooo! Aaah!" as
they clap and cheer, then without warning, the bouquet turns
into a swarm of fruit flies which fly out of frame in a swirl as
the audience erupts in "Ooo! Aaah!" and clapping and cheering)

(In the fifth magic trick, a cricket crawls into one of two
small boxes on opposite ends of the pizza box and the praying
mantis closes the lid and immediately reopens the box and tips
it on its side to show the audience that the cricket had
disappeared, the audience gasps and grumbles)

                          BABY MOUSE

Where did he go, Mommy?

(the praying mantis crosses over to the second box and opens the
lid. Out pops the missing cricket, to the delight and applause
of the audience)

(In the sixth and final magic trick, a spider on a branch
overhanging the creek lowers a small box on a strand of web
silk. When the box lands on the pizza box, the praying mantis
opens the box and tips it toward the audience to show them that
the box is empty. Then, a black beetle crawls into the box and
the praying mantis closes the lid, the spider lifts the box
slowly up and up and up. When the box nears the branch on which
the spider sits, the box explodes with a puff of smoke and a
loud bang, audience gasps)

                          BABY MOUSE

Oh no! What happened to that poor beetle, Mommy?

                           MRS MOUSE

(covers the eyes of her baby)

Don't look. You don't want to see this!

(Suddenly, on the other side of the creek an explosion of
colored streamers from the blossom of a dandelion draws the
attention of the audience)

                            BEETLE

(stands up on her hind legs on the blossom and shouts)

Here I am!

(grabs a piece of spider silk and swings back onto the pizza
box, dismounts with a double back flip and a flourish, bows with
all the performers for their final bows to thunderous applause.
As the spiders release the pizza box allowing it to float down
stream, Marvin strolls toward his home)

                          HUMMINGBIRD

(flutters into frame and hovers briefly)

That was a really good magic show, wasn't it?!

                            MARVIN

"Good show!

                          HUMMINGBIRD

Better than last year!

(exits frame straight up)

                            MARVIN

(to camera)

Did you enjoy that?

                           CHIPMUNK

(enters frame, panicked)

Marvin Mouse, you have to help me!

                            MARVIN

What's the matter?

                           CHIPMUNK

While I was at the magic show, someone stole all the nuts and
seeds in my nest!

                             QUEEN

(Queen Bee enters frame hovering)


Marvin Mouse, you have to help me!

                            MARVIN

(turns)

Huh?

                             QUEEN

While my bees and I were at the magic show, someone broke into
our hive and stole some of my honeycombs!

                            SPIDER

Marvin Mouse, you have to help me!

                            MARVIN

You too?!

                            SPIDER

Somebody destroyed my web and took all the insects I had wrapped
up and collected! How am I supposed to feed my babies?!

(zoom out slowly as more and more animals approach Marvin from
all directions, all speaking at the same time, but not in
unison)

                              ALL

Marvin Mouse, you have to help me! Somebody stole my food!

                            MARVIN

(close-up: to camera)

While you're here, would you mind helping to solve these
mysteries?

(exiting, beckons)

Good. Come on then.

EXT MORNING WIDE: SPIDER'S WEB

(only a few fibers remain intact the rest are mangled)

                            MARVIN

(examines the broken ends of two broken pieces of web silk)

(to camera)

This kind of damage is not the work of an insect trying to free
his fellow insect. This is the work of a strong bird or a
mammal. But why would he take the captured insects with him?

INT MORNING WIDE: BEE HIVE IN A HOLLOW TREE

(Honeycombs nearest to the entrance mangled with wedge-shaped
portions missing, honey dripping down)

                            MARVIN

(examines two of the wedge shaped voids in the honeycomb with a
magnifying glass)

(to camera)

Did you notice that the damage to these honeycombs is worst near
the entrance? That means whoever did this damage was too large
to climb inside the hive. And since the damaged honeycomb pieces
are missing, it looks like it was taken for food.

(points)

See the odd shapes of the damage. It looks like this damage was
done by large claws or beaks.

I'd say this damage and the damage done to the spider web might
have been done by the same large animal or at least the same
kind of large animal.

INT MORNING WIDE: CHIPMUNK'S HOLLOW TREE

(the floor of the hollow contains seed husks and nut shells, but
no whole seeds)

                            MARVIN

(examines one seed husk and one nut shell with a magnifying
glass)

Whoever stole these seeds and nuts ate them all on the spot and
left behind the husks and shells.

(to camera)

Well, this confirms our previous conclusion: these thefts were
to steal the food.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: Some animals eat
honey, some animals eat insects, and some animals eat seeds and
nuts. What kind of animal eats all of them?

(turns, points)

What have we here?!

(picks up a black feather the size of his head)

This is the clue that tells us which animal did all this damage.

(offers feather to camera)

This is a feather, so we conclude that the intruder was a bird.
It's a black feather, so that eliminates all but two kinds of
birds.

I agree. All this damage was done by either blackbirds or crows.

Which do you think this was?

You're right. The answer is back at the bee hive. And it has to
do with the size and shape of the bird's beak. A blackbird has a
narrow beak. But the damage to the honeycombs was done by a bird
with a wide beak.

(nods)

I agree. This damage was done by the crows.

                           CHIPMUNK

(enters frame)

But the Crows are not allowed in the park!

                            MARVIN

That's why they came during the magic show. They knew we would
all be down at the creek and not at home watching our food.

                           CHIPMUNK

What are we going to do about it?

                            MARVIN

We'll catch them in the act.

                           CHIPMUNK

It's too late for that, Marvin Mouse. They're already gone.

                            MARVIN

That's true. But the crows probably followed the magic show down
the creek to the next city park. And while the animals there are
all watching the magic show, we'll guard their food.

EXT MORNING WIDE: CREEK IN ANOTHER PARK

(overhead shot shows all the animals from the smallest insects
to the largest squirrels converging in columns toward the
creek. Birds of a kind perch on overhanging branches by
kind and local insects stream out onto the blades of grass and
shrubs that overhang the creek. Small animals group together on
the edge of the creek with larger animals crowding behind them
high on the banks. The animals let out a loud cheer as a pizza
box rounds a bend in the creek and floats down stream toward the
crowded creek bank. Two local spiders toss their web silk to the
insects on the box who tether the pizza box to the shore. Marvin
Mouse stands behind a group of other mice and applauds with them
as an insect band on the pizza box plays circus music, all of
the magic tricks take place on the floating pizza box)

(In the first magic trick, a caterpillar crawls into a small
box, then a praying mantis closes the lid, one second later, he
opens lid and out flies a butterfly. The audience erupts in
"Ooo! Aaah!", then they clap and cheer)

EXT MORNING WIDE: SPIDER'S WEB

(a crow approaches, sees the wrapped insects on the web
struggling)

                             CROW

Well, what do we have here? Some helpless insects just waiting
to be eaten. It's a shame the spider is not here to protect them
from... ME.

(laughs fiendishly, steps toward the trapped insects, a dozen
spiders rappel from the branches above and wrap the crow in web
silk as the crow squawks)

EXT MORNING WIDE: BEE HIVE IN A HOLLOW TREE

(a crow lands on a branch below the entrance, looks both ways)

Well, what have we here? It appears that the bees have all gone
to watch the magic show, so noone is left to keep me from eating
all their honey.

(as the crow sticks his head into the opening, a swarm of bees
sting his backside, and he quickly  exits yelping and flapping
losing feathers as the stinging continues out of frame)

EXT MORNING WIDE: CHIPMUNK'S HOLLOW TREE

(a crow lands on a branch below the entrance, looks both ways)

Well, what have we here? It looks like the chipmunk and his
family have gone to the magic show, leaving their delicious nuts
and seeds unguarded.

(hops up onto the entrance and then hops into the hollow. Loud
marshal arts sounds and a few black feathers emanate from the
opening for a few seconds then the crow hops up onto the
entrance again and falls out of frame with a thud.)

EXT MORNING WIDE: MOVING GARBAGE TRUCK ON THE HIGHWAY

(a clear plastic bag on top of the heap of garbage contains
eight struggling crows with feathers askew, shouting for help
and mercy, the truck drives under and past a bridge on top of
which Marvin Mouse looks through his tiny binoculars, then turns
to camera)

                            MARVIN

Well, I'd say that takes care of those thieving crows, wouldn't
you? Thanks for helping me solve this case.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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