MELODY –THE SINGING BIRD
The lazy and ambitious cuckoo abandons her baby, Melody , in Margaret Hatchery’s nest . Maggie is a fat , matronly disheveled crow who is a single mom to her brood of four who she names Doray , MeFar , Sola , and Tidoo inspired by the seven notes of music. The four aspire to be singers under the able tutelage of Monsieur Tar-Tar , the bull –frog with a VOICE much to the consternation of the other jungle animals . There is Banana –Rama , the cool dude monkey in his bandana and a earing , the vain and wry peacock , Mayura, who hates his ugly feet and hides them in clod-hopping boots, the erudite owl and resident psychiatrist , Dr Ullu , the fashion conscious and fast deer , Flo-Jo , Me-Too-Slow, the turtle , the bunnies , the parrot . In this melee is Melody, a born singer , as talented as her mother who had abandoned her .
Melody’s voice is God’s gift to mankind ( or in this case , beast kind ) and all the animals are enchanted by her singing except Monsieur Tat-Tar and the crows for whom raucous rocks and cacophony rules. They find Melody’s singing obnoxious though the kind-hearted Monsieur tries to encourage her to make her voice more “ deep “. Melody is so disheartened that she wanders off into the woods . There is meets her future mentor and tutor the blind thrush , Senor Julio. Senor Julio secretly trains Melody to sing .
Meanwhile Melody’s mother has become the court singer of King Ku –Tan –Kha –Amen or King Koo –Toot , the rich and powerful but benevolent falcon despot of the Land of Birds. King Koo-Toot is ably assisted by his wise and wily prime minister , Mr. Cranium , who is an able politician by virtue of the fact that he stands on one leg and can shift position on any matter ,which makes him a diplomat par excellence . Kukuu, the name now affected by Melody’s mother , lives in a golden cage but the high –flying life has gone to her head.
One day while singing in the court she is siezed by a coughing fit , the result of the chilled wine she had been indulging . King Koo-Toot flies into a rage and the despot comes to the fore (the benevolent part is thrown out of the window whenever he is riled!)
and he orders a contest to be announced to seek a new court-singer for the Land of Birds.
When the posse of carrier pigeons bring this news to Jungle-Land the animals , particularly the crows and Monsieur Tar-Tar are most excited . Maggie , in fact , is ecstatic at the prospect of seeing her brood on stage ( the private dream of all mothers to see their children win public accolades!!). But encouraged by Senor Julio , Melody , too, wants to take part in the contest much to the chagrin of the crows who feel that Melody’s singing maybe a public humiliation for the rest of the family. But the kind –hearted Maggie turns a deaf ear to the entreaties of the crows and decides that Melody , too, will take part in the contest. All the creatures of Jungle land prepare to leave for the Land of Birds.
Kuukuu , however, furious at the turn of events , is not going to let anyone come in the way of her ambitious rise to the top. Fortified by the magic potion FAIRIS FOWL brought to her from China by the daring duo , Mr. Jack Dawson , the thieving jackdaw , and the chattering Magpie , she is confident of her victory over the contestants.
However, Kukuu is not one to let any grass grow under her feet and when she finds out that there is a contendor to the crown , a little cuckoo named Melody, she decides to take steps to deal with it . She invites Melody to her mansion and gives her the “ Freeze “ treatment , cold air , cold foods , cold looks . Melody ‘s warm personality falls prey to this icy treatment and she falls ill. She can no longer take part in the contest but there is not a trace of envy in her as she helps the crows prepare for the great day. Struck by her kindly disposition and good nature the crows feel ashamed of their behaviour. Melody’s special quality is that she is a mirror who reflects the true self of whoever comes in contact with her , a touchstone who changes those whom she touches for the better .
Melody wanders off ,disappointed and disconsolate, when she runs into Mr. Jack Dawson who is being chased by an irate crowd for stealing a diamond necklace . Melody saves the jackdaw but is aghast when she finds out the reason for his flight. But when she hears that it is a psychological problem ,she takes him to Dr.Ullu ,the resident psychiatrist , who cures the hapless bird with his skilful treatment . Mr. Jack Dawson is so grateful that he resolves to help Melody by stealing the magical potion FAIRIS FOWL from Kukku . Many adventures later the jackdaw and magpie succeed in their plans to put Melody on stage . Her singing enthralls everyone , particularly King-Toot ( and really , in a despotic state , that is all that matters ) and Melody is crowned the winner. But there is one more hurdle, Kuukuu , for the winner has to be finally pitted against her. However, Kuukuu, gladly relinquishes the crown for when she sees Maggie Hatchery , she has realized that Melody is none other than her own daughter . Being of a practical disposition she decides to befriend Melody for the next best thing to being a star is to be a star –mama.
Melody is now the court singer . The world is at her feet . But the glamour , the glitter , the life of plenty begins to pall. Melody pines for her warm and comfortable mother and her jungle friends. Kukuu and King Koo-Toot try to beguile her with trinkets, baubles and doo-dahs but to no avail . Melody begins to waste away ; she no longers sings happy songs and melancholy soon gives way to dementia . Melody is now truly cuckoo. King Koo -Toot has no option but to begin another search for a court -singer.
Senor Julio has come looking for Melody when the posse of pigeons arrive to announce yet another contest for a court singer. But they have no information about Melody . Maggie is frantic with worry so it is decided that the Jungle land denizens will once again fly to the Land of Birds to look for Melody . This time it is Senor Julio who is their star contestant . While the birds fly on their own steam, the animals fly CHEEP-AIR , but Senor Julio flies on his trusty aide and valet , Bat Van –Friday . Bat Van –Friday is from Transylavania and suffers from a personality disorder since he does not know what he is , a bird or a beast. It is Dr. Ullu , who , finally , helps him resolve his dysfunctional personality.
In the Land of Birds preparations are afoot for the contest but there is no sign of Melody .
It is decided that that Bat Van Friday will search for Melody when all are busy at the contest.
The contest is a disaster Not one singer has the panache and pizzaz of the previous contestants . King Koo- Toot is about to lose his cool when Senor Julio comes on stage to perform.
Meanwhile, Bat Van –Friday has located Melody by following the song of the Kukuu’s bird –in –waiting , the singing canary . But Melody , who is in her private well of grief ,does not respond to his entreaties to fly away with him . Only when she hears Senor Julio’s voice does she react and follows hypnotically . Kuukuu , on being told the state of affairs by the singing canary rushes to stop her , but Bat Van Friday thwarts her . The yellow canary , cowardly by nature and colour , is of no help and Melody arrives at the venue . This is very embarrassing for King Koo –Toot but the wily Mr. Cranium tries to save the day by promptly accusing Kuukuu of playing fowl sorry foul , with Melody .Kukuu is about to be clapped in the dungeon but Melody stands by her and melts Kuukuu’s icy heart . That is Melody’s special quality to change people for the better. King Koo-Toot makes one last ditch attempt to get a court singer by crowning Senor Julio but it is Bat Van –Friday to the rescue again as he swoops down and carries away Melody and Senor Julio. Well, poor King Koo-Toot has no option but to make the best of a bad bargain . Kukuu is reinstated as the court singer with stern admonitions not to drink cold beverages again .
The animals of Jungle-land fly back to rejoin Melody and Senor Julio . A great party is organised and all the party animals rock together , even the four crows , the recipients of the newly instituted category in music called Cacophony R Also Productive ( C.R.A.P. ) Music to drive away pesky birds. That is why when they take the stand to entertain the creatures of Jungle-land is it any wonder that all of them vanish into their homes and a hush falls over Jungle-Land ? For tomorrow is another day and another adventure.