The Birds’ Tale excerpt

The Bird’s Tale

A comedy play for ALL, BIG and small

The Birds' Tale

The Birds’ Tale

 

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 contest
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)

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
“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.”

 

 

 

 

 

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