Ep 04 – Mythical Pests are still Pests

INTRO: (It’s about summertime. The Narrator’s laptop hums almost as loud as the grasshoppers in the warm evening. “Proserpina Bop” bleeds through her headphones as she pulls up some files.) 

NARRATOR: 

So… I messaged Alina. Nothing about the park! She recently wrote an article at her school and I’m… pretending to be interested. I’m hoping she’ll warm up to me and maybe eventually I can ask her about it. Also, I almost forgot about this but Alina brought her friend to the park even though she told Sam she wouldn’t tell anyone… But she also likes him? Because he’s hiding secrets? Which is weird…

SCENE STARTS: (“Proserpina Bop” transitions to the new scene. Alina is walking through the park. It is pretty quiet.)

ALINA:

Okay, haven’t really gotten a chance to meet up with Sam recently… It was a bit nerve-wracking bringing Drew along last time, thankfully we didn’t bump into him. That would have been bad. Also… it seems quieter than usual. Not that I’ve seen that many things in this park, but like… it feels like something eerie is going on. I’m going to hurry and find Sam… Sam! Hey!

SOUND: (Music blasting as usual from Sam’s headphones. Cerberus starts barking.)

SAM:

Alina? Oh, now is not a good time.

ALINA:

What are you holding in your hand?

SAM:

It’s a letter from the park ranger… (Sigh) They’re supposed to be back from their vacation because they know this happens every year, but they just wrote for me to deal with it…

ALINA:

Why? What happens every year?

SAM:

Myrmecoleons.

ALINA:

What?

SAM:

Let’s get you out of here, you don’t really want to deal with this trust me.

ALINA:

Wait hold on. You need to stop kicking me out all the time. It gets old fast. How about you explain to me what’s going on? Maybe I can help.

SAM:

Myrmecoleons. They’re ant-lions.

ALINA:

Oh, well that was not what I was expecting.

SAM:

Every year, the park gets infested with ant-lions: head of a lion, body of an ant. They’re Medieval beasts, so they don’t make a ton of sense.

ALINA:

Okay… Well, I’ve had ant infestations in my apartment before, I’m sure I can help. 

SAM:

I don’t think you can compare regular ants to Myrmecoleons…

ALINA:

Well, if there’s one thing I know about ants is that they swarm. How are you going to handle that all by yourself?

SAM:

(Pauses) I was gonna figure that out as I go… Fine c’mon, we’ve got a lot of work to do.

MUSIC: (“Where am I?” plays.)

ALINA:

By the way, is that why the park feels… quiet today?

SAM:

Everyone’s on edge because they’d rather not have to deal with hungry, annoying, wanna-be predators.

ALINA:

Wanna be?

SAM:

Well, they think they’re lions, but they obviously aren’t so they try to eat things that ants shouldn’t.

ALINA:

So how does that work? They just starve to death?

SAM:

Yeah, we just need them to stick together until they die of starvation.

ALINA:

I see why the park ranger didn’t want to do this.

SAM: 

No one says life as a Park Ranger was glamourous…

ALINA:

It’s ok. I can get my hands dirty for a bit.

SAM:

That’s great, let’s get to work then.

ALINA:

Wait, how are we gonna move them?

SOUND: (Sam shakes the bag of treats, causing Cerberus to sit and beg.) 

SAM:

I’ve got a bunch of snacks for Cerberus that should get them to follow. Come on boy, you’ll get your food later. Here, they should be right along the woods somewhere, don’t get too close, they definitely bite.

SOUND: (Ants crawling.)

ALINA:

Whoa! Okay, I know you said they were ant-lions, but I didn’t actually think they were literally just ant-lions. Or I guess lion-ants?

SAM:

Yeah… Medieval Beasts are… One of a kind, if I had to say something nice about them. Religion at the time considered these animals as important to storytelling and explaining morals. But, I gotta say, even the pictures of regular animals are wild. You should look up the elephant or crocodile later, the artists definitely took artistic liberties.

ALINA:

Wait, elephants? There aren’t elephants in Europe or crocodiles… I don’t think.

SAM:

A lot of the animals mentioned are from Europe’s neighbors, so North Africa and the Middle East and even further like animals from India.

ALINA:

Are there any magical medieval beasts that I would know of?

SAM:

Oh yeah, you know the typical creatures like the unicorn, dragon, and griffin. But there’s one that’s kinda popular on the internet. It’s called a Bonnacon.

ALINA:

Okay, what is it? Ooh, a giant snake? Or a scary shark? No wait, maybe the opposite, it’s the internet so, something cute?

MUSIC: (“Tell Me” plays)

SAM:
Very good guesses but you’re wrong. A bonnacon is an animal like a bull. 

SOUND: (a bull moos

SAM: 

But its horns are curved inwards so they’re kinda useless for attacking purposes. Take a guess how it defends itself and then we’ll start laying the trap for the ants.

ALINA:

Um… if it’s a bull, maybe a strong kick like horses? No— your smile is starting to creep me out (SAM: Hey!) so I’m assuming it’s gotta be something different or weird. Does it maybe have a crazy yell like goats do?

SAM:

The animal… uses its poop to stop anyone from getting close. 

SOUND: (the Bonnacon moos again)

ALINA:
What.

SAM:

And not just that, it can shoot its poop out like crazy and their poop can burn people

SOUND: (Cerberus barks, signaling a cannon being shot and people screaming.)

ALINA:

Tell me you’re joking.

SAM:

I swear I am not joking. I’ve never personally met the creature, and I don’t think I’d ever want to.

ALINA:
But… why?

SAM:

I’m not really sure, to be honest… Although it’s kinda expected from stories way back when. You read enough about mythology and all this stuff seems normal.

ALINA:

Good to know I guess…


SAM:

Here, c’mon let’s go take care of the bugs. Sorry if that grossed you out.

SOUND: (We return back to the ants.)

ALINA:

No, no it’s fine. I asked you to tell me more. I guess this just wasn’t what I was expecting.

SAM:

I’ll make sure next time we find a more appropriate topic to talk about.

ALINA:

(laughs) thanks, I’ll be counting on it. 

SAM:

I think this is a good place to start, I wanna get them to the plains where they’ll bother no one. 

SOUND: (Sam opens the bag of treats, causing Cerberus to go crazy.)

SAM: 

Cerberus, sit. Stay… stay… Alina, help me and lay these treats out? The ants will follow and hopefully, that’ll keep them busy enough. I’ll stay here with Cerberus. 

ALINA:
Okay, gotcha. 

SOUND: (Alina walks away from Sam.)

SAM:

(From far away) Alina! That should be good enough. You can come back. 

SOUND: (Alina walks back.)

ALINA:

Well, easy enough.

SOUND: (The ants fade away as they leave them behind.) 

SAM:

Thanks, hopefully, this is just a one-time thing. I… haven’t really had anyone to lean on in a while. 

ALINA:

Listen, how about we trade phone numbers? Nothing big! You can message me about anything, like what book you’re reading, not just about the park. I want us to be friends. No offense, I feel like you need more of those.

SAM:

What, Cerberus doesn’t count to you?

ALINA:

You should have some friends who actually know how to reply back.

SAM:

I-I don’t know, I kinda like the silence.

ALINA:
What silence? Your music is louder than anything in this park.

SAM:

(Laughs) Hey, thanks for coming to see me today. I’ll walk you out, the first part is done. Hopefully, some of the creatures in the park will find them as a tasty treat when they start to starve. 

ALINA:

Okay, yeah. I think I’ve spent enough time looking at those things. Here, my number. You decide what to do. 

SOUND: (Alina takes out a notebook and writes her number down. Then she rips out the paper.)

SAM:

Thanks, I’ll think about it.

OUTRO: (We return to the Narrator. “Proserpina Bop” transitions back to her room.) 

NARRATOR:

Wow, ant lions and pooping bulls, I can’t believe there are even mythological creatures like that… that’s gross. Anyways, seems like Alina is still working on getting on Sam’s sweet side. I would have left the park if someone told me there was an ant infestation. But I guess it worked if he took her number.

SCENE ENDS: (“Proserpina Bop” ends the episode.)

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