|The Tale of the Manaha|
|Season 5, Episode 8|
|Air date||January 13, 1996|
|Written by||Gerald Wexler|
|Directed by||Will Dixon|
The Tale of C7
The Tale of the Unexpected Visitor
The night begins with Stig running over to the others as they all are entering the clearing, He asks them all if they're okay. Gary says yeah, Kiki, asks him what his problem is. Catching his breath, Stig says some huge animal like a monster almost got him on the way there. Sam not believing him says "Uh yeah..", Betty Ann asks him if he's sure it wasn't just a raccoon or a squirrel. Being serious Stig says it was bigger than him and asks them if they have ever seen a squirrel that big. Gary, not convinced says "Umm no and i've never seen a monster either" Then suddenly a huge creature comes running in yelling grrrrooooaaarrrr! The girls all step back scared. When noticing it's a gorilla costume, Gary approaches it and pulls off the mask to reveal Tucker inside. Turns out Stig and Tucker were playing a pracitcal joke together. Stig says psyche and they're all mad and annoyed and say it wasn't funny.
Kiki, annoyed asks him if did this because his story wasn't scary enough. Tucker says he did this just for an opening set up. Tucker sits down in the Gorilla costume on the Storyteller's chair. He explains that people have been scared of monsters in the wilderness forever, not just bears and moutain lions. He means strange beasts that can't be explained such as The Abominable Snowman of Tibet, and The Loch ness Monster of Scotland. Also The Flesh eating giants of Mandalay. Nobody knows for sure if these monsters are real, but a lot of people think so because they claimed they've seen them, and you never know you might seem them too one day too.
Tucker, throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while he submits his story for approval for The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of the Manaha", and begins his story.
Tucker, tells the story. The story takes place at a summer camp, four boys are preparing to go on an overnight hiking campout. The four boys are Alex, who seems somewhat average, dispute his unpleasant attitude. Eddy a blonde, chubby boy who loves snacking and overeating. Steve who has long hair and is obsessed with comic books. Then Carl a wimpy boy complaining that he has poison ivy. Alex expresses his disgust to the others when the group leader Lonnie shows up. Lonnie is either a trained army drill sergeant or a camp counsellor taking his job way too seriously; or both. He orders them all to stand at attention and one by one he checks them all. Lonnie screams at Alex for not rolling up his tent properly.
Next he inspects Eddy who is holding an open jar. Eddy says in the jar he brought pasta with a light tomato garlic sauce for his dinner. Un amused, and turned off by his body sizeI, he dumps the jar on the ground and tells him to lose weight. Then he inspects Steve, Steve is holding out his Ghastly Grinner comic book hoping to impress Lonnie. Lonnie seems impressed at first, and Steve tells him it's volume six; first edition. Lonnie then coldly responds saying that if they bring comic books with them, they are just going to use them to start up the campfires. Then he inspects Carl, who is whining and almost crying he tells Lonnie he can't go because he has poison ivy. Lonnie has no sympathy and screams at him and encourages him to put on his shoes and get ready to go.
The four boys are all turned off by Lonnie's rudeness and his tone of voice. Lonnie is mad about the four boys he has to put up with. Then suddenly, a younger boy named Jonah who is eagerly excited, runs off to join them. Unlike the other four, Jonah is a camping fanatic and is more than eager to go and has been preparing all summer. Lonnie, judging by him being younger and smaller than the others thinks he's is too young and won't be able to keep up. Jonah says he has permission from the camp director Mr. Ostrowski. Lonnie reluctantly agrees, and is mad that Jonah has a manual about how to survive in the bush by Oscar Butts, because he wants them all to learn and follow from his example.
Before Lonnie and the five of them leave, Mr. Ostrowski sees them all off and wishes them luck on their first campout. Hoping they'll learn more about themselves and each other when they come back. Hoping they will develop more confidence and other skills. Mr. Ostrowski reminds Lonnie to have them check in at a ranger station and then sees them off. Then he asks Jonah if he's sure he wants to go through with the trip, Jonah excited says he absolutely does.
A little time into their hike, Lonnie finds Jonah lagging a little behind the rest of them and taunts him saying if he doesn't hurry up a grizzly bear will eat him. Jonah contradicts him telling him that there are no grizzly bears around for three thousand miles according to his Oscar Butts' manual. Lonnie, is ticked off to be contradicted and made to look stupid in front of his division. So therefore he makes Jonah carry his knapsack for a little while. When they stop for a rest, Lonnie is frustrated because he is having trouble opening a food can. Jonah once again corrects him and gives him a can opener telling him campers should always be prepared according to his Oscar Butts' manual. Lonnie frustrated and fed up with Jonah contradicting and correcting him pushes him. Jonah bumps into Lonnie's knapsack and it fall down the little cliff they're on the ground below. Jonah is then threatened to go down and retrieve it.
Jonah, finds Lonnie's knapsack and then notices a little small cave nearby. Jonah walks into it and finds it has old cave paints of red-eyed gorilla like monsters and paintings of them burning and eating humans on the walls. On a small rock lies a small bronze statue of a gorilla like monster, curious Jonah moves it and then smokes starts filling the room. Then suddenly an aboriginal native Shaman appears, long haired, wearing animals pelts and war paint and beaded necklaces. He warns Jonah that flesh eating monsters called the Manaha are now free and to leave the forest forever. When he looks around Lonnie and Alex come into the cave to find him. He tries to warn them that they need to leaves the woods, because a Shaman told him that there are flesh eating monsters on the loose called Manaha and they will find them and eat them. They don't believe him for a second, but Lonnie notices that they're in an ancient cave and plans to take the credit for discovering it and make a fortune from finding the statue,
When they get back to the camp with Eddy and Steve, Jonah explains the statue is a manaha. Alex explains to both Steve and Eddy who are confused that Jonah was told by a Shaman that flesh eating monsters are going to come after them. They laugh, don't believe him and think it's just a joke. A little further up on the path Lonnie buries the statue near a tree as it is getting too heavy to take everyone and plans to pick it up on the way back and have Jonah carry it instead. When they arrive a Forest Ranger's station, no one is there. There is food on the table almost like The Ranger was there one second and gone the next. Jonah panics saying the Manaha has got the Ranger and they need to get out of there. Suddenly someone comes in startling him, Jonah screams his head off and falls down. Turns out the Ranger only stepped out for a few minutes, Jonah is now feeling embarrassed and foolish while everyone else laughs at him.
Later in the afternoon the set up their tents, and Lonnie asks Jonah to go and collect firewood taunting him saying unless you're too scared. Jonah tells he isn't scared and goes off to get some. Before he goes Edddy taunts him saying the monsters won't eat him because he's too small and he and all the other boys laugh, while Lonnie is not amused. While collecting some branches growling sounds and crashing footsteps can be heard in the distance. Scared Jonah just collects what he has and runs back to camp. Lonnie isn't pleased with what little amount he collected, so annoyed he goes off to collect so more by himself. Jonah tries to warn him not to go, but Lonnie claims he's not chicken and needs to cook for them. Carl asks him what he's so scared, he says he isn't and according to his manual, fear is just an emotion if you can conquer fear you can conquer the forest.
In the woods, Lonnie is minding his business collecting firewood when suddenly he trips and falls down. Then suddenly the sound of footsteps and growling are heard and a dark shaded creature is lurking around nearby. The roaring and growling is so loud it can be heard back at camp. The others all hear it too and with concern they all go to find Lonnie. The black creature is getting closer to Lonnie who is now terrified, he tries blow his whistle for help but no one answers. Then a Manaha closes in on him and captures him as he screams for his dear life. Jonah and the others follow his scream and find nothing but his Whistle and a humungous foot print in the dirt. Seeing this footprint is more than enough to convince them all Jonah was telling the truth all along and to help him. As they leave to go to the Ranger station to use the radio to call for help the foot print magically reverses itself and goes away.
When they make it to the Ranger's station, the place is a mess everything is all trashed, and knocked over and this time it's obvious that the ranger has been captured. Jonah decides they need to head back to camp and find help there, and they'll guide their way back by looking at the stars. On their way out Jonah looks inside the cabin and in a puff of smoke the mess in the cabin reverses itself to look as neat and tidy as it did before. Jonah uses his compass and leads them to the path back to camp. However several bushes and branches have appeared and are now blocking the way and they are stuck.
The boys decide to go around and run off in separate directions, much to Jonah's dismay feeling they need to stick together. The Shaman appears and tells Jonah he warned him this would happen and laughs an evil laugh and then disappears. Jonah bumps into Alex, Carl and Steve but they can't find Eddy. Eddy has gotten lost and is getting really nervous and scared and is crying out for help. Suddenly growling and roaring sounds are heard again. Then suddenly on a small mountain a Manaha comes jumping right down on him captures him as he screams his head off.
The all hear him screaming, from a distance and run off for help. They find the Manaha statue with it's eyes glowing a green light. Jonah tells them according to his manual that they believe this is happening therefore it is happening to them. Because fear is an emotion and if you believe there are monsters in the woods then they are, but if you don't believe then there won't be. The three of them want to just run off back to camp, but Jonah tells them that if you run from a wild animal, it will just chase you down till you can't run anymore. Instead of running they should just face fear. Jonah encourages to do what they want but he's not going to run anymore.
Jonah finds Lonnie, The Forest Ranger and Eddy all wrapped up in bark like material with their mouths covers suspended in the air. The three of them all look terrifed as the pitch black Manaha are seen and heard growling and stomping around. Jonah encourages them not to believe in them. Because if they don't, then they won't harm them. Jonah calls out to the Manaha he tells them he is not afraid and he doesn't believe in them and they are not real. The Manaha approach him then vanish into thin air and leave. Just as Jonah is starting to cut them loose. The Shaman returns and says that he is real. He tells him he was once a very powerful Shaman, until his people imprisoned him in the cave. They did this because his magic became too evil and powerful and he saw the woods as personal hunting ground. Now that he's been released he has claimed the woods as his own once again and he warned them to leave but they didn't listen.
Claiming it's too late, The Shaman lights a torch and prepares to light the fire under where Eddy is suspened in the air. Possibly he's going to sacrifice him or eat him or both. Then Jonah holding the Manaha statue tells him, if doesn't put the torch down he'll use the statue's power against him. Then Shaman thinks he is bluffing saying that the statue has no power, just he does and tries to light he fire again. Then Jonah summons what appears to be the Manaha and they're really wrestling through the bushes. The Shaman is freaking out and getting really scared and nervous and tells them over and over to go away because he doesn't need them anymore. Jonah says he no longer controls them. because now he does and orders them to destroy the Shaman. The Shaman is so scared and terrified he backs away until he is back in the cave. Jonah tells him he was kept in the cave for a reason and is now going back. Then places the statue back on the spot and The Shaman screams as the caves shakes and tremors as it comes crashing down. Jonah makes it out in time as the entrance gets caved in by falling boulders.
Lonnie, The Forest Ranger, and Eddy are all free and safe and sound now. Jonah is asked how he did it? Then Alex, Steve and Carl all come out wearing dark rain poncho's with sticks taped to them while holding sticks in their hands clapping them together. Jonah just played a trick on the Shaman and The Shaman gave into his own fear which was his downfall. The next day Jonah gladly leads the group as leader finally getting the respect he deserves. He takes them all on a five mile hike with Lonnie at the end carrying all the bags, constantly dropping them and being told to pick up the pace.
As the story ends Tucker says that Jonah might have been small, but size has nothing to do with how brave you are. It has to do with how smart you are and what is in your heart. Then Tucker says the end and ends his story. Betty Ann and Sam seem very impressed, as does Stig who tells him it was a very good story. Suddenly the sound of an animal chattering is heard. Still annoyed Kki says that maybe it's a giant squirrel. Tucker getting scared says that sometimes maybe being smaller means you have to run faster and runs off. Stig runs after him telling him he forget his costumes head. Gary quicklly puts out the fire and tells them all let's go catch the headless gorilla and they all chase after Tucker and Stig.
- David Deveau, who portrayed Eddy, came to the series revival as The Midnight Society member Andy.
- Michael Yarmush who portrayed Jonah, reappeared in the show again. In the series revival, he next appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Reanimator" as Peter.
- Michael Yarmush, in just couple months time after this episode would co-star with Jodie Resther in the children's show Arhur as the original voice of Arthur and later again as Slink.
- James Hayes Liboiron who portrayed Steve, reappeared in the show again. In the series revival, he next appeared in the episode "The Tale of Jake the Snake", as Wiley Halpin. He was next credited as just James Liboiron.