0

COLLECTED TAILS OF JUNGLE LAND

 

A STORY CAN BE WRITTEN IN MANY WAYS . MELODY HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN FOURTEEN DIFFERENT WAYS ( 7 in English and 7 in Hindi ). EACH BOOK CATERS TO A DIFFERENT AGE GROUP AND EACH ONE FOLLOWS A DIFFERENT STRUCTURE. THE PREMISE IS THE SAME FOR ALL, HOWEVER.

1.Short story – one

2. book – two of them of varying lengths for different age groups ,

3. plays – three of them, of varying lengths for different age group; the last a satire which is suitable for adults as well.

4.screenplay – one . Can also be presented as a play for the very young .

There are seven in Hindi as well .

Lest you think I am masquerading the same stuff in different ways , the stories, characters , songs are different for each of the fourteen books. The characters and stories may overlap but they all follow the rules of their structure and they all read differently. You can call them avatars if you want who appear in different regions, in different ways and cater to the sensibilities of those times .

There are seven such series making a total of 98 books ( 49 in English and 49 in Hindi )

 

 

Why does the cuckoo sing sadly?

BOOK ONE 

A short Story for 4 to 7 Years

Why does the cuckoo bird tweet sadly, “cuckoo cuckoo”?

A short story about a cuckoo bird who lost it and a mother crow who never gave up and won!
Oh Yes! It’s not your skin but your skill which counts in the end.

EXCERPT

When mother crow and her team reached town they were weak with hunger and very thirsty. Mother crow could not bear to see her children in this state. And Mr. Tar-tar who was as round as a balloon was now as thin as a needle. Now Mother crow did not wait even for a second, and with her beak killed three-four rats, made them into patties and fed them to her children and Mr. Tar-Tar. After this there was no problem for Mother Crow and her team and they began to live happily in town. Everyday they would kill a few rats and eat them up. After sometime Do-Ray, Me-Fa, So-La and Ti-Do also became expert in killing rats and the rats were running here and there in fear for their lives. They were in a real state and started talking about leaving town.

The people of the town were very happy. They did not want Mother Crow and her team to leave town ever so they began to give them many gifts. Mother crow told them, “ I don’t want anything but I want my children’s music to be remembered forever and forever. So, can you make a tape of my children’s music so that I can play it for the animals of the jungle who had thrown us out of the jungle because of our singing.”

The people of the town were only too happy to do as Mother Crow wanted and made a tape of the four crows song. The name of the tape was “The Caw-Caw Crows.”

When the tapes came to the shops the people of the town were very happy. When they played the tapes at home, not only the rats but all the pests ran away frightened. Some farmers even started playing them in their fields so that the birds which eat their seeds flew away in fright. The town people were so happy with the services of the crows that they took away the golden cagefrom the cuckoo and gave it to the crows.

Cuckoo Cool

But Mother Crow refused to live in a golden cage. She knew that a cage, whether it is made of gold or iron is still a cage and it would not allow her to fly like a free bird and she did not want that. She returned the cage to the cuckoo bird.

When the cuckoo bird saw Mother Crow’s behavior she was very ashamed of herself. She thought to herself this crow has worked so hard and see where she has reached and I am where I was. Mother Crow did not have beauty nor did she have any great talent. And yet her quality was useful to so many people. And that is why no one cares whether she is beautiful or not, they only praise her work. They were tears in Cuckoo’s eyes and she ran to Mother Crow’s nest.

Full story and picture book elsewhere on the blog ! Enjoy !

 

BOOK TWO 

A funny book for children, five to nine years

EXCERPT :

When the creature of the jungle could not bear the caw caw of the Band of Crows and the ‘ribbid Ribbid’ of their music teacher Mr.Ribbid they threw them out of the jungle. But Margery Hatchery, the doting mother crow did not lose heart and flew off with Melody, her brood of four and their music teacher to a new land where she hope to make them stars. Did she succeed in her mission or did the pesky rats, the conniving and the crazy cuckoo ruin her plans ?u

EXCERPT

When Margery Hatchery saw the frog puffing and puffing and looked as if he was going to burst she rushed to him and said, “Calm down Mr. Ribbid! These creatures cannot see how talented you are. We are going to leave this place and go another land where we will have the freedom to sing. Come on lets pack our bags.” Now, Mr. Ribbid liked to live in Jungle Land. He didn’t have to work too hard for a living and there were plenty of flying bugs for him to eat. He said, “How can I leave this place. I have hopped here from a land far away and it took me a lot of time to get here. Now how can I go to another land!” Then Funny, who was the older of the two rabbits smiled and said, “Well, you can hop to the other place the same way you hopped here. In fact, hop before you pop, Mr. Ribbid!” Funny could say some very funny things and the animals burst out laughing.

This was too much for Margery Hatchery and.
she flew into a rage again. She picked up a
stick and said, “Mr Ribbid , I will hold
one end of the stick and my four children
the other. You hold the stick from the
middle in your mouth and off we will fly
till we find a place which appreciates our
talent. She turned to her children and said, “
Come on children let us go.” Mr. Ribbid
was not happy but he had no choice
since Margery Hatchery was so determined.
He took the stick in his mouth and held
on for dear life as Margery and her four
children flew off. Peter parrot shouted from below,
“Careful Mr. Ribbid , don’t open your mouth or you will become Mr. Humpty Dumpty!”

Mr. Ribbid could hear the animals laughing but he dare not open his mouth, he just puffed up and turned purple in anger and looked like a purple balloon flying in the sky.

 

BOOK THREE 

A short play for children 3 to 9 years

 

Melody, the wee cuckoo bird wins the contest in King Tweety -Fruity’s kingdom. But she really misses her mom and the animals of the jungle. Only Tweet -Fruity won’t let her go !

EXCERPT

All the animals are engaged in various activities. The rabbits are wrestling with each other. The crows are playing cricket/baseball. The game can be imaginary. Deer, Parrot, Butterfly are also participating in the game. Monkey is giving a commentary. Mr. Bull-Frog is snoring in the corner.
Bananarama : Do-Ray throws the ball and Me-Fa hits it with his bat, the ball flies ( we hear the sound of Peekaboo’s boots coming towards us) across the boundry, straight into ( Peekaboo catches the ball) Mr. Peekaboo’s hands……..
Peekaboo : Shiver my feathers !

Bananarama

Bananarama : Now the question is can this be called a catch ( The crows are shouting ‘catch, catch’) because Mr. Peekaboo is not a member of the team!
Peekaboo throws the ball which hits Mr. Bull Frog who gets up with a start.
Mr. Bull Frog : Ribbid, Ribbid! Isn’t the game over as yet? Come on children, it’s time for your music classes… take out your instruments……
The crows start taking out their musical instruments while all the animals start taking out their earplugs, cotton wool etc. to close their ears. A singing sound is heard approaching them. It is Senor Julio who comes on stage.
Peekaboo: Who is this? ( Senor Julio bangs into him) Can’t you see?
Senor Julio: No.
All the animals react with sympathy.

PEEKABOO

Senor Julio: Does Melody live here?
Margery Hatchery (Mother crow): Yes, she did live here but now she lives at King Tweety Fruity’s palace. Ever since she won the contest she has become the chief singer of his court. But who are you?
Senor Julio : I am Senor Julio, I taught Melody to sing.
Bananarama: Hey, you are Melody’s secret tutor! No wonder she became such a great singer.

 

PETER PARROT
Mr. Bull Frog: So YOU gave tuition to Melody. No wonder she showed no improvement in her singing. This system of tuition has ruined our children. Tuition is bad, bad….
Senor Julio: I want to meet Melody. I know in my heart she is not happy.
Flow-Jo: ( to Peter Parrot); People who can’t see have a strong sixth sense, they can feel things.
Margery: To see Melody you will have to go far, out of this jungle to the city.
Senor Julio: Oh!
Margery: Actually we have not heard from Melody for a long time, and there is no letter from her, why don’t we all go and see her.
Peekaboo: ( rubbing his hands together) What a fine idea!
Flow – Jo: I will come along too.
All the animals: (shouting) We’ll come too! We want to see Melody!

 

BOOK FOUR

A funny play for ages 8 to 12

Cuckoo wants to be a star so she abandons her daughter Melody in the homely crow’s nest who, in turn, wants her brood of four, Do-ray, Me-Fa, So-La and Ti-Do, to be stars. She hires Mr. Bull Frog to train her children but Mr. Bull Frog thinks Melody cannot sing. Melody wants to sing too and she seeks the help of Senor Julio, the blind thrush. A contest is announced!

CUCKOO COOL COOL EXCERPT

PLACE : ANOTHER CORNER OF THE JUNGLE /TIME : DAY
CHARACTERS: MELODY/SENOR JULIO/BAT VAN FRIDAY.

Melody is singing as she walks in the jungle.

SONG

THIS IS THE LIFE!
Music,music,music,Music is my life.

Do, ray, Me, fa, so, la, ti do,
Melody is my life.
The seven notes of music
Are the wings that make me fly.
Fly, fly, till I touch the sky,
Touch the rainbow which spans my dreams
Violet, indigo,blue and yellow
orange,red and green serene.

As she hops and twirls she crashes into
a brown thrush who is wearing dark
glasses and has a blind man’s cane in
his hand. Walking with him is a bat,
wearing a cape, he also has fangs.

SENOR JULIO

MELODY
Oh, can’t you see?

SENOR JULIO
No.

MELODY
Oh! I am sorry.

SENOR JULIO
You are so beautiful, child. What are you doing alone in the jungle?

MELODY
Oh, but…. How do you know I am beautiful, you are blind.

SENOR JULIO
To see you don’t need eyes, a good heart is all you need,like my friend here. He, too can’t see but he takes me everywhere.

BAT VAN FRIDAY
(bowing low)
Bat Van Friday at your service.
He smiles showing his fangs.

MELODY
(taking a step back, little scared)
Oh!

SENOR JULIO
(smiles)

Don’t be scared child. He is a fruit bat,he only eats fruit and vegetables

BAT VAN FRIDAY
No meat for me.

SENOR JULIO

Yes, yes, I couldn’t have hired you otherwise.

(to Melody)
I heard you sing, you are a wonderful singer.

MELODY
But Mr. Bull-Frog doesn’t think so.

SENOR JULIO

And who is this Mr. Bull-Frog?

MR. BULL- FROG & THE JUNGLE LAND FOLKS

MELODY
He teaches my brothers to sing but he thinks I don’t have a good voice.

SENOR JULIO
Come close, my child, let me feel your throat.
(Melody goes close to him. He touches
her throat with his hands/wings)
Beautiful but it lacks strength.

MELODY
Oh! How do I get strength.

SENOR JULIO
For strength you need training and practice.

MELODY
Will you train me?

SENOR JULIO
Yes, but on two conditions?

MELODY
What?

SENOR JULIO
You won’t tell anyone about me.

MELODY
All right. And the second?

SENOR JULIO
You can tell only one person about me, the person who is going to bring you here to learn. I don’t like to see little girls without a grown up with them.

MELODY
(clapping her hand happily)
Of course, I know just who will bring me here. He’s into music too.

SENOR JULIO
All right then, Bat Van Friday here will drop you to the edge of the jungle and pick you and your friend early in the morning tomorrow.

MELODY
Thank you……

SENOR JULIO
(bowing)
Senor Julio, at your service, chiquita.

MELODY
Muchas gracias, Senor Julio.

She holds on to Bat Van Friday’s cape
who makes a revving sound and they both
zoom off the stage. Senor Julio waves
his cane.

SEÑOR JULIO
Adios, my child. See you tomorrow.

 

Melody

 

BOOK FIVE

A funny book for ages eight to sixteen

 

The Singing Bird

 

THE SINGING BIRD

Story book for ages 8 to 16

An ambitious cuckoo abandons her gifted daughter in the homely crow’s nest, only to find out, too late, that her daughter’s talent surpasses her own. Melody, the gifted one, is one of God’s own, and her beautiful soul resonates with music and love and changes all those who come in touch with her.

Cuckoo is ambitious and avaricious and abandons her egg in Maggie, the crow’s nest. Maggie has aspirations for her brood of four and hopefully names them Do-ray Me-far, So-la, and Ti-do after the seven notes of music and even hires Monsieur Tar-tar, the frog with a VOICE, to train them. The hapless animals of Jungle-Land try various tricks to deal with the din until a contest announced by the despotic King Koo-Toot sends them flying to the Land of Birds. Here, Melody competes against her biological mother who tries every trick to trounce her until she realizes Melody is her own daughter. The antics of a menagerie of wacky animals add laughter to this roller coaster of fun and frolic

EXCERPT:

Chap 6

Conniving Kuukku.

Crafty Kuukuu gets magic potion for her throat

“We will see who dare take my place “she later ranted to her bird-in waiting as she paced up and down . “ I have a lot of tricks tucked under my wings and I will use every means, fair or foul, to crush anyone who dare come in my way!!” she screamed. Just then her attention was drawn to the Television .A nightingale was coughing and clawing her throat. Then a green vial with a sparkling green liquid appeared floating in the air towards her .She clutched at the vial and glug , glug , glug , emptied it one breath.

And lo behold , the nightingale was warbling away like there was no tomorrow. A caption appeared — THE MAGIC POTION FOR SORE THROAT – FOWLIS ‘FAIR. Get your bottle today and be rid of the cat –got- your- tongue feeling evermore. Manufactured by the SINGSONG company in China. Approval awaited by the Foul Drug Administration (FDA).

“This is what I need right away “Kuukuuuu exclaimed “and I can’t be bothered to wait for any approval.”

Cuckoo Cool

 

She called for her two spies, a chattering magpie and a thieving jackdaw. The two fluttered in. The magpie, which could not help chattering launched into a spiel right away. “Good evening Madame. What a delightful evening. We are honored to be of service to you.

Just the other day I was telling my friend, Mr. Jack Dawson, it has been a long time since we have had the pleasure of meeting Madame Kuukuu. I hope she has not forgotten us .And lo behold, you sent for us. And I thought to myself, Ash what the heart wishes for, the cosmic vibrations…”

Kuukuu who was tapping her feet impatiently, cut her short, “Oh stop your foolish chatter, you silly bird. Listen to me both of you.
I want you to go and steal the new magic potion FAIRIS FOWL from China. So get ready to travel at once. “The Jackdaw who was much more practical and a bird of few words merely said, “We will need payment and an expense account.”

“Of course “said Kuukuu sarcastically “I knew you would bring that up. I am not expecting any free service from the likes of you. ”

“Oh no no no, that is not fair Madame. We are humble birds but we have a home and family to feed. I, myself, have seven children. There is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday” said Magpie.

 

Mrs Magpie and family Mrs Magpie and family
” I can guess the names of the other three,” said Kuukuu sarcastically, ”and I am not interested in your noisy brood. Don’t give me an earache and just go and get the potion. I will instruct the treasury to give you the necessary amount. Now go, you are giving me a headache” Kuukuu said rudely.

The jackdaw and the magpie turned to fly away but as was his habit the jackdaw had put away a little silver bric-a-brac in his pocket. When he reached the door the maid –in-waiting stopped him and held out her hand. The jackdaw dipped in his pocket and returned the silver ornament to her.

“Force of habit” he said sourly.

Then the dour Mr. Jack Dawson and the chattering magpie flew away.

Kuukuu could hear Magpie chattering as she flew off and sighed deeply. “Is it my fate to be surrounded by a bunch of silly, ignorant, bird brains and thieving rascals,” she thought. It was obvious she was not aware of the phrase that you and I know that, Birds of a feather flock together. Good guys stay with good guys and bad guys find each other to hang out.

 

 

BOOK SIX 

A comedy play for all, big

 

Crafty Cuckoo abandons Melody in kind Caw-Gee, the homely crow’s nest who, in turn, desperately wants her brood of four – Doray, Mefar, Sola and Tidoo, to be stars. She solicits Mr. Rabid’s assistance whose booming baritone only adds to the din in the jungle much to the consternation of the creatures of Jungle-land who try to run him out of the jungle but fail in their attempts. However, a contest is announced by the Kite-King where Melody and her brothers are pitted against, not only creatures from all over the world but also against Melody’s mother, Cuckoo. The shenanigans of Cuckoo, Mr. Rabid, Guru- Godman, the conniving crane and a host of wacky creatures, even an alien, reveal hard truths even as it take the readers on a roller-coaster ride of fun and frolic .

EXCERPT

SCENE 2.

MELODY (little cuckoo)
It’s tea time and snacks for everyone.

There are carrots for the rabbits, a long, green chilly for the parrot, a few spinach leaves for the deer and for the peacock there are some brown noodles that look like earth worms. For the butterflies they are some flowers with a straw
stuck in the center of each flower. For the crows there are pizzas, burgers and colas. All the creatures eat and drink.

MR. RABID (the tuneless toad)
“Ladies and gentlemen creatures. I see that you like our music.”

LAUREL (rabbit one)
(to Hardy)
“Do we have choice in the matter?”
(Twisting both his ears with a
painful expression)

CAW-GEE
(distressed)
“Mr. Rabid ! Control your self. You have to watch your blood pressure. You might…..”

BANANA-DRAMA
(to Flow-jo). image
“Burst like a big, fat balloon.”

FLOW-JO (the fashion conscious deer) laughs and then tries to stifle her laughter.

MR. RABID
(in a wild temper now)
“Go on laugh away. You, modern, fashionable folks can do little else. What else do you know except to bare your teeth and grin like apes.”
(Banana-drama can react here)

CAW-GEE
“Get a hold on yourself Mr. Rabid. Please don’t be angry with them. They are all jealous of your talent. I am sure your pupils will get the first prize. That will shut them up.”

DO-RAY (CAW-GEE’S son 1)
“Yes, sir, please don’t worry. We are sure to make you famous all over the world.”

ME-FAR (CAW-GEE’S son 2)
“The world of music will remember you for ever and for ever.”

TI-DO (CAW-GEE’S daughter3)
“And we’ll be big stars too. Everyone will look at us and sing, Twinkle, twinkle little stars,”

SO-LA (CAW-GEE’S son 4)
“How I wonder what you are.”

CROWS
(together)
“Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.”

MELODY
“Mom, I want to be a star too.”

The crows are silent and look at each
other.

DO-RAY
No way,Jose.”

ME-FAR
“You, don’t know how to sing. Everyone will laugh at you.”

TI-DO
“And then, no one’s going to take us seriously too because you are tagging along with us.”

MELODY
(crying)
“Ko hooo, Boo, hoo.”

CAW-GEE
“Oh, Melody. Don’t cry baby. You will take part in the contest. I’ll see who dares stop you from participating.”

Mr. Rabid who had opened his mouth to say something shuts it hastily.

SO-LA
“Mom, if she wants to be a part of the contest she can but only after we are done.”

CAW-GEE
“Why so?”

SO-LA
“Because, if the audience runs away after hearing her song who is going to listen to us then,duh!”

TI-DO
“Don’t be mean So-La!”

SO-LA
(to Melody)
“Melody, you can help us okay, back-stage, but don’t you dare open your beak to sing.”

CAW-GEE
“Stop it, all of you. If Melody wants to be in the contet she’s going to get her chance too.” image

GEE-PECK
(to Flow-Jo)
“Yes, one must dance when one gets the chance. I think I will take part in the contest too. After all, I am trained classical dancer from India.”
(Flow-Jo bats her eye lashes)

Flow -Jo

BANANA-DRAMA
“And I think I will present a couple of my items too. How long can I hide my talent from the world!”

MR. RABID
“This contest is not for grinning apes and copy cats.”

GEE-PECK
“And why not? If tuneless and ugly artistes can participate then why not copy cats?”

MR. RABID
“Ribbid! Ribbid! Hold your tongue you mangy bird or I will tear and crush your beautiful feathers which you so proudly display.”

GEE-PECK
Are you capable of anything else? You are jealous of me because neither do you have looks, nor talent. All you know is to croak in the rains- ribbid, ribbid, and that’s what you are teaching these poor crows.”

MR. RABID
(angrily)
“Oh, I see. So that’s what you think of me. I am not going to leave any of you. You will all have to pay for this insult.”

CAW-GEE
(desperately trying to calm Mr.Rabid)
“Mr. Rabid, calm down, please calm down or you will get sick.”

BANANA-DRAMA
(to Peter)
“I hope he goes for a long spell to the hospital. Then we can have some peace and quiet in the jungle. He is such a bore. I am sick to my teeth of his infernal racket.”

MR. RABID
“Ribbid! Ribbid!The cheek of this monkey. He wants to send me to the hospital. I am going to fix him first.”
CAW-GEE
“Mr. Rabid! Please, pretty please, calm down. We should all live in the jungle in peace and quiet.”

MR. RABID
“Now there is going to be peace and quiet after I have taught each one of these creatures a lesson and kicked them out of the jungle.”

BANANA-DRAMA
“And what if we all got together and threw you out, then whatare you going to do?”

MR. RABID
“Ribbid!Ribbid!”

CAW-GEE
(to all the creatures)
“Be quiet,all of you. Who told you creatures to poke your nose in our affairs. Apologize to Mr. Rabid at once. You have hurt his feelings.”

BANANA-DRAMA
“And what about him. He has shattered the peace and quiet of the jungle, what about that, huh?”

BUTTERFLY TWO
“Yes, and once when I was flying a little low he flicked his long tongue and tried to catch me. I was so scared, I swear.”

MR. RABID
“Come on, you liar.”

BUTTERFLY TWO
“No, of course not I am telling the truth.”
(addressing the other
butterflies)
“Ask them, aren’t I telling the truth?”

All the butterflies nod their heads vigorously.

BUTTERFLIES
“True,absolutely true. He hides in the grass and whenever he gets the chance he flicks out his tongue to catch us.”

Caw- gee looks at Mr. Rabid.
MR. RABID
(trying to cover his
discomfiture)
“What’s got into these butterflies?”
(Looking at Banana-Drama)
“This is all this monkey’s tricks to throw me out of the
jungle. He has no talent to speak of and that’s why he is
envious of me.”

BANANA-DRAMA
“Just exactly what talent do you have dude? You have one
talent and that you don’t need air to puff up like a balloon but all I have to do is stick a pin in you and you will deflate – Whooooooooooosh.”

All the animals laugh uproariously and

Mr. Rabid hops up and down and says
“Ribbid” Ribbid” many times.

Caw-Gee claps her hand/wings and says
peremptorily,

CAW-GEE
(Clapping her wings/hands)
“Peace, peace.”
(Addressing all the creatures)
“What has got in to all of you? Is this your culture? Is this civilized?”

PETER PARROT

PETER
“Culture and Civilization can boil themselves in oil, for all we care, Madam. I mean, everything has its limits. And this critter here has crossed all limits. And now we are not going to keep quiet. We are going to shout and scream and burst his ear drums so that he knows too what we go through day in and day out.”

CAW-GEE
(brings her hand/wings together
to pacify him)
“Brothers, I beg you, put an end to this quarrel. Look, the
sun is about to set. It’s time to sleep peacefully in our
homes. The morrow’s sun will bring a new day when we can live in peace and harmony with each other.”

GEE-PECK
“That’s is possible only if this critter here refrains from
shattering the peace of the jungle or we restrain him.”

CAW-GEE
“No, no, no, my friends. Please be patient. He is just a
little hot tempered but he is very warm-hearted other wise.
He will make our jungle famous one day, you wait and watch.”

PETER
“Caw-nee,( pronouncing it as corny) I mean Caw-Gee. You are
partial to him today but one day you are going to regret
this. He will take a deep breath and plunge into the water
leaving you to face the music.”

CAW-GEE
“Don’t say that, my son. He is an artiste and artistes are
very simple.”

PETER
“He’s not simple, he’s a pimple, an ugly boil on the face of the earth but by the time you realize this it may be too
late.”

CAW-GEE
(bringing her wings/hand
together in the attitude of a
judge)
“Order, order. Or you will be behind bars for disturbing the peace of the community.”

LAUREL
(to Hardy)
“Behind bars. Whatever is that”

HARDY
“It means to drink so much that you can’t see what is right
and what is wrong. You are cool with everything, even their
singing.”

LAUREL/HARDY
“But, we don’t mind looking at them, we just don’t want to
hear them, especially when they start singing.”

GEE-PECK
“What are you both muttering about? To throw behind bars means to send you to jail, to lock you up, to put you in the slammer.”

LAUREL/HARDY
(together)
“Ooooooooh! Who does Caw-Gee want to lock up?”

PETER. image
“Caw- Gee wants to lock all of us up because she wants her
kids to be stars and since we don’t like their music she
feels humiliated.”

HARDY
“I see. If Caw-Gee wants her kids to be stars then what will Mr. Rabid be?”

BANANA-DRAMA
“Well, he’s round and full, so he’s a moon, dude.”

FLOW-JO
“No way, The moon’s too good for him, he’s just a pumpkin, the one you see on Halloween.”

All the animals laugh uproariously. Mr.Rabid hops up and down, furious.

MR. RABID
“Ribbid, Ribbid.”

LAUREL
(To Hardy)
“Why does he keep croaking ribbid, ribbid? What does it mean?”

HARDY
“It means that when you don’t know what you want say you cover it up by jumping up and down and shouting ribbid, ribbid.”

GEE-PECK
“No, no, Ribbid means….”

MELODY
“Kooooooo.”

CAW-GEE
“Yes, yes, my child I completely forgot where the matter all began and look, where it has all ended. I am sorry to say the world is not too kind to a single mom who is only trying to do what’s best for her children.”

FLOW-JO
“No, no, Caw-Gee, that’s not true. We are all happy for Do-ray,Me-far, So-la and Ti-do but….

GEE-PECK
“But, we only object to a certain individual who is only wants to confuse you so he can get what he wants.”

BANANA-DRAMA
“Ya man, Kaw-Nee ( pronounced Corny), I mean Kaw-Gee. We are all talented man in our own way. But, suppose someone is not talented and the other person tries to thrust talent down his throat then that’s not cool, man.”

MR. RABID
(jumping up and down angrily)
“How can you say that, you ape, that my pupils have no talent.I’ll show you. What do you know about talent, anyway, you copy cat!”

Mr. Rabid’s eyes are bulging with anger and his tongue is lolling out.

BANANA-DRAMA
“Careful dude, watch your step man or I’ll pull out your
tongue which helps to put food in your stomach. I( pointing
to Caw-gee) was talking to her, not to you.”

MR. RABID
(cooling down)
“What do you mean? I didn’t understand.”

BANANA-DRAMA
“I was telling her that she has thrust the title of artiste on you when you don’t have no talent man.”

MR. RABID
“What did you say? I don’t have any talent. For your
information I won the first prize in a huge musical show.”
GEE-PECK
“We know all about that. It was just a show for frogs and that too during the monsoon when all the creatures were hiding from the rains.”

BANANA-DRAMA
And to top it, all the frogs find a well so that no other
creature can participate in the contest.”

FLOW-JO
(giggling)
“Fair- weather frogs , oops, I mean rainy- weather frogs find a deep well and croak away to glory and then pat each other on the backs and divide the prize amongst themselves.”

PETER
“Yup, these kind of shenanigans are the speciality of film
festivals and award functions. They are one big family who
award each other at the function and then come back happily
to party the night away.”

GEE-PECK
“Yes, and the rest of the world can boil themselves in oil, image
for all they care.”

MR. RABID.
“What is this boil in oil, boil in oil, that you go on about?”

GEE-PECK
“Oh, the whole world moves on oiled wheels, don’t you know
that? Oil is really important. If there is no oil, the whole world will come to a stand still. But what do these frogs care? They are just happy croaking away!”

MR. RABID
Ribbid! Ribbid!

GEE-PECK
“Exactly!”

LAUREL/HARDY
“But what does ribbid mean?”

MELODY
“Kooooo”
(all the creatures look at her)

CAW-GEE
“Yes, my child, you will be in the contest too.”

ALL THE CROWS
“Mom!”

CAW-GEE
“Quiet, all of you. If Melody was to compete in the contest,then she is going to get her chance.”

ALL THE CROWS
“No way Mom! What will everyone think?”

CAW-GEE
“Quiet,not a word from you. Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?”
(To Melody)
“You start your practise, child.”
(She leaves, shaking her head, grumbling
to herself.)
“To bring up children is quite a task. It’s not easy being a single mom.”

GURU- GODMAN , minister to the luxury loving KITE- KING, who shifts from leg to another to maintain the balance of power usually to benefit himself.

 

BOOK SEVEN

Full screenplay available elsewhere on the blog !

Melody

Screenplay or scream with fun play for ALL

A cuckoo who wants to sing…..
Melody is born to sing but, unfortunately Monsieur Bull Brass, the frog with the VOICE, thinks she is quite of out of tune and not in sync with his pupils, the four crows, Do-ray, Me-Far, So-la, Ti-doo. Disconsolate, Melody wanders off into the deep jungle where she meets her mentor and teacher, the blind thrush, Senor Julio, who takes her under his wings. One day Melody is pitted against her own mother who had abandoned her so that she can become a star in King Tweety -Fruity’s kingdom. Melody wins the contest but can she be happy in a golden cage ?

EXCERPT

There is huge crowd outside the venue. Flash bulbs are popping as photographers take photos of the crowd streaming in. A red carpet is laid out for the contestants. An Ostrich wearing a halter gown and chandelier ear-rings, O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two stands in front of the venue facing a television camera operated by the PANDA and the mike by the GIRAFFE who is so tall the mike keeps shaking and moving and appears in the frame much to the disgust of the PANDA who keeps making disgusted sounds and signaling to him frantically.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO
“It’s a glorious day in the LAND OF BIRDS. Musicians from all over the world are streaming in to participate in this fabulous contest organized under the benevolence of the wise and kind ruler of this land, the all gracious, all wonderful, KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN, loved by all, and affectionately called King Tweety-Fruity by his loving subjects. Let us talk to a few of the participants who are now coming in and ask them their feelings on this momentous occasion. Ah here’s the lovely Luke-Loo Lark-Wings.”

An ethereal looking lark appears, on the TV screen as well.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)
”Hi Luke-Loo Lark-Wings, what are your thoughts on this momentous occasion. Are you nervous?”

LUKE-LOO LARK-WINGS”
Hi, I am here for a lark. So no question of any nervousness”.

She gives a tinkling laugh and sweeps away.
An elephant is arriving holding a little trumpet.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO”
Ah, here’s Patch-Edam. Hey Patch-Edam, how come you are alone. Where’s the rest of your team?”

PATCH-EDAM
“I am blowing my own trumpet this time.”
He lumbers off. O-Zee laughs.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO
“I guess he didn’t realize what he just said. But, look whose here? THE BEAR-ALL BAND. Let’s see what they have to say.”

Four brown bears are lumbering in holding different instruments including a bag-pipe.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)
“Will you be playing a Scottish tune tonight?”

ONE OF THE BEARS
“Not really, but this bag pipe makes a fine bag to carry sundry items like bee hives. See the bee are inside and can’t get out but we can just tilt this and… (he demonstrates)
“Out comes the honey which we need to restore our self in this grueling contest.”

They lumber off.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO
“What an interesting invention. I am sure their song will be just as interesting. I believe it’s called, “Grin and Bear It”. Ha ha, I hope we won’t be doing that through the song.”

Then she gives an exclamation.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)
“Oh, look, it’s the court singer, Cuckoo-Cool. Let’s get a few words of advice from her for the other contestants.”

Mrs Magpie and family Mrs Magpie and family
Cuckoo can be seen arriving with Stella hovering in the background.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)
“Madame Cuckoo Cool, great to see you here. Any wise words for our contestants?”

CUCKOO
“Well, I wish them all the best. But, it is survival of the fittest and I am feeling as fit as a fiddle. But at least the others will learn something from me so that they can try and wrest the crown from me next year. That’s show-business.”

She sweeps away holding her clutch purse above her head to say bye to O-Zee who turns back to face the camera

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO
“More like show-off business, in her case. I tell you. It’s almost time for KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN, alias King Tweety-Fruity to arrive. But wait, we have time for one more interview. Here is the CAW-BAND with their teacher Monsieur Bull-Brass.”

We see the CAW-BAND and Monsieur Bull-Brass puffed up with importance standing.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)”Ah! Monsieur Bull-Brass, a few words from the leading singer from France. MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (so excited he can hardly speak)
“CROAK, CROAK, CROAK.”

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO
“What was that, I couldn’t quite understand. I’m afraid I don’t understand French.”

She turns away. Monsieur Bull Brass deflates.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)
“Yes, we have run out of time. Let’s move inside the hall. I believe our beloved ruler,
KING TWEETY-FRUITY, has also arrived.”

The PANDA lowers the camera and crooks his finger to the giraffe who has been holding the mike in the frame intermittently. The PANDA is seething.

PANDA
“Because of you we have lost the job to be on screen. Now, with your inefficient ways I can see that we are going to lose this job too. Why can’t your father get you a job like picking fruit or something more suitable?”

GIRAFFE
“He did.”

PANDA
“Then what happened?”

GIRAFFE
“I kept eating the fruits we were plucking.”

The PANDA is trying to pull the mike from the giraffe who is resisting.

EXT – SKY – NIGHT
“Senor Julio is perched on Bat Van Friday’s back and they are making good time.”

SENOR JULIO
“I think we are almost there. I can see the lights of the venue where they are going to perform.”

BAT VAN FRIDAY
“How can you see? I thought you were blind like me.”

SENOR JULIO”I am. But whenever there is an intense light as in the stadium below my pupils react to the light. This leads me to think that my affliction is not incurable even though none of the doctors can find the nerve that was damaged.”

BAT VAN FRIDAY
“Well, you never know what can happen with these things. Though I wish I could find out what I am. This not knowing is driving me nuts. I don’t know where I belong, with the birds or with the beasts.”

SENOR JULIO
“It’s called an identity crisis. You will find out. Now, step on it, I have a feeling Melody needs us.”

There is a sound of engine revving and Bat Van Friday zooms off.

 

33. Sadly singing

KING TWEETY FRUITY

SENOR JULIO