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Melody

A cuckoo who wants to sing.....

A cuckoo who wants to sing…..

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EXT.- IN THE SKY ABOVE A JUNGLE – DAY-EARLY MORNING
As we float gently in the sky the silence is broken by the sound of a cuckoo bird.
CUCKOO (O.S.)
Koo hooo
The sound gains in momentum as we slowly pick up speed like a bird descending .
CUCKOO (O.S.) (CONT’D) Koo hoo koo hoo koo hoo

We hover over the canopy of a forest briefly and as we float we move in tandem with the sound which has transformed into a melodious classical song . We follow the sound and reach an anorexic, black cuckoo bird, eyes closed, singing with all the fervor of a prima donna. As she closes her song we hear the sound of clapping. She opens one of her eyes and looks at a fat canary,Stella,clapping fervently.

STELLA

Bravo! Bravo! Cuckoo, bravo! You sing like an angel !

She clasps wings to her breast and continues as Cuckoo opens the other eye and looks at her.

STELLA (CONT’D)

Ah! Such talent, wasted in the jungle, such beauty, wasted in the jungle, so much …..
A sardonic voice interrupts her.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Sucking up..
It is a black jackdaw,Mr. Jack Dawson, looking sarcastically at her. Then a breathless voice

(O.S.),
MAGPIE (V.O.)

Wasted in the jungle.

It is a brown magpie sitting next to him. The canary glares at them even as Cuckoo preens into a mirror placed in her nest.

CUCKOO small_15

She’s right you know. I am made for bigger things. I am a star. A diamond.
Stella continues for her,

STELLA

Yes, Cuckoo, and your place is in a big palace not in this ugly, untidy nest.

MAGPIE

A little bit of cleaning never hurt anybody. Scrub a dub rub, that is my motto.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Perhaps, yellow Stella here may consider doing that.

He hums, under his breath,

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow.

Stella glares at him. She looks at Cuckoo who flounces around.

CUCKOO

Oh, be quiet, you brainless bird. Don’t tease the poor thing. She speaks the truth. I can’t be bothered to cook and clean, that is for ordinary folks like Magpie here.

Magpie looks annoyed as Cuckoo strikes a pose in front of the mirror again

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I am going to be a star. And nothing will stand in the way of my becoming one.

She twirls around and sashays forward and trips and almost falls over an object laying in her path.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Oops!

Cuckoo looks down. A small,speckled egg lies in her way.
She looks at the egg horror struck. She screeches.

CUCKOO

God in Heaven!

All the birds close their ears, pained. Cuckoo stutters

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

What is this?

MAGPIE

I may not be very smart like you Cuckoo but it looks like an egg to me.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Congratulations are in order. Cuckoo you are about to have a baby.

Stella, clapping her wings.

STELLA

A baby ! How wonderful ! How splendid! This is so- so- so exciting Cuckoo!

CUCKOO

Oh be quiet, you bird brain. A baby is not part of my plan. Babies are a bother- feeds and diapers, play schools and lunch boxes. No way Jose, I am not going to put up with all that !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Pardon, my ignorance but now that the baby is here how do you intend to avoid that?

Cuckoo looks at the egg and her eyes narrow as she thinks.
All the birds look at her curiously.

STELLA

Yes, CUCKOO,What are you going to do ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, sorry, Stella here is curious,tell her Cuckoo.

Stella glares at him. Then looks at Cuckoo.
Cuckoo rolls the egg back and forth with her feet as she looks at it malevolently. Then a wily expression comes on her face and she smiles. A wicked smile.

CUCKOO

Ah ! I have an idea. Yes. That Is the only way.

MAGPIE

What? What way ? Do, tell us ?

CUCKOO (softly)

I can’t do that. It is a secret, a surprise.

MR. JACK DAWSON

(under his breath to Magpie) Probably a shock . I hope Cuckoo’s idea is not too much of a shock for the poor baby.

Cuckoo comes out of her reverie and claps her wings peremptorily.

CUCKOO

Enough ! Off with you. Shoo! Shoo ! All of you. I have plans to make. A lot of preparations.

The birds take off and flutter mid air.

MAGPIE
How rude !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Manners was never Cuckoo’s strong point. Maybe the baby IS better off without her.

STELLA

Cuckoo, look what Mr. Jack Dawson is saying about you.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow AND a sneak.

STELLA glares at him

STELLA

At least I am not a thief like you Mr. Jack Dawson. So there.

She pokes her tongue at the jackdaw.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thieving is a natural trait of jackdaws and who can fight nature. (under his breath to Magpie) Oh, how I wish I could kick this habit.

MAGPIE (whispering to the jackdaw)

Don’t worry Mr. Jack Dawson. We all know you can’t help yourself.
(MORE)
Something will come up, you mark my words. Magpies are never wrong.

Magpie looks at Stella fiercely and screeches.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

You horrible, horrible bird to insult such a respectable gentleman. I am going to teach you a lesson.

She flies towards Stella who cowers in fear and screams

STELLA

Help, help me Cuckoo. Magpie is going to..

Cuckoo flies out of her nest in a rage.

CUCKOO

Stop that infernal racket at once. Be off with you, you useless birds. You are behaving like humans.

Jackdaw bows low to Cuckoo.

MR. JACK DAWSON

With pleasure. We will leave you and the yellow canary to yourselves. Come, let us be off my friend, Magpie.

The jackdaw and the magpie fly off. Stella looks at Cuckoo and hops towards her.

STELLA

Oh, Thank you Cuckoo. You are so wonderfully brave.

Cuckoo gives a sigh of exasperation.

CUCKOO

Turn around Stella.

Stellas eyes turn round with surprise.

STELLA

But, but , but

CUCKOO

I said turn around.
Stella turns around slowly still speaking.
STELLA

But , but , but , but

CUCKOO
Exactly !

She gives Stella a kick on her butt who goes flying in the air with a whistling sound and her buts fading away in the distance.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

A big kick on the Butt, that is what was needed.

She turns around and marches into her nest muttering.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I have enough problems of my own.

She looks at the egg and purses her lips.

CUCKOO(CONT’D)

You have to go baby. Mommy wants to be star.

The egg just sits there as a ray of sunshine falls on it and it twinkles.

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

A dishevelled mother crow, Marjorie (Marge) Hatchery sits patiently in her nest. She has a polka dotted red scarf on her head and is fanning herself. A peacock, Peek-a-boo, walks by, his feet thumping in a pair of huge boots.

PEEK-A-BOO

Hey Margie,How’s the egg hatching coming along?

Marge looks at him irritated.

MARGE

It was coming along quite nicely till your thumping disturbed my concentration. What’s With those boots Peek-a-boo?

A Soft “To-whit-too” of an owl calling and we see a erudite looking owl, Ollie, wearing round spectacles,perched on a tree.

OLLIE

The beauteous one is cursed with rather, large, ugly, feet and makes a valiant attempt to hide them. Q.E.D. Or to put it in simple Greek, in the words of Euclid, “Quod Drat demon drat dum bum”!

A monkey, Banana-Drama, swings up side down from a tree .

BANANA-DRAMA

Whatever ! Does everything have to be so complicated PROF. Martin Do – Z- Fat And Furry-Ball ? And I bet my last bunch of bananas that Euclid, whoever, that was, never said that.

Ollie looks annoyed.
OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D., You ignoramus! PROFESSOR M-A-R-T-I-N, MARTIN , Then a double O, A double D, a double I, a double O, A double U, A double S, ODIOUS, HYPHEN, Then a double D, a double R, A DOUBLE O, a double W, a double Z, a double Y, DROWSY, HYPHEN, HYPHEN. Then a double S.,a double

Ollie blinks twice through his round spectacles as he says each double alphabet.

BANANA-DRAMA

Whoa, stop right there Professor Dozy etc.,etc. We got the picture. But I have just two questions for you Professor Emeritus, with your permission. One, do you see double through those spectacles and is that why everything is double for you? And Question Number two. Why have you left out the other Alphabets from the English Language ? There are just four left.

Ollie looks more annoyed.

OLLIE

Banana Drama

One thing is for sure, you are double trouble. And I don’t need any advice from remix artistes. They are just a bunch of copy cats.
Banana – Drama looks annoyed and jumps up and down on the branch.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, hey, watch who you are calling a copy cat. You need to change your spectacles, man. You are talking to the coolest monkey in town.

He starts dancing as he snaps and clicks his finger and thumb.

MARGE gives an exasperated sigh and fans herself more furiously.

MARGE

Do you mind? Will you be quiet ? All this is giving me a headache.

A deer with huge eyelashes trips in daintily. She is FLOW- JO, the fashion conscious deer.

FLOW-JO

Quit it, you guys. Can’t you see Margie needs rest and quiet. She is about to become a Mommy, God help her.

She looks towards MARGIE.
FLOW-JO (CONT’D)

I found the perfect place for baby clothes. Want to go shopping, Margie?

Margie thinks.

MARGE

Well, I do have to buy some clothes for the little one’s. But I can’t leave the eggs for a moment. They are nice and warm and just about to hatch.
BANANA-DRAMA

Why don’t you ask Professor Martin Dozy Fat And Furry – Ball here to sit on them while you ladies go shopping. He can doze off if he wants to.

Ollie eyes become larger and rounder at the thought and he opens his beak to protest.

PEEK-A-BOO That’s a fine idea, my friend. Margie here needs the break.
Flow -Jo clasps her hands together.

FLOW-JO

Well, then, that is settled. Thank you Professor Dozy. You will be real cosy in here. Come on, Margie, lets go. There is a big sale on at Beak-Mart. I need new training shoes. So hop to it.

Ollie’s expression is a sight as he waddles towards Margie’s nest . All the others are trying to stifle their laughter. Ollie takes Margie’s place as she hops out with her large, shabby purse.

MARGE

Thank you , Professor Martin Do Dah ….

She struggles with the rest of his name as the rest are trying to control their laughter in various ways. FLOW- JO is hiding behind a tree, Peek-a-Boo has turned his back and is shaking with laughter. Banana -Drama is standing with his hands on his hips . He has an amused expression and is about to say something when Marge gives him a warning look.

OLLIE

with as much as dignity as he can muster.

OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D.

MARGE (hastily)

Yes, Yes . The same. Please make yourself comfortable. I will be back in two shakes of a duck’s tail.

A parrot (Peter) and a turtle( Mimi-Tang) walk into the scene. PETER talks very fast and in contrast Mimi-Tang weighs each word as he speaks. His speech is as slow as his walk and he has a slightly effeminate voice. They both look at OLLIE seated in the nest.

PETER

Hey, what’s up, Prof. Martin Dodo…Ding Dong. Darn it, if I can say your name.
Ollie gives Peter a hard stare. All the animals burst out laughing.
MIMI -TANG What’s so funny? Seems to me Professor here is planning to move in with Marge.

Ollie is looking exasperated and puffs up and Marge looking at his expression hastily tries to sooth his ruffled feathers.

MARGE

Stop right there both of you. No smarty- pant stuff from you Peter, and Mimi-Tang, if you don’t want to be on the slow boat back to China you better keep your comments to your self. The Professor here is being neighborly which is more than I can say for you folks. So be off, all of you and leave the good Professor alone.

She looks towards OLLIE and sweetens her voice.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Don’t mind them Professor Martin. They are just jealous because they are not as smart as you are. You just make your self comfortable. Its hot today, have a cold drink, relax. The sun is a little strong today. Why don’t you take my scarf?

She whips off her polka dotted scarf and,before the Professor can say anything, puts it on his head and ties it under his chin in a trice. This too much for the other animals who cannot control their laughter and run away from the scene, shaking and tottering with laughter. Only Peter and Mimi-Tang remain since they have not understood anything. Banana-Drama stays back to say one word.

BANANA-DRAMA
“ Sweet.”

But, at Marge’s glare he too swings off, snapping and clicking his fingers. Peter opens his mouth to say something but Marge silences him with a admonishing finger. Mimi-Tang too opens his mouth but closes it as she glares at him. They both leave, still looking puzzled.

MARGE

I am off Professor MARTIN DO-DO-DO

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS….

MARGE

Yes, yes. I’ll be back soon. Take care Professor.

She flies off, followed by Flow- Jo who smiles at Ollie

FLOW-JO

Bye-Bye sweetie pie ! I will get back a nice gift for you for being so nice.

Ollie just glares at her .As the two exit they pass by Cuckoo and Stella hiding behind a tree. Cuckoo has a basket with the egg nestling in it.

STELLA (Whispering)

What do we do now Cuckoo ? That fur ball is sitting in the nest.
CUCKOO

Shush, not so loud. He is an owl, they like to sleep during the day. He will doze off any time now.

They both look at Ollie who is already looking sleepy. He gives a big yawn and starts nodding off. Cuckoo looks significantly at Stella who smiles gleefully. Ollie gives a gentle snore. Cuckoo stealthily looks around, then creeps forward with Stella following at a safe distance. A twig cracks and Stella hastily flies back and hides behind a tree. Cuckoo gives her a look and moves forward. She quietly places the egg in the nest just below Ollie who is twitching, snoring and making whistling sounds in his sleep. Cuckoo, then quietly backs off, almost bumping into Stella who gasps and gives a little scream. Cuckoo puts her wings over Stella’s mouth and drags her behind a tree even as Ollie wakes up with a start, looks around, clears his throat and goes back to sleep again.

Prof Ollie

INT- A HUGE PALACE BELONGING TO KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, -FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is the falcon King who is inordinately found of sweet things. He also likes to have a good time.
The business of governing is left to his able prime minister, Mr. Cranium, an elegant crane, who stands on one leg and keeps shifting his position on different matters according to the exigencies of the situation. At the moment he is watching the King gorging on sweets with a dyspeptic eye.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

These dough-nuts are divine and the chocolate cake is fine and I can’t keep my hands off the pie and praline.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh.

MR. CRANIUM

That is very well but we have a delegation from…..

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

(Grabbing a bowl of ice cream and slurping huge spoonfuls)

Boo to the delegation. Give them some of this wonderful ice cream and they will listen to whatever we have to say.

MR. CRANIUM

It’s not as easy as you think. The problems of the world cannot be solved with ice cream.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I agree. Maybe, not only with ice cream. You have to give them chocolate cake and doughnuts and , maybe, some lollipops. An all day sucker will keep them busy.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking directly to the audience )

Oh boy ! Wish everything was easy as a pie.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (CONT’D)

Pie. Yes, yes I forgot. Strawberry pie, Pecan pie, Apple pie. (Claps his hand) Get me some apple pie. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.

Mr. Cranium shifts his position from one leg to another and also his stance.

MR. CRANIUM

Your highness, COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, – FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT- TOOT, AL-AMEN, if you please,

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Don’t be formal Mr. Cranium, You can call me by my short name, King Tweety – Fruity and that reminds me what about strawberry shortcake. That is my absolute favorite.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking at the audience again)

Which one is not, I tell you. This King and his sweet tooth is making me go bananas !

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Bananas, as in Banana split with three, no, no, four, no five scoops of ice cream and don’t forget the toppings, the chocolate syrup and the nuts and the sprinkles. Yummy,yummy

MR. CRANIUM

May I remind you, your highness, that the business of the state is not ruled by your tummy. So many sweets can have a very, very, very, very, very

Even as he says this King Tweety – Fruity’s expression changes to one of pain and he clutches on to his tummy.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ouch.

MR. CRANIUM (To the audience) Yes, this is what happens when you sit on the couch and eat till you burst.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow ! Ow! Ow! Call the doctor. My stomach takes, I mean my tummy aches I mean, you know what I mean, call the doctor, Mr. Cranium.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh and looks at the audience.

MR. CRANIUM

His tummy aches. No more goodies for him, baked or otherwise. It’s going to be soup, dry bread and water. Lots and lots of water.

INT- CUCKOO NEST – NIGHT
Cuckoo watching TV, her feet propped up on the table as she sips water from a glass. Stella sits near her eating buttered pop corn, her beak greasy with butter.

CUCKOO

(Looking at her and raising her eyebrows)

If you eat so much butter you are going to look more of a butter ball than you already do, Stella. Go and get me an asparagus stick.

STELLA

(Hopefully)

With a dip?

CUCKOO

No dip, only stick, you dip-stick.

Stella makes a round with her beak in a moue and hops to it. She Goes to the fridge and takes out an asparagus and waddles back to Cuckoo.

STELLA

(Handing Cuckoo the stick)

I really don’t know Cuckoo how you can live on this stuff. It’s healthy and all I know but it is so little.

CUCKOO

Got to watch my figure,Butter-ball.

STELLA

Well,I never fancied looking like a stick, you know. Pleasantly plump,that’s what I am and….

Cuckoo’s attention is diverted by an announcement on the TV

CUCKOO

Be quiet, Fatty. Let me listen.

Stella makes another moue with her beak.
On the television a giraffe’s head can be seen lying horizontally across the screen. Next to him is a giant panda barely squeezing into the frame

PANDA

Here is an important announcement from the Land Of Birds ruled by the all wise, all powerful, all greed, sorry, all feed, sorry, all,

(He shakes his head )

(MORE)
Whatever, KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT- TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN, affectionately known by his subjects as King Tweety – Fruity. His majesty announces a World- Wide Singing contest – a Song-Festival- open to every bird and beast that roam the earth.

GIRAFFE

(Whose tongue is lolling out as his head is horizontal)

I didn’t know KING SWEET, Sorry, KING TWEET TOOT HOOT BOOT LOOT SOOT ROOT

(His tongue is getting all entangled in the process)

PANDA

(Looking disgusted)

This is what happens when you get a job if your father is an important person and not because you are fit for it. In fact, you don’t even fit where you are supposed to fit, like this TV screen for instance.

GIRAFFE

Well, maybe I can’t fit in vertically but you can’t fit in horizontally. Just because you like to party with important people and get this job does not mean you can boss me around.

The panda tries to push the giraffe out of the screen who is trying to butt him out. CUCKOO switches off the TV in disgust with her remote.

CUCKOO

Politics ! It’s everywhere.
She looks at Stella who is looking in the fridge, only her butt visible as she forages for food.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

(Under her breath )

I am going to double lock the fridge.

CUCKOO

(CONT’D) (To STELLA)

Stella get your butt out of the fridge and come here. I need you to go and get me some stamps , paper and envelopes. I hope that pigeon mail is not on a strike as usual.

Stella comes back, her mouth stuffed with noodles, some of which are dangling out of her mouth.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Gross. Go to the post office right away and get me some envelopes. I am going to be a star, finally.

STELLA

(Trying to speak with her mouth full)

CUCKOO

( steadily becoming more irritated )

What is it ? Speak up ? Out with it ?

Stella makes a brave attempt to speak that the noodles fly out and are dangling all over Cuckoo’s head and face. Through the veil of noodles Cuckoo’s eyes glare out balefully. Stella looks at her and her beak opens and shuts.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Screams and lunges at Stella who screeches and flies out of the window. Cuckoo’s voice follows her.

Don’t come back without the envelopes or I will put you on a diet of lettuce leaves and bird seed.

Stella shudders when she hears this, her tiny wings flap harder and she whizzes like a yellow meteor against the blue sky.

EXT.- MARGE’S NEST – DAY
Marge is sitting in her nest , knitting. She is wearing a bonnet and has on her spectacles.

MARGE

One knit, two purl, two knit, two purl,
There is only a short skein of wool left.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh , no. Just a few lines to go and my fourth sweater would have been complete.

She looks around and see OLLIE dozing in the tree. Her eyes brighten.

MARGE (CONT’D)

PROFESSOR DODO DOZE BALL…No, no , that’s not it… PROFESSOR DOOZY BALD..no..PROFESSOR DOZE AND HOSE FUR WALL…oh, darn it.

She plucks a fruit from the tree and tosses it at OLLIE who gets up with a start.

MARGE (CONT’D)

You who, you who, you who!

OLLIE

(Looking around)

Too whit who ?

MARGE

You who? You who ? You who ?

OLLIE

(Looking around,dazed)

Too whit who ?

MARGE (Muttering)

Drat it , you nitwit, you who.

Ollie adjusts his spectacles and looks at Marge.

OLLIE

Ah Madame Marjorie Hatchery. A very top of the morning to you. How is the hatching process going on ?

MARGE

It’s going on and on and on. Look Professor Doze And Ball,I mean Professor

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

MARGE

Absolutely and all that. I need a little favor Professor. I am knitting these sweaters for the wee ones and I have run out of wool. Do you mind sitting on the eggs till I make a dash and get some from Flow -Jo. I know she has the same color.

Ollie looks around to see if there are any other animals around. Then he waddles towards Marge.

OLLIE (Gallantly)

With pleasure dear lady. But make haste.

MARGE

As the crow flies, I will be back in a jiffy. I am not keeping you from anything important ,am I.

OLLIE

I am expecting a visitor from France. A very important person, Monsieur Bull- Brass.

MARGE

Really, and why is this important person so very important ?

OLLIE

He is an artiste, a musician. His voice is so magnificent that he has to live in a special sound proof house.

MARGE

Oh that is wonderful! I love music and always wanted to be a singer. Oh, but I must fly.

Ollie settles into the nest as Marge hurries off.

MARGE (CONT’D)

(Over her shoulder as she flies off)

I want to meet your friend too. Maybe he can tutor my children while he is here.

OLLIE (Shaking his head)

Her children are not here and she is already making plans for them. Just like a mother.

He settles down comfortably and begins to doze off. We show the inside of an egg. A beak is knocking against the shell.

O.S. Voice of a baby crow –

Hey, Open up. It’s dark in here. And I am hungry too.

Then another voice( O.S.) – Mom, Mom. Are you there ?

Then a third voice -Is this a joke or what ?

Fourth Voice – The joke’s on us, clown. Push hard.

Sharp rat-a -tat sound

A beak emerges from under Ollie and pecks at him hard and he takes off like a rocket.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

(Rubbing his butt)

Ouch, that hurt.
He perches at the edge of the nest and looks at the four crows who look at him curiously. Then one of the crows says

CROW

Mama ?

Sound of laughter. OLLIE’S Neck swivels around to see Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey Professor Dozy Do Dumb Ball. Those four critters think you are their Mama.
Peek-a-Boo clumps in.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Hey, Peek -a -Boo, Marge’s kids have adopted Professor Doozy Fun Dong Ding
All the crows start hollering for food .

CROWS

I am hungry . I am thirsty. Mama. Mama. Caw-Caw.

Ollie is going crazy trying to control them.

OLLIE

Stop this racket , I say. I am not your mother, children. Where is Margie ?
The crow kids make such a racket that all the animals collect.
PETER

Hey, where is Marge ? Why is the Professor Do That And The Other always in her nest?
MIMI -TANG Maybe they are planning to get married. How romantic.

Ollie fluffs up in disgust.

OLLIE

Stuff and nonsense. I was baby-sitting, I mean egg-sitting, when

FLOW-JO

How eggs-citing for you Professor Doing Do Fuzzy Wool !

OLLIE

Precisely, that is what Marge has gone to get…

He suddenly notices that Flow-Jo, is here.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

Hey , She went to you to get wool. What are you doing here? And where is Marge ?

All the animals look at each other. The silence is suddenly broken by a deep, loud croak. We see MARGE arriving with a large bull-frog, Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (Gushing)

Oh Professor Do Doing Woozy Fool

OLLIE

(Exasperated and still trying to hold on to the shreds of his dignity.)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. What took you so long ? Your children are hungry and thirsty and they want their Mama.
Marge notices the crows and shrieks in delight.

MARGE
My babies !
She clasps them to her bosom. The babies caw in delight.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! This is a wonderful Day. Today my babies came into this world and on this blessed day Monsieur Bull Brass has come into our lives.

Monsieur Bull Brass puffs up with pleasure.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Speaks in a French accent )

You are too kind, Madame Marjorie Hatchery. I am but a humble musician.

melody_01

MARGE

Oh , no, no. You are divine messenger from God. All my life I have craved to be a singer but it is was not to be. But now that you are here my children can follow my dreams and become artistes like you.

All the animals look at each other. Banana-Drama raises his eye brows to Peek-a-Boo as if to say this doesn’t bode too well.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! Do say you will teach my little ones to sing. Please Monsieur Bull-Brass. I want them to be as famous as you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Bowing low as much as his girth will permit him)

It will be an honour to teach your off- springs Madame.

Marge clasps her wings and looks heavenwards.

MARGE

Oh happy, happy Day. Thank you Lord.

She pulls the four crows towards her on both sides with her wings and says solemnly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Today, in honour of Monsieur Bull Brass and his Music I name my four children, (Touching each one of them) DO-RAY, ME-FAR, SO-LA and TI-DO, after the seven notes of music.

All the animals clap enthusiastically when they all hear a crack and fall silent looking at each other. Marge peers into her nest and looks astonished as she beholds a egg split in the middle and a tiny ,black bird looking at her and blinking with enormous eyes.

TINY BIRDsmall_03
Mama ?
PEEK-A-BOO

Shiver me feathers ! I thought you were going to have four children

OLLIE

(Interjecting)

Quadruplets !

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, yes. The same. Where did the fifth one come from ?

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey ! Professor Do Dah Dit Dumb Fool, did you , but you are a

OLLIE

Yes, it is not possible as I am a man

MIMI -TANG

I thought he was an owl.

PETER

A man-owl or a owl-man.

MIMI -TANG

I see, like I am a man -turtle or a turtle-man.

PETER

I am not sure about that. But if you say so you are.

Since Marge is looking stunned at the sudden turn of events Flow-Jo walks up to her and hugs her.

FLOW-JO

Margie, this is like a bonus. You know five for the price of four. Beak-Mart is having a sale this week end and they have advertised so.

Marge who has been paralysed with shock so far comes to with a start.

MARGE

Yes, yes , of course. Welcome my child.

BANANA-DRAMA

What are you going to call her Marge since you have used all the notes of music once and one twice.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Clears his throat.)

If I may make a suggestion ?

MARGE (Gushing)

Yes, of course Monsieur Bull Brass. It is your prerogative. After all, they are all going to be your students.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Bowing low )

You are too kind Madame. I name the little one , Melody.

All the animals clap.
Melody looks at everyone and says
MELODY
CUCKOO.
All the animals look at each other. Marge looks surprised.

ESTABLISHING SHOT
EXT – LAND OF BIRDS – DAY

There are posters of the forthcoming Song-Festival, many featuring King Tweety -Fruity.
We see rich birds in fancy attire whizzing around in their fancy cars. Their homes are shaped like golden cages.
We linger on a large poster featuring CUCKOO clad in a gown with a boa around her shoulders and pearls at her throat.

cuckoo

The poster reads
CUCKOO-COOL
OUR BELOVED COURT SINGER CHALLENGES
THE PARTICIPANTS TO A FINAL ROUND.
THE WINNER WILL TAKE HER PLACE AS THE COURT SINGER.
We zip through the streets of the LAND OF BIRDS lingering over Clubs that say – ADMITTANCE – STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS and other interesting monuments with signs like FREE- BIRDS, FEATHER-REPORT, EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT, HOT CHICKS, FLY TO THE SKY AIRMAIL, TWEET MALL, ON A WING AND A PRAYER ( outside a place of worship ) etc.

As we cruise we see birds of various kinds doing pretty much the same things as humans do till we finally reach the large palace gardens of King Tweety – Fruity. We cruise through the place grounds and passages till we reach the Main Hall where King Tweety – Fruity is ensconced on a cushioned throne being fanned by two pink flamingoes, his prime minister Mr. Cranium by his side and Cuckoo-Cool performing on a stage.

CUCKOO
SONG

I AM A CREATURE DIVINE
WHO LOVES THE GOOD TIMES
TRAVEL TO FAR AWAY LANDS
IN FOUL WEATHER AND FINE
IN MANY SEASONS AND CLIMES
JUST GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY,
AND I WILL BE FINE
WE WILL DRINK FINE WINE
AND WE WILL LIE SUPINE
CHOCOLATES AND SWEETS
WILL BE OURS TO DINE
( here King Tweety – Fruity perks up )
SO GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
A GOOD TIME
A VERY GOOD TIME.

She stretches the last part of the song to a crescendo but her throat can’t take it and she starts coughing.
The courtiers look at each other. Stella claps her wing to her mouth distressed. Mr. Cranium raises his eyebrows.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (popping a sweet in is mouth)

What is the meaning of this ? What is wrong with your voice?

(MORE)

Is that how you are going to compete with the challengers. As a court singer you have a responsibility which you have forgotten.

Cuckoo looks crushed.

MR. CRANIUM

You haven’t actually been drinking the fine wine you are singing about, have you. You know it is forbidden in our kingdom.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I am sure it is ice cream she has been indulging in. Greedy bird.

He says this even as he pops in another sweetie in his mouth.

MR. CRANIUM (conciliatory)

Well, sire, if she does that she is in a very big problem. No more court singer means No more mansions, no more big cars, no more nice clothes, no more fancy furs and no more tasty treats.

Here STELLA sticks out her tongue, distressed.

CUCKOO-COOL (abashed)

Forgive me, Sire. This will not happen again.

MR. CRANIUM

It better not. His highness patience is running thin.

Stella is slyly foraging in a bowl lying behind and he catches her at it and slaps her wing with his cane.
Then he hooks his crane around Stella’s neck and pitches her so she goes flying off.

AL CRANIUM

And take this greedy bird with you. She is a disgrace to birds.
Cuckoo-Cool sashays off with as much dignity as she can muster.

EXT. – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is hopping along singing a dreadful tune when he is waylaid by Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah, if it is not the great maestro himself.

Monsieur Bull-Brass hops to one side but Banana -Drama shifts too. They do this a couple of times.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Be off you pesky monkey. I am not going to be diverted by you. The last time you sent me on a wild goose chase to the swamps for tasty mosquitoes. Every day is not a Sunday.

Banana-Drama looks to the other animals hiding behind various bushes and trees making wild gestures to prevent Monsieur Bull-Brass from going any further.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah but today is Friday and there are week- end specially on Fridays. Mac Birdies has the tastiest fried worms and stuff.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Non ! No ! I don’t eat worms or anything crawling on the ground. That is so unhygienic. Only flying delights for me.

He eyes a fly hovering in the air.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

Bon appetite!

He flicks his tongue and catches the fly and smacks his lips.

BANANA-DRAMA

Gross. I mean what a tasty bite.

He looks at the animals signalling to him. They even hold up a banner which says STOP THE FROG FROM SINGING.
Monsieur Bull-Brass cleverly side-steps Banana-Drama and hops on. All the animals rush to Banana-Drama.

PEEK-A-BOO

I should have known a simple task would be beyond you. That bull frog has ruined the peace and quiet of the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well,I tried ! But he says he’s determined to make the Caw-Band win the contest in Bird-Land.

PETER

(pointing to Banana-Drama’s walk man covering his ears)

You have these to cover your ears, but what about us ?

All the animals nod their heads vehemently.

BANANA-DRAMA (Pointing to FLOW -JO)

Well she has her trainers to run away (and pointing to Mimi-Tang’s shell) He just hides in his attached house. So what’s the big deal, man.

Suddenly a raucous cacophony fills the air and all the animals rush to see the four offsprings of Marge Hatchery cawing under the tutelage of Monsieur Bull Brass’s booming voice. Marge watches her four children with pride and joy while Melody holds her hand/wing and sucks her thumbs.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All Together now.
THE FOUR CROWS WE ARE

THE CROWS FOUR WHO ARE TOGETHER EVERMORE,

WE SING ANY SONG AND WE TAKE THE WORLD ALONG

ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY TO NEVER- NEVER LAND.

Monsieur Bull Brass joins in, his voice booming while the animals react. Flow-Jo runs around in circles, Mimi-Tang withdraws into her shell, Peter bangs his head against a tree, Peek-a-Boo parts his feathers and tries to stuff them in his ears,Banana-Drama looks at the reaction of his friends and he hangs up side down from a branch with his tail in front of Monsieur Bull Brass

BANANA-DRAMA

Mouse,Mouse Bull-Brass. Your good friend Professor Lucy Goosy and Dozy Fur-Ball is calling you. Something urgent.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

First of all it is not Mouse- Mouse , you barbaric ape, it is Monsieur. And, second, your tactics are not going to work. The Professor is in a conference and will be back only later this afternoon. So, be off with you and let us continue our practice.

Banana -Drama is at his wit’s end. He looks at the four crows and says,

BANANA-DRAMA

How come they get to sing and not she.

He points to MELODY.
Banana-Drama appealing to MARGE

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

It’s really not fair. She is your child too. She needs a fair chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(opening and shutting his mouth a few times stupefied)

Singing needs Melody and rhythm. Little black birds cannot sing. Le peau noir oiseau.

FLOW-JO

Flow -Jo

Flow -Jo

Well, if little black birds cannot sing, how come they are singing.

She points to the four crows on the band, each one manning a different instrument.

PETER

Fair’s fair

Moose-Moose. You have to give her chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

It’s Monsieur ! And I have no problem, it is up to her mother to decide.

MARGE (pushing Melody forward) Go on, my dear child.

Melody takes a few hesitant steps forward and stands near Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (CONT’D) (whispering to Flow-Jo)

She is not very pretty, unlike the other four. Maybe she has this talent which will take her forward in the world.

Flow-Jo bats her eyelashes.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All right then let us hear you. Can you sing the first seven notes of music. Here let me show you. Do, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Monsieur Bull Brass sings and all the animals react.

MELODY

Do, ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Melody sings and the animals are entranced but the frog reacts in the opposite way.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Stop ! Stop ! What is this ? Abominable.

Melody stops, stricken. All the animals glare at him.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

I mean, my dear child, with practise you will learn to sing like us, your brothers and I. But as of now, I can see years and years of practise ahead of you to come to my level. Now sing after me – DO , RAY, ME , FA, SO , LA, TI , DO.

All the animals close their ears.

MELODY

DO, RAY, ME FA, SO, LA, TI DO.

Monsieur Bull-Brass shuts his ear.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Allors! Allez! Stop ! Stop ! This is insupportable. You cannot sing, not in a million years.
Melody starts crying and runs away.

MARGE

Melody, my child, stop. Come back.

PEEK-A-BOO

PEEKABOO

PEEKABOO

(To MONSIEUR BULL BRASS)

Now, see what you have done. You have hurt the poor child’s feelings. She can sing better than all of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(puffing up in anger) And what do you know about singing ? Your harsh voice can scare the children. Is that why you are called Peek-a-Boo?

Peek-a- Bo looks crestfallen so Banana-Drama jumps into the fray. He jumps in front of Monsieur Bull Brass.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s my best friend you are being rude to, Mousey

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (correcting him)

MONSIEUR!

BANANA-DRAMA
Whatever !

MARGE (clapping her wings)

Stop it, stop it right now. Banana-Drama. Monsieur Bull Brass is our guest. Is that the way you behave with an honored guest from another country ?

She attempts to soothe the frog who has puffed up so much that he is in the danger of bursting.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Forgive us Monsieur. This is all a big mistake. You are the greatest singer in the world. Don’t worry, Melody will be fine.

She looks at Banana-Drama sternly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Banana-Drama, I think an apology is in order.
BANANA-DRAMA (walking to the frog and looking contrite)
(MORE)
Sorry, Mousse, mousse.. Oh, what the, sorry.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (patronizingly)

It’s all right. I don’t expect remix artistes to know much about music.

Banana-Drama starts to lose his cool. Marge notices this and tries to diffuse the situation.

MARGE

All right , all right. Everyone off to their home. Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La AND Ti- Do, time for a nice snack and cold drink. I have noodle-worms for you and beetle- juice for Mossy here.

DO-RAY Mom,

Can’t we have a pizza today.

MARGE

Nope, you got to eat healthy. It’s going to be noodle-worms with some grains and grit.

BANANA-DRAMA (walking away with Peek-a- Boo)
Gross!

PEEK-A-BOO

Why? What’s wrong. I like snake nuggets.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are my best friend. But there is a lot I need to learn about you.

Peter walking away with Mimi-Tang

PETER

Thank God, we are vegetarians.

MIMI -TANG (looking at FLOW-JO)

She told me she’s one too. We should party more often. I think , she’s cute.

PETER

Hey,Hey, Hey. Slow down.

(Then corrects himself as he sees him puffing as he tries to catch up with him)

PETER (CONT’D)
Maybe, not. If he goes any slower we would meet ourselves on the way back.

SENOR JULIO

SENOR JULIO

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

Melody is running and crying when she bumps into a brown bird. This is Senor Julio, the brown thrush, who is blind. He wears thick, black glass and carries a white tipped cane.

SENOR JULIO

Oh, watch it my friend. You could get hurt if you don’t watch where you are going.

MELODY

Oh! I am sorry. I couldn’t see for the tears. But, what about you ? How come you didn’t see ?

SENOR JULIO

Because, nina, I can’t see. I am blind.

MELODY

Oh ! I’m so sorry.

SENOR JULIO

It’s quite all right, nina, you were not to know. By the way, , why were you crying ?

MELODY

My name is not Nina and I was crying because, because….

She starts weeping.

SENOR JULIO

Please don’t cry….what is your name?

MELODY

It is Melody.

SENOR JULIO

That is a very pretty name, Melody. I was calling you nina because nina means little girl in Spanish. But you are a very, very little girl so I will call you chiquita. (he bows low) Senor Julio at your service. So, tell me, Melody, why were you crying?
(MORE)
And, what are you doing alone in the forest, it is not safe for little girls to wander alone in the forest.

MELODY

Because, Monsieur Bull Brass does not like my voice. He said I can never be a singer.

SENOR JULIO(clicking his tongue)

That is too bad, mi pobre chiquita, I mean, my poor little girl, the little Melody. Let me hear your voice. I may not be as grand as your Mossy Bull Pat, but I have knowledge of music too. So, let us hear you.

Melody sings Twinkle,twinkle little star.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Santa Maria! You sing like an angel. Charming! But your voice needs training.

MELODY (with tears in her eyes)

But who will teach me ? I am scared of Monsieur Bull Brass. He has a very loud voice. Oh, but I do want to learn.

SENOR JULIO

Teaching is not the problem. But I do not want you to come alone through the forest, little one. Do you have any friend who can bring you here.

MELODY shakes her head dismally and then brightens.

MELODY

I know, I can ask Banana -Drama. He is a very, very sweet monkey and also a musician, just like you so he’s sure to help me.

SENOR JULIO

Very well then. You talk to your friend. I will meet you at the edge of the jungle in the morning and we can begin your classes. You have natural talent, my child. A little training is all you need.

MELODY

What do you say to thank you in Spanish.

SENOR JULIO

Gracias. Muchos gracias. A big Thank you.

MELODY

Muchos gracias, Senor Julio! I will be there.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You are good child, Melody. It will be a pleasure to teach you. Come, I will drop you off to the edge of the jungle so you don’t get lost.

Senor Julio uses his white-tipped cane as he flies through the branches with Melody following behind him.

EXT – EDGE OF THE JUNGLE – DAY- VERY EARLY MORNING

BANANA-DRAMA is pacing up and down with MELODY standing near him, sucking her thumb.

BANANA-DRAMA

What have you got me into Melody, my child ? Who is this Senor Julio and why has he agreed to teach you singing?

MELODY (taking out her thumb from her mouth)

I told you he’s a teacher and he’s blind. And he told me to bring a grown-up with me as he doesn’t want me coming alone in the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yes, yes, yes. That is why I came. He seems like a sensible person. But where is he ?

Suddenly they hear a screech and a bat appears before them. He wears a cape. Banana-Drama screams and jumps up to a branch.

MELODY (calmly) Who are you ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

(who now has a lugubrious expression)

I have no idea. Some say I am a bird and some say I am a beast.

(MORE)
But, I am not sure if I am either. At present, I am, however, Senor Julio’s batman, his assistant and his carrier. I have come from him to escort you to his home where he awaits Miss Melody and her escort Mr. Banana-Drama.

He looks up to Banana-Drama as he says this. Banana-Drama comes down from the tree sheepishly.

BANANA-DRAMA

You gave me scare, man. Appearing out of nowhere.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Well, lets be off, my friend, while its still dark. I find it easier to find my way in the dark though I have recently got a Global Positioning System, to help me find my way at any time. Ah, the wonders of technology!

Bat Van Friday takes off with Melody following closely behind and Banana-Drama swinging from branch to branch behind them. They arrive at Senor Julio’s home where he’s waiting for them sitting next to a piano placed near the window. Banana-Drama is quite red in the face and panting.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, I mean Van, your name is Van, but you are travelling like a rocket. You just took off. (wiping his face with a large hanky) I have to get my breath back.

Senor Julio, Bat Van Friday laugh and Melody giggles.

SENOR JULIO

Well, well, well. You must be Banana- Drama, the famous remix artiste.

Banana-Drama bows.

BANANA-DRAMA

The same. And you must be Senor Julio, the well known singer who had disappeared many years back from public life.

Senor Julio bows

SENOR JULIO

The same. And this is Bat Van Friday, my trusty Man Friday and long distance carrier.

BANANA-DRAMA

I met him, your harrier plane and your fine friend. He seems to be a double in many things, like a double delight. There some sort of confusion here. Is he a bird or a beast, is he a plane or a helper ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, I have an identity crisis. I do not know who or what I am.

BANANA-DRAMA You should meet the other double delight, Professor Dozy, Do-Do Fuzz Ball Kind of Confused Critter. Maybe, he can help him. He claims to be very wise.

Bat Van Friday bows low and then looks up and smiles, showing his vampire like teeth.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Some dental work could help to make you popular too.

Senor Julio taps his cane impatiently on the leg of the piano.

SENOR JULIO

All right, let’s begin the lessons. No time to waste.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s cool, bro. I mean SENOR JULIO, you go on and teach Melody. I want to see Mr. Dozy-Ball, Fuzzy-Wall’s face when Melody wins the contest.

SENOR JULIO

Contest ? What contest ?

BANANA-DRAMA

The one that the frog, Mousey Bull And Back, is training that CAW-BAND for, if you get my drift.

SENOR JULIO

No, I don’t. But do not worry, by the time Melody is done here she will be a singer to be reckoned with, capable of performing anywhere. (he turns to MELODY) All right child, let us begin.

Senor Julio strikes the keys of the piano and his voice rises clear and pure, followed by Melody’s sweet one. At first he sings and Melody follows. They they sing this hymn together.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to greatness the trees on the hill.

Melody repeats.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the finger of morning Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will

SENOR JULIO/MELODY
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only…

INT -CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is pacing in her room. Stella sits on the couch licking two ice creams, one in each hand.

CUCKOO

How dare he? So he thinks he can insult Cuckoo Cool and get away. I will show him who I am?

STELLA

Everyone knows who you are. You are Cuckoo Cool, the greatest singer in the world.

CUCKOO

That I am. But it is time to make that stuffed shirt Mr. Cranium realize that. I have to make plans.

Her attention is diverted by an advertisement on the TV.

TELEVISION
A nightingale appears singing. Suddenly, she makes a gagging sounds and clutches her throat. A voice says: CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE ? Then a vial appears floating in air with a green liquid sparkling in it. It floats up, the nightingale opens her mouth and the vial pours out the green liquid in her mouth. Her voice restored she starts warbling again. The voice says as the following letters appear on the screen: FAIR IS FOWL, THE MAGIC POTION FROM THE SING SONG COMPANY OF CHINA. COMING SOON. Awaiting patent from the FOUL DRUG ADMINISTRATION(FDA).

CUCKOO

(turning around and snapping her fingers)

That’s it. That’s what I need.

She looks at Stella and makes a disgusted face.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you have to stop eating everything in sight. You’ll burst like a balloon one day. Now go away and don’t come back till you find Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie.

Stella flies off, still licking her ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (still pacing the floor)

I will see who can win against me.

EXT.- NEAR SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE – DAY

Melody AND Senor Julio are practising. As Melody sings we can see the reaction of the jungle animals. Even the trees wave and grass rustle with joy. As Melody’s voice soars up to a crescendo Senor Julio claps.

SENOR JULIO

Ah, chiquita ! You sing like angel. No singer in the world can hold a candle to you. The world awaits you. You are ready for the contest.

MELODY

But I only sing because I like to sing. A contest is not my dream. I am too shy.

SENOR JULIO

No, no, do not say that, my child. That is an insult to the talent that God has given you. It is your duty to sing for his glory and let the world listen and honour. Talent, which hides away from the sun of audience applause and appreciation, withers and dies. So, go and take your place in the sun, chiquita.

MELODY

I will have to ask mama.

BAND OF CROWS

BAND OF CROWS

EXT./ NEAR MARGIE’S NEST /DAY

While Marge watches the CAW-BAND is practising under Monsieur Bull-Brass’ direction. The other animals are roaming nonchalant, seemingly unaffected by the din. She looks up to see Melody approaching with Senor Julio and Banana-Drama. The animals also look up, curious, and remove their ear plugs, cotton wool,and whatever else they may have used to shut out the din of the frog and crow singing. Banana-Drama walks up to Marge with the other two.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, Margie, we have a confession to make. Melody here has been learning to sing with Senor Julio here.
All the animals gasp and Monsieur Bull-Brass puffs up indignantly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Mon Dieu ! This is abominable. She cannot sing.

BANANA-DRAMA

As if you can.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing with indignation.

MARGE (hastily)

Please Mussy Hair, let me get to the bottom of the matter.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

Senora, let me introduce myself. I am Senor Julio, trained and established singer, now retired from public life.

PEEK-A-BOO (to the others)

I know him, he used to be very famous and then at the height of his fame decided to retire when he went blind due to some strange reason.

All the animals make sympathetic sounds.

MARGE

Yes, Senor Julio, but what is my Melody doing with you ? She cannot sing.

SENOR JULIO

Melody can not only sing but she is a rare talent. Believe me, I am a trained singer too.

BANANA-DRAMA

And she is going to take part in the contest, no matter what some Most Of Bully Blast has to say about it.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing up with anger.

MARGE

Please be quiet Banana-Drama. It is not your decision to make.

SENOR JULIO

I’m sorry if I have offended you, Madame, but when Melody came to me crying I could not stop myself from lending a helping hand. Now, it is your decision whether Melody should be in the contest or not.

All the animals shout that Melody should be allowed to participate too. Even the four crows join in.

OLLIE

I think, Marjorie, it is in the child’s interest that she, too, participates.
(MORE)
It will give her confidence which she is sadly lacking.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hear, hear Professor Do-Doing Something Right For A Change Critter. Marge, you got to listen to the Professor.

Marjorie looks at Monsieur Bull-Brass, afraid to offend him. All the others catch on to her dilemma.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Ah, but we must first have to take permission from, Mo,Mu,Mi, Most Full And Last Greatest Singer In The World.

Flow-Jo titters while the other animals take up Banana- Drama’s refrain with Please, Don’t say No, You are the greatest. Monsieur Bull-Brass looks gratified.

OLLIE

Yes, my friend. Your permission will clear the air, so to speak. And will put the little bird on the path to success. She will bring glory to Jungle-Land.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SENOR JULIO)

He can never speak straight. But his heart is in the right place as you can see.

Senor Julio nods.
MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Oui, I mean Yes. I am not one to stand in the way of le peau oiseau’s, I mean the little bird’s, success.

All the animals cheer but stop when he raises one finger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

But I have a condition too.

The animals listen with bated breath as he addresses Marge.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

She may have to take a few lessons with me.
(MORE)
I cannot undo everything that has been taught but I can certainly pull her back from the wrong direction and put her in the same league as her brother’s here.

All the animals look crestfallen and look towards Senor Julio to see how he as taken this insult. Senor Julio, merely smiles.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

I agree with and applaud your decision.

Monsieur Bull-Brass smiles at him patronizingly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You have done a good job on her Senor Julio and I insist she is your protege. I only intend to tweak a few wrong notes.

SENOR JULIO

I fully comprehend. Now I must take your leave. He bows low and turns to go.

BANANA-DRAMA (whispers in his ear)

You are the best, Senor Julio. And don’t worry ( he takes out a pair of ear plugs ) I have a special pair of small ear plugs for Melody which will take care of this problem

SENOR JULIO (smiling and flying off)
Adios.

AlL the animals wave to him shouting, Adios Senor Julio,
Muchas Gracias Senor Julio.

Melody hugs Marge.

MELODY

Thank you Mom, you are the best.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo Cool is lounging on a settee when Stella ushers in Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie. Magpie, as usual is chattering thirteen to a dozen.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, by all that is wonderful. Where have you been ? We all left Jungle-Land together and then when we reached the Land Of Birds you disappeared.
(MORE)
Then, of course, we have been following your success story. We did try to get in touch with you , trying to call you by phone, by mail, in person but no. There was always an answering service and no one would let us in. We were so happy to see Stella when she came to call us and I said to Mr. Jack Dawson here that it is unlikely that Cuckoo would forget us. She is just busy, what with being such a famous star and all. And,you know what he said ? He said that,

CUCKOO (interrupting)

I need you to do something for me.

MAGPIE (gasping)

Oh, how did you guess? That’s exactly what he said.

CUCKOO

I need you to help me to get the magic potion FAIR IS FOWL from the SING-SONG COMPANY of China.

MAGPIE (gasping)

You want us to go to China !

CUCKOO

Don’t be silly, you twit. The head offices of the company is here. You Just have to steal it from there. (smirking) Mr. Jack Dawson here has a natural flair for that kind of work.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You have always been very good at taking advantage of someone’s weakness, Cuckoo. But that is beside the point. We’ll need money, not only for our services but also for incidentals and an expense account. We have many expenses and Magpie here has a family to support.

MAGPIE

Oh, yes cuckoo. By God’s grace I have seven children. Would you like to know their names ? They are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

melody_02

CUCKOO (sarcastically)

I can guess the other three names. Now stop your foolish chattering, you twit, and off with you. Of course I will pay you and well. Go now. Stella show these two out and yes, (she addresses Mr. Jack Dawson ) Mr. Jack Dawson, kindly put back the silver you picked up and put in you pocket in your way in.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes out the silver bric-a-brac and places it on the console.

MR. JACK DAWSON (sourly)

Force of habit, Cuckoo, as you well know.

Stella shows them out.

CUCKOO (to herself)

Just my luck to be surrounded by a foolish, chattering Magpie and a thieving rascal.
Then she rubs her hand in glee.
CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah! But they have their uses.

Stella comes fluttering in.

STELLA

Cuckoo, when is dinner ? I am starving.

CUCKOO (looking irritated again)

But I am still trying to figure out what is your use and why do I tolerate you, tub of lard.

STELLA

I am your friend CUCKOO.

CUCKOO (shuddering)

That remains to be seen.

Cuckoo turns her back on Stella and walks away.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Well, I am off to bed, tubby. Got to watch my figure. You fend for your self.

Behind her Stella wails as she walks away.

STELLA (O.S.)

Cuckoo, dinner !!!!!!

Cuckoo rolls her eyes heavenwards and continues to walk away.

small_11 small_19 small_07

EXT -IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Melody is helping her brothers to pack their instruments.

DO-RAY

Hey, Melody, what do you want from us when we win. Of course, you know, we are going to share our prize with you.

ME-FAR

Yes, Melody, don’t bother about Monsieur Bull-Brass. He’s a pompous old ass.

SO-LA

Me-Far, you are going too-far as usual, as Mom says. There is no need to talk about your teacher like that.

TI-DO

Got to respect the dude , bro. Anyway, tell us Melody,what do you want ?

FLOW-JO (popping her head in)

And what if Melody wins ? Why do you take for granted that only you will win. Melody can win too.

All the crows have a hearty laugh. Marge walks into the room smiling.

MARGE

Well, let’s not get Melody’s hopes up too much. I am sure she will win one day but she has still much to learn. Monsieur Bull-Brass has promised to give extra coaching to Melody.

FLOW-JO

Huh! That’s interesting. I am sure BANANA- DRAMA would be most interested.

(MORE)

Marge, actually everyone wanted to talk to you about something important. That is why they sent me to call you.

MARGE

I’ll be out in a jiffy. You go ahead.

FLOW-JO (leaving)

Bye kids. Have a good one.

MARGE picks up a few cookies.

MARGE (V.O.)

A tasty bite for everyone. They have been such a support. I wonder what they want?
She leaves and as she nears the door she turns around.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Kids, I will be back soon. Be good.

ME-FAR (grinning)

Mom, can I be bad. Just for a change

MARGE (laughing)

Don’t go too far ME-FAR.

All the kids laugh. MARGE leaves and the door shuts behind her.

DO-RAY

That’s what you wanted to hear, didn’t you?

ME-FAR

It’s kind of cool, bro.

MELODY

I think I have the coolest brothers in the world.

They all hug her.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
All the animals are collected on a grassy knoll near a flowing stream. Marge approaches them with some trepidation wondering what is the matter. She waves to them and walks over.

MARGE (offering the cookies)

I have brought some cookies for everyone,freshly baked this morning.

FLOW-JO (taking a small nibble)

Got to watch my figure but I can never resist your delicious cookies MARGE. You are such a joy Marge. And that’s why we have all collected here to make a proposal to you. I do hope you will say Yes.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, We are happy with your decision to enter your children in the contest and would be overjoyed if they were to win. And, it is our greatest wish to be there for you to support you in your endeavours.

BANANA-DRAMA

Professor Doze-Ball, Fur-Ball Critter, can you speak in simple English ? Marge here is wondering what you are talking about.

OLLIE

It is simple English, you ignorant whippersnapper and, it is PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

PEEK-A-BOO

All right, all right. Let’s not stray from the topic. Marge, in a nut shell, what Professor (pauses and then rushes before the PROFESSOR can object) Dodo Doing Fuzzy Woozy Fool was trying to say that we would all like to come with you to the Land of Birds and cheer your kids. If you don’t mind ?

PETER

Yes, Marge, it will be a nice vacation for all of us.

MIMI -TANG

Yes , the last time I took a vacation when I went back home to China, two hundred years back.

PETER

That’s because you were too cheap to spend on a ticket and decided to walk so about, so 199 were spent in travelling.

MIMI -TANG

Well, there were no planes back then.

FLOW-JO

Oh let’s not get diverted from the topic again. So, Marge, what do you think of the idea ?

Everyone looks towards Marge. She is crying.

BANANA-DRAMA (alarmed)

Hey, Marge, why are you crying. We won’t come , if you don’t want us.

MARGE (blowing her nose in an oversized hanky)

Don’t be silly Banana-Drama, these are tears of joy. I am so happy I have such good friends.

FLOW-JO (rushing to her and hugging her)

Oh, Margie, you are so sweet. That’s why we all love you. (she turns to everyone) Don’t we love her guys.

ALL THE ANIMLS (shouting)
Yay !

BANANA-DRAMA

Three cheers for MARGIE. Hip, hip,

ALL THE ANIMALS
Hurrah !

A Montage of all the Jungle-Land animals flying by TWEET- AIR to and arriving in the Land of Birds. They are taking in the sights and sounds of the place as they travel by the GREY-BUSTARD Bus. They arrive at their hotel- THE PELICAN HOTEL – and are shown to their rooms which theyare sharing. The CAW-BAND stay in one room, Peter and Mimi-Tang in another, Flow-Jo and Marge share one room, Monsieur Bull-Brass and Ollie in one, Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo share a room. Melody has a little room attached to her Mom’s. They are shown up to their rooms by little Robin red-breasts who busy themselves helping them to arrange their luggage.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is getting her fitting of the gown she is about to wear for the Musical Contest Night. Stella hovers around her eating chips from a huge bag of potato chips. Stella makes huge crunchy sounds which is getting on Cuckoo’s nerves.

CUCKOO

Do you mind ? I am trying to get a fitting here.

STELLA

Cuckoo, Is anything the matter ? Why are you in such a bad mood ?

CUCKOO

Because, I am trying to get a fitting here and your crunching is driving me crazy. Moreover, where have those numbskulls, Jack Dawson and Magpie disappeared ? They were supposed to get the magic potion, FAIR IS FOWL for my throat and they are not here yet and the contest in a week’s time.

(There is a knock on the door)

CUCKOO (CONT’D)
Come in !
A portly penguin is at the door.

freezer

FREEZER (speaking in Icy Tones)

A couple of vagabonds to see you , Madam. They say they have completed your errand. A Mr. Jack Dawson and Mrs. Magpie.

CUCKOO ( waving peremptorily )

Yes, Freezer, let them in and (she looks towards Stella who giggles ) You know what to do ?

Stella hastens away while Freezer goes to call Dawson and Magpie. He returns and ushers them in.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

That will be all Freezer.

He goes away even as
Stella comes forward and giggling nervously puts a tape on Magpie’s beak even as she opens it to start her chattering and staples Dawson’s wings.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Just a few precautions. One , to stop her chattering which never fails to give me a head-ache and two, to stop, Mr. Nimble Fingers here, right in his track.

Magpie is going blue in her face in an effort to talk and Mr. Jack Dawson is very insulted.

MR. JACK DAWSON

If you will hand us our payment we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Not so fast, my friend. Let us see the goods first. (Then taking stock of his stapled wings and smiling ) Oh, yes. We do have a minor technical problem here. Never mind, Stella here will be happy to help.

Stella waddles to the jackdaw giggling, puts her hand in his coat pocket and takes out a vial. As she hold up the vial to the light it sparkles and Cuckoo gives a hiss of delight.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Yes. Give it to me Stella. This will make me the undisputed queen of the music world.

Stella waddles over to Cuckoo and gives her the vial.

MR. JACK DAWSON If you could pay us, we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Yes, of course. I am sure you are not going to do anything for free.
(MORE)
(looking towards Stella)

Stella !
Stella is busy popping grapes in her mouth from the fruit bowl and when she hears Cuckoo’s stern voice she comes scurrying forward dropping all the fruits in the process.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you greedy bird, stop eating and give them their money.

STELLA

(rummaging through Cuckoo’s purse and taking out the money)

But Cuckoo I was eating fruits. That’s healthy and all, you said.

CUCKOO

Oh, for beaks’ sake, if you eat only the fruit and not with the chocolates and the ice creams. Now give them the money and release them, I say.

Stella scurries to do her bidding. As Dawson and Magpie leave, Cuckoo can be seen holding up the vial of sparkling liquid and smiling.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah, victory is mine.

INT – VARIOUS HOTEL ROOMS – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is practising with the CAW-BAND while the animals are showing their distress in the usual way by running to stuff their ears with cotton , ear plugs or whatever object happens to be handy. An irate customer, an eagle, Sam Spread-Eagle, calls up the manager, a fat turkey, Mr. Gobble.

SAM (on the phone)

This is Sam Spread-Eagle here from room 1001. I haven’t traveled all the way to have my ears blasted to the moon. If you don’t stop this infernal racket right away I am going to call the NOISE POLICE.

MR. GOBBLE (on the phone)

I will look into the matter, Sir.

SAM

You better. Or we have ways to deal with all kinds of weapons of mass disruption. I don’t like invasion of my piracy, I mean, privacy. Got it.

MR. GOBBLE

Very well sir. We will do our best to pour oil over troubled waters.

SAM

Good, you better. (bangs down the phone) Darn foreigners, don’t know how to treat their guests. Got to teach them every thing.

INT – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is getting ready to go out, humming a tune.

MELODY

Mom, all of us are going to see where we are going to perform. You want to come with us?

MARGE

No sweetie, Flow-Jo and I are off for some shopping. There is any early bird sale going on at TWEET-TRADE CENTRE. You go ahead. Is Monsieur Bull-Brass going too?

MELODY

After last night when the manager came to him to stop practising in the hotel because the guests were getting disturbed he wants to see if he can practice in the hall. He also wants to check out the a- coo, a-coo

MARGE

Acoustics, which is the way in which the sound bounces off the walls and comes to our ears.

BANANA-DRAMA (popping in his head)

Oh ! I hope he does not get bounced off from there as he got bounced off from here.

MARGE

Banana-Drama, promise you will see that he does not get offended in any way.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anything for you Margie. Come, Melody, lets be off.

MELODY
Bye, Mom.

MARGE

Bye, Melody. Enjoy.

The door shuts as the two leave and MARGE picks up her bag.

(Marge (CONT’D)

(to her-self)

Poor child. I hope she will not be too disappointed if she doesn’t win the contest.

INT -MUSIC-HALL -DAY
All the animals from Jungle-Land except Marge and Flow-Jo have collected at the venue where the show is going to be held. It is very grand and they are quite awe-struck. They file through the aisle and reach the stage.

BANANA-DRAMA
Awesome !

PEEK-A-BOO

A most enchanting experience.

PETER

PETER PARROT

PETER PARROT

If the empty hall is so wonderful, I wonder what it will be like when it is full of birds and beasts from all over the world.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, it will be something to write home about.

ME-FAR

Yes, they will get to know in about 100 years by the time you write the letter, mail it and then remember, you forgot to put the stamp.

PETER

He doesn’t forget . He’s just too cheap.

OLLIE (to ME-FAR)

Didn’t your mother tell you not to go too far, Me-Far.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Why are we wasting time on silly talk when there is important work at hand. I would like to check the acoustics of this place so that I am sure the sound reaches the furthest corner of this hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

(with a sour expression to Peek-A-Boo)

With his noise it is going to reach the four corners of the world. Hope we don’t get thrown out of this place. Better stop him before it is too late.

PEEK-A-BOO (hastily to Melody)

Melody, why don’t you go on stage and try out your voice.

Banana -Drama winks at the other animals and they all, except Ollie, who is anyway trying out the comfort of the seats and has dozed off, take up the refrain. “Yes Melody, go ahead . Don’t be shy. It’s good practise for you.” Even as they push her towards the stage. Melody climbs up the stage, turns around and looks at the vast, empty hall with a scared expression. She closes her eyes and sees Senor Julio
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT.- IN THE JUNGLE- DAY

SENOR JULIO

Melody, my child. Talent that is hidden away from the world is like a plant without sun. It becomes stunted. So be like the sunflower and bask in the sunlight of audience approval and sing for glory, the glory of God.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit
blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

Melody opens her eyes at the sound of all the animals clapping and shouting Bravo Melody, all except Monsieur Bull-Brass who has a pained expression on his face and is shaking his head. Behind a pillar stands Cuckoo, seething with anger, staring at Melody with malevolence.

CUCKOO (walking away) Melody, something will have to be done about you.

KING TWEETY FRUITY

KING TWEETY FRUITY

INT.- KING TWEETY – FRUITY’S PALACE HALL – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is having high tea with Mr. Cranium watching him with an exasperated air.
MR.CRANIUM

KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN,if you please.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(taking a bite of a chocolate covered apple)

King Tweety – Fruity to you, just like this yummy sweet fruit.

MR.CRANIUM It seems to me you have forgotten last times tummy ache, Sire.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (expression darkening)

Dare you remind me of that awful time when three bottles of the bitterest medicine was not enough to kill the pain. It is not your place, Mr. Cranium.

MR.CRANIUM (hastily and a little scared)

Forgive me, Sire. I did not mean to distress you. But Cuckoo Cool, your court singer is here with a request.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(sipping loudly as he drinks a milk shake)

What does she want ? You know how I hate to be disturbed when I am busy with my sweeties.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience)

Which means nothing will ever get done for when is he not busy with his sweeties, as he calls them. (turning to the King ) Sire, she will take a minute of your time.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

All right, all right, send her in. But not more than a minute.

MR. CRANIUM signals to the flamingo at the entrance who announces

FLAMINGO

Cuckoo Cool enters in the royal presence of KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN

Cuckoo-Cool sashays in with an air of false bravado.

CUCKOO

Your highness, it is so gracious of you to give me an audience. I am deeply honored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (cutting her short)

Get to the point. I don’t have all the time in the world to listen to your drivel.

CUCKOO

(thrown off balance but recovering quickly)

It is my humble request, Sire, if we should entertain the contestants at my mansion to welcome them.
MR.CRANIUM

An excellent idea.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Why ? so she can figure out the competition and find ways to beat or bribe them into submission ?

CUCKOO (fluttering)

Oh, no, no, Sire that is not my intention at all.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (going back to his eating)

I know you too well Cuckoo Cool but, I don’t care. Just don’t waste my time with your conniving tactics. Do what you want to. Now go. I have important matters to attend to, like this huge mound of sweeties.

MR. CRANIUM

MR. CRANIUM

Mr. Cranium looks disgusted as Cuckoo Cool backs out and then turns away to go.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience) His fondness for sweets is going to get him in such big trouble that all the medicines of he world will not be enough to cure him.

I/E / A HUGE LIMOUSINE /NIGHT
Melody and her four brothers are travelling in a swanky limousine. They take in the sights and sounds of the city in the night.
I/E. /CUCKOO’S MANSION / NIGHT
The limousine sweeps into the portico where the door man opens the door of the car and a handful of liveried flunky’s usher them into a huge hall ablaze with lights and awash with the din of chattering contestants.
Cuckoo moves among the guests, birds and beasts of every shape and size, chattering and laughing but she has noticed Melody’s arrival from the corner of her eyes.
Freezer is moving among the guests with queries of “ Some ice ? “ His eyes meets Cuckoo’s and he glides towards Melody.

FREEZER

A cold drink for Miss.

Melody is reaching out for the drink when her brother interrupts

SO-LA

Melody, cold drinks are bad for your throat.

Melody withdraws her hand. Cuckoo who was watching anxiously draws in her breath. Freezer looks significantly at her. Cuckoo signals with her eyes for him to follow her to the kitchen as she walks away.

INT.-CUCKOO’S KITCHEN – NIGHT
Cuckoo goes into the kitchen, takes a vol-au-vent, opens it and fills it with chillies and is waiting for Freezer when he walks in.

CUCKOO (handing him a plate of snacks)

Here, Freezer, these hot and spicy snacks should do the trick. And don’t forget to have a glass of extra cold iced water with you and place an ice cream cup on the table near by. I am going to draw her away from her brothers, they always look out for her.

FREEZER (giving a cold smile)

It will be done, Madame Cuckoo.

(he turns to go but stops when he hears Cuckoo’s voice)

CUCKOO

Hang on a second, Freezer. One more thing. Tell Stella to draw the bath water and fill it with extra chilly water. Throw in a few ice cubes too.

FREEZER

Very well Madame.

Freezer leaves and Cuckoo swishes behind him humming.

INT.- PARTY HALL – CUCKOO’S MANSION – NIGHT
Melody is looking around wonder struck when Cuckoo sweeps up to her and puts her arm around her shoulder.

CUCKOO (drawing her towards the table)

Come my dear. I want to ask you how you thought of becoming a singer ? Is your mother a singer too ?

MELODY (shy, hesitant and awe – struck)

No-o-o. Nothing like that. I just had to sing. Singing is my life.

CUCKOO

How amazing. I felt the same way. I just had to sing. We are so much like each other. And you are so unlike your brothers.

(she shoots a look of dislike towards crows as she says this harshly)

MELODY (drawing away from CUCKOO)

Oh, but they are very sweet and I love them.

CUCKOO (quickly pulling her towards herself and sweetening her voice)

Oh, I am sure you do. Just that I am sure they can’t hold a candle to you.

MELODY

How can you say that ?

Cuckoo is flummoxed but by then Freezer has reached them with his tray.

CUCKOO

(hastily) Ah, Freezer, my good man. What tasty bites. Melody, you must try some.

She picks up one with the chillies.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Let me. Open your mouth, child.
Melody opens her mouth and Cuckoo pops in the hot snack. Melody chews and then gasps, her eyes watering. There is the sound of sizzling coming from her mouth.

MELODY

Oh , its hot. My mouth is burning.

Cuckoo grabs the chilled water from Freezer’s tray.

CUCKOO

Here, drink this.

Melody gulps the water. But still the sound of sizzle persists. Cuckoo grabs the ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Here, eat this. It will cool of your mouth.

She feeds Melody ice cream and as she is doing so drops the bowl on her with the ice cream splattering down her front.
MELODY

Oh ! Oh !

She starts crying. Stella comes into the hall and as Cuckoo looks at her, Stella winks.

CUCKOO (drawing Melody away)

Come my child, we’ll clean you up and you will be good as new.

Melody and Cuckoo leave the hall.

INT. – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed coughing with a cold water compress on her forehead. All the animals are ranged round her, looking worried.

MARGE

(taking out the thermometer from her mouth and looking at it)

Gracious! Melody what made you have so much cold stuff. Didn’t your brothers stop you ?

DO-RAY

We couldn’t see her anywhere.

ME-FAR

One minute she is with Madame Cuckoo- Cool, and next minute, whoosh, vanished.

SO-LA

Who goes to a party and has a bath?

TI-DO

That too with cold water.

MARGE

Yes, child . I understand the ice cream fell on you but wasn’t there any hot water? And how can she serve such spicy, hot stuff to kids. I am going to have a word with her.

FLOW-JO

Yes, Melody, tell us. We need to get to the bottom of this business.

BANANA-DRAMA

A very, very nasty business. Mind you, there is something wrong here, I can feel it in my tail.

OLLIE

That’s a far-fetched tale.

MARGE

Oh ! Don’t start, you two, now. Melody, speak up.

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

Melody is trying to speak and only rasping sounds emanate from her throat. All the animals look at each other, shocked.

INT-SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE-DAY
Senor Julio is tinkling on the piano when Bat Van Friday brings him a juice.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, Bat Van. You are a good man Friday.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Wasn’t he the one who was Robinson Crusoe’s helper when he was marooned alone on an island.

SENOR JULIO

The same. And you are my ray of light when I am alone in this sea of darkness.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Isn’t it strange that a blind bat is helping a blind bird ?

SENOR JULIO

Strange are the ways of the lord. But I am sure there is a hidden meaning in all of this. Only we cannot see it at present.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

How will we see it if we don’t have eyes?

SENOR JULIO

To see , you don’t need eyes, you need a heart. And you have a very big heart.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, but it is concealed in this very ugly body which does not know whether it is a bird or a beast.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You will find out one day. But for the time being, be of good cheer, your shining soul will be an example for all of creation one day.

Senor Julio takes a sip of the juice and it goes the wrong way and he starts coughing. Bat Van Friday strokes him on the back and the coughing subsides.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

You know, my heart says, Melody is in some big trouble. She needs me. Why don’t you start packing ? We are going on a journey.

He is overcome by a coughing fit again.

DISSOLVE TO:
INT. -HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is coughing. Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo are looking at her worried.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, the contest in two days and Melody in this condition. Coughing up a storm and her throat completely jammed. She can’t speak a word, how is she going to sing ?

PEEK-A-BOO

(fanning her with his tail feathers and wiping Melody’s brow.)

There, there child.

One of his feathers tickle her nose and she sneezes.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man,you got to stop using your beautiful tail feathers as a hand-kerchief or a mop or a feather duster or whatever comes to your mind.

PEEK-A-BOO

Sorry, force of habit. But it is my feeling that all beauty should have a purpose. It’s not enough just to look good.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are one strange dude, man. But I like you. But what are we going to do? I am going bananas just thinking about it.

PEEK-A-BOO

Well, they say when in doubt, shout to God. There is house of Prayer just around the corner. Why don’t we take Melody along and see if God gives us some ideas or shows us a way.

BANANA-DRAMA

(looking at Melody sniffling)

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Lets go, bro.

(MORE)
Come on Melody,let’s put on a jacket on you and see if our prayers will do the trick.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT – HOUSE OF PRAYER – DAY
We pull back from a board which says ON A WING AND A PRAYER to include three figures, Peek-A-Boo, Banana-Drama and Melody in a red hooded jacket looking up at the HOUSE OF PRAYER with two wings folded in prayer above it.

BANANA-DRAMA

Is this place strictly for the birds or what ?

PEEK-A-BOO

No, places of worship are for everyone. You think there are special Gods for each kind ? A bird- God, a beast-God, a Man- God ? No, there is only one God. And his heart and home is open to all.

BANANA-DRAMA

You may look tatty sometimes Peek-A-Boo but you sure say some very wise things. All right, let’s go in and pray for our wee Melody here.

The three go in.

I/E -JEWEL SHOP -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson is wearing a security guard uniform and standing at the door of a jewel shop. Just then four badgers wearing trench coats and slouch hats enter the door. As Dawson stands out side the door he hears a commotion and rushes into the shop . The four badgers are holding up the cashier with pistols, the customers are on the floor and the manager, a fat kiwi bird, is quaking in the corner. One of the badgers is scooping the jewelry and stashing it in his bag. Dawson takes a flying leap and tackles the badger holding the pistol. The other badgers attack him but he fights bravely. In the mean time the manager has pressed the alarm and the BIRD- POLICE arrives with wailing sirens. Taking advantage of the commotion one of the badgers slips in a diamond necklace into Dawsons’ pocket. As the thieves are being hustled away the badger who had slipped in the necklace points to Dawson and says

BADGER-BANDIT

He’s with us. Check his pocket.

KIWI-MANAGER

He got you arrested.

BADGER-BANDIT

Check his pocket. He was afraid we would not keep our side of the bargain. So he decided to blow the whistle on us. But being a jackdaw, he couldn’t resist and flicked a necklace. Check his pocket. You will find proof.

Everyone looks at Mr. Jack Dawson who puts his hand in his pocket and turns it out and looks at the necklace with a stupefied expression.

BIRD-POLICE INSPECTOR

Arrest him.

Mr. Jack Dawson makes a break for it, the necklace still in his hands. He runs out of the shop with the police and others hot on his heels. As he is running he sees the HOUSE OF PRAYER and runs in and bumps into Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo, and Melody who are coming out of the door. They all go flying in different directions and the necklace clatters to the floor. Banana-Drama takes one look at the necklace and then looks at the crowd yelling and running, “ Thief , Thief” through the door which is ajar and understands the matter at once.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo, brother. You are the thief. Have to do my bit as a law abiding citizen and give you up.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I have been framed. This is the first time I didn’t steal and have been caught with the goods on me.

PEEK-A-BOO

Are you trying to tell me that you , a jackdaw, notorious for picking up shiny objects, is not responsible for this, (pointing to the necklace) Business. I don’t believe you brother.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can believe what you like. I know we jackdaws have a bad reputation. And I want to change, to fight my nature. But this one I did not do.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, I am sorry for you brother and all that but we got to do what we got to do.So,

He marches towards the door when he feels a tug on his arm. He looks around.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Melody, what gives ?

MELODY (hoarsely)

Banana-Drama, please don’t. Please give him a chance.

Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo AND Mr. Jack Dawson look amazed.

BANANA-DRAMA

Melody, he’s a felon, a dangerous criminal. You want to give him a chance?

MELODY

God gives everyone a chance, my Mom says. No matter who ? So why not him.

BANANA-DRAMA (looking at the jackdaw)

All right then, you can go. We can’t break Melody’s heart, not when she is ill and all that.

Mr. Jack Dawson, gets up and dusts himself.

MR. JACK DAWSON Thank you. I won’t forget this kind gesture.

He is about to leave when he stops at Peek-A-Boo’s voice.

PEEK-A-BOO

Wait. Your necklace.

MR. JACK DAWSON

It’s not my necklace and I don’t want it. I am not a thief. It’s just a disease for which there is no cure.

He looks very sad.

BANANA-DRAMA Hey brother, looks like you were speaking the truth. Don’t take it to heart.

(MORE)

You are standing in place of prayer, God is listening to you. He’ll come up with something.

MELODY

I know who can help him. Professor .

BANANA-DRAMA

You mean that Dodo Ding-Bat can help this poor bird. More likely he will confuse him so much he will graduate from petty thieving to grand larceny and become a major robber.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Look, I am so desperate I will give anything, anyone a chance.

BANANA-DRAMA

All right then, if you want to take a chance. Don’t blame me later on. Let’s go.

They all leave and we see them bathed in a pool of shining light as they walk out of the door.

INT. – HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
All the animals are collected in the hotel lobby along with Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle. Marge is gesticulating and talking with Mr. Gobble.

MARGE

Mr. Gobble, my daughter is missing, don’t you understand. She is not well and this is a big place where no one knows her and you say you can’t do anything. What kind of answer is that ?

OLLIE

This turkey is speaking gobble – gobble gobbledygook.

SAM

I say we organize a search party. Darn foreigners. Got to help them with everything.

MARGE (frantically)

Mr. Gobble, you have to do something, please. My poor Melody, alone, God knows where.

She starts crying and all the animals rush to comfort her.

FLOW-JO

There, there Margie, don’t cry. We will find Melody.

PETER

Yes, even if we have to search every nook and corner of Land OF Birds.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, I have some experience in that matter. I say we begin right away.

PETER

Doggone Turtle, if we let you do the searching we’ll be hundred years old by the time you reach the front door.

SAM

Look , no point wasting time. Talk, talk, talk, that’s all you foreigners do. It’s time for action.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

I agree with you. In France, we, too, believe in action. Viva la France.

SAM

You are French ? Parlez vous Francais ? (But actually mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways)

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Pour quoi ! What did you say ? What language was that ?

SAM

You are from France and you don’t know Parlez vous Francais ? (again mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways) This guy is an imposter.

Monsieur Bull -Brass starts swelling up in anger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You call me an imposter, you vulgar American. I will not tolerate it. I will bring this up in the UNITED NATIONS.

SAM

Go right ahead, my friend. I can’t wait.

Ollie notices Melody, Peek-A-Boo, Banana – Drama and Mr. Jack Dawson walking through the door.

OLLIE

Stop this war of words immediately. There is Melody.

MARGE rushes to MELODY and hugs her.

MARGE

Melody, my child, where have you been I have been sick with worry.

BANANA-DRAMA

We went to the House of Prayer to pray for Melody’s good health.

MARGE (looking at PEEK-A-BOO)

Peek-A-Boo, you are , at least a responsible person. Couldn’t you leave a message at the desk with Mr. Turkey, I mean, Mr. Gobble.

PEEK-A-BOO (looking contrite)

I am sorry Marge. We just didn’t think what with the contest coming up and Melody in this state.

MARGE(smiling forgivingly)

It’s quite all right, it’s nice of all you to be so concerned. (Then looking at Mr. Jack Dawson) And who is this gentleman ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Mr. Jack Dawson at your service.

BANANA-DRAMA

He has some business with Professor Dink Do Fuzzy And Cool Critter.

OLLIE (with dignity) PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER.

(MORE)

Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. (bowing to Mr. Jack Dawson) And how can I be of service to you ?

BANANA-DRAMA

It’s private business.

OLLIE

In that case I will give you an appointment for 3 this afternoon, right after lunch.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thank you, kind Sir. (He bows to Ollie) I take your leave. And will be back at 3 sharp. (He bows to everyone and finally, taking MARGE’S hand kisses it) And let me compliment you , Madame, on the fine child you have raised,

He looks at Melody sucking her thumb.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

A most kind-hearted and generous girl, Bless you all.
He takes leave. All the animals admiringly watch him leave.

SAM

He’s the goods. That’s for sure. I think I can arrange for him to come to the U.S. We need fine folks like him.

MARGE

Birds like him are welcome everywhere. (taking Melody by the hand) Now come on child, you need to rest.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

We’ll meet in Professor Ding-Dong’s room at 3. (patting his tummy) Time for lunch. I believe it is banana nut bread today. My favorite.

SAM

A chocolate- mouse for me. Yummy

PETER (to Mimi-Tang)

Yuck !

They all disperse with Mimi-Tang lagging behind till Peter turns around.

PETER (CONT’D)

We are going for lunch, not dinner. Can you step on it ?

Mimi-Tang craning her neck and trying to walk faster, huffing and puffing at the same time.

MIMI -TANG

I think I need some mechanical device to help me.

PETER

Give me a break.

MIMI -TANG

Not a break, an accelerator which will make me go faster.

PETER

(throwing up his hands in he air.)

Ye gods!

We see his hands in the air as they all file out.

BANANA-DRAMA
(V.O) I have a great idea for you Mimi-Tang.

INT- OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY

Ollie is perched on a sofa with his wings steepled as Mr. Jack Dawson sits in front of him with a woebegone face.

OLLIE

(taking out and polishing his spectacles and putting them back on again)

So you say you have this problem only when you see shiny objects. You just get blinded by the shine and then you don’t remember what happens till you see the object in your pocket or where ever you choose to put it. Interesting.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, yes. I am by nature a very honest person but when it comes to shiny objects, somehow I cannot help myself. I have to take them.

OLLIE

Yes, it is a common problem, especially with women. They just can’t resist shiny objects, the shinier the better, like diamonds, for example.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, but they know what they are doing.

OLLIE

You will be surprised. But,anyway, we are here to sort out your problem. And I think I have the solution, a simple one but effective.

He whips out a pair of dark glasses.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

I am going to do a simple experiment with you which, unknown to you, I have already set up. (handing Dawson the glasses) Here, put on these.

Dawson wears the glasses.
OLLIE (CONT’D)

Now walk out of the door. And come back in two minutes.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking sceptical)

I hope you know what you are doing.

Jack Dawson goes out.

CONTINUOUS

INT- PASSAGE – JUST OUTSIDE OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY As Mr. Jack Dawson stands outside Ollie’s room Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo come walking by. They spot the jackdaw standing outside Ollie’s room with his shades on

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey man, what happened ? I thought Ollie was supposed to help you. Why are you looking as if you have been punished ?

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, and what’s with the dark glasses man. You look like funny.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Don’t ask me. He’s doing some kind of experiment and asked me to wear this and come back in two minutes.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

I think that owl has lost it. He’s gone cuckoo.

PEEK-A-BOO

He’s an owl, he can’t go cuckoo. Cuckoos go cuckoo. You know (he makes his voice sweeter like a cuckoo) cuckoo, cuckoo.

OLLIE (from inside)

To -whit -who

PEEK-A-BOO

Nothing, I am just saying (again he makes his voice like a cuckoo as he says) Cuckoo, cuckoo.
OLLIE
Too-whit who

BANANA-DRAMA

Drat it, this owl is making me go bananas. Let’s get out of here. (to JACK DAWSON) You go on in. And let us know what happened. We are going to Melody’s room to see how she is doing. Her room is 1111, that is double one , double one.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Got it. I will be there. If I am cured of my habit of stealing things I have to thank her. It was her idea.
(MORE)
(he opens the door and looks back before going in and says) Wish me luck.

BANANA-DRAMA

All the best, brother. All the very best.

CONTINUOUS

INT -OLLIE’S ROOM -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson walks in. He looks at Ollie

MR. JACK DAWSON
Well ?

OLLIE The experiment is a success. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking amazed)

How ? When ? Where ? Why?

OLLIE (smiling)

Take off your glasses and turn around.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes off his glasses and turns around. A shiny silver salver with some small silver objects winks at him.

OLLIE (CONT’D)(V.O.)

Do you see all those shiny objects. They were lying there and you did not pick them up as you left the door. Because the dark glasses were cutting the glare so they were no longer shiny. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Hallelujah ! Beat Does that mean I have to wear these glasses all the time.

OLLIE (laughing)

Who..who..who, To wit who, of course not, my good man. It is only for sometime. Then you will be cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I can’t thank you enough. Surely you are a wise owl. Tell me, what can I do for you. Anything. Tell me what do you want ?

OLLIE

What I want, you can’t do for me. So, it’s quite all right, my man. I am happy my experiment worked. For a man of science that is enough.

MR. JACK DAWSON At least tell me. You never know the power of goodness. Just tell me. I will do anything in my power to return the good you did to me.

OLLIE

Well, there is only one thing I want. I want Melody to sing in the contest. Marge is a dear friend of mine and I know all the friends of Jungle-Land will be very disappointed if she is unable to sing. They were so looking forward to it. But as you know her throat is damaged ever since she went to Cuckoo Cool’s party and was made to have all that cold stuff.

MR. JACK DAWSON (throwing up his hand/wings)

Cuckoo, I should have known it. She would be behind it. But, wait I have a plan to foil her. Yes, Melody will sing. You can bet your last dollar on it. I have to go but I will be back. Tell Melody and the others not to lose heart.

Mr. Jack Dawson opens the door and leaves the room.

OLLIE

(putting his wings together and pursing his lips)

Who ! Who ever thought that some one who everyone thought was a thoroughly bad fellow would turn out to be so nice. And now if he can only find a way to help Melody she would be a role model for those who believe in the power of goodness.

I/E. CUCKOO’S ROOM AND OUTSIDE CUCKOO’S WINDOW – NIGHT

CUCKOO is on the phone. STELLA is sitting next to her looking at a magazine – FOOD FOR TWEETS and drooling over the photos of goodies.

CUCKOO

Yes, I am calling on behalf of Cuckoo Cool. Yes, she is willing to relocate to London if she gets what she wants. Good money, housing, health insurance and (looking at Stella) Food stamps for my staff. How many do I have on the staff for food stamps ? (again as she looks at Stella) Oh ! I would say about six, no make that eight. Food for eight people. Oh, you are putting me on hold. All right, I will wait till you ask the SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOWL MUSIC.

Outside the window we get a glimpse of Mr. Jack Dawson, wearing his glasses, as he swings wildly on a creeper . We see this intermittently as the scene continues.

STELLA

Cuckoo, why do you want to leave Land Of Birds. This is as good as it gets. We have a great life here.

CUCKOO

Because I want to teach that snooty Mr. Cranium a lesson and also that greedy pig King Tweety -Fruity.

STELLA

But he won’t let you go. You are under a contract.

Now we see a toffee nosed Englishman picking up the phone. He is about to say something when Cuckoo’s following dialogue reaches him.

CUCKOO

Who cares about contracts ? Once I am in London he can take his contract and eat it with his sweeties for all I care.

ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

I heard that Madame Cuckoo Cool. I’m afraid we do not desire the services of one who does not honour her contract.
(MORE)
And I think I will be getting in touch with King Tweety – Fruity about this. We royals should stick together.

He puts down the phone with a resounding thud which assails Cuckoo’s ears. She puts down the phone and glares at Stella.

CUCKOO

(screeching and lunging towards Stella )

All because of you !

Stella rushes pell-mell out of the room pursued by Cuckoo.

Mr. Jack Dawson who has been wildly swinging, clutching to a creeper now jumps in. He goes to Cuckoo’s dressing table and starts rummaging. But he can’t see the bottle. He is frantic. Then he hears the sound of Cuckoo returning and leaps out of the window. He peers in again and looks at Cuckoo picking up the bottle and looking at it speculatively and then pouring the contents down her throat. Mr. Jack Dawson is puzzled and then it occurs to him. He takes of his glares and the bottle sparkles into focus. But it is almost over. Just a quarter is left when Cuckoo stops and puts the stopper and puts it in her clutch bag which she shuts with a snap.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (to herself)

Ah ! Some for tomorrow. Poor Melody, so you thought you could compete with Cuckoo- Cool.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
All the animals have collected in Marge’s room. It is the day of the contest and the animals are dressed in their finery debating what to do. Melody is in bed with a thermometer stuck in her mouth. Marge takes out the thermometer, looks at it.

MARGE

It’s still high enough for Melody to not attend the function. She needs to rest. Anyway, her throat is not in the condition to sing even if she made the effort.

MELODY

I wanted to see my brothers perform.

DO-RAY

We don’t want to perform any more.

MARGE

Of course you have to perform. So many of us have come all the way for this.

SO-LA

I think Melody can perform if she tries.

MARGE

No, I don’t want her too. Not if her throat is in the condition it is now. It would not serve any purpose. Look, why don’t you all go ahead and I will stay back with Melody and nurse her.

TI-DO

Mom ! How can you come all the way and not see the show.

ME-FAR

We will not go if you are not going to come with us. That is final.
MARGE

Me-Far, you are going too far now.

MELODY

Mom, please go . I will feel much better if you do.

MARGE

Melody, you know that is not possible. I can’t leave you alone.

BANANA-DRAMA

Look, Marge, you go ahead. It’s not fair since your kids are performing. I will stay back with MELODY.

MARGE
But,

OLLIE

He is right you know. The CAW-BAND will perform much better if they know you are there, watching them.

MARGE
But,

MELODY

Please go, Ma. I beg of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, in case there is a crisis or mishap when the CAW- BAND performs the mother should be around.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, there is no need to be so negative man. It’s bad enough that Melody can’t perform, now you are thinking there could be a crisis with the CAW-BAND.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Well, one must think of all possible things that can happen.

BANANA-DRAMA

Be positive man. That’s when things work out. And keep the faith.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. (looking at the clock ) The event is scheduled to begin in three hours. I think we should leave in an hour. There is bound to be traffic and we need to get early to get good seats.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

We’ll be leaving even earlier. I want the CAW-BAND to become comfortable.( He says this in the French way as come-for-tab- lay.)

MIMI -TANG

Come for what ? Can anyone figure out what that man talks.

PETER

You can if you are French. Otherwise its just better to listen and nod. If you say something there will be another crisis and we’ll be all fighting.

PEEK-A-BOO

This is a sad state of affairs. But lets make the best of it. I think Melody needs to rest so let’s be on our way.

All the animals file out giving sympathetic looks to Melody. Mimi- Tang is on skates from now on. Only Flow-Jo lingers to give Melody a peck.

FLOW-JO

Rest well, my child. Remember it is always darkest before dawn.

Melody shuts her eyes and nods. In the darkness there is a Voice.

MELODY’S (V.O.)

Please God, let my brother’s win.

I/E. – VENUE OF CONTEST – NIGHT
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 signalling 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 gruelling 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 its called, “ Grin and Bear It”. Ha ha, I hope we won’t be doing that through the song.

Then she gives and 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.

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.
(MORE)
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 he 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 when ever 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.
(MORE)

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.

INT.- MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
Cuckoo is walking along imperiously with Stella trying to keep pace when her way is blocked by Magpie and her seven children.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, how wonderful. I was just telling my children here that one of the contestants is my friend. And here you are. Meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and (pointing to one of them) Guess, what’s his name?

CUCKOO (sourly)

I can guess.

STELLA (from the back ground)

I know, it must be December.

CUCKOO (shaking her head)

Confused as usual. All right what is it you want Magpie ?

MAGPIE

Oh, Cuckoo, can you give the children your autograph. (then she looks at Stella and says) Stella, they are giving free ice creams in the lobby behind.

Before Cuckoo can say anything Stella zooms off.

STELLA
(V.O) Back in a jiffy.

Cuckoo gives and exasperated sigh.

CUCKOO

All right, give me the autograph books.

The Magpie children clamor around her handing her their autograph books but Cuckoo’s hand is holding the clutch bag. She looks around for a place to put it.

MAGPIE

I’ll hold it.

Cuckoo hands her the bag and begins to sign the autographs. Magpie quietly slips out the vial of MAGIC POTION. Then she hustles her children.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

All right children, that’s enough. Let’s go or we’ll be late.

The children snatch their autograph books from Cuckoo and follow their mother. Cuckoo is flabbergasted.

MAGPIE (CONT’D) (handing her the bag)

All right Cuckoo, got to run.

She rushes off with Cuckoo glaring at her back, rushing off with her children. She spots Stella returning with a huge cone of ice cream.

CUCKOO

Stella, don’t you ever leave without taking my permission. You are so bad for my image, look at you.

Stella tries to rush, trips and the whole ice cream splatters on CUCKOO’S face and dress.

STELLA
Oops !

Cuckoo glares at her balefully through the ice cream and seeing her expression Stella turns to flee even as Cuckoo gives a shriek and lunges after her. A mocking bird and couple of hyenas laugh gleefully.

EXT.- MUSIC HALL- NIGHT

Mr. Jack Dawson waits outside when MAGPIE comes rushing out with her brood.

MAGPIE (handing him the vial)

Here it is. You better rush, Not a moment to be lost.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes. I have to get to Melody in time.

He rushes off. As Magpie turns to go she see Stella being chased by Cuckoo.

MAGPIE (to her children)

As you can see it never pays to be with selfish, greedy people. They will always get you in trouble. Let’s go in. It’s almost time for the show.

She flutters in with her children.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed while Banana-Drama sits on the couch. They are both watching the events at the MUSIC HALL. They see King Tweety-Fruity arrive with Mr. Cranium. He has an all day sucker with him which he licks intermittently, even as he waves to the crowd.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, you should have been there. This is too bad.

MR. JACK DAWSON(V.O.)

She will be there.
Melody and Banana-Drama turn and see Mr. Jack Dawson.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo man, You gave us a scare turning up from no where.

MR. JACK DAWSON

There is not a moment to be lost. (he holds up the vial. It has FAIR IS FOWL written on it and below in tiny letters COUGH SYRUP)
(MORE)
This is the magic potion which will make Melody sing again. Quick, Melody, gulp it down and then we have to fly to the hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

What about me , man.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can take a cab. Now hurry, we have no time to waste on foolish chatter. (Here Banana-Drama gives him a glare) Come on Melody, drink up.

He hands Melody the vial and she gulps it down.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Let’s be off. We have no time to waste. The concert has already started.

INT. – MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
All the animals are seated and there is huge commotion which slowly tones down as O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two slithers on to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

The moment is here. The moment when the contest to choose the future court-singer of the LAND OF BIRDS held at the behest of and with the benevolent eye of our beloved royal highness (here she looks at King Tweety -Fruity who is busy with his sucker) KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN, popularly known as King Tweety-Fruity and his able minister Mr. Cranium. So without further delay let’s begin the show. Our first contestant is a well known group from Africa, the BOUNCING BABOONS with their lead singer Bongo. They are going to perform a hit single from their latest album called, (here she consults her paper) “ I am going Ape over you .” How appropriate.

The band starts performing.

EXT.- LAND OF BIRDS.-OVER THE CITY – NIGHT

We see Mr. Jack Dawson and Melody rushing towards the lights of the music hall. We zoom down to see Banana- Drama in a variety of situations trying to get to the venue. He is hailing a cab, not getting a response, he is sticking his thumb out for a lift, running, bumping into birds and beasts. Finally, a car screeches next to him. It is Sam Spread-Eagle.

SAM

What’s the rush?

BANANA-DRAMA

The rush. The concert has started and Melody’s rushing there to perform.

SAM

So why are you rushing like a monkey gone bananas.

BANANA-DRAMA

Because I want to see her perform and bring glory to Jungle-Land.

SAM

Whose Glory? I thought it was Melody to perform.

BANANA-DRAMA

There is so much confusion in your mind about everything, no wonder you can never do anything right.

SAM

I can do one thing right, I can give you a lift.

He opens the door and Banana-Drama gets in.

SAM (CONT’D)

And on the way you can explain to me whose Glory !

The car takes off with a screech.

BACK TO:
INT. – MUSIC-HALL-STAGE – NIGHT

The four bears are performing in a gruff voice. King Tweety-Fruity is yawning. He turns to Mr. Cranium.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Listen, this is turning out to be a waste of time. Not a decent singer in this motley lot. There is no Melody, only rhythm. Where is Melody ?

MR.CRANIUM

I believe there is a singer named Melody but she is indisposed. Too much ice cream in Cuckoo’s party, it is rumored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

I should have guessed CUCKOO would be behind it. As it is I got a call from the royal family in Britain, a Prince Charles, that Cuckoo has been trying to get in touch with them regarding employment. She wants to sing for them.

MR.CRANIUM (trying to mollify him)

She is an artiste, Sire. They will sing for their supper anywhere.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Yes , but not at my expense. Where is she? Call her.
Mr. Cranium signals to a flamingo standing behind them.

MR.CRANIUM (to the flamingo)

Go and tell 0- Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two that his highness would be to like to have a word with Cuckoo as soon as possible.

The flamingo bows and goes away.

BACK TO THE STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

And now to perform for you is a group from Jungle-Land, the CAW-BAND.

All the animals from Jungle-Land clap enthusiastically. The CAW-BAND begins to perform. Their music is so atrocious that there is a stunned silence for a moment . Then a number of little birds fly off to the ceiling and some animals are seen stampeding to the exit. Even King Tweety-Fruity is galvanized. Utter chaos reigns but the CAW-BAND continue blithely unaware of the reaction around them. Mr. Cranium is staring stupefied with his beak/jaw hanging open.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

What, what is the meaning of this atrocious sound . Stop them immediately.

MR.CRANIUM

No, no sire. We can’t do that. If we you do that you will become very unpopular. Press from all over the world is here. (handing him a pair of cushions lying beside them) Here, use these to close your ears.

King Tweety – Fruity uses both the cushions to shut out the fearful din. Mercifully, the number comes to an end and O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two comes on stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH

That was quite an earful. Monsieur Bull- Brass beams. And now since we are going country wise, another singer from Jungle- Land, Melody Hatchery.

The animals from Jungle-Land look at each other and at Marge who can barely hold her tears back.

MARGE (whispers to herself)

My poor Melody.

EXT. – SKY-CLOSE TO THE VENUE – NIGHT

Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson are flying furiously, beads of sweat dropping from the brow.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

Melody Hatchery. This is the second call for Melody Hatchery.

There is a stir among the audience. Then Magpie, looks around and quickly flies to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)

Ah here is Melody Hatchery.

MAGPIE

Did you say Melody ? I heard Magpie. I am so sorry, what with seven kids and me a single mom.
(MORE)
They were making a fine old racket and I thought I heard you say Magpie when actually you were saying….

EXT. – MUSIC HALL – NIGHT
We see Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson pushing through the crowds and hurrying up the stairs of the music hall.

BACK TO THE STAGE.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (tapping her feet impatiently)

Yes, yes, my good woman, we understand. Now can you leave the stage and let us go on with our function.

MAGPIE

(giving a desperate look at the door)

Oh, there is no need to be so uppity, Mrs. O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two, we are all not married into the lap of luxury

The audience titters.

KIWI-MANAGER

(sitting in the audience leaning towards his friend, Mr. Gobble)

 Several times, in fact. I should know. She does the shopping for all her jewels and baubles in my store.

MAGPIE

I am a single mom and its not easy, making ends meet, looking after seven kids

She spots Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson rushing in.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

Anyway, here is your contestant. I must fly, my children are alone.

She flies off just as Melody stumbles on the stage, panting. The Jungle-Land animals give a rousing cheer that King Tweety-Fruity, who was nodding off, gets up with a start.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY What, what happened ?

MR.CRANIUM

Melody is here.

Melody stands on the stage.

O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two hands her a mike and swishes off.

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

The audience is entranced. The sound reaches Bat Van Friday as they travel overhead, Cuckoo-Cool and Stella as they make their way towards the hall. Cuckoo-Cool has changed into another gown. It reaches Banana-Drama and Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle as they race into the hall to hear the last part of the song. The song closes and the audience erupts in a frenzy of clapping and cheering. Even King Tweety-Fruity is happy and clapping. Marge is wearing a happy smile even as Monsieur Bull-Brass leans over to one of the birds sitting next to him ( a colorful macaw).

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS
My student.

Peek-A Boo and Peter give each other significant glances. Flow-Jo titters.

SAM The bird sure can sing. I think I need to start working on her visa right away.

BANANA-DRAMA

How do you assume she wants to come to your country. She’s quite happy in Jungle- Land.

SAM

But everyone wants to come to the good old U.S.A. Don’t they ?

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Mr. Cranium, I think we need to draw a contract right away. I think we have found our court singer.

MR.CRANIUM If your Majesty, could be a little patient. There is still Cuckoo Cools’ challenge song.

We can see Cuckoo Cool sashaying towards the stage.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Oh, forget her. Who wants her and her tantrums and her constant whining, in any case.

MR.CRANIUM

We can’t do that Sire. Protocol.

King Tweety-Fruity makes a face and starts throwing pea- nuts and catching it in his mouth.
O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two has sashayed on to the stage followed by Cuckoo Cool.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

It is time now for the challenge round. Cuckoo – Cool will sing and the judges will give marks to all the contestants followed by the audience vote.

CUCKOO

There is need for that. I have decided to withdraw from the contest.
There is a collective gasp from the audience . Even King Tweety -Fruity sits up.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Has she gone cuckoo?

MR.CRANIUM

Let’s see what she has to say.

CUCKOO

For a long time I have been thinking of retiring and giving this crown to a worthy singer. And now I have found her. It is none other than my own daughter, Melody.

Everyone is stunned and we see the reaction of the different animals in the audience.

MARGE

What is that woman saying . Melody is my daughter.

CUCKOO

Long ago I left her in Marjorie Hatchery’s nest as I had no time to look after her , busy as I was with my career.

The Jungle-land animals look at each other. Banana -Drama whistles.

MARGE (getting up and shouting)

She lies ! Melody is my daughter. How can you say that Melody is your daughter ?

CUCKOO

I only knew her as MELODY. The moment her complete name was announced I knew it was her. And then I saw you sitting there with (she points to Ollie) that Fuzz-Ball

OLLIE (interrupting)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. If you please.

CUCKOO

Whatever. The moment I saw the two of and the CAW-BAND I put two and two together and knew that the talented singer on stage is none other than my own daughter, Melody. (she opens out her arms to Melody) Come , my child. Come and hug your true and only Mom.

MELODY

(shouts) No,no, no. You are not my mother. You are mean and cruel. You left me. It was (pointing to Marge) She who looked after me and took care of me. She is my mother, not you.

Cuckoo looks discomfited. There is clapping from the balcony. It is King Tweety-Fruity.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Well said Melody. So Cuckoo, no more court-singer means no more mansions, no more fancy furs, no more wines and delights you are always singing about. Melody is going to be the new court singer. She will be given citizenship of LAND OF BIRDS. Cuckoo, you may kindly vacate the mansion for Melody to move in right away.

MELODY

If you please, Sire, I was very happy to win the contest but I do not wish to stay here. I realize now I was happiest in Jungle-Land.

All the Jungle-Land animals smile.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SAM)

See what I told you. Everyone doesn’t want to leave their home.

MARGE

And there is school. I have been studying the system of education here and it is not the way we teach in Jungle-Land.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (getting annoyed)

That is not possible. Once I have decided she is going to be the court-singer there is no way she is going to leave this place. And only her mother is allowed to stay with her, the rest have to go.

MARGE

But I have four other kids, I can’t leave them.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

It is decided. The discussion is closed unless you want to be clapped in a dungeon.

MR.CRANIUM

Guards, escort Melody Hatchery to the private chambers where she will be held till the other members of her group leave the country.

The animals of Jungle-Land are nonplussed. Marge is frantically look around. Suddenly there is a loud screech. It is Bat Van Friday with Senor Julio atop.

SENOR JULIO

( holding out his curved stick as Bat Van swoops down)

Melody, hold on to this.
Melody jumps up and holds on to the stick. Bat Van Friday flies off with a screech while everyone looks stunned. Mr. Cranium is the first to recover.

MR.CRANIUM (to King Tweety Fruity who is expostulating and gesturing wildly)

Best to accept what has happened gracefully or you will look like a fool. (to the audience) Ha ha . Looks like the matter is no longer in our hands. Bon Voyage Melody. (looking at Cuckoo Cool) Cuckoo Cool will remain our court-singer.

Cuckoo Cool curtsies and a thought runs through her mind.

CUCKOO (V.O.)

Only till I get a better job. I hear there are some good opportunities in the U.S.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE- NIGHT
All the animals are celebrating. There is bonfire and music playing which is being operated by Banana-Drama. Everyone is dancing.
Bat Van Friday and Ollie are sitting together deep in discussion.

OLLIE

So, you see my dear man, and you are their kind, you have been needlessly worried. You are neither a bird nor a beast but a mammal, the same way human beings are.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

It is a relief to know. But, now I feel I don’t belong anywhere. (looking at all the animals enjoying themselves) Neither with the birds nor with the beasts. And human beings are scared of me. They think I suck blood. Whereas I am a fruit-bat, I only eat fruits.

OLLIE (clicking his tongue sympathetically)

If I were you, my good man, I wouldn’t give a hoot. You can enjoy the facilities of all three clubs.
Bat Van Friday grins showing his teeth.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

And, maybe, a visit to the dentist would dispel your reputation as a blood-sucker.

They hear the tap- tap of a cane and look up. Senor Julio is looking at them and smiling.

SENOR JULIO

And what is the topic of discussion ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I know what I am. I am a human being. I am a guy.

OLLIE

No, no. You are from the species of mammal of which humans are a part.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I don’t care, as long as I am not a vampire.

SENOR JULIO

You are a fruit bat, in any case. You only suck the juice of fruits. Well, I am glad that has been cleared up finally.

(MORE)

Now if only we could find a way for me to regain my sight then I would be able to see and hear Peek-A-Boo’s amazing tap dance.

We see Peek-A-Boo dancing.

OLLIE

Perhaps, I can help. Tell me, what were you doing when you lost your sight.

SENOR JULIO

I remember the day so well.
DISSOLVE TO:

FLASHBACK
Senor Julio is singing when a there is a short circuit and the mike in his hand becomes electrified. There is a flash and then black with Senor Julio shouting

SENOR JULIO (V.O.)
I can’t see.

DISSOLVE TO:
BACK TO PRESENT

OLLIE

I see. The electricity damaged one of the nerves in your brain. Again there is a simple solution to it.

Bat Van Friday and Senor Julio waited with bated breath.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

It is like this. You have been wearing these dark glasses for so long your eyes have forgotten to see. Your eye sight was probably restored in a couple of months but you chose to remain blind by wearing these thick glasses. It is rightly said there are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

SENOR JULIO (excited)

That’s right. I told Bat Van Friday the time we were flying over Land Of Birds that I can sense the light.

OLLIE

Do not see the world through dark glasses or even rosy spectacles. And you will see light.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, thank you, Professor Martin O, (he hesitates)

OLLIE

Never mind. Just call me Ollie.

There is a clapping sound and they look up. It is Banana- Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Attention folks. On everyone’s request Melody is going to give us a song.

MELODY (sings)

Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright; Round yon virgin mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing alleluia Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born! Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace Jesus, Lord at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

A hush falls over the animals. Then a clearing of throat.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Very good, very good. Since everyone seems to be in the mood of music I would call upon the CAW-BAND to sing to a special number prepared by me.

All the animals start to disperse.

FLOW-JO

Got to run. I have some early morning sales to catch.

SENOR JULIO

I must fly too. I have to lose these glasses. Come on Bat Van Friday.

PETER

Hey Mimi-Tang, catch me if you can.

MIMI -TANG (following behind him)

Not fair, you got an early start.

PEEK-A-BOO

My feet are killing me.

He clumps off.

OLLIE

Oh I better turn in too. I have an early morning meditation session.

BANANA-DRAMA

Oh, is that what you were doing. I thought you were dozing, Professor Do-Do

OLLIE

Ollie will suffice please. Good night. Thanks for a swinging time.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anytime Professor. You are quite a hoot in your own way.

OLLIE (flying off)

And you are a swinging dude. Good night

MARGE

Come on Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La, Ti-Do. Come on Melody. It’s bed- time.

We see them going into her nest. Melody is holding her hand.

MELODY (V.O.) I love you Mama.
THE END.
Story & Screenplay
SHIPRA SHUKLA

 

0

THE BIRDS’ TALE ( a children’s play for adults ) to figure this out you have to read the play ! 😁

THE BIRD’S TALE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Melody: a little cuckoo bird, our heroine.

Cuckoo: Melody’s mother who had abandoned Melody in Caw-gee’s nest.

Caw-gee: motherly crow with a brood of four.

Do-ray: Caw-gee’s first born, a musician.

Me-Far: a fat crow, younger to Do-ray. He plays the drums.

So-La: the third boy who plays the flute.

Ti-do: the girl crow, who plays the triangle.

Mr. Rabid: Music Tutor to the crows. He wears the Talibani turban and sports a beard, no moustache. This is to distinguish him from the rest of the Muslims of the world who are not rabid.

Senor Julio: a thrush, who is blind.

Gee-Peck: a middle aged peacock who is beautiful but ashamed of his ugly feet which are always clad in big clod-hopping boots. He is a classical Indian dancer. He loves Flow-Jo, the deer.

Flow-Jo: An athlete who is extremely fashion conscious. She loves Gee-Peck. She is middle-aged and is lost in youthful dreams.

Banana-Drama: A rocking monkey who is a Disc Jockey. He wears cool clothes, a bandana on his head, a single ear-ring, black shades and a carries a walk-man. Talks like a black rap singer.

Peter: a parrot.

Laurel/ Hardy: two rabbits.

Butterflies; a few small, a few big.

Kite-King – a king who is inordinately fond of the good life.

Guru God-man: Master of ceremonies,and later,the home minister to Kite-King. He is a crane who never stands on his two feet. He wears a white robe, a saffron shawl and a green Muslim cap (the three colors to show his affiliation to all communities- Hindu, Muslim, Christian). Around his neck he wears a beaded rosary with a cross and a Hindu caste mark on
his fore-head and sports a beard. He wears glasses to show he is erudite.

Dr. Charlie: Court doctor to Kite-King who looks and acts like Charlie Chaplin.

Platy- pus: A contestant from Australia.

Pee-wee-King: A Chinese contestant.

Freezer: The judge who is a penguin. Peace-meal: a pigeon.

Mrs. Brown: a sparrow who is Cuckoo‘s maid. She is very hilly-billy.

Mr. Brown: Mrs. Brown’s alcoholic husband who is down on his luck and so drowns his sorrow in liquor.

Alien: he has come from a galaxy far, far away so can look like nothing on earth. ( or like Steven Spielberg’s E.T. from the film of the same name )

Audience: any number of actors, children or adults can be added to the cast in order to make a statement. The director can give free rein to his creativity.

Set direction: A few golden bars to denote luxury as well as being caged can be placed in Kite-king’s court as well as in Cuckoo’s bed chamber.

THE BIRD’S TALE

ACT 1

SCENE 1

Place: The jungle/Time:An hour before dawn. The jungle sleeps.
Characters: All the animals of the jungle except Kite-King, his courtiers and the contestants from Australia and China

CUCKOO’S VOICE
Ko hoo Ko hoo

As the first rays of the sun touch the
jungle we see Cuckoo tip-toe on to the
stage holding the wing/hand of a little
cuckoo bird.

LITTLE CUCKOO
Mom,Where are you taking me? I am scared.

CUCKOO
Shhhh child, I am only doing what is good for you.
( The little cuckoo weeps )

CUCKOO’S VOICE
Shhhh, Shhhhh.

At one end of the stage is a nest in which dozes Caw-gee along with her brood of four little crows. Cuckoo circles the nest cautiously, pushes the little cuckoo in it and moves stealthily away.

It is morning now. The animals of the jungle are awake. The two rabbits roll on to the stage playfully. A peacock who is wearing huge boots walks in and spreads his feathers and dances in an oriental style. A deer who wears smart trainer shoes munches on grass. The two rabbits dash against the crow’s nest. She opens one eye and looks at them.

LAUREL/HARDY

 (the two rabbits sing)

Good morning, good morning, a very top of the morning to you.

FLOW-JO
(Sings in a very sweet voice )
Good morning.

GEE-PECK
(dancing in an oriental way and
singing)
Dha dha dhin dha, dha, dha, dhin dha, dha tin tin,dha tin
tin ta

ALL THE ANIMALS (together)
Good morning, good morning, a very top of the morning to you.

Caw-Gee shakes the nest to wake her
children and sings.

CAW-GEE
(singing in a raucous voice)
Rise and Shine, O children of Mine,
There’s much to be done and work is fun,
When the work is over it’s time for some leisure
We’ll dance and sing for the jungle folks pleasure.

All the animals look at each other
distressed when she sings the last four
lines. The four crows are shaking their
wings, reluctant to get up.

DO-RAY:Mom,please, please let me sleep.

ME-FAR: Just five minutes more.

TI-DO: There’s no school today.

There is a sound of snoring from SO-LA.
Suddenly CAW-GEE spies the little
cuckoo in her nest.

CAW-GEE
Goodness! Who is this?

She shakes the little cuckoo to wake
her. The little bird yawns and stretches.

CAW-GEE
Who, in the name of heaven, are you?

Little Cuckoo just shakes her head.

CAW-GEE
Are you mute ?

The four crows caw raucously and circle
her. The Little bird shakes her head
again. The jungle creatures look at
each other amazed and then slowly come
towards her.

ME-FAR
(pecking the little cuckoo)
She’s so …B.l.a.c.k.

Do-Ray
She’s so tiny.

TI-DO
(looking at the little cuckoo’s
frightened face)
She’s in a funk.

SO-LA
(pecking the little cuckoo)
Ya, but why don’t you speak. Come on say something.

The little cuckoo bird cries musically.

LITTLE CUCKOO
Kooo hoo boo hooo. Ko hoo boo hoo.
(The four crows shut their ears
with their wings/hands)

DO-RAY
What a rough voice!

Me-Far
Stop crying. My ear drums are about to burst.

So-La
You are so ugly.

Ti-Do
And have an ugly voice. It’s so harsh.

The four crows peck the little cuckoo
who tries to save herself desperately.

GEE-PECK
(whispering to FLOW-JO)
Goodness gracious. They are calling her sweet voice harsh?
Have they ever heard themselves? The jungle is in a tizzy ever since they arrived.

FLOW-JO
True, Mr. Gee-peck. Their cacophony has ruined our peace of mind.

GEE-PECK
Thank your stars Flow-Jo that you are so swift and can run away from their sound of music.
(Looks down at his boot-clad
feet)
Just look at my feet..
(takes out his foot from the
boot)
Do they have any purpose at all…I have to wear these heavy boots just to hide them. I can’t even run away from their din.

The crows are pecking the little
cuckoo. CAW-GEE picks her up and
cradles her in her lap and then turns
on the crows.

CAW-GEE
Stop this nonsense right away. You are not going to harass the poor darling.

The LITTLE CUCKOO cries pathetically.
The crows shut their ears with their
wings.

ME-FAR
All right, all right,Caw, caw, we won’t trouble her. Just tell her to stop the infernal racket.

PETER
(whispering to GEE-PECK)
Ah, the little bird even cries musically.

These words are heard by MR. RABID who has just hopped on to the stage.

MR. RABID (closing his ears)
You call her musical. Her voice is enough to burst anyone’s ear drums. Ribbid!

CAW-GEE
(to the little cuckoo bird)
Don’t cry, my child. I will take care of you.
(she looks angrily at the
crows)
If any of you dare to trouble her, I swear I will..

BANANA-DRAMA
Squeeze their throat. At least we’ll be spared the trauma of their singing. Anyway, I don’t have to listen to them,I have my means.

(He switches on his walk-man
and dances snapping his
fingers.)

LITTLE CUCKOO
Koo hoo Boo hoo, Koo Hoo, Bo hoo, Mommy, Mommy.

CAW-GEE
(wiping the little bird’s
tears)
Don’t cry, little one.
(to the crows)
Shoo, go away. Go and get ready. Can’t you see your music teacher is here.

MR. RABID
Salaam Madam.

All the animal look at each other
distressed and react.

PETER
Music class, nooooo, never…
Gotta run

FLOW-JO
Gotta run

Runs from the stage, followed by Peter.

GEE-PECK
(walking away in a dignified
manner his boots clod hopping
away)
I think we have had enough. There is something known as noise
pollution. This racket is harming the environment. Today I am
going to definitely write to the home-ministry.

He leaves the stage grumbling, followed
by the two rabbits. The monkey is still
dancing with his eyes closed.

CAW-GEE
(taking out the ear phones from
his ears)
What’s going on Banana-Drama. Gitt.

BANANA-DRAMA
Cool it mama. When will you recognise true art? We creative critters are always in a trance. We don’t care what’s happening around us.

CAW-GEE
(pecking him)
Gitt, creative critter my foot, You are just a remix artiste.
I know all about you “types”! Shoo now….

SCENE 2.
SAME TIME/SAME DAY AS SCENE 1.

CHARACTERS: ALL THE CHARACTERS OF SCENE 1.

Mr. Rabid is conducting his music class. The little Cuckoo bird who is now called MELODY is sitting close by. CAW-GEE is knitting a sweater and looks up over her spectacles intermittently. The rest of the animals are hiding behind
rocks, trees, in the grass. As the music class progresses they try various ways to close their ears.

MR. RABID
All right, my pets, let’s begin.

DO-RAY
Dooooooooooooooooooo

FLOW-JO stuffs her ears with
cotton wool)

ME-FAR
Raaaaaaaaaaay
(GEE-PECK puts ear-plugs in his
ears and ties a bandage around
his head.)

SO-LA
Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
(Peter start banging his head
against a tree)

TI-DO
Faa.mmmph Mmmphh
(He wants to sing but PETER’S
hand/wing covers his mouth)

MR. RABID
(opening his hitherto closed eyes)
What happened ? Come on, sing.
(he looks at the creatures of
the jungle running hither- thither)
What in God’s name is happening here? Shoo
Gitt! How dare you interrupt our practice session!
(to the crows)
Never mind, my pets, they are all jealous of you. Never fear, don’t give up.
(to the little cuckoo, Melody)
You there,
(Melody looks at him with huge eyes)
Yes, yes, you. Let’s see how well you can sing. Sing with me.
(He croaks)
Do, ray,me, far, so, la,ti, doooooo

The animals close their ears and make
all sorts of action and faces.

MELODY
(trying to imitate MR. RABID)
Do, ray, me, fa, so, la, ti,dooooooo

MR. RABID
That’s much better. Just keep practising. One day you will learn to sing just like us.

(The animals have moved closer.
MR, RABID now looks at the
crows and says)

MR. RABID
All right then, my pets. Let’s begin.

THE CAW SONG
Caw, caw, caw, we are the crows four.
Loo, loo, loo, looking for a song to bore.
You, you, you, are our audience for sure,
We,we,we,we have trapped you evermore.

We have trapped you evermore,
And we’ll never let you go,
For if we let you go,
Who’ll buy tickets for the show.

No tickets for the show
Means no money for us bores
No money for us bores means
No future for us crows.

No,no,no,no,please see our shows,
So we don’t eat trash anymore,
We live like kings and sleep like stars,
Take Oprah and Paris and Cruise our cars.

Parties and Photos, glitter and glamor,
We have no talent but still we clamor.
For the good life or la dolce vita
Who cares for talent when we have our teacher.
(Here they look at MR. RABID
who hops with excitement)

FADE OUT.

SCENE 3
Place: Another corner of the jungle/ Time: day.

Characters: Melody/Senor Julio who is blind and wearing dark glasses.

Melody is singing a song as she wanders
in the jungle.

SONG
The jungle is alive with the sound of music.
If music be the food of love,
love is all I need.
If need is the future of music,
I can do without it,yes sir,indeed.
In deed I will pray,
In prayers I will say,
Give me only music,
only music to share.

As she sings and twirls and hops she
bumps into a brown bird who is wearing
dark glasses.

MELODY
Goodness,couldn’t you see me ?

SENOR JULIO
No,child. I am blind.

MELODY
Oh! I am sorry.

SENOR JULIO
It’s okay. You are beautiful, child.

MELODY
But,but,I am….
(she looks at herself and then
at SENOR JULIO)
How do you know, you can’t see.

SENOR JULIO
To see you don’t need eyes. A good heart is enough and I can see you with them, my child. I heard you singing but..Can you come closer?

Melody goes near SENOR JULIO who
touches her face with his wings/hands.

SENOR JULIO
Beautiful.
Very beautiful but…..
(his hand/wings linger at her throat)

MELODY
That’s not ..I mean that’s my neck.

SENOR JULIO
I know let me finish what I am saying. Your throat is sensitive but there’s something missing here.

MELODY
(sadly)
I know MR. RABID also says that. He says I do not know how to sing.

SENOR JULIO
Well child,, if he says that you should be happy. If you sing like him the audience will pelt you with rotten tomatoes and eggs. I didn’t mean you can’t sing.

MELODY
Then what did you mean?

SENOR JULIO
I meant your throat is weak. It is sensitive but it lacks strength.

MELODY
Oh, what should I do for that Mr.

SENOR JULIO
(bowing low)
Senor Julio at your service, my child. For that you have to train your voice.

MELODY
(wailing)
Oh what should I do. Who will train me?
(Then looking hopefully at
Senor Julio)
Will you train me?

SENOR JULIO
Of course, child. But on one condition.

MELODY
What condition?

SENOR JULIO
That you will tell no one about me except your mother.

MELODY
Done. I won’t tell anyone.

SENOR JULIO
All right then. Lets make a beginning right away.
(Both sing, first SENOR JULIO
followed by MELODY)

SONG
SEVEN NOTES OF MUSIC( from the film Sound of Music)

Doe a deer, a female deer,ray, a drop of golden sun,
Me,a name I call myself,Far a long,long way to run.
So,a needle pulling thread, la,a note to follow so.
Tea, a drink with jam and bread, that will bring us back to
Do, o, o, o, Doe,a deer a female deer…..

FADE OUT.

ACT 2.
SCENE 1.
Place: KITE-KING’S Court/Time:Night.

Characters: Kite-King, Cuckoo-Melody’s mother, courtiers.

KITE-KING is seated on a throne and
CUCKOO is dancing and singing.)

SONG
I could have danced all night.
(From the film MY Fair Lady)

Cuckoo takes a final twirl, loses her
balance and falls.

KITE-KING
Watch out! Did you get hurt?

CUCKOO
(Gets up, places her hand on her
hips and limps a bit)
Oh no, Sire, Just a little sprain.

KITE-KING
I have told you again and again and again that you are not as young as before. It’s high time you retired so that we can get a new court dancer.
(From Cuckoo’s expression we can see that she does not like the idea.)
All right, let’s get this message across that we are going to hold a huge contest and whoever wins is going to get lots of goodies.

CUCKOO
Yes, Your highness, Kite- King.

She limps out of the court with a sour
expression on her face.

KITE-KING
(to one of the courtiers)
See that the message is proclaimed to every nook and corner of the world. Cuckoo is really very crafty. Given half a chance she would even tell me to go fly a kite.

All the courtiers laugh uproariously.

ONE OF THE COURTIERS
Ha ha. That’s funny what his royal highness, the Kite- King just said. Cuckoo is capable of telling him to go fly a kite.
(laughs)

FADE OUT.

SCENE 2.
Place: The jungle/Time:day
Characters: All the inhabitants of the jungle.

The younger animals have grown up. Do-Ray holds a guitar and is the lead singer, Me-Far is on the drums, So-La plays the flute from which instrument emanates a variety of sounds
intermittently and Ti-Do beats her metal triangle with a small rod. All the crows are singing THE CAW SONG. Mr. Rabid
has a long white beard and wears spectacles. All the creatures of the jungle are dancing to THE CAW SONG.

BANANA-DRAMA
Not bad, I am going to remix this number.

PETER
When will you stop your monkey tricks and stop being a copy cat. It’s very confusing, all this remix and stuff.

Gee-Peck is dancing and by mistake
steps on Flow-Jo’s toes.

FLOW-JO
Ouch, ouch,ouch! Your huge boots have squashed my big toe.

GEE-PECK
Ooops! sorry! sorry! I am so sorry. But you know my problem, don’t you?

The rabbits are also hopping to the
music. Melody brings some snacks for
everyone.

MELODY
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
Ladies and gentlemen creatures. I see that you like our music.

LAUREL
(to Hardy)
Do we have choice in the matter?
(Twisting both his ears with a
painful expression)
Well, it hardly matters now. My ear drums are completely shattered.

HARDY
(to Laurel)
Yes, just like a snake you know. He can’t hear too, just moves along with the snake charmer’s pipe.

GEE-PECK
(who has a brown noodle
dangling from his beak)
Snake? Who said snake? Where’s the snake?

All the animals are shocked into
silence.

MR. RABID
(looks scared and looks around)
Where’s the snake? Snake’s are my mortal enemies.

CAW-GEE
(throws a hard stare in
Laurel/Hardy’s direction,then
speaks soothingly to Mr.
Rabid)
There’s no snake around. Don’t worry Mr. Rabid. If a snake dares to come here Gee- peck here will eat him up for dinner.

The noodles are still hanging from Gee-
Peck’s beak. All the animals look at
him.

BANANA-DRAMA
Yes,well, let him eat his noodles first. When the snake comes he will eat him as well.

GEE-PECK
Gross. I am not like other pea-cocks who eat snakes. Snakes are our friends actually. They eat up all the animals who are pests like rats,fro…
(Peter quickly shuts his mouth
with his hands/wings)

MR. RABID
(puffing with anger)
What did you say? I know what you were going to say. Frogs. Snakes eat pests like frogs.

PETER
(giggling)
No, no. You are quite mistaken sir. How can you be our enemy?
You sing so sweetly. Ah, what a melodious voice.

MR. RABID
(cooling down a bit)
All right, all right. There is no need to butter me up. I know you critters like the back of my tongue. You make fun of me and (points to the crows) and my pupils. Now just wait and see, I am going to teach you all a lesson you’ll never forget.

CAW-GEE
(nodding her head)
Yes, to be sure. Mr. Rabid is entering my children in a competition at the court of Kite-King. The winner will be made the court-singer. Later, there is talk of getting a good pension.

PETER
(to a butterfly)
Nothing can beat a good job in the government. Just eat, drink and be merry. No stress!

BUTTERFLY ONE
(flapping her wings)
Betcha ! Now take me for instance. I work in the State Department. All I have to do is fly here and fly there -in the country, out of the country and all for free. No worries man.

CAW-GEE
All right then. It is decided. We are all going to Kite-King’s court to encourage our group. Mr. Rabid has named the band – THE CAW-DOORS BAND.

BANANA-DRAMA
Dude, what kind of a name is that? So old and boring.

GEE-PECK
(whispers to Flow-Jo)
Just like their teacher.

Mr. Rabid over hears this remark and
starts to puff up with anger.

MR. RABID
I heard what you said. So I am old and boring! Ribbid!Ribbid!

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

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

Flow-Jo 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
Yes, sir, please don’t worry. We are sure to make you famous all over the world.

ME-FAR
The world of music will remember you for ever and for ever.

TI-DO
And we’ll be big stars too. Everyone will look at us and sing, Twinkle, twinkle little stars,

SO-LA
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.

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 what are 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 ONE
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
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 the 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 to say you cover it up by jumping up and down and shouting  ribbid, ribbid.

GEE-PECK
No, no, Ribbid means….

MELODY
Koooooooo

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, non, 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, 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 wants 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 her self.)

To bring up children is quite a task. It’s not easy being a single mom.

The crows peck Melody and she runs from
the stage cooing away. The other animals, except Mr. Rabid, follow her.
Mr. Rabid hops in the other direction.
Midway he stops and addresses the audience.

MR. RABID
Did all you folks note their behavior? Well, I am not going to spare them. I am going to teach them a lesson come what may. The sky can fall or the earth can shake I will not rest till I teach them a lesson. I too have a weapon that they
know not. Now, all of you just wait for the explosion!

He hops off. Suddenly there is a loud
crash and we hear Mr. Rabid’s loud voice shouting Ribbid)

MR. RABID (O.S.)
Who put this tub of water in the way? I am soaking wet.

BANANA-DRAMA (O.S.)
This is for you Mr. Rabid. You need to have a good wash before you compete with us.

MR. RABID
Ribbid! Ribbid!

The sound of laughter of all the jungle folks.

SCENE 3
PLACE:A CORNER OF THE JUNGLE/DAY

CHARACTERS:ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE JUNGLE EXCEPT MR. RABID,CAW-
GEE, AND THE FOUR CROWS. MELODY SITS IN THE CORNER.

Gee-Peck is dances in an oriental way
while Laurel and Hardy play a
percussion instrument from India-
the tabla

GEE-PECK
Dha,dha,tirkit, ta dha, krandha,krandha,tirkit, tirkit, ta tha.

All the animals clap enthusiastically.

BANANA-DRAMA
Cool, very cool. No, no, I mean, hot, very hot.

FLOW-JO
(laughing)
You better decide whether Mr. Gee-Peck’s dance is cool or hot.

HARDY
I think it’s neither cool nor hot it looks like he is playing the fool.

ALL THE ANIMALS
Whaaaaaaaaaaat!

HARDY
Well, if Mr. Gee Peck is gonna dance with such huge boots it’s not our dance but kinda like a tap dance.

BUTTERFLY ONE
Tap dance, whatever is that?

LAUREL
We had seen it when we had gone abroad once. The dancers wore huge boots and were dancing. And very fast too.

GEE-PECK
Oh well, compared to them I am a nothing. Neither here nor there.

FLOW-JO
Why don’t you just present a demo. Don’t take part in the competition.

PETER
Then who is going to represent us? We do need to teach Mr. Rabid a good lesson.

Everybody is thinking.

MELODY
Coooooo

All the animals look towards her.

MELODY (cont’d)
Will all of you give me a chance to sing on your behalf?

BANANA-DRAMA
But can you sing? You have a sweet voice but professional training is what you need.

MELODY
I have trained professionally. But I can’t reveal the name of  the maestro. It’s top secret.

PETER
All right, in that case why don’t you sing and let us decide.

ALL THE ANIMALS (together)
Hear! hear! let us hear you.

MELODY
All right.

She comes to the center of the stage
and sings.

SONG
The hills are alive with the sound of music.
(from the film Sound of Music)

She sings a few lines and then stops. The animals are quiet
for a moment and then clap enthusiastically and
shout”hear,hear,” and “bravo”!

GEE-PECK
Wonderful! What a melodious voice! Perfectly in tune and rhythm.

BANANA-DRAMA
Rocking! Simply rocking!

FLOW-JO
All right then, it is decided. Melody will represent us.

ALL THE ANIMALS
(all together)
Yes,yes.

PETER
All right Melody. You have to win the first prize. We’ll never get a chance like this one to teach Mr. Rabid a good lesson.

MELODY
All that is fine but let’s not forget my brother’s are also taking part in the contest. If I win they are going to feel bad.

FLOW-JO
Well, just listen to the wee bird. Everyone takes part in the contest,girl. But, this must be the first time I am hearing that someone is afraid to take part in the contest for fear of winning!

BANANA-DRAMA
That happens only when the results are “fixed” as to who is to win and who is to lose. Then it is smarter to lose for if you dare to win you could lose your life.

FLOW-JO
Yes, but this contest is not one of those ones for the Kite- King genuinely wants an entertainer for his court,whether it be a singer or a dancer.

PETER
And,not only are you a good singer but you dance well too. I have seen you hopping from branch to branch,from tree to tree.

FLOW-JO (singing operatically)
I could have danced all night…
(she sings two lines of the
song from the film My Fair Lady)

GEE-PECK
(sings where she breaks off)
You could have danced all night…..

They look at each other lovingly while
the animals look at each other.

PETER
All right, all right, the two of you. How long do you intend to live in the past?

BANANA-DRAMA
Ya man. You gotta swing with the times dude.
(he snaps his fingers and
dances and sings)

SONG
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Up, up to the sky
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly Up, up to the sky
(from the group Silver Convention)

Just then a pigeon flutters towards
them. All the animals look at each
other amazed

PEACE-MEAL
(the pigeon)
I have brought you a proclamation from Kite -King.

GEE-PECK
Go ahead.

PEACE-MEAL
The Kite-King wants you all to know that you are all welcome to his land but no one is permitted to bring their tutor or teacher with them.

Just then Caw-gee and Mr. Rabid arrive.

BANANA-DRAMA
Oh Caw-nee, I mean Caw-Gee! He has just brought an important message from the King that Mr. Rabid is not permitted in the
contest.

CAW-GEE
Why Not? What kind of rule is that?

PEACE-MEAL
This is not a rule, it’s the law. The contestants cannot be accompanied by their tutors.

MR. RABID
Stuff and nonsense. I am going to go, let me see who dare stop me.

PEACE-MEAL
You are not going to get a visa.

MR. RABID
Why won’t you give me one? What kind of law is this? You can’t do this.

GEE-PECK
Listen, my good fellow, it’s their country, they can do whatever they want.

MR. RABID
I’ll see who will stop me from entering the country. I have my ways.

FLOW-JO
God forbid. Illegal alien. Are you going to break the law?

MR. RABID
Well, by hook or by crook, whatever it takes.

GEE-PECK
Why are you so stubborn Mr. Rabid? And why do you want to force yourself everywhere, even when you are not wanted.
After all, you must be having a place of your own. Why don’t you go and live there peacefully?

BANANA-DRAMA
Well, the fact is his well is very deep and the water’s are very shallow and murky. And there are many frogs like him who go ribbid, ribbid all the time. That’s why this dude has run away and come here.

PETER
Well if he has run away and come here then he needs to sit quietly in a corner. Where’s the need to go ribbid, ribbid all the time.

GEE-PECK
Force of habit, my friend, force of habit.

MR. RABID
Ribbid, ribbid.

CAW-GEE
Mr. Rabid, don’t you bother about what they all say. Peace, my friend, peace.

PEACE-MEAL
Did you say some thing to me ?

CAW-GEE
I said Peace.

PEACE-MEAL
Yes, that’s my name Peace-Meal. In short, Peace.

ALL THE ANIMALS
Whaaaaaaaaat?

PEACE-MEAL
Yes, I am the pigeon of Peace. Another bird was in charge of this work but ever since the hunters have got rid of her I am now in charge of this work.

BANANA-DRAMA
I see. Yes, the dove was the messenger of peace but now he is extinct like the dodo bird. And now you are in charge of this work.

PEACE-MEAL
Yes, and now I am going to fly off too. Farewell.

He flies away.

All the animals sing

SONG
Fly, robin, fly…

BANANA-DRAMA (to Mr. Rabid)
Well, you better live in peace in the jungle. We’ll take a quick tour of the world and come, man.

GEE-PECK
And if you get too bored you still have your well where the other frog’s await you.

MR. RABID
Ribbid!Ribbid! Looks like you are not going to behave yourselves. Go fly a kite.

BANANA-DRAMA
Hellooo, we are going to meet the Kite-King. How can we fly a kite here?

All the animals laugh uproariously at his joke.

GEE-PECK
Great joke! We can’t fly a kite here coz we are going to meet the Kite-King!! Ho Ho Ho. Well said Banana-Drama.

Banana-Drama pulls up his collar and smirks.

CAW-GEE
Melody, what are you doing here this late. Come into the nest. It’s time to go to bed. We have to leave early tomorrow.
(Addressing the other animals)
Come along, all of you too.

BANANA-DRAMA
No way Mam. I was thinking of going to the disco. I have just got a new job as the D.J. I have to play all the latest hit songs.

CAW-GEE
You have to play, that’s all. Anyone can do that for you, they don’t need you for that. Go. Go to sleep, or you will all miss the flight tomorrow.

BANANA-DRAMA
All right Caw-Nee, I mean Caw-Gee. We respect you, that is why we listen to you Mam or
(looking at Mr. Rabid)
By this time we would have got rid of certain individuals.

Goes away singing “Black is black,
I want my baby back”by Los Bravos)

Mr. Rabid looks at him furiously. All the animals leave.
Only Mr. Rabid remains on stage.

MR. RABID
We’ll see who will get rid of whom. I will destroy all of  you. I have a secret weapon and that weapon is going to spell your doom.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 4.
PLACE: CUCKOO’S LUXURIOUS BED CHAMBER WHICH IS FURNISHED WITH A FEW GOLDEN RODS TO DENOTE LUXURY AND THE FEELING OF BEING CAGED/ TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS: CUCKOO/A PIGEON/MRS. BROWN/MELODY

Cuckoo is pacing the floor. There is a
knock on the door.
CUCKOO’S VOICE
Come in
(A pigeon comes in and bows
before Cuckoo.)
Did you do what I told you to do?

PIGEON
Yes madam,I told both my friends to keep an eye on the contestants and to let me know who among them is the best.

CUCKOO
And?

PIGEON
According to my sources the most talented of the lot is a young singer named Melody.

CUCKOO
All right then, go and invite her. Tell her I want to meet her tomorrow, in the evening. Tell her I want to give her tips to help her win the contest.

PIGEON (bowing respectfully)
To be sure Madam.

(Goes away)

CUCKOO
(putting her wings/hand
together)
Wants to replace me, indeed! We’ll see about that. I am going to teach her such a lesson that she‘ll go crying to her mamma. After I am done with her she’ll not even be able to eat, forget about tweet.
(she claps peremptorily)
Where is everyone? Yoohooo, I say, yoohoo.

A little sparrow comes in running.

MRS. BROWN
Yes Madam

CUCKOO
Are you deaf Mrs. Brown? Your problem is that you are hopping here and there all the time and when there is work to be done you are nowhere to be seen.

MRS. BROWN
(wringing her hands in fear)
Yes madam, to be sure madam. I had just gone to collect some grains and grit                                ( gives a shy smile)                                                    I am expecting five wee ones soon and we’ll need a bigger nest too. Hubby dear can’t do all the house work, he has to work outside too to make ends meet.

CUCKOO
(sarcastically)
I know exactly what he does outside. When are you folks going to change your ways? Your husband has no work, he’s always drunk in bars and you, you go on producing children. What’s your husband’s name?

MRS. BROWN
(lowers her eyes shyly clasps
her hand and swings side to
side)
Mr. Lancelot Brown.

CUCKOO
Whatever! Go and tell Mr. Hadalot to take a break and come and meet me right away. I have some work for him.

MRS. BROWN
Right away Missus (Cuckoo glares at her) I mean madame.

CUCKOO
Now off with you. Go and get me a few grains and salad leaves. And, bring me a cold glass of water.

MRS. BROWN
(who is a little slow-witted)
To drink ?

CUCKOO (exasperated)
No, to have a bath! Oh God, give me strength that I can deal with these slow witted and hilly billy sorts. Now, go, O mother of mine, go and do as I say.

MRS. BROWN
Mother? I am not your mother. I am going to be a mother soon.
(Shyly)
Just a few days to go.

CUCKOO
(stamping her feet)
Are you going to leave or no!

The sparrow hops away

(Cuckoo draws in a deep breath)
What a life! On the one hand I have to deal with these dumb hilly billy sorts and on the other I have to deal with that rogue Kite-King who has no other interest in life but to sing, dance and be merry.                                           Just because I am a little old, I mean a little mature now, he is scouting around for young blood. He has one leg in the grave but he behaves like a young rooster. Anyway, I can handle him and his new singing sensation, what did pigeon say was her name, ah Yes! Melody.

Fade to black for a few moments to indicate that it is the next day and then we hear’s Melody’s voice.

MELODY’S VOICE
Kooooooo

Lights come on gradually. Melody is
standing on one corner of the stage.

Cuckoo is on the settee in a dishevelled state

MELODY
Madam you called me so here I am. I am a big fan, Madam. Your songs are an inspiration to me.

CUCKOO
(Yawning)
Really! You are so little then how can you be a big fan?
(Giggling)
Just a joke. Come in, come and sit down.
(Pats the settee)
Come here, come sit next to me.

Melody sits next to her, a little
scared, a little nervous.

CUCKOO
Now then, tell me, where did you learn to sing. I mean, who is your teacher?

MELODY’S VOICE
(as she thinks)
Senor Julio told me to tell no one but
(addresses Cuckoo)
Mother had appointed Mr. Rabid to tutor all of us.

CUCKOO
(taken aback)
Mr. Rabid! That tuneless frog who goes ribbid, ribbid in the rainy weather.

MELODY
The same.

CUCKOO
Lordloveaduck!

CUCKOO’S VOICE
(as she thinks to herself)
Did that pigeon make a mistake? How can she be a good singer?
(Addresses Melody)
All right, let me hear you, let me see how you sing.

MELODY
I am sorry, the maestro forbid from singing in front of anyone.

CUCKOO
Drat it! All right, at least let me hear you sing the seven notes of melody, just like Mr. Ribbid taught you to sing.

MELODY
Just like Mr. Ribbid taught me to sing. All right.
(she sings hoarsely)
Do, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

CUCKOO
(gives an evil smile)
Hear, hear! What a voice. Wonderful, my child. You will surely win the first prize in this contest.
(Joyfully)
Will you eat something?
(Claps her hands peremptorily)
Mrs. Brown, yoohoo,Mrs. Brown, are you deaf?

Mrs Brown who is wearing an apron and has a duster in which she is wiping her hands comes in running.

MRS. BROWN
Yes Missus
(Cuckoo glares at her)
I mean Madame

CUCKOO
Go and get a cola with ice for her. And get me some hot tea and don’t forget the ginger.

MRS. BROWN
(as she goes )
Yes missus
(flustered)
I mean Madame

The lights are slowly dimming as we hear Melody.

MELODY’S VOICE
My teacher told me not drink anything cold. And definitely not any cola. It has chemicals that kill bugs.

CUCKOO
Drat it!

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 5. A
PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT IN HIS PALACE/ TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS:KITE-KING/CUCKOO/JUDGE-A FAT PENGUIN/ALL THE ANIMALS OF JUNGLE LAND/AUDIENCE WHICH CAN ALSO COMPRISE OF ANY BIRDS,BEASTS OR HUMANS THROUGH WHICH ONE MAY WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT, AN ALIEN WHO HAS COME FROM ANOTHER GALAXY/MR. LANCELOT BROWN, MRS. BROWN AND THEIR FIVE CHILDREN/GURU GODMAN.

Kite-king comes and sits on his throne.
The audience claps

KITE-KING
Let the contest begin.

The Master of ceremonies is a crane. He holds the mike. He stands on one foot then the other.

GURU GODMAN
Salaam,Namaste,Good Evening! Ich bin ein Guru Godman and welcome you all. The Kite-King, in all his benevolence, has organized this contest magnifique for all of us to enjoy.
Tres bien. Now, I will call on each contestant to come one by one and I hope you will enjoy their performance. So, first let me invite.. ( looks at his paper)

PETER (to Gee-Peck)
Why doesn’t he speak in one language,it’s very confusing.

GEE-PECK
So, he can please everyone.

GURU GODMAN
The first contestant tonight is China’s famous singer,
(looking at a paper in his hands)
Who is also trained in the martial arts like judo karate,Pee- Wee- King.

Everyone claps and Pee-Wee-King comes
on stage and sings in the Chinese Style
and also demonstrates Judo and karate.

PEE-WEE-KING
(Sings in a falsetto)
Chop, chop, chop,chop suey.
Pop, pop, pop, pop goes the weasel.

Top, top, top, top of the Morning,

Cop, cop, cop, cop out come evening.

Come morning, come evening,
By day and by night,
Buy, buy, buy our motto,
And sell, sell, sell,
When the time is right.
Buy and sell, buy and sell,
Do we care wherever we dwell.
All we want is the ship to sail,
We’ll bail out when the going is hell.
The song concludes and everyone claps.

LAUREL (to Hardy)
He looks like a boy then why does he sing like a girl? And his name is Pee-Wee-King. Is he small or is he a King? And why does he exercise when he sings? I am so confused.

GEE-PECK
So is he. And that is his problem. He can’t decide what he wants, what he wants to be and where he is going? I guess he’ll make up his mind when the going is hell.

GURU GODMAN
And now is the turn of the famous bird from Australia – Platy- Pus.

A weird looking bird comes on stage.

LAUREL
Now what kind of bird is this, I just can’t figure it out.

PETER
Nor can it. It hasn’t decided what it wants to be, a bird or a beast. So its neither here nor there – just a Platy-pus.

LAUREL
That Chinese man should also decide what it wants to be or it will turn out like this creature-neither here nor there- just a Platy-pus

PLATY-PUS
(Singing)
Fowl is fair and Fair is Fowl
Live we do not cheek by jowl.
Open spaces,weather fair,
Plenty to eat and not a care.
Confused are we and do not dare
To take a stand and show them all
We mean business and will not stick
Any funny business before we kick
All and sundry from our land.
No, no. no, no, yes, yes, yes, yes.
No-yes, no-yes, no- yes, no-yes,
Confused are we, we are confused,
Lord clear the heads of these Platy-pus.

All the creatures clap. We see a short
rotund individual clad from top to toe
in a burqa/abaya coming in. He stands
in a corner. This is Mr. Rabid.

GURU GODMAN
And now we call on stage four talented singers from the jungle- Do-ray, Me-far, So-la, Ti-do, to present their song  titled, Black is Black.

The creatures clap and the four crows
come on stage lugging their instruments
which they place with stylized swagger
and superior attitude.

FOUR CROWS
(singing in a rap style)
Black is black and so is white.
Day is day and so is night.
If black is white and day is night
What does it matter if we look a sight,
What does it matter if we give you a fright,
What does it matter if you want us out of sight.
We may be bores
but now-a-days
anything goes.
If anything goes
than what does it matter
If we are not sure of our tunes or our pater.
We follow the credo of all our kind
To stiff the suckers who pay to watch
Our shows and our broadsides divine.
If they now complain,
We’ll not return their money
come thunder or rain.
No, no, that’s not our intention,
No,no,we’ll not allow any intervention,
We want our money
and we’ll hold it tight,
Nothing will cure us,
not even a swift kick
Up our backsides.

At the beginning of the song the
audience is too stunned to react. Then,
they slowly start to close their ears.
Some of them are trying to get out of
the hall. The Kite-King is flapping his
wings in anger. The Guru-Godman hastily
comes on stage. Only the alien is
clapping appreciatively.

GURU GODMAN
Yes, yes, to be sure. I think that is enough for the night.
Due to time constraints we’ll have to cut short this number. We apologize.

The animals are happy. From the
burqa/abaya clad individual comes the
sound of “Ribbid, Ribbid.” All the
Jungle-Land creatures look around
surprised then at each other.

GURU GODMAN
(cont’d)
Finally it is the turn of a young and talented singer. I invite on stage Melody.

Melody comes on stage. All the
creatures clap. Cuckoo gives an evil
smile.

MELODY
(singing)
The hills are alive with the Sound of Music.
(from the film Sound of Music)
The audience is entranced, particularly
Kite-King. Only the alien is closing
his ears with a pained expression. When
the song is over the creatures clap
enthusiastically and shout
“Bravo,Bravo”and “Hear, Hear!”
Cuckoo looks furious.The Kite-King comes on
stage.

KITE-KING
Well done, well done! Tonight’s program was excellent and entertaining. I am very pleased.
(The audience claps)
Singers from all parts of the world have entertained us tonight with songs in many different languages.                                             But music is one language that brings together people from all over the
world. For music knows no boundaries,no languages, it is above all. Music touches not our minds but our hearts.                                        And the entertainer whose song has touched all our hearts is no other than the winner of tonight’s contest, Melody.

The creatures clap and yell ‘Bravo’ and ‘Hear, Hear!’ Cuckoo looks furious.

KITE-KING (cont’d)
We would like Melody to come on stage and accept her prize.

Melody comes on stage and accepts her
gift. A tiny crown is placed on her
head.

KITE-KING (cont’d)
I am so pleased with Melody’s singing that I hereby appoint her as our court singer. Henceforth she will live here and
entertain me. The whole world will enjoy her music.
In return Melody will get untold riches and fame….
(The audience claps)

KITE-KING
(cont’d)
And henceforth she will live in a golden cage
(he looks at Cuckoo)
Since our old entertainer is about to retire she will now live in a brass cage and her cage will be prepared for Melody.
(It is clear that Cuckoo does
not like the Kite-King’s
suggestion.)

KITE-KING (cont’d)
And Cuckoo, you are hereby appointed Melody’s chaperone.
Please take care that she is taken care of and does not want for anything.

(Cuckoo stands up and curtsies. Kite-King looks at Melody)

KITE-KING (cont’d)
I congratulate you and wish you well for a bright future and a new world.

MELODY
(To Kite-King)
May I have your permission to say a few words?

KITE-KING
To be sure, you may.

MELODY
I thank you all for considering me worthy of such honor and for supporting me in this journey, I would like to call upon the person who has my deepest respect. I would like to call
her on stage and in front of all you ask her for her blessings. Mom…..

Caw-gee looks at Melody. She has tears
in her eyes. She walks slowly towards
the stage. She is old and has white
hair but Cuckoo recognizes her. Melody
touches Caw-Gee’s feet who blesses her.
The audience claps. The two embrace.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 5 B

PLACE/TIME: SAME AS SCENE 5. THE STAGE IS BLACK FOR A MOMENT AND THEN SLOWLY LIGHTS UP TO SHOW THE AUDIENCE HAS LEFT. ONLY CUCKOO IS LEFT ALONE.
CHARACTERS:CUCKOO/ MR.RABID

Cuckoo is pacing the floor. A sudden
sound distracts her and she sees that a
burqa/abaya clad figure approaches her.

CUCKOO
(frightened)

What..who ..is there?

The burqa/abaya clad figure comes close
and lifts the veil from his face to
reveal Mr. Rabid. Cuckoo screams.

MR. RABID
Ribbid! I removed the veil from my face! Then why did you scream?

CUCKOO
Never mind. Who are you? I am going to call the sentry to throw you out.

MR. RABID
Don’t even think of making the mistake. You stand to lose a lot.

CUCKOO
Really? I have just lost everything. What do I have to lose now ?

MR. RABID
If you do as I tell you then you will get what your heart desires…

CUCKOO
What are you implying, sir. At least think of your grey beard before talking such rubbish.

MR. RABID
Oh dear me Madame. You have got me wrong. In any case, you are not that young either.

CUCKOO
(narrowing her eyes and raising
an eyebrow)
Really, For the likes of you I am no less than a beautiful hourie from heaven. Just which planet are you from Mister?

MR. RABID
Ribbid! Ribbid! Your tongue is as sharp as a knife. If you were in my country….

CUCKOO
Exactly, that’s why I am not in your country. I have no wish to live in a deep well
(she looks him up and down)
Nor do I wish to suffocate my self. I like to breathe free in the fresh air, understood?

MR. RABID
Do you call living in a golden cage freedom?

CUCKOO
Well, it certainly beats living in a dark well.

MR. RABID
Heaven help me! Why have I got myself entangled in this useless debate. Do you want to hear about something that is in your interest?

CUCKOO
All right, go on

MR. RABID
Actually I am the tutor to the Caw-Doors Band.

CUCKOO
Ah, so that is why you hide your face.

MR. RABID
What rubbish. The laws in your country are so weird that I have to resort to these means.

CUCKOO
Every country has its own laws. The laws in your country are no less weird.
( she shudders )
Goodness, I couldn’t live there for even a day.

MR. RABID
(irritated)
Who is calling you there in any event? Why don’t you listen to that which is in your interest?

CUCKOO
It’s not possible that it will only be in my interest and not yours. You don’t look like a philanthropist to me.

MR. RABID
(almost in tears)
Please, I beg of you. Listen to me carefully.

CUCKOO
All right, all right, hurry up. It’s time for my massage.

MR. RABID
(stuttering in disgust)
Massage? Here we are about to talk of important matters of the state, of a world which is going to be topsy-turvy and
you can only think of your massage.

CUCKOO
( tossing her head scornfully)
Soooooo! If you took an interest in some massage you wouldn’t be so hyper, I mean stressed, I mean tensed. You would be
more happy and relaxed.

MR. RABID
(hopping up and down)
Ribbid! Ribbid! Who says I am not relaxed. I am very happy go lucky.
(trying to laugh )
See how I laugh. He he he. See.

CUCKOO
All right, all right. There is no need for these histrionics.
All Right out with it. My time is precious.

MR. RABID
So I like I said before I am the tutor of the Caw-Doors band.

CUCKOO
Oh Yes, that reminds me you are Melody’s tutor too, then how did she learn to sing so well.

MR. RABID
What do you mean? Melody does not know how to sing and yet she won the contest.  I suspect a huge conspiracy is afoot and Kite- king is at the bottom of it all. I think he’s jealous of my talent and wants to discredit me in front of everyone.

CUCKOO
Are you retarded, by any chance?

MR. RABID
Ribbid, Ribbid.

CUCKOO
Anyway, go on.

MR. RABID
I feel the two of us should get together.    (Cuckoo gives him a hard stare),                            I don’t mean that. I mean if you help me to  dethrone Kite-King then, in return, I will make you the court singer.

CUCKOO
And pray tell me what is your plan to dethrone him.

Mr. Rabid takes out a packet from his garment.

MR. RABID
Here take this medicine. Just stir it in Kite-king’s tea.

CUCKOO
I see, and then what will happen?

MR. RABID
What will happen? Kite-king will lose his memory, he’ll forget he’s the king and we can easily place anyone we want on his throne.

CUCKOO
It seems to me you are very fond of Bollywood films. I mean memory loss and all that. Just like a movie.

MR. RABID
No way. I’m not fond of such trash. This kind of cheap entertainment is forbidden where I come from.

CUCKOO
Oh, then what’s all this singing and dancing,what’s your explanation for all that?

MR. RABID
I am doing all that out of my country, not in there.

CUCKOO
Wow,that kind of reasoning stinks of double standards. What is bad there can’t be good here?

MR. RABID
You won’t understand these political matters.

CUCKOO
Hmmm, I understand your political matters completely. These political matters have only one agenda, get what you want and have a lot of fun.  Who cares about the poor public. Any way,what do I care. As long as my fun and games continue I am not bothered what happens to the world around me(extends her hand forward). All right, give me your memory loss potion.

Mr. Rabid gives her vial. Cuckoo walks away, her heels clicking.

MR. RABID
So you want to be the court dancer eh, we’ll see about that.
You are not fit to be a street dancer. Just let me become the king then I will make you dance to my tune. You”ll forget your steps, Madame. Ribbid, ribbid.

FADE TO BLACK.
SCENE 6.
PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT IN HIS PALACE/TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS:KITE-KING/MELODY/ALL THE COURTIERS/CUCKOO/GURU- GODMAN/PENGUIN/MRS. BROWN/DR.CHARLIE

MELODY
(singing sadly as she twirls
slowly)

SONG
The hills are alive with the sound of music
(From the film”Sound of Music”)

KITE-KING
Bravo, Bravo. I am pleased, very pleased. (to Cuckoo) I hope you are looking after her? She should not want for anything.

He takes out a string of pearls from his neck and extends his hand/wing to Melody.

KITE-KING (CONT’D)
This is for you.

Melody accepts the necklace but from her demeanor we can see that she is not happy.

KITE-KING (CONT’D)
It seems to me you are not very happy. Why? Is anything the matter ?

MELODY
You have given me everything but…

KITE-KING
But ?

Melody is silent.

KITE-KING                                                    Tell me ,what is that I cannot give you? (a little sternly), Come on, out with it?

MELODY (softly)
I want to breathe in the open air. Can I go back to the jungle?

KITE-KING
There is only one thing you cannot get and you have asked for it- Freedom. Besides this, you can have anything you want.

MELODY
I don’t want anything else. I just want to fly in the open skies, please let me go.

KITE-KING
(more sternly)
That is not possible. You can go now.

Melody walks away slowly, downcast.

KITE-KING
(to Cuckoo)
Go and explain to her, entertain her. Give her whatever she wants so that she no longer wants to leave from here.

CUCKOO’S VOICE
Yes , your highness.

Cuckoo goes away. Kite-King is lost in
thought when Guru-Godman, who is standing next to him speaks.

GURU GODMAN
With your permission Sire, can I say something?

KITE-KING
Yes, yes, go on.

GURU GODMAN
It is my observation,your highness, that this old Cuckoo will be unable to take care of the little cuckoo. On the contrary, it is very likely that she will only trouble her. My suggestion is we appoint someone else to take care of her.

KITE-KING
Wonderful,you have great manipulative skills. I am glad I included you in my council of ministers just after the contest.

GURU GODMAN
(bowing low)
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

KITE-KING
So, in your wise opinion who would be most suitable to look after Melody?

GURU GODMAN
One name does comes to my mind but I am not sure if he will agree.

KITE-KING
Who?

GURU GODMAN
His name is Senior Julio. He lives in the same jungle to which Melody belongs.

KITE-KING
But, a man?

GURU GODMAN
By God’s grace he is blind.

KITE- KING
What a joke! A blind man to keep an eye on Melody. But really your manipulative skills are worthy of praise.

GURU GODMAN
So, should I send him a message Sire?

KITE-KING
Yes, of course!
(laughs)
Ah, the crafty Cuckoo will tie herself up in knots. Simply great, Guru-Godman, I am pleased.

GURU GODMAN
I have another request, Sire?

KITE-KING
Yes , of course. Go on.

GURU GODMAN
I have a friend, Mr. Rabid, who is very wealthy. He has embarked on a world tour. He would like to enjoy the sights and sounds of our country. Please grant him a visa.

KITE-KING
Why not, why not. If he is your friend he must be of some consequence. I will give orders for his visa. Do bring him to the court sometime.

GURU GOD-MAN
To be sure, your highness. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Pays his respects by bowing very low.

KITE-KING
(yawns loudly, bored of Guru-
Godman’s courtesies)
All right, all right,now think of something new to entertain us.
The contest was a complete washout.
Except for Melody’s all the items were absolute rubbish.

PENGUIN
(who is standing close by)
May I make a suggestion sire?

KITE-KING
Mr. Penguin, you are so cold, what suggestion could you possibly give? Anyway, go on.

PENGUIN
I think we should have a contest between Cuckoo and Melody.
The loser will have to become the other’s maid-servant.

KITE-KING
(laughs)
Great, simply great! What an idea. Your mind is a devil’s workshop and its working overtime.
(To Guru-Godman)
Make arrangements and invite all those who had come before.

GURU GODMAN
Yes, your sire.

Kite-king rises, stretches and yawns loudly.

KITE-KING
All right then, the court is adjourned. We’ll go and rest now.

Kite-king walks away. As he is going he
is scratching his beard,yawning,
rubbing his eyes. All the courtiers
heave a sigh of relief. Suddenly, Kite-
king comes back. Everyone is alert
again.

KITE-KING (cont’d)
Somebody tell Cuckoo to bring a glass of milk to my room.

GURU GODMAN
Yes, your highness.

Kite-king leaves. The other courtiers
follow. Only the Penguin waddles
behind.

GURU GODMAN
(to Penguin)
Your idea was excellent. Will you come to my house tonight.
Mr. Rabid is coming too.

PENGUIN
If you give me dinner I will come. I am fond of fish.

GURU GODMAN
Me too. I have arranged for some flies for Mr. Rabid. He is an expert in catching flies.

PENGUIN
Gross. Then it will be impossible to suffer him.

GURU GODMAN
Yes, but in politics one has to make friends with all kinds of people. And he can be useful, you know.

PENGUIN
All right then I’ll suffer him too. I’ll even swallow a few flies for his sake.

GURU GOD MAN
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

They leave. We hear Penguin’s voice back-stage.

PENGUIN ( O.S.)
Your name is Guru but you speak English very well. Where did you get your training?

GURU GODMAN (O.S.)
We have been at it since my grandfather’s time Now it flows in my blood.

Melody walks in slowly. She sings the
same song she had sung in court, “The hills are alive with the sound of
music,” Cuckoo follows, there is a
glass of milk in her hand. Melody
stands behind some gold bars, she looks
sad.

CUCKOO
What do you want for?

MELODY
I want my Mom.

CUCKOO
Didn’t you recognise me. I Am your real mom. Many years ago I had left you in Caw-Gee’s nest. Come on, Give me a hug.

MELODY (moving back)
No, never. You Are not my mom, Caw-gee is my mom.

CUCKOO
I gave birth to you, Melody.

MELODY
So what, you gave birth to me and left me. Caw-gee gave me life.

CUCKOO
Your two are not the same. Look at me. My color, my looks, my qualities are all like yours. I can give you everything.
Riches, wealth, name, fame.

MELODY
Riches, wealth, name, fame – I can give you these, not you.
Today I have all this so you are with me. I don’t want any of  this.

CUCKOO
Then, what do you want, child?

MELODY
I want Caw-gee’s love.
(screams) I want Caw-Gee’s love.

Melody falls down on the bed covered
with a velvet bed spread and weeps.
Cuckoo takes out the vial which was
given to her by Mr. Rabid.

CUCKOO (V.O.)
I think I should give this memory loss potion to her. When she will forget her old life she’ll forget Caw-gee too. Then I can control her totally.

She pours the potion in the glass of
milk and then comes to Melody and
strokes her with loving hands.

CUCKOO
Melody, my child. Please get up and drink this milk, it will make you feel much better. I will personally talk to Kite- king today and ask him to send you back to your mother.

MELODY
(with tears in her eyes and
choked throat)
Promise ?

CUCKOO
Yes, yes, my child. I am your mother, not your enemy. Come drink this.

Melody drinks the milk laced with the potio.

MELODY
(putting her arms around
Cuckoo’s neck)
Mom, you are so wonderful.

She loses her grip and faints.

CUCKOO
(gets up and claps)
Hello, is anyone around?

Mrs. Brown comes running.

MRS. BROWN
Yes Missus…..I mean Yes Madame.

CUCKOO
Look at her, what has happened to her. Go and call the doctor right away and tell Guru-Godman to inform his highness that
Melody has fainted.

(Mrs. Brown is staring at her                             with a deer caught in the                         headlights expression)                                        Oh for God’s sake, what are you staring at me bug-eyed. Go on, hurry up.

MRS. BROWN
Yes, should I call the doctor first or go and inform Guru-Godman

CUCKOO
Oh Lordy, Lordy, are you a complete nincompoop? Go and tell Guru-Godman first. Only when he sees her condition will
matters proceed further.

MRS. BROWN (innocently)
What matters Missus…I mean Madame?

CUCKOO
Just this that his star singer is no longer in a state to entertain his highness. He’ll have no choice but to come to me.                                                   And he thought he could take away my golden cage.

There is a sound of someone clearing
his throat. Cuckoo and Mrs. Brown jump
in fright.

GURU GODMAN
I have seen everything and I have heard everything too.

Cuckoo is flustered.

CUCKOO
Sir, I was just saying, I mean….

GURU GODMAN
I know perfectly well what you mean. I have never seen anyone as mean as you. And now for your selfish interests your tried to do away with this poor wee creature. You will be punished for this, for sure.

CUCKOO
All right, go and tell. I, too, will tell his highness that I merely gave Melody the potion which your friend Mr. Rabid had given me to give him.

GURU GODMAN
(sighing deeply)
You are a very crooked woman. And how did you come to know that Mr. Rabid is my friend?

CUCKOO
Not only I, but everyone knows he is your friend. You asked for his visa in front of everyone. What do you think, are you
the only one who has spies?

GURU GODMAN
All right, all right, Mata Hari. This round is yours. But. what do we do with her (looks at Melody) And I have called for Senor Julio to take care of her.

CUCKOO
According to my sources Senor Julio is blind, so he can while his time away in some corner. And as for her, she has lost her memory,not her singing abilities, so now she will sing and dance to our tune.

All this while Mrs. Brown has been
stepping back slowly and now she
quickly takes a step back and
disappears from the scene.

CUCKOO
(looking around)
Oh, where did Mrs. Brown vanish. These folks are a bunch of lazy good for nothings. One’s attention is diverted for just a second and off they go. It’s just as well or we would have to get rid of her as well.

GURU GODMAN
We’ll have to show this one to the doctor just so that his highness does not suspect any foul play.

CUCKOO (screaming)
Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Brown, where the dickens are you?

Mrs. Brown rushes in, panting.

MRS. BROWN
Yes, Missus…I mean, Madame.

CUCKOO
Go and call Dr. Charlie and be quick.

MRS. BROWN
Yes, yes Missus…I mean Madame, madame.

Mrs. Brown leaves. Cuckoo picks up the
glass and holds it high and says
looking at it.

CUCKOO
I hope she loses only her memory with this potion. There will be no other ill effects.

GURU GODMAN
That only Dr. Charlie can tell us.

Dr. Charlie comes followed by Brown.

DR.CHARLIE
Oh dear, oh dear, what happened? Dr. Charlie at your service.

GURU GODMAN
Will you (pointing to Melody) look at her please. We know what happened. She just fainted suddenly.

Dr. Charlie takes out a large
magnifying glass and inspects Melody.

DR.CHARLIE
The patient’s condition is extremely serious. Her body has bloated up hugely.

CUCKOO (sarcastically)
Maybe it is because you are looking at her through a magnifying glass.

Dr. Charlie takes out a stethoscope and
puts the two ends into Melody’s ears
and listens into one with his ear.

DR.CHARLIE
I can hear some strange sounds. The patient’s mental state is highly disturbed.

GURU GODMAN
I think you need to get your brains examined as soon as possible.

CUCKOO
(voice dripping with sarcasm)
What can anyone do about the state of affairs in this country. Fools rush in here and angels fear to tread.
Everything is available at wholesale prices and this doctor too is part of the deal.

DR.CHARLIE (angrily)
Maybe you are not aware that I hold an M.B.B.S. Degree.

CUCKOO
And I know very well what that means, My Boys,Babies and Spouses need my services and for that I need to stick it to you. Just like you your degrees too are available at wholesale rates.

GURU GODMAN
Anyway, now just do what other folks do. Just splash some water on her face.

He looks towards Mrs. Brown who is
staring open-mouthed. She is flustered
and runs off and comes back with a bowl
of water. Dr. Charlie splashes Melody’s
face with water. Melody opens her eyes
and looks around wide-eyed and
distressed. Then she tries to speak.

MELODY
Ko…..

CUCKOO
Melody! What happened, tell me?

Melody stares at her wide-eyed, trying in vain to speak.

MRS. BROWN
Lordloveaduck! The cat has got the wee mite’s tongue.

CUCKOO
What are you saying? Can’t you speak plain English?
Ignoramus,hilly billy critter.

GURU GODMAN
Well, she speaks the truth in her rustic way. This one’s voice has gone and,most probably, she can’t recognise anyone too.

CUCKOO
Drat it !
(then a little happily)
Well, now at least they will have to reinstate me as the court singer.

Kite-king enters.

KITE-KING
Wrong! That is impossible. You are no longer fit for this post. We now seek fresh blood which is young,beautiful and can entertain us. Dry,old bones will not do.
(To Guru-Godman)
Send Peace-meal pigeon with the message that we are going to hold another contest. This time, besides untold wealth the winner will also get dearness allowance, transport, medical
and an expense account.

CUCKOO
(drawing in her breath)
Oh! This prize will tempt anyone.

KITE-KING
Yes,and I think you should start thinking about packing your bags and moving on. And yes, along with you,
(pointing to Melody)
Take her along too. She is of no use now.

CUCKOO
What will I do with her? Call her mom. She’ll take her away.

GURU GODMAN
She is absolutely right. And there is no need for that thrush, Senor Julio too. I will tell him not to come.

KITE-KING
It he wants to pay his way and come, he can come. I have heard he too is fond of singing and dancing. He used to be a very famous singer at one time. Then he went blind due to an accident. And ever since then he stopped performing in public. Now he lives in a cottage in the jungle.

CUCKOO
Yes, I remember. Many years ago, I mean not so very long ago, just about fifteen, no, ten, no…

GURU GODMAN
There is no need to stress your bird brain. I know for a fact that the thrush has not performed in public for the last twenty five years. Go on now.

CUCKOO (grimacing)
Uh, oh! Anyway, both of us had performed together once before the Queen of England. Suddenly the electricity went off. The thrush was holding a mike. When the lights came on again suddenly there was a loud bang and smoke all over.
Senor Julio shouted and fainted right there. He lost his eyes in that accident.

KITE-KING
(yawning)
All right, all right, there is no need for your hundred year old tales. Take this ( looking towards Melody) one away and
(looking towards Dr. Charlie) you help her too. If You can’t cure a body at least you can help lift it.

Mrs. Brown steps forward too. Cuckoo
and Mrs. Brown lift Melody from the
shoulders and Dr. Charlie lifts her
feet. They all leave the stage.

GURU GODMAN
Sire, till you get someone to replace the Cuckoo don’t throw her out.

KITE-KING
You are so right. We do need someone to entertain us. We’ll just have to make do with her.
(sighing deeply)
It’s just my bad luck.

GURU GODMAN
(smiling)
Don’t lose heart, your highness. Just throw a few coins and watch the fun. Not one but thousands will come running. Their breed is such. There are just a few who care about the arts, and one of those was Melody, but alas, that crafty Cuckoo has cast her evil eye on her.

KITE-KING
Well, her time is up in any case. You just go ahead and announce the contest.

GURU GODMAN
(bowing low)
Yes, your highness. Your slightest whim is my command.

KITE-KING
I like your style. That is why I chose to make a high school failed like you my minister over many talented candidates.
Come on, it’s late.
(Yawns)
I am off to sleep.

Goes away.

GURU GODMAN
( narrowing his eyes)
Oh, you love to sleep, don’t you.
One day I’ll put you to sleep permanently that you won’t get up to see the morning sun. I am just a high school drop out but I will make sure you’ll drop dead soon.

Fade out

ACT 3
Scene 1

PLACE: A CORNER OF THE JUNGLE /TIME: DAY
CHARACTERS: ALL THE CREATURES OF JUNGLE-LAND AND SENOR JULIO.

(All the animals from Jungle-
land are busy playing. The two
rabbits, Laurel and Hardy,are
wrestling with each other, the
crows are playing baseball.
The deer, parrot and
butterflies are also playing.
Banana-Drama, the monkey is
giving the commentary. The
game can be imaginary.)

BANANA-DRAMA
Do-ray has thrown the ball and Me-far has hit it, the ball is flying….
(We can hear the plodding sound of Gee-Peck’s boots coming towards them )
Across the boundary
(Gee-peck catches the ball)
Straight into Gee-Peck’s hands.

GEE-PECK
Saved by a wing and a prayer.

BANANA-DRAMA
Can we call this a run out

ALL THE CROWS (shouting)
Out, out!

BANANA-DRAMA
This is not a run out because Gee-Peck is not a member of the team.

Gee-peck throws the ball which lands on Mr. Rabid who gets up with a start.

MR. RABID
Ribbid! Ribbid! Is the game over or not? Come on my students!
Its time for music practise. You will surely win the contest this time.
That is why I have hopped from such a long way to help you.
Come on now, take out your music instruments.

(The crows take out their music
instruments. The other animals
take out the devices like ear
plugs,cotton wool etc. to shut
out the sound. There is a
sound of someone singing. It
is Senor Julio, the blind
singer, who is coming towards
them tap-tapping with his
cane. He is wearing dark
glasses. He bumps into Gee-
peck.)

GEE-PECK
Brother,careful! Can’t you see?

SENOR JULIO
No.

GEE-PECK
Oh! I am sorry! Dark glasses are in fashion so I did not realize and….

MR. RABID
Sure! you couldn’t see the cane too ?

GEE-PECK
(giving him a hard stare)
You love to fan the fire, don’t you?
(to Senor Julio)
I thought, you use the stick to protect yourself from the many deadly creatures hiding in the grass like snakes,scorpions and some poisonous toads.

Mr. Rabid begins to puff up in anger.
Caw-gee tries to save the situation by
quickly intervening and addressing
Senor Julio.

CAW-GEE
What do you want?

SENOR JULIO
Does Melody live here?

CAW-GEE
She used to live here but ever since she won the contest she has become the chief entertainer in Kite-King’s court. Now
she lives there. But, how do you know her?

SENOR JULIO
She was my pupil.

BANANA-DRAMA
Gee, that Melody sure turned out to be a dark horse. I used to wonder, how did she become such a hit singer?

MR. RABID
So,you used to give her tuitions. Now I know why there was no improvement in her singing. This system of extra tuition has completely spoilt our system of education….tuition is not good.

SENOR JULIO
I want to meet Melody. Somehow, I have this feeling in my bones that Melody is not happy.

FLOW-JO
(to Peter parrot)
Blind folks have a stronger sixth sense than us.

CAW-GEE
To meet Melody you will have to go very far from this jungle. To the city.

SENOR JULIO
Oh !

CAW-GEE
We are all going to leave soon. The Kite-king is holding another contest.

GEE-PECK
You can come too.

MR. RABID
(puffing up with importance)
But he doesn’t have a visa. My friend Guru-Godman arranged one for me but for him….

GEE-PECK
Yes, indeed, this is a serious matter.

MR. RABID
And, contestants are forbidden from getting their teacher or mentor with them.

(Everyone is quiet, they have
their thinking caps on)

BANANA-DRAMA
(jumping with joy)
An idea !
(All the creature look at him with anticipation)
If he can’t go as a teacher or mentor he can go as a contestant, for sure.

(All the animals, except Mr.
Rabid, jump around in
excitement)

GEE-PECK
Banana-Drama! You are a genius.

CAW-GEE
(laughs)
It seems to me that you do need brains even to imitate. I used to think you are all style and no substance but it seems to me you do pack a punch.

FLOW-JO
(giggling)
Hey, Caw-gee, haven’t you heard that song.
(she sings)

SONG
Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and sings like a bee.
Muhammad, the black superman,
Who calls to the other guy I’m Ali catch me if you can.
(All the creatures sing and
dance with joy. Gee-Peck does
the tap dance)
Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee
Muhammad the black superman
Who calls to the other guy I’m Ali catch me if you can

(Banana-drama’s walkman falls
on the stage as the creatures
move out of the stage singing
and dancing as they go. Only
Mr. Rabid is left behind. He
takes out his cellphone and
presses a button.)

MR. RABID
(speaking on the phone)
Hello. Who is that? Oh Guru-Godman. I am your dear friend Mr. Rabid speaking. Greetings from me to you!                                                          I just wanted to inform you that Melody’s teacher is also coming to your kingdom but as contestant.
(he listens for sometime)
What !
(The mobile falls from his
hand, he picks it up hastily
and holds it to his ear)
Melody has lost her memory and her voice too. Ribbid, ribbid. I Had given the medicine for Kite-king then what, oh, this is the crafty cuckoo’s doing indeed.                                                      All right then, I will make some other arrangements, all right, all right then.
My heartfelt good wishes to you.

(he switches off the phone and
hops off the stage. Banana
– drama comes from the other
side to pick up the walkman he
had dropped. The monkey picks
up the walkman.)

BANANA-DRAMA
(thinking)
Oh so that is the way the cookie crumbles. I will consult Gee- peck, Peter,and Flow-Jo and decide what is do be done now!

SCENE 2.
PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT. TIME: NIGHT.
CHARACTERS: ALL THE CREATURES WHO WERE PRESENT AT THE
PREVIOUS CONTEST. THIS TIME MR. RABID IS NOT WEARING A VEIL.

The kite-king is seated on his throne. Guru Godman comes on stage.

GURU GODMAN
All of you are very welcome. I am sure you must wondering that we just held a contest, what was the hurry for another one.

The reason for this is the Kite-king’s generosity and soft heart. He has kept the contest with this logic in mind that winning and losing are only two sides of the same coin so why should only one person become the winner. Why don’t we give a prize to each contestant according to his talent as one’s meat is another’s poison.                                                          You must be thinking what kind of weird logic is this so without further ado let me invite on stage the four talented guys from the jungle, the Caw-Doors Band.
(The audience claps. Mr. Rabid
who is standing on the edge of
the stage propels the four crows
forward.)

MR. RABID
This is your chance, lady luck is about to smile on you.
(The four crows come on stage and arrange their instruments)

(All the animals take out the
various devices to close their
ears such as ear plugs, cotton
wool etc and plug their ears.
Peter parrot is standing in
front of a pillar.)

SONG
Lots of chocolates for me to eat,
lots of chocolates for me to eat,
Lots of chocolates for me to eat,
Lots of chocolates for me to eat.

(The four crows go on and on and on
repeating the same
line refusing to stop. After
some time Peter parrot is
beating his head on the pillar
keeping time with the song. )

KITE-KING
Enough! stop! What kind of song is this?

DO-RAY
This is a rap song, sire.

KITE-KING
Rap, to be sure. Anyone who sings this song should be rapped hard on the knuckles and made to wrap his singing career.
Henceforth, this song should be given to the farmers.
(Everyone looks at him,
surprised)
There is no better song than this to drive away the birds from the fields. We are pleased with your service to us. You will be henceforth known as , what did you say was the name of this song?

ME-FAR
Rap song.

KITE-KING
You will be known as rap stars
(The four crows jump and give
each other high fives. The
animals clap.
KITE-KING
Anyone else ?

GURU GODMAN
Yes, your sire. There is a new contestant. I mean an old contestant but now in a new avatar who would like to present an item for your listening pleasure.

KITE-KING
To be sure. Old is gold.

CUCKOO
(addressing the audience)
It seems he has understood finally. Anyway, no problem, he will live and learn.

(Senor Julio comes on stage and sings)

SONG
CHIM CHIMINEYCHIM CHIMINEY CHIM CHIM CHER-EE!
A SWEEP IS AS LUCKY
AS LUCKY CAN BE
CHIM CHIMINEY CHIM CHIMINEY CHIM CHIM CHER-OO!
GOOD LUCK WILL RUB OFF WHEN I SHAKE ‘ANDS WITH YOU
OR BLOW ME A KISS
AND THAT’S LUCKY TOO
(The Kite-king and the audience are entranced, they all give him a standing ovation)
KITE-KING
Bravo! Bravo! Wonderful. You are an extraordinary talent but alas! In our kingdom we have place only for a female entertainer I mean a lady singer or dancer
(looks at Guru Godman)                                     Am I right Guru-Godman?

GURU GODMAN
Yes, your sire. In any case we men hardly have time from our brain-related business. These kind of shenanigans only suit the women folk.

CUCKOO
(who is sitting next to Flow-Jo
leans towards her and says)
Just listen to these men folk,one can learn a trick or two about how to eat your cake and have it too. They will send the women to the front to face the fire from the enemy and when it suits them they will not miss a trick to use them for their burning desires, if you get my drift. Dirty, rotten scoundrels.

FLOW-JO (giggling)
It seems to me you will soon become a member of the women’s liberation movement.

CUCKOO
No way! I am against such nonsense. Just cropping your hair short like men or wearing trousers cannot free you. For me only money is freedom.

FLOW-JO
But for money you are dancing to their tune. Then what kind of freedom are you talking about?
(We see that a just a few
moments after this conversation began Kite-King is glaring at them, then the others too are looking at them. When The two of them feel the silence they look around flustered.)

KITE-KING
I am giving such an important speech and the two of you are yakking away?
(The two of them stand up)

CUCKOO
Forgive us Sire. We were just telling each other how young and handsome you look tonight.

KITE-KING                                                        (cooling down)
Thank you! But this is not the time for small talk when important matters of the state are being discussed.

GURU GODMAN
Sire, please don’t trouble yourself. These women are never going to change. What else can they think of besides lipstick, make up, clothes and jewels.

MR. RABID                                                (standing up)
May I have your permission to say a few words. Sire.

KITE-KING
And who may you be?

GURU GODMAN                                                      He is my friend, Mr. Rabid.

KITE-KING
Oh I see, the visa fellow. Go on, have your say.

MR. RABID                                                 (pointing to Cuckoo)
Ask her where has she hidden Melody?
(Caw-gee and the creatures from
the jungle are startled. Kite- king and Guru Godman are flabbergasted. Cuckoo opens her beak to say something, then closes it.)

GURU GODMAN
Yes, yes, she has hidden Melody some place because she is jealous of her.
(The Kite-King looks at Guru
God man and realizes what the                      other is trying to say)

KITE-KING                                                               (to Cuckoo)
At once, present Melody in court or you will be the worse for it.

CAW-GEE (screams)
My child, my wee one!
(addressing Cuckoo)
You have hidden my daughter some place, out with it or I will wring or neck, I was thinking that now there would be an item by Melody, she will coming soon but…

MR. RABID
Madam, you have no idea how crafty is this cuckoo. It was her plan to get rid of Melody so that she could take her place as the court singer but her plans were not successful. Melody is still alive, only she has lost her voice and her memory.

CAW-GEE (screams)                                                My baby !

MR. RABID
And her plan was also to get rid of the Kite-king. She had confided in me about her nefarious plans.

CUCKOO (screams)
Lies! lies! all lies ! it was he ….. (shuts her beak)

GURU GODMAN                                            (smiling evilly)
Go on, do go on. But remember this you better back you words with proof or else….

KITE-KING                                                     (furious)
What? She dares? (Clapping his wings/hands) Guards! Guards!                                             (Peace-meal, the pigeon and Mr. Brown run in, Mr. Brown is a little unsteady on his feet)

KITE-KING (to Peace-meal)
You? Where are the other guards?

PEACE-MEAL
Sire, they have gone to pour, I mean, protect the oil which is in troubled waters so that the kingdom can keep running smoothly on well oiled wheels.

KITE- KING
Where have they gone?

PEACE-MEAL.                                              (pointing to Mr. Rabid)
Close to his well there is another well. The water of that well has certain herbs which are famous for their oil. It is said that it keeps the mind fresh and the body strong and healthy.

KITE-KING                                                                   ( pointing to Mr. Brown)
And what about him? Why can’t he stand straight?

PEACE-MEAL
Sire, he is Mr. Hadalot, I mean Sir Lancelot Brown. This morning he drank a little too much, I mean tea which does not suit him at all and that is why he is in this condition.
(Mr. Brown can’t keep his balance and falls down. Mrs Brown screams and runs to him with her five children)

MRS. BROWN.                                                            My husband !
(She cries hysterically and the children scream daddy, daddy)

KITE-KING (shouts)
Stop this infernal racket. Where is Dr. Charlie?
(Dr. Charlie runs out from the crowd)              What kind of a doctor are you. Don’t you have sense enough to come to a patient at once.

DR.CHARLIE
I had come to see the show so I didn’t bring my medical bag.

GURU GODMAN
No matter what the crisis, he is always ready with hisexcuses.

KITE-KING                                                     Examine the patient please.
(Dr. Charlie takes out his                       magnifying glass and                                 examines Mr. Brown. The Cuckoo takes             this opportunity to sidle out)
Where did you get your degree?

MR.BROWN
From the Lee Strasberg School of Acting. I have played a doctor in many movies and television shows.

KITE-KING
And, if I am not mistaken, this costume you are wearing is from the costume department of General Hospital.

DR. CHARLIE
How did you guess?

GURU GODMAN
We are deeply grateful to the good Lord that his royal highness did on fall sick or else….

DR.CHARLIE                                                   (miffed)
Maybe you are not aware of the fact that I have cured many fatal diseases in many films. In ‘Love Story” Ali Mcgraw had cancer and so did Debra Winger in “Terms of Endearment” and had it not been for me they

GURU GODMAN                                                     But didn’t they both die in the film?

DR.CHARLIE
That was the director’s fault. I had cured them completely.
These director’s are famous for killing people in films so that it runs.
(By this time Cuckoo has left                              the stage)

KITE-KING                                                             Will you both stop this balderdash.
(addressing Dr. Charlie)                                    Why don’t you follow your regular line of treatment and sprinkle some water on his face.

(The alien comes forward and gives him a weirdly shaped blue bottle. Dr. Charlie pours out some liquid on his palm and sprinkles Mr. Brown’s face. Mr. Brown gets up instantly.)

MRS. BROWN                                                         My husband!

BROWN’S FIVE CHILDREN.                          Daddy! Daddy!

MR.BROWN
A current of energy and strength is running through my body. I feel as if I can tackle anyone.

BANANA-DRAMA
(jumps and stands before him)                               In that case
(he points to Mr. Rabid)
Can you push him? After all you are tiny and he is big and fat.

MR. RABID
Ribbid! Ribbid!

(Mr. Brown goes to Mr. Rabid.
He stands before him and blows on him.           Mr. Rabid stumbles backwards and falls down with a resounding thump.                                    All the animals laugh uproariously.)

MR. RABID                                                                   Ribbid ! Ribbid !

KITE-KING (laughing)
Very good, very good. Now do what you had been called for in the first place. Take the crafty cuckoo….
(looks around)                                                 Where is she? Find her.
(Everyone disperses)

MR. RABID.                                              (whispering to Caw-Gee)
I am sure she is with Melody. Why don’t you ask Senor Julio to sing her favorite song. You never know she may follow his voice and come here or give some clue to her whereabouts.

CAW-GEE                                                                 Not a bad idea at all.
(She goes to Senor Julio and says)
Senor Julio, why don’t you sing Melody’s favorite song. Melody may hear it and come to us.

SENOR JULIO.                                                           All right.
(He holds the mike and sings)
SONG

Edelweiss, edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, edelweiss                                          Bless my homeland forever.

(Everyone is entranced by his                         song. After some time we can                           hear Melody’s voice. She is                           singing in tandem with Senor                         Julio. Singing she comes on                             stage, followed by the Cuckoo.                    Melody completes the song with                   Senor Julio. She Has tears in                               her eyes,her lips are                                 quivering, her voice is quavering.)

CAW-GEE                                                         (rushes to Melody).                                                   Baybeee…..
(Melody embraces her and cries)                       My child, what happened to you?
(Cuckoo looks at her.                                frightened)

MELODY.                                                                    There is nothing to worry about mom. I went dizzy in the bathroom and fell down and hit my head on floor and fainted.

GEE-PECK (to Peter)
The same old story when you want to save someone.

MELODY
(gesturing towards Cuckoo)
Had it not been for Madame Cuckoo I would not be alive today, Mom.

CAW-GEE
No, no, banish the very thought, my child.     You are safe and
sound, that is enough for me.                             (to Cuckoo)
I am very, very grateful to you.
(Tears are streaming down                        Cuckoo’s cheeks )

CUCKOO
Please forgive me Melody, I never wanted to kill you. Greed had made me blind. I though that if you lost your memory then you would
(gesturing to Caw-Gee) )
forget her and accept me as your mom. But How was I to know that you would lose your voice as well.
(angrily)                                                                    All this is because of
(pointing to Mr. Rabid)                                       This fat frog and
(points to Guru Godman)
This hypocritical bird. Both of them had plotted to kill our gracious king. But how could I be so disloyal?

BANANA-DRAMA.                                                  (to Peter)
She may be a wily bird but she is not so bad at heart.

FLOW-JO
Seems to me her tears have washed away the ill will in her heart.

CUCKOO (to Kite-King)
Sire, this entire plot was the handiwork of your loyal minister Guru Godman and his dearest friend, Mr. Rabid.

GURU GODMAN
This Cuckoo is a liar, its her last desperate attempt to save herself.

PENGUIN
No, she speaks the truth. I am a witness to the fact that these two tried to lure me to be a part of their plan but were unsuccessful, naturally.

BANANA-DRAMA                                              Ah! A new twist in the tale.

KITE-KING (angrily)
So,this is what has been happening!
(gestures to Peace-meal and Mr.
Brown).                                                           Capture these two terrorists.

(Mr. Rabid and Guru Godman try to escape but all the animals surround them and Mr. Brown                     blows on the two and pushes  them towards Kite-king till they fall at is feet.                                After this whenever they try to                           escape Mr. Brown prevents them by blowing on them and brining them back to their original position.)

KITE-KING
(looking towards Banana-Drama)
Thank you. If you had not called me and warned me about these two traitors I would have been taken in by their arguements.
(Mr. Rabid glares at Banana Drama)

BANANA-DRAMA                                          (bowing low)
There is no need to thank me. After all humans, I mean animals, must help other animals, I mean animals must help you. I am just happy that
(looking at Mr. Rabid)                                          We are free from this tuneless toad.

KITE-KING                                                              Tell me, how can I reward you?

BANANA-DRAMA
Well, it was only my sense of duty which made me do what I did but if you really want to reward me please give permission to Melody go back to her home.

KITE-KING
You have made a difficult request. If she goes back who will entertain me?

CUCKOO (softly)
I am here, your highness.
(Kite-King glances at her
fleetingly. Suddenly Melody speaks)

MELODY                                                               Mom.                                                                      (she faints)

KITE-KING
Oh, she has fainted again. Where is Dr. Charlie?
(Dr. Charlie comes near Melody and examines her with his magnifying glass.)

DR.CHARLIE
She is being stifled in this atmosphere. She has to leave this place or she won’t survive.

KITE-KING                                                        Where to?

DR.CHARLIE
In the open air where she can breathe, far from here, in the jungle.

ALL THE ANIMALS.                                  (shouting)
Please, please

CAW-GEE
Your highness, please save my daughter’s life, let her go.
(The Kite-King thinks, there is pin drop silence in the court.)

KITE-KING
All right.

ALL THE ANIMALS.                                                  (Joyfully)
Yaaaaaaay!

KITE-KING (raising his hand/wing)

There is one condition!
(all the animal are quiet)

All of you will come with Cuckoo and Senor Julio to meet me once a year.
ALL THE ANIMALS
Yaaaaay! Thank you.

ALIEN
Zee zoo zap. Zim zim za zoo.

GEE-PECK
What is he saying?

(The alien comes near Senor Julio, the blind thrush, takes out his dark glasses.
From his flask he takes out                             some liquid and splashes it on                           his eyes. Senor Julio, whose                             eyes were closed opens them. )

SENOR JULIO.                                                               I can see.                                                                 (he looks at Cuckoo)

CUCKOO
Please forgive me. I hurt your feelings. When you went blind I left you and came away.

SENOR JULIO (whispering)
When you went away you were….

CUCKOO
Yes, my husband, Melody is your daughter.
(Everyone is shocked. Melody moves slowly towards Senor Julio)

BANANA-DRAMA                                        Another twist in the tale.

FLOW-JO                                                              How romantic!

GEE-PECK                                                            What a beautiful twist.

(Both of them look into each other’s eyes)
BANANA-DRAMA
Oh, for Pete’s sake, why don’t you get over your old as hills love story and get married.

PETER
You won’t understand. The bitter-sweet feeling of being apart is more satisfying then getting hitched.

MELODY
Dad!
(goes towards Senor Julio)
(Senor Julio embraces Melody. Everyone claps.)
KITE-KING
All right then! Senor Julio and Cuckoo are hereby appointed as the chief singer and dancer of our court and

(looking towards Melody)

Where would you like to stay?

MELODY
Your highness, I would like to be with Caw-gee.
(she goes towards Caw-Gee and embraces her)
She took a stranger into her home and heart, gave her love and made her own. I owe to her to love her in return.

KITE-KING

As you wish
(looks towards Mr. Brown)
Henceforth you are my Chief Minister but keep in mind,get into the habit of drinking tea. All other stuff is off limits for you.

MRS. BROWN

My husband!

CUCKOO
She is he real drama-queen, not me. Oh well, now that she is the minister’s wife I will have to find me another one.

SENOR JULIO (lovingly)
I am there to do all your work.

CUCKOO                                               (dramatically)                                                        My husband!
(They embrace. Senor Julio                            sings, followed by Cuckoo,                               then Melody.                                                          The animals sing  in chorus.)
SONG
(We are the World by Michael
Jackson)

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life.                   The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere                                 will soon make a change                                                                      We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know                                    love is all we need
[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day        So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me.
THE END.

0

Melody

A cuckoo who wants to sing.....

A cuckoo who wants to sing…..

Add Mediatalesofjunglemelody_tag

EXT.- IN THE SKY ABOVE A JUNGLE – DAY-EARLY MORNING
As we float gently in the sky the silence is broken by the sound of a cuckoo bird.
CUCKOO (O.S.)
Koo hooo
The sound gains in momentum as we slowly pick up speed like a bird descending .
CUCKOO (O.S.) (CONT’D) Koo hoo koo hoo koo hoo

We hover over the canopy of a forest briefly and as we float we move in tandem with the sound which has transformed into a melodious classical song . We follow the sound and reach an anorexic, black cuckoo bird, eyes closed, singing with all the fervor of a prima donna. As she closes her song we hear the sound of clapping. She opens one of her eyes and looks at a fat canary,Stella,clapping fervently.

STELLA

Bravo! Bravo! Cuckoo, bravo! You sing like an angel !

She clasps wings to her breast and continues as Cuckoo opens the other eye and looks at her.

STELLA (CONT’D)

Ah! Such talent, wasted in the jungle, such beauty, wasted in the jungle, so much …..
A sardonic voice interrupts her.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Sucking up..
It is a black jackdaw,Mr. Jack Dawson, looking sarcastically at her. Then a breathless voice

(O.S.),
MAGPIE (V.O.)

Wasted in the jungle.

It is a brown magpie sitting next to him. The canary glares at them even as Cuckoo preens into a mirror placed in her nest.

CUCKOO small_15

She’s right you know. I am made for bigger things. I am a star. A diamond.
Stella continues for her,

STELLA

Yes, Cuckoo, and your place is in a big palace not in this ugly, untidy nest.

MAGPIE

A little bit of cleaning never hurt anybody. Scrub a dub rub, that is my motto.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Perhaps, yellow Stella here may consider doing that.

He hums, under his breath,

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow.

Stella glares at him. She looks at Cuckoo who flounces around.

CUCKOO

Oh, be quiet, you brainless bird. Don’t tease the poor thing. She speaks the truth. I can’t be bothered to cook and clean, that is for ordinary folks like Magpie here.

Magpie looks annoyed as Cuckoo strikes a pose in front of the mirror again

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I am going to be a star. And nothing will stand in the way of my becoming one.

She twirls around and sashays forward and trips and almost falls over an object laying in her path.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Oops!

Cuckoo looks down. A small,speckled egg lies in her way.
She looks at the egg horror struck. She screeches.

CUCKOO

God in Heaven!

All the birds close their ears, pained. Cuckoo stutters

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

What is this?

MAGPIE

I may not be very smart like you Cuckoo but it looks like an egg to me.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Congratulations are in order. Cuckoo you are about to have a baby.

Stella, clapping her wings.

STELLA

A baby ! How wonderful ! How splendid! This is so- so- so exciting Cuckoo!

CUCKOO

Oh be quiet, you bird brain. A baby is not part of my plan. Babies are a bother- feeds and diapers, play schools and lunch boxes. No way Jose, I am not going to put up with all that !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Pardon, my ignorance but now that the baby is here how do you intend to avoid that?

Cuckoo looks at the egg and her eyes narrow as she thinks.
All the birds look at her curiously.

STELLA

Yes, CUCKOO,What are you going to do ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, sorry, Stella here is curious,tell her Cuckoo.

Stella glares at him. Then looks at Cuckoo.
Cuckoo rolls the egg back and forth with her feet as she looks at it malevolently. Then a wily expression comes on her face and she smiles. A wicked smile.

CUCKOO

Ah ! I have an idea. Yes. That Is the only way.

MAGPIE

What? What way ? Do, tell us ?

CUCKOO (softly)

I can’t do that. It is a secret, a surprise.

MR. JACK DAWSON

(under his breath to Magpie) Probably a shock . I hope Cuckoo’s idea is not too much of a shock for the poor baby.

Cuckoo comes out of her reverie and claps her wings peremptorily.

CUCKOO

Enough ! Off with you. Shoo! Shoo ! All of you. I have plans to make. A lot of preparations.

The birds take off and flutter mid air.

MAGPIE
How rude !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Manners was never Cuckoo’s strong point. Maybe the baby IS better off without her.

STELLA

Cuckoo, look what Mr. Jack Dawson is saying about you.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow AND a sneak.

STELLA glares at him

STELLA

At least I am not a thief like you Mr. Jack Dawson. So there.

She pokes her tongue at the jackdaw.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thieving is a natural trait of jackdaws and who can fight nature. (under his breath to Magpie) Oh, how I wish I could kick this habit.

MAGPIE (whispering to the jackdaw)

Don’t worry Mr. Jack Dawson. We all know you can’t help yourself.
(MORE)
Something will come up, you mark my words. Magpies are never wrong.

Magpie looks at Stella fiercely and screeches.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

You horrible, horrible bird to insult such a respectable gentleman. I am going to teach you a lesson.

She flies towards Stella who cowers in fear and screams

STELLA

Help, help me Cuckoo. Magpie is going to..

Cuckoo flies out of her nest in a rage.

CUCKOO

Stop that infernal racket at once. Be off with you, you useless birds. You are behaving like humans.

Jackdaw bows low to Cuckoo.

MR. JACK DAWSON

With pleasure. We will leave you and the yellow canary to yourselves. Come, let us be off my friend, Magpie.

The jackdaw and the magpie fly off. Stella looks at Cuckoo and hops towards her.

STELLA

Oh, Thank you Cuckoo. You are so wonderfully brave.

Cuckoo gives a sigh of exasperation.

CUCKOO

Turn around Stella.

Stellas eyes turn round with surprise.

STELLA

But, but , but

CUCKOO

I said turn around.
Stella turns around slowly still speaking.
STELLA

But , but , but , but

CUCKOO
Exactly !

She gives Stella a kick on her butt who goes flying in the air with a whistling sound and her buts fading away in the distance.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

A big kick on the Butt, that is what was needed.

She turns around and marches into her nest muttering.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I have enough problems of my own.

She looks at the egg and purses her lips.

CUCKOO(CONT’D)

You have to go baby. Mommy wants to be star.

The egg just sits there as a ray of sunshine falls on it and it twinkles.

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

A dishevelled mother crow, Marjorie (Marge) Hatchery sits patiently in her nest. She has a polka dotted red scarf on her head and is fanning herself. A peacock, Peek-a-boo, walks by, his feet thumping in a pair of huge boots.

PEEK-A-BOO

Hey Margie,How’s the egg hatching coming along?

Marge looks at him irritated.

MARGE

It was coming along quite nicely till your thumping disturbed my concentration. What’s With those boots Peek-a-boo?

A Soft “To-whit-too” of an owl calling and we see a erudite looking owl, Ollie, wearing round spectacles,perched on a tree.

OLLIE

The beauteous one is cursed with rather, large, ugly, feet and makes a valiant attempt to hide them. Q.E.D. Or to put it in simple Greek, in the words of Euclid, “Quod Drat demon drat dum bum”!

A monkey, Banana-Drama, swings up side down from a tree .

BANANA-DRAMA

Whatever ! Does everything have to be so complicated PROF. Martin Do – Z- Fat And Furry-Ball ? And I bet my last bunch of bananas that Euclid, whoever, that was, never said that.

Ollie looks annoyed.
OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D., You ignoramus! PROFESSOR M-A-R-T-I-N, MARTIN , Then a double O, A double D, a double I, a double O, A double U, A double S, ODIOUS, HYPHEN, Then a double D, a double R, A DOUBLE O, a double W, a double Z, a double Y, DROWSY, HYPHEN, HYPHEN. Then a double S.,a double

Ollie blinks twice through his round spectacles as he says each double alphabet.

BANANA-DRAMA

Whoa, stop right there Professor Dozy etc.,etc. We got the picture. But I have just two questions for you Professor Emeritus, with your permission. One, do you see double through those spectacles and is that why everything is double for you? And Question Number two. Why have you left out the other Alphabets from the English Language ? There are just four left.

Ollie looks more annoyed.

OLLIE

Banana Drama

One thing is for sure, you are double trouble. And I don’t need any advice from remix artistes. They are just a bunch of copy cats.
Banana – Drama looks annoyed and jumps up and down on the branch.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, hey, watch who you are calling a copy cat. You need to change your spectacles, man. You are talking to the coolest monkey in town.

He starts dancing as he snaps and clicks his finger and thumb.

MARGE gives an exasperated sigh and fans herself more furiously.

MARGE

Do you mind? Will you be quiet ? All this is giving me a headache.

A deer with huge eyelashes trips in daintily. She is FLOW- JO, the fashion conscious deer.

FLOW-JO

Quit it, you guys. Can’t you see Margie needs rest and quiet. She is about to become a Mommy, God help her.

She looks towards MARGIE.
FLOW-JO (CONT’D)

I found the perfect place for baby clothes. Want to go shopping, Margie?

Margie thinks.

MARGE

Well, I do have to buy some clothes for the little one’s. But I can’t leave the eggs for a moment. They are nice and warm and just about to hatch.
BANANA-DRAMA

Why don’t you ask Professor Martin Dozy Fat And Furry – Ball here to sit on them while you ladies go shopping. He can doze off if he wants to.

Ollie eyes become larger and rounder at the thought and he opens his beak to protest.

PEEK-A-BOO That’s a fine idea, my friend. Margie here needs the break.
Flow -Jo clasps her hands together.

FLOW-JO

Well, then, that is settled. Thank you Professor Dozy. You will be real cosy in here. Come on, Margie, lets go. There is a big sale on at Beak-Mart. I need new training shoes. So hop to it.

Ollie’s expression is a sight as he waddles towards Margie’s nest . All the others are trying to stifle their laughter. Ollie takes Margie’s place as she hops out with her large, shabby purse.

MARGE

Thank you , Professor Martin Do Dah ….

She struggles with the rest of his name as the rest are trying to control their laughter in various ways. FLOW- JO is hiding behind a tree, Peek-a-Boo has turned his back and is shaking with laughter. Banana -Drama is standing with his hands on his hips . He has an amused expression and is about to say something when Marge gives him a warning look.

OLLIE

with as much as dignity as he can muster.

OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D.

MARGE (hastily)

Yes, Yes . The same. Please make yourself comfortable. I will be back in two shakes of a duck’s tail.

A parrot (Peter) and a turtle( Mimi-Tang) walk into the scene. PETER talks very fast and in contrast Mimi-Tang weighs each word as he speaks. His speech is as slow as his walk and he has a slightly effeminate voice. They both look at OLLIE seated in the nest.

PETER

Hey, what’s up, Prof. Martin Dodo…Ding Dong. Darn it, if I can say your name.
Ollie gives Peter a hard stare. All the animals burst out laughing.
MIMI -TANG What’s so funny? Seems to me Professor here is planning to move in with Marge.

Ollie is looking exasperated and puffs up and Marge looking at his expression hastily tries to sooth his ruffled feathers.

MARGE

Stop right there both of you. No smarty- pant stuff from you Peter, and Mimi-Tang, if you don’t want to be on the slow boat back to China you better keep your comments to your self. The Professor here is being neighborly which is more than I can say for you folks. So be off, all of you and leave the good Professor alone.

She looks towards OLLIE and sweetens her voice.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Don’t mind them Professor Martin. They are just jealous because they are not as smart as you are. You just make your self comfortable. Its hot today, have a cold drink, relax. The sun is a little strong today. Why don’t you take my scarf?

She whips off her polka dotted scarf and,before the Professor can say anything, puts it on his head and ties it under his chin in a trice. This too much for the other animals who cannot control their laughter and run away from the scene, shaking and tottering with laughter. Only Peter and Mimi-Tang remain since they have not understood anything. Banana-Drama stays back to say one word.

BANANA-DRAMA
“ Sweet.”

But, at Marge’s glare he too swings off, snapping and clicking his fingers. Peter opens his mouth to say something but Marge silences him with a admonishing finger. Mimi-Tang too opens his mouth but closes it as she glares at him. They both leave, still looking puzzled.

MARGE

I am off Professor MARTIN DO-DO-DO

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS….

MARGE

Yes, yes. I’ll be back soon. Take care Professor.

She flies off, followed by Flow- Jo who smiles at Ollie

FLOW-JO

Bye-Bye sweetie pie ! I will get back a nice gift for you for being so nice.

Ollie just glares at her .As the two exit they pass by Cuckoo and Stella hiding behind a tree. Cuckoo has a basket with the egg nestling in it.

STELLA (Whispering)

What do we do now Cuckoo ? That fur ball is sitting in the nest.
CUCKOO

Shush, not so loud. He is an owl, they like to sleep during the day. He will doze off any time now.

They both look at Ollie who is already looking sleepy. He gives a big yawn and starts nodding off. Cuckoo looks significantly at Stella who smiles gleefully. Ollie gives a gentle snore. Cuckoo stealthily looks around, then creeps forward with Stella following at a safe distance. A twig cracks and Stella hastily flies back and hides behind a tree. Cuckoo gives her a look and moves forward. She quietly places the egg in the nest just below Ollie who is twitching, snoring and making whistling sounds in his sleep. Cuckoo, then quietly backs off, almost bumping into Stella who gasps and gives a little scream. Cuckoo puts her wings over Stella’s mouth and drags her behind a tree even as Ollie wakes up with a start, looks around, clears his throat and goes back to sleep again.

Prof Ollie

INT- A HUGE PALACE BELONGING TO KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, -FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is the falcon King who is inordinately found of sweet things. He also likes to have a good time.
The business of governing is left to his able prime minister, Mr. Cranium, an elegant crane, who stands on one leg and keeps shifting his position on different matters according to the exigencies of the situation. At the moment he is watching the King gorging on sweets with a dyspeptic eye.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

These dough-nuts are divine and the chocolate cake is fine and I can’t keep my hands off the pie and praline.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh.

MR. CRANIUM

That is very well but we have a delegation from…..

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

(Grabbing a bowl of ice cream and slurping huge spoonfuls)

Boo to the delegation. Give them some of this wonderful ice cream and they will listen to whatever we have to say.

MR. CRANIUM

It’s not as easy as you think. The problems of the world cannot be solved with ice cream.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I agree. Maybe, not only with ice cream. You have to give them chocolate cake and doughnuts and , maybe, some lollipops. An all day sucker will keep them busy.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking directly to the audience )

Oh boy ! Wish everything was easy as a pie.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (CONT’D)

Pie. Yes, yes I forgot. Strawberry pie, Pecan pie, Apple pie. (Claps his hand) Get me some apple pie. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.

Mr. Cranium shifts his position from one leg to another and also his stance.

MR. CRANIUM

Your highness, COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, – FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT- TOOT, AL-AMEN, if you please,

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Don’t be formal Mr. Cranium, You can call me by my short name, King Tweety – Fruity and that reminds me what about strawberry shortcake. That is my absolute favorite.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking at the audience again)

Which one is not, I tell you. This King and his sweet tooth is making me go bananas !

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Bananas, as in Banana split with three, no, no, four, no five scoops of ice cream and don’t forget the toppings, the chocolate syrup and the nuts and the sprinkles. Yummy,yummy

MR. CRANIUM

May I remind you, your highness, that the business of the state is not ruled by your tummy. So many sweets can have a very, very, very, very, very

Even as he says this King Tweety – Fruity’s expression changes to one of pain and he clutches on to his tummy.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ouch.

MR. CRANIUM (To the audience) Yes, this is what happens when you sit on the couch and eat till you burst.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow ! Ow! Ow! Call the doctor. My stomach takes, I mean my tummy aches I mean, you know what I mean, call the doctor, Mr. Cranium.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh and looks at the audience.

MR. CRANIUM

His tummy aches. No more goodies for him, baked or otherwise. It’s going to be soup, dry bread and water. Lots and lots of water.

INT- CUCKOO NEST – NIGHT
Cuckoo watching TV, her feet propped up on the table as she sips water from a glass. Stella sits near her eating buttered pop corn, her beak greasy with butter.

CUCKOO

(Looking at her and raising her eyebrows)

If you eat so much butter you are going to look more of a butter ball than you already do, Stella. Go and get me an asparagus stick.

STELLA

(Hopefully)

With a dip?

CUCKOO

No dip, only stick, you dip-stick.

Stella makes a round with her beak in a moue and hops to it. She Goes to the fridge and takes out an asparagus and waddles back to Cuckoo.

STELLA

(Handing Cuckoo the stick)

I really don’t know Cuckoo how you can live on this stuff. It’s healthy and all I know but it is so little.

CUCKOO

Got to watch my figure,Butter-ball.

STELLA

Well,I never fancied looking like a stick, you know. Pleasantly plump,that’s what I am and….

Cuckoo’s attention is diverted by an announcement on the TV

CUCKOO

Be quiet, Fatty. Let me listen.

Stella makes another moue with her beak.
On the television a giraffe’s head can be seen lying horizontally across the screen. Next to him is a giant panda barely squeezing into the frame

PANDA

Here is an important announcement from the Land Of Birds ruled by the all wise, all powerful, all greed, sorry, all feed, sorry, all,

(He shakes his head )

(MORE)
Whatever, KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT- TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN, affectionately known by his subjects as King Tweety – Fruity. His majesty announces a World- Wide Singing contest – a Song-Festival- open to every bird and beast that roam the earth.

GIRAFFE

(Whose tongue is lolling out as his head is horizontal)

I didn’t know KING SWEET, Sorry, KING TWEET TOOT HOOT BOOT LOOT SOOT ROOT

(His tongue is getting all entangled in the process)

PANDA

(Looking disgusted)

This is what happens when you get a job if your father is an important person and not because you are fit for it. In fact, you don’t even fit where you are supposed to fit, like this TV screen for instance.

GIRAFFE

Well, maybe I can’t fit in vertically but you can’t fit in horizontally. Just because you like to party with important people and get this job does not mean you can boss me around.

The panda tries to push the giraffe out of the screen who is trying to butt him out. CUCKOO switches off the TV in disgust with her remote.

CUCKOO

Politics ! It’s everywhere.
She looks at Stella who is looking in the fridge, only her butt visible as she forages for food.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

(Under her breath )

I am going to double lock the fridge.

CUCKOO

(CONT’D) (To STELLA)

Stella get your butt out of the fridge and come here. I need you to go and get me some stamps , paper and envelopes. I hope that pigeon mail is not on a strike as usual.

Stella comes back, her mouth stuffed with noodles, some of which are dangling out of her mouth.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Gross. Go to the post office right away and get me some envelopes. I am going to be a star, finally.

STELLA

(Trying to speak with her mouth full)

CUCKOO

( steadily becoming more irritated )

What is it ? Speak up ? Out with it ?

Stella makes a brave attempt to speak that the noodles fly out and are dangling all over Cuckoo’s head and face. Through the veil of noodles Cuckoo’s eyes glare out balefully. Stella looks at her and her beak opens and shuts.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Screams and lunges at Stella who screeches and flies out of the window. Cuckoo’s voice follows her.

Don’t come back without the envelopes or I will put you on a diet of lettuce leaves and bird seed.

Stella shudders when she hears this, her tiny wings flap harder and she whizzes like a yellow meteor against the blue sky.

EXT.- MARGE’S NEST – DAY
Marge is sitting in her nest , knitting. She is wearing a bonnet and has on her spectacles.

MARGE

One knit, two purl, two knit, two purl,
There is only a short skein of wool left.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh , no. Just a few lines to go and my fourth sweater would have been complete.

She looks around and see OLLIE dozing in the tree. Her eyes brighten.

MARGE (CONT’D)

PROFESSOR DODO DOZE BALL…No, no , that’s not it… PROFESSOR DOOZY BALD..no..PROFESSOR DOZE AND HOSE FUR WALL…oh, darn it.

She plucks a fruit from the tree and tosses it at OLLIE who gets up with a start.

MARGE (CONT’D)

You who, you who, you who!

OLLIE

(Looking around)

Too whit who ?

MARGE

You who? You who ? You who ?

OLLIE

(Looking around,dazed)

Too whit who ?

MARGE (Muttering)

Drat it , you nitwit, you who.

Ollie adjusts his spectacles and looks at Marge.

OLLIE

Ah Madame Marjorie Hatchery. A very top of the morning to you. How is the hatching process going on ?

MARGE

It’s going on and on and on. Look Professor Doze And Ball,I mean Professor

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

MARGE

Absolutely and all that. I need a little favor Professor. I am knitting these sweaters for the wee ones and I have run out of wool. Do you mind sitting on the eggs till I make a dash and get some from Flow -Jo. I know she has the same color.

Ollie looks around to see if there are any other animals around. Then he waddles towards Marge.

OLLIE (Gallantly)

With pleasure dear lady. But make haste.

MARGE

As the crow flies, I will be back in a jiffy. I am not keeping you from anything important ,am I.

OLLIE

I am expecting a visitor from France. A very important person, Monsieur Bull- Brass.

MARGE

Really, and why is this important person so very important ?

OLLIE

He is an artiste, a musician. His voice is so magnificent that he has to live in a special sound proof house.

MARGE

Oh that is wonderful! I love music and always wanted to be a singer. Oh, but I must fly.

Ollie settles into the nest as Marge hurries off.

MARGE (CONT’D)

(Over her shoulder as she flies off)

I want to meet your friend too. Maybe he can tutor my children while he is here.

OLLIE (Shaking his head)

Her children are not here and she is already making plans for them. Just like a mother.

He settles down comfortably and begins to doze off. We show the inside of an egg. A beak is knocking against the shell.

O.S. Voice of a baby crow –

Hey, Open up. It’s dark in here. And I am hungry too.

Then another voice( O.S.) – Mom, Mom. Are you there ?

Then a third voice -Is this a joke or what ?

Fourth Voice – The joke’s on us, clown. Push hard.

Sharp rat-a -tat sound

A beak emerges from under Ollie and pecks at him hard and he takes off like a rocket.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

(Rubbing his butt)

Ouch, that hurt.
He perches at the edge of the nest and looks at the four crows who look at him curiously. Then one of the crows says

CROW

Mama ?

Sound of laughter. OLLIE’S Neck swivels around to see Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey Professor Dozy Do Dumb Ball. Those four critters think you are their Mama.
Peek-a-Boo clumps in.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Hey, Peek -a -Boo, Marge’s kids have adopted Professor Doozy Fun Dong Ding
All the crows start hollering for food .

CROWS

I am hungry . I am thirsty. Mama. Mama. Caw-Caw.

Ollie is going crazy trying to control them.

OLLIE

Stop this racket , I say. I am not your mother, children. Where is Margie ?
The crow kids make such a racket that all the animals collect.
PETER

Hey, where is Marge ? Why is the Professor Do That And The Other always in her nest?
MIMI -TANG Maybe they are planning to get married. How romantic.

Ollie fluffs up in disgust.

OLLIE

Stuff and nonsense. I was baby-sitting, I mean egg-sitting, when

FLOW-JO

How eggs-citing for you Professor Doing Do Fuzzy Wool !

OLLIE

Precisely, that is what Marge has gone to get…

He suddenly notices that Flow-Jo, is here.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

Hey , She went to you to get wool. What are you doing here? And where is Marge ?

All the animals look at each other. The silence is suddenly broken by a deep, loud croak. We see MARGE arriving with a large bull-frog, Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (Gushing)

Oh Professor Do Doing Woozy Fool

OLLIE

(Exasperated and still trying to hold on to the shreds of his dignity.)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. What took you so long ? Your children are hungry and thirsty and they want their Mama.
Marge notices the crows and shrieks in delight.

MARGE
My babies !
She clasps them to her bosom. The babies caw in delight.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! This is a wonderful Day. Today my babies came into this world and on this blessed day Monsieur Bull Brass has come into our lives.

Monsieur Bull Brass puffs up with pleasure.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Speaks in a French accent )

You are too kind, Madame Marjorie Hatchery. I am but a humble musician.

melody_01

MARGE

Oh , no, no. You are divine messenger from God. All my life I have craved to be a singer but it is was not to be. But now that you are here my children can follow my dreams and become artistes like you.

All the animals look at each other. Banana-Drama raises his eye brows to Peek-a-Boo as if to say this doesn’t bode too well.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! Do say you will teach my little ones to sing. Please Monsieur Bull-Brass. I want them to be as famous as you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Bowing low as much as his girth will permit him)

It will be an honour to teach your off- springs Madame.

Marge clasps her wings and looks heavenwards.

MARGE

Oh happy, happy Day. Thank you Lord.

She pulls the four crows towards her on both sides with her wings and says solemnly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Today, in honour of Monsieur Bull Brass and his Music I name my four children, (Touching each one of them) DO-RAY, ME-FAR, SO-LA and TI-DO, after the seven notes of music.

All the animals clap enthusiastically when they all hear a crack and fall silent looking at each other. Marge peers into her nest and looks astonished as she beholds a egg split in the middle and a tiny ,black bird looking at her and blinking with enormous eyes.

TINY BIRDsmall_03
Mama ?
PEEK-A-BOO

Shiver me feathers ! I thought you were going to have four children

OLLIE

(Interjecting)

Quadruplets !

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, yes. The same. Where did the fifth one come from ?

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey ! Professor Do Dah Dit Dumb Fool, did you , but you are a

OLLIE

Yes, it is not possible as I am a man

MIMI -TANG

I thought he was an owl.

PETER

A man-owl or a owl-man.

MIMI -TANG

I see, like I am a man -turtle or a turtle-man.

PETER

I am not sure about that. But if you say so you are.

Since Marge is looking stunned at the sudden turn of events Flow-Jo walks up to her and hugs her.

FLOW-JO

Margie, this is like a bonus. You know five for the price of four. Beak-Mart is having a sale this week end and they have advertised so.

Marge who has been paralysed with shock so far comes to with a start.

MARGE

Yes, yes , of course. Welcome my child.

BANANA-DRAMA

What are you going to call her Marge since you have used all the notes of music once and one twice.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Clears his throat.)

If I may make a suggestion ?

MARGE (Gushing)

Yes, of course Monsieur Bull Brass. It is your prerogative. After all, they are all going to be your students.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Bowing low )

You are too kind Madame. I name the little one , Melody.

All the animals clap.
Melody looks at everyone and says
MELODY
CUCKOO.
All the animals look at each other. Marge looks surprised.

ESTABLISHING SHOT
EXT – LAND OF BIRDS – DAY

There are posters of the forthcoming Song-Festival, many featuring King Tweety -Fruity.
We see rich birds in fancy attire whizzing around in their fancy cars. Their homes are shaped like golden cages.
We linger on a large poster featuring CUCKOO clad in a gown with a boa around her shoulders and pearls at her throat.

cuckoo

The poster reads
CUCKOO-COOL
OUR BELOVED COURT SINGER CHALLENGES
THE PARTICIPANTS TO A FINAL ROUND.
THE WINNER WILL TAKE HER PLACE AS THE COURT SINGER.
We zip through the streets of the LAND OF BIRDS lingering over Clubs that say – ADMITTANCE – STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS and other interesting monuments with signs like FREE- BIRDS, FEATHER-REPORT, EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT, HOT CHICKS, FLY TO THE SKY AIRMAIL, TWEET MALL, ON A WING AND A PRAYER ( outside a place of worship ) etc.

As we cruise we see birds of various kinds doing pretty much the same things as humans do till we finally reach the large palace gardens of King Tweety – Fruity. We cruise through the place grounds and passages till we reach the Main Hall where King Tweety – Fruity is ensconced on a cushioned throne being fanned by two pink flamingoes, his prime minister Mr. Cranium by his side and Cuckoo-Cool performing on a stage.

CUCKOO
SONG

I AM A CREATURE DIVINE
WHO LOVES THE GOOD TIMES
TRAVEL TO FAR AWAY LANDS
IN FOUL WEATHER AND FINE
IN MANY SEASONS AND CLIMES
JUST GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY,
AND I WILL BE FINE
WE WILL DRINK FINE WINE
AND WE WILL LIE SUPINE
CHOCOLATES AND SWEETS
WILL BE OURS TO DINE
( here King Tweety – Fruity perks up )
SO GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
A GOOD TIME
A VERY GOOD TIME.

She stretches the last part of the song to a crescendo but her throat can’t take it and she starts coughing.
The courtiers look at each other. Stella claps her wing to her mouth distressed. Mr. Cranium raises his eyebrows.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (popping a sweet in is mouth)

What is the meaning of this ? What is wrong with your voice?

(MORE)

Is that how you are going to compete with the challengers. As a court singer you have a responsibility which you have forgotten.

Cuckoo looks crushed.

MR. CRANIUM

You haven’t actually been drinking the fine wine you are singing about, have you. You know it is forbidden in our kingdom.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I am sure it is ice cream she has been indulging in. Greedy bird.

He says this even as he pops in another sweetie in his mouth.

MR. CRANIUM (conciliatory)

Well, sire, if she does that she is in a very big problem. No more court singer means No more mansions, no more big cars, no more nice clothes, no more fancy furs and no more tasty treats.

Here STELLA sticks out her tongue, distressed.

CUCKOO-COOL (abashed)

Forgive me, Sire. This will not happen again.

MR. CRANIUM

It better not. His highness patience is running thin.

Stella is slyly foraging in a bowl lying behind and he catches her at it and slaps her wing with his cane.
Then he hooks his crane around Stella’s neck and pitches her so she goes flying off.

AL CRANIUM

And take this greedy bird with you. She is a disgrace to birds.
Cuckoo-Cool sashays off with as much dignity as she can muster.

EXT. – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is hopping along singing a dreadful tune when he is waylaid by Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah, if it is not the great maestro himself.

Monsieur Bull-Brass hops to one side but Banana -Drama shifts too. They do this a couple of times.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Be off you pesky monkey. I am not going to be diverted by you. The last time you sent me on a wild goose chase to the swamps for tasty mosquitoes. Every day is not a Sunday.

Banana-Drama looks to the other animals hiding behind various bushes and trees making wild gestures to prevent Monsieur Bull-Brass from going any further.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah but today is Friday and there are week- end specially on Fridays. Mac Birdies has the tastiest fried worms and stuff.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Non ! No ! I don’t eat worms or anything crawling on the ground. That is so unhygienic. Only flying delights for me.

He eyes a fly hovering in the air.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

Bon appetite!

He flicks his tongue and catches the fly and smacks his lips.

BANANA-DRAMA

Gross. I mean what a tasty bite.

He looks at the animals signalling to him. They even hold up a banner which says STOP THE FROG FROM SINGING.
Monsieur Bull-Brass cleverly side-steps Banana-Drama and hops on. All the animals rush to Banana-Drama.

PEEK-A-BOO

I should have known a simple task would be beyond you. That bull frog has ruined the peace and quiet of the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well,I tried ! But he says he’s determined to make the Caw-Band win the contest in Bird-Land.

PETER

(pointing to Banana-Drama’s walk man covering his ears)

You have these to cover your ears, but what about us ?

All the animals nod their heads vehemently.

BANANA-DRAMA (Pointing to FLOW -JO)

Well she has her trainers to run away (and pointing to Mimi-Tang’s shell) He just hides in his attached house. So what’s the big deal, man.

Suddenly a raucous cacophony fills the air and all the animals rush to see the four offsprings of Marge Hatchery cawing under the tutelage of Monsieur Bull Brass’s booming voice. Marge watches her four children with pride and joy while Melody holds her hand/wing and sucks her thumbs.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All Together now.
THE FOUR CROWS WE ARE

THE CROWS FOUR WHO ARE TOGETHER EVERMORE,

WE SING ANY SONG AND WE TAKE THE WORLD ALONG

ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY TO NEVER- NEVER LAND.

Monsieur Bull Brass joins in, his voice booming while the animals react. Flow-Jo runs around in circles, Mimi-Tang withdraws into her shell, Peter bangs his head against a tree, Peek-a-Boo parts his feathers and tries to stuff them in his ears,Banana-Drama looks at the reaction of his friends and he hangs up side down from a branch with his tail in front of Monsieur Bull Brass

BANANA-DRAMA

Mouse,Mouse Bull-Brass. Your good friend Professor Lucy Goosy and Dozy Fur-Ball is calling you. Something urgent.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

First of all it is not Mouse- Mouse , you barbaric ape, it is Monsieur. And, second, your tactics are not going to work. The Professor is in a conference and will be back only later this afternoon. So, be off with you and let us continue our practice.

Banana -Drama is at his wit’s end. He looks at the four crows and says,

BANANA-DRAMA

How come they get to sing and not she.

He points to MELODY.
Banana-Drama appealing to MARGE

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

It’s really not fair. She is your child too. She needs a fair chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(opening and shutting his mouth a few times stupefied)

Singing needs Melody and rhythm. Little black birds cannot sing. Le peau noir oiseau.

FLOW-JO

Flow -Jo

Flow -Jo

Well, if little black birds cannot sing, how come they are singing.

She points to the four crows on the band, each one manning a different instrument.

PETER

Fair’s fair

Moose-Moose. You have to give her chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

It’s Monsieur ! And I have no problem, it is up to her mother to decide.

MARGE (pushing Melody forward) Go on, my dear child.

Melody takes a few hesitant steps forward and stands near Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (CONT’D) (whispering to Flow-Jo)

She is not very pretty, unlike the other four. Maybe she has this talent which will take her forward in the world.

Flow-Jo bats her eyelashes.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All right then let us hear you. Can you sing the first seven notes of music. Here let me show you. Do, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Monsieur Bull Brass sings and all the animals react.

MELODY

Do, ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Melody sings and the animals are entranced but the frog reacts in the opposite way.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Stop ! Stop ! What is this ? Abominable.

Melody stops, stricken. All the animals glare at him.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

I mean, my dear child, with practise you will learn to sing like us, your brothers and I. But as of now, I can see years and years of practise ahead of you to come to my level. Now sing after me – DO , RAY, ME , FA, SO , LA, TI , DO.

All the animals close their ears.

MELODY

DO, RAY, ME FA, SO, LA, TI DO.

Monsieur Bull-Brass shuts his ear.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Allors! Allez! Stop ! Stop ! This is insupportable. You cannot sing, not in a million years.
Melody starts crying and runs away.

MARGE

Melody, my child, stop. Come back.

PEEK-A-BOO

PEEKABOO

PEEKABOO

(To MONSIEUR BULL BRASS)

Now, see what you have done. You have hurt the poor child’s feelings. She can sing better than all of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(puffing up in anger) And what do you know about singing ? Your harsh voice can scare the children. Is that why you are called Peek-a-Boo?

Peek-a- Bo looks crestfallen so Banana-Drama jumps into the fray. He jumps in front of Monsieur Bull Brass.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s my best friend you are being rude to, Mousey

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (correcting him)

MONSIEUR!

BANANA-DRAMA
Whatever !

MARGE (clapping her wings)

Stop it, stop it right now. Banana-Drama. Monsieur Bull Brass is our guest. Is that the way you behave with an honored guest from another country ?

She attempts to soothe the frog who has puffed up so much that he is in the danger of bursting.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Forgive us Monsieur. This is all a big mistake. You are the greatest singer in the world. Don’t worry, Melody will be fine.

She looks at Banana-Drama sternly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Banana-Drama, I think an apology is in order.
BANANA-DRAMA (walking to the frog and looking contrite)
(MORE)
Sorry, Mousse, mousse.. Oh, what the, sorry.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (patronizingly)

It’s all right. I don’t expect remix artistes to know much about music.

Banana-Drama starts to lose his cool. Marge notices this and tries to diffuse the situation.

MARGE

All right , all right. Everyone off to their home. Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La AND Ti- Do, time for a nice snack and cold drink. I have noodle-worms for you and beetle- juice for Mossy here.

DO-RAY Mom,

Can’t we have a pizza today.

MARGE

Nope, you got to eat healthy. It’s going to be noodle-worms with some grains and grit.

BANANA-DRAMA (walking away with Peek-a- Boo)
Gross!

PEEK-A-BOO

Why? What’s wrong. I like snake nuggets.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are my best friend. But there is a lot I need to learn about you.

Peter walking away with Mimi-Tang

PETER

Thank God, we are vegetarians.

MIMI -TANG (looking at FLOW-JO)

She told me she’s one too. We should party more often. I think , she’s cute.

PETER

Hey,Hey, Hey. Slow down.

(Then corrects himself as he sees him puffing as he tries to catch up with him)

PETER (CONT’D)
Maybe, not. If he goes any slower we would meet ourselves on the way back.

SENOR JULIO

SENOR JULIO

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

Melody is running and crying when she bumps into a brown bird. This is Senor Julio, the brown thrush, who is blind. He wears thick, black glass and carries a white tipped cane.

SENOR JULIO

Oh, watch it my friend. You could get hurt if you don’t watch where you are going.

MELODY

Oh! I am sorry. I couldn’t see for the tears. But, what about you ? How come you didn’t see ?

SENOR JULIO

Because, nina, I can’t see. I am blind.

MELODY

Oh ! I’m so sorry.

SENOR JULIO

It’s quite all right, nina, you were not to know. By the way, , why were you crying ?

MELODY

My name is not Nina and I was crying because, because….

She starts weeping.

SENOR JULIO

Please don’t cry….what is your name?

MELODY

It is Melody.

SENOR JULIO

That is a very pretty name, Melody. I was calling you nina because nina means little girl in Spanish. But you are a very, very little girl so I will call you chiquita. (he bows low) Senor Julio at your service. So, tell me, Melody, why were you crying?
(MORE)
And, what are you doing alone in the forest, it is not safe for little girls to wander alone in the forest.

MELODY

Because, Monsieur Bull Brass does not like my voice. He said I can never be a singer.

SENOR JULIO(clicking his tongue)

That is too bad, mi pobre chiquita, I mean, my poor little girl, the little Melody. Let me hear your voice. I may not be as grand as your Mossy Bull Pat, but I have knowledge of music too. So, let us hear you.

Melody sings Twinkle,twinkle little star.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Santa Maria! You sing like an angel. Charming! But your voice needs training.

MELODY (with tears in her eyes)

But who will teach me ? I am scared of Monsieur Bull Brass. He has a very loud voice. Oh, but I do want to learn.

SENOR JULIO

Teaching is not the problem. But I do not want you to come alone through the forest, little one. Do you have any friend who can bring you here.

MELODY shakes her head dismally and then brightens.

MELODY

I know, I can ask Banana -Drama. He is a very, very sweet monkey and also a musician, just like you so he’s sure to help me.

SENOR JULIO

Very well then. You talk to your friend. I will meet you at the edge of the jungle in the morning and we can begin your classes. You have natural talent, my child. A little training is all you need.

MELODY

What do you say to thank you in Spanish.

SENOR JULIO

Gracias. Muchos gracias. A big Thank you.

MELODY

Muchos gracias, Senor Julio! I will be there.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You are good child, Melody. It will be a pleasure to teach you. Come, I will drop you off to the edge of the jungle so you don’t get lost.

Senor Julio uses his white-tipped cane as he flies through the branches with Melody following behind him.

EXT – EDGE OF THE JUNGLE – DAY- VERY EARLY MORNING

BANANA-DRAMA is pacing up and down with MELODY standing near him, sucking her thumb.

BANANA-DRAMA

What have you got me into Melody, my child ? Who is this Senor Julio and why has he agreed to teach you singing?

MELODY (taking out her thumb from her mouth)

I told you he’s a teacher and he’s blind. And he told me to bring a grown-up with me as he doesn’t want me coming alone in the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yes, yes, yes. That is why I came. He seems like a sensible person. But where is he ?

Suddenly they hear a screech and a bat appears before them. He wears a cape. Banana-Drama screams and jumps up to a branch.

MELODY (calmly) Who are you ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

(who now has a lugubrious expression)

I have no idea. Some say I am a bird and some say I am a beast.

(MORE)
But, I am not sure if I am either. At present, I am, however, Senor Julio’s batman, his assistant and his carrier. I have come from him to escort you to his home where he awaits Miss Melody and her escort Mr. Banana-Drama.

He looks up to Banana-Drama as he says this. Banana-Drama comes down from the tree sheepishly.

BANANA-DRAMA

You gave me scare, man. Appearing out of nowhere.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Well, lets be off, my friend, while its still dark. I find it easier to find my way in the dark though I have recently got a Global Positioning System, to help me find my way at any time. Ah, the wonders of technology!

Bat Van Friday takes off with Melody following closely behind and Banana-Drama swinging from branch to branch behind them. They arrive at Senor Julio’s home where he’s waiting for them sitting next to a piano placed near the window. Banana-Drama is quite red in the face and panting.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, I mean Van, your name is Van, but you are travelling like a rocket. You just took off. (wiping his face with a large hanky) I have to get my breath back.

Senor Julio, Bat Van Friday laugh and Melody giggles.

SENOR JULIO

Well, well, well. You must be Banana- Drama, the famous remix artiste.

Banana-Drama bows.

BANANA-DRAMA

The same. And you must be Senor Julio, the well known singer who had disappeared many years back from public life.

Senor Julio bows

SENOR JULIO

The same. And this is Bat Van Friday, my trusty Man Friday and long distance carrier.

BANANA-DRAMA

I met him, your harrier plane and your fine friend. He seems to be a double in many things, like a double delight. There some sort of confusion here. Is he a bird or a beast, is he a plane or a helper ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, I have an identity crisis. I do not know who or what I am.

BANANA-DRAMA You should meet the other double delight, Professor Dozy, Do-Do Fuzz Ball Kind of Confused Critter. Maybe, he can help him. He claims to be very wise.

Bat Van Friday bows low and then looks up and smiles, showing his vampire like teeth.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Some dental work could help to make you popular too.

Senor Julio taps his cane impatiently on the leg of the piano.

SENOR JULIO

All right, let’s begin the lessons. No time to waste.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s cool, bro. I mean SENOR JULIO, you go on and teach Melody. I want to see Mr. Dozy-Ball, Fuzzy-Wall’s face when Melody wins the contest.

SENOR JULIO

Contest ? What contest ?

BANANA-DRAMA

The one that the frog, Mousey Bull And Back, is training that CAW-BAND for, if you get my drift.

SENOR JULIO

No, I don’t. But do not worry, by the time Melody is done here she will be a singer to be reckoned with, capable of performing anywhere. (he turns to MELODY) All right child, let us begin.

Senor Julio strikes the keys of the piano and his voice rises clear and pure, followed by Melody’s sweet one. At first he sings and Melody follows. They they sing this hymn together.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to greatness the trees on the hill.

Melody repeats.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the finger of morning Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will

SENOR JULIO/MELODY
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only…

INT -CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is pacing in her room. Stella sits on the couch licking two ice creams, one in each hand.

CUCKOO

How dare he? So he thinks he can insult Cuckoo Cool and get away. I will show him who I am?

STELLA

Everyone knows who you are. You are Cuckoo Cool, the greatest singer in the world.

CUCKOO

That I am. But it is time to make that stuffed shirt Mr. Cranium realize that. I have to make plans.

Her attention is diverted by an advertisement on the TV.

TELEVISION
A nightingale appears singing. Suddenly, she makes a gagging sounds and clutches her throat. A voice says: CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE ? Then a vial appears floating in air with a green liquid sparkling in it. It floats up, the nightingale opens her mouth and the vial pours out the green liquid in her mouth. Her voice restored she starts warbling again. The voice says as the following letters appear on the screen: FAIR IS FOWL, THE MAGIC POTION FROM THE SING SONG COMPANY OF CHINA. COMING SOON. Awaiting patent from the FOUL DRUG ADMINISTRATION(FDA).

CUCKOO

(turning around and snapping her fingers)

That’s it. That’s what I need.

She looks at Stella and makes a disgusted face.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you have to stop eating everything in sight. You’ll burst like a balloon one day. Now go away and don’t come back till you find Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie.

Stella flies off, still licking her ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (still pacing the floor)

I will see who can win against me.

EXT.- NEAR SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE – DAY

Melody AND Senor Julio are practising. As Melody sings we can see the reaction of the jungle animals. Even the trees wave and grass rustle with joy. As Melody’s voice soars up to a crescendo Senor Julio claps.

SENOR JULIO

Ah, chiquita ! You sing like angel. No singer in the world can hold a candle to you. The world awaits you. You are ready for the contest.

MELODY

But I only sing because I like to sing. A contest is not my dream. I am too shy.

SENOR JULIO

No, no, do not say that, my child. That is an insult to the talent that God has given you. It is your duty to sing for his glory and let the world listen and honour. Talent, which hides away from the sun of audience applause and appreciation, withers and dies. So, go and take your place in the sun, chiquita.

MELODY

I will have to ask mama.

BAND OF CROWS

BAND OF CROWS

EXT./ NEAR MARGIE’S NEST /DAY

While Marge watches the CAW-BAND is practising under Monsieur Bull-Brass’ direction. The other animals are roaming nonchalant, seemingly unaffected by the din. She looks up to see Melody approaching with Senor Julio and Banana-Drama. The animals also look up, curious, and remove their ear plugs, cotton wool,and whatever else they may have used to shut out the din of the frog and crow singing. Banana-Drama walks up to Marge with the other two.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, Margie, we have a confession to make. Melody here has been learning to sing with Senor Julio here.
All the animals gasp and Monsieur Bull-Brass puffs up indignantly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Mon Dieu ! This is abominable. She cannot sing.

BANANA-DRAMA

As if you can.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing with indignation.

MARGE (hastily)

Please Mussy Hair, let me get to the bottom of the matter.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

Senora, let me introduce myself. I am Senor Julio, trained and established singer, now retired from public life.

PEEK-A-BOO (to the others)

I know him, he used to be very famous and then at the height of his fame decided to retire when he went blind due to some strange reason.

All the animals make sympathetic sounds.

MARGE

Yes, Senor Julio, but what is my Melody doing with you ? She cannot sing.

SENOR JULIO

Melody can not only sing but she is a rare talent. Believe me, I am a trained singer too.

BANANA-DRAMA

And she is going to take part in the contest, no matter what some Most Of Bully Blast has to say about it.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing up with anger.

MARGE

Please be quiet Banana-Drama. It is not your decision to make.

SENOR JULIO

I’m sorry if I have offended you, Madame, but when Melody came to me crying I could not stop myself from lending a helping hand. Now, it is your decision whether Melody should be in the contest or not.

All the animals shout that Melody should be allowed to participate too. Even the four crows join in.

OLLIE

I think, Marjorie, it is in the child’s interest that she, too, participates.
(MORE)
It will give her confidence which she is sadly lacking.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hear, hear Professor Do-Doing Something Right For A Change Critter. Marge, you got to listen to the Professor.

Marjorie looks at Monsieur Bull-Brass, afraid to offend him. All the others catch on to her dilemma.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Ah, but we must first have to take permission from, Mo,Mu,Mi, Most Full And Last Greatest Singer In The World.

Flow-Jo titters while the other animals take up Banana- Drama’s refrain with Please, Don’t say No, You are the greatest. Monsieur Bull-Brass looks gratified.

OLLIE

Yes, my friend. Your permission will clear the air, so to speak. And will put the little bird on the path to success. She will bring glory to Jungle-Land.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SENOR JULIO)

He can never speak straight. But his heart is in the right place as you can see.

Senor Julio nods.
MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Oui, I mean Yes. I am not one to stand in the way of le peau oiseau’s, I mean the little bird’s, success.

All the animals cheer but stop when he raises one finger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

But I have a condition too.

The animals listen with bated breath as he addresses Marge.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

She may have to take a few lessons with me.
(MORE)
I cannot undo everything that has been taught but I can certainly pull her back from the wrong direction and put her in the same league as her brother’s here.

All the animals look crestfallen and look towards Senor Julio to see how he as taken this insult. Senor Julio, merely smiles.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

I agree with and applaud your decision.

Monsieur Bull-Brass smiles at him patronizingly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You have done a good job on her Senor Julio and I insist she is your protege. I only intend to tweak a few wrong notes.

SENOR JULIO

I fully comprehend. Now I must take your leave. He bows low and turns to go.

BANANA-DRAMA (whispers in his ear)

You are the best, Senor Julio. And don’t worry ( he takes out a pair of ear plugs ) I have a special pair of small ear plugs for Melody which will take care of this problem

SENOR JULIO (smiling and flying off)
Adios.

AlL the animals wave to him shouting, Adios Senor Julio,
Muchas Gracias Senor Julio.

Melody hugs Marge.

MELODY

Thank you Mom, you are the best.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo Cool is lounging on a settee when Stella ushers in Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie. Magpie, as usual is chattering thirteen to a dozen.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, by all that is wonderful. Where have you been ? We all left Jungle-Land together and then when we reached the Land Of Birds you disappeared.
(MORE)
Then, of course, we have been following your success story. We did try to get in touch with you , trying to call you by phone, by mail, in person but no. There was always an answering service and no one would let us in. We were so happy to see Stella when she came to call us and I said to Mr. Jack Dawson here that it is unlikely that Cuckoo would forget us. She is just busy, what with being such a famous star and all. And,you know what he said ? He said that,

CUCKOO (interrupting)

I need you to do something for me.

MAGPIE (gasping)

Oh, how did you guess? That’s exactly what he said.

CUCKOO

I need you to help me to get the magic potion FAIR IS FOWL from the SING-SONG COMPANY of China.

MAGPIE (gasping)

You want us to go to China !

CUCKOO

Don’t be silly, you twit. The head offices of the company is here. You Just have to steal it from there. (smirking) Mr. Jack Dawson here has a natural flair for that kind of work.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You have always been very good at taking advantage of someone’s weakness, Cuckoo. But that is beside the point. We’ll need money, not only for our services but also for incidentals and an expense account. We have many expenses and Magpie here has a family to support.

MAGPIE

Oh, yes cuckoo. By God’s grace I have seven children. Would you like to know their names ? They are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

melody_02

CUCKOO (sarcastically)

I can guess the other three names. Now stop your foolish chattering, you twit, and off with you. Of course I will pay you and well. Go now. Stella show these two out and yes, (she addresses Mr. Jack Dawson ) Mr. Jack Dawson, kindly put back the silver you picked up and put in you pocket in your way in.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes out the silver bric-a-brac and places it on the console.

MR. JACK DAWSON (sourly)

Force of habit, Cuckoo, as you well know.

Stella shows them out.

CUCKOO (to herself)

Just my luck to be surrounded by a foolish, chattering Magpie and a thieving rascal.
Then she rubs her hand in glee.
CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah! But they have their uses.

Stella comes fluttering in.

STELLA

Cuckoo, when is dinner ? I am starving.

CUCKOO (looking irritated again)

But I am still trying to figure out what is your use and why do I tolerate you, tub of lard.

STELLA

I am your friend CUCKOO.

CUCKOO (shuddering)

That remains to be seen.

Cuckoo turns her back on Stella and walks away.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Well, I am off to bed, tubby. Got to watch my figure. You fend for your self.

Behind her Stella wails as she walks away.

STELLA (O.S.)

Cuckoo, dinner !!!!!!

Cuckoo rolls her eyes heavenwards and continues to walk away.

small_11 small_19 small_07

EXT -IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Melody is helping her brothers to pack their instruments.

DO-RAY

Hey, Melody, what do you want from us when we win. Of course, you know, we are going to share our prize with you.

ME-FAR

Yes, Melody, don’t bother about Monsieur Bull-Brass. He’s a pompous old ass.

SO-LA

Me-Far, you are going too-far as usual, as Mom says. There is no need to talk about your teacher like that.

TI-DO

Got to respect the dude , bro. Anyway, tell us Melody,what do you want ?

FLOW-JO (popping her head in)

And what if Melody wins ? Why do you take for granted that only you will win. Melody can win too.

All the crows have a hearty laugh. Marge walks into the room smiling.

MARGE

Well, let’s not get Melody’s hopes up too much. I am sure she will win one day but she has still much to learn. Monsieur Bull-Brass has promised to give extra coaching to Melody.

FLOW-JO

Huh! That’s interesting. I am sure BANANA- DRAMA would be most interested.

(MORE)

Marge, actually everyone wanted to talk to you about something important. That is why they sent me to call you.

MARGE

I’ll be out in a jiffy. You go ahead.

FLOW-JO (leaving)

Bye kids. Have a good one.

MARGE picks up a few cookies.

MARGE (V.O.)

A tasty bite for everyone. They have been such a support. I wonder what they want?
She leaves and as she nears the door she turns around.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Kids, I will be back soon. Be good.

ME-FAR (grinning)

Mom, can I be bad. Just for a change

MARGE (laughing)

Don’t go too far ME-FAR.

All the kids laugh. MARGE leaves and the door shuts behind her.

DO-RAY

That’s what you wanted to hear, didn’t you?

ME-FAR

It’s kind of cool, bro.

MELODY

I think I have the coolest brothers in the world.

They all hug her.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
All the animals are collected on a grassy knoll near a flowing stream. Marge approaches them with some trepidation wondering what is the matter. She waves to them and walks over.

MARGE (offering the cookies)

I have brought some cookies for everyone,freshly baked this morning.

FLOW-JO (taking a small nibble)

Got to watch my figure but I can never resist your delicious cookies MARGE. You are such a joy Marge. And that’s why we have all collected here to make a proposal to you. I do hope you will say Yes.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, We are happy with your decision to enter your children in the contest and would be overjoyed if they were to win. And, it is our greatest wish to be there for you to support you in your endeavours.

BANANA-DRAMA

Professor Doze-Ball, Fur-Ball Critter, can you speak in simple English ? Marge here is wondering what you are talking about.

OLLIE

It is simple English, you ignorant whippersnapper and, it is PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

PEEK-A-BOO

All right, all right. Let’s not stray from the topic. Marge, in a nut shell, what Professor (pauses and then rushes before the PROFESSOR can object) Dodo Doing Fuzzy Woozy Fool was trying to say that we would all like to come with you to the Land of Birds and cheer your kids. If you don’t mind ?

PETER

Yes, Marge, it will be a nice vacation for all of us.

MIMI -TANG

Yes , the last time I took a vacation when I went back home to China, two hundred years back.

PETER

That’s because you were too cheap to spend on a ticket and decided to walk so about, so 199 were spent in travelling.

MIMI -TANG

Well, there were no planes back then.

FLOW-JO

Oh let’s not get diverted from the topic again. So, Marge, what do you think of the idea ?

Everyone looks towards Marge. She is crying.

BANANA-DRAMA (alarmed)

Hey, Marge, why are you crying. We won’t come , if you don’t want us.

MARGE (blowing her nose in an oversized hanky)

Don’t be silly Banana-Drama, these are tears of joy. I am so happy I have such good friends.

FLOW-JO (rushing to her and hugging her)

Oh, Margie, you are so sweet. That’s why we all love you. (she turns to everyone) Don’t we love her guys.

ALL THE ANIMLS (shouting)
Yay !

BANANA-DRAMA

Three cheers for MARGIE. Hip, hip,

ALL THE ANIMALS
Hurrah !

A Montage of all the Jungle-Land animals flying by TWEET- AIR to and arriving in the Land of Birds. They are taking in the sights and sounds of the place as they travel by the GREY-BUSTARD Bus. They arrive at their hotel- THE PELICAN HOTEL – and are shown to their rooms which theyare sharing. The CAW-BAND stay in one room, Peter and Mimi-Tang in another, Flow-Jo and Marge share one room, Monsieur Bull-Brass and Ollie in one, Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo share a room. Melody has a little room attached to her Mom’s. They are shown up to their rooms by little Robin red-breasts who busy themselves helping them to arrange their luggage.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is getting her fitting of the gown she is about to wear for the Musical Contest Night. Stella hovers around her eating chips from a huge bag of potato chips. Stella makes huge crunchy sounds which is getting on Cuckoo’s nerves.

CUCKOO

Do you mind ? I am trying to get a fitting here.

STELLA

Cuckoo, Is anything the matter ? Why are you in such a bad mood ?

CUCKOO

Because, I am trying to get a fitting here and your crunching is driving me crazy. Moreover, where have those numbskulls, Jack Dawson and Magpie disappeared ? They were supposed to get the magic potion, FAIR IS FOWL for my throat and they are not here yet and the contest in a week’s time.

(There is a knock on the door)

CUCKOO (CONT’D)
Come in !
A portly penguin is at the door.

freezer

FREEZER (speaking in Icy Tones)

A couple of vagabonds to see you , Madam. They say they have completed your errand. A Mr. Jack Dawson and Mrs. Magpie.

CUCKOO ( waving peremptorily )

Yes, Freezer, let them in and (she looks towards Stella who giggles ) You know what to do ?

Stella hastens away while Freezer goes to call Dawson and Magpie. He returns and ushers them in.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

That will be all Freezer.

He goes away even as
Stella comes forward and giggling nervously puts a tape on Magpie’s beak even as she opens it to start her chattering and staples Dawson’s wings.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Just a few precautions. One , to stop her chattering which never fails to give me a head-ache and two, to stop, Mr. Nimble Fingers here, right in his track.

Magpie is going blue in her face in an effort to talk and Mr. Jack Dawson is very insulted.

MR. JACK DAWSON

If you will hand us our payment we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Not so fast, my friend. Let us see the goods first. (Then taking stock of his stapled wings and smiling ) Oh, yes. We do have a minor technical problem here. Never mind, Stella here will be happy to help.

Stella waddles to the jackdaw giggling, puts her hand in his coat pocket and takes out a vial. As she hold up the vial to the light it sparkles and Cuckoo gives a hiss of delight.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Yes. Give it to me Stella. This will make me the undisputed queen of the music world.

Stella waddles over to Cuckoo and gives her the vial.

MR. JACK DAWSON If you could pay us, we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Yes, of course. I am sure you are not going to do anything for free.
(MORE)
(looking towards Stella)

Stella !
Stella is busy popping grapes in her mouth from the fruit bowl and when she hears Cuckoo’s stern voice she comes scurrying forward dropping all the fruits in the process.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you greedy bird, stop eating and give them their money.

STELLA

(rummaging through Cuckoo’s purse and taking out the money)

But Cuckoo I was eating fruits. That’s healthy and all, you said.

CUCKOO

Oh, for beaks’ sake, if you eat only the fruit and not with the chocolates and the ice creams. Now give them the money and release them, I say.

Stella scurries to do her bidding. As Dawson and Magpie leave, Cuckoo can be seen holding up the vial of sparkling liquid and smiling.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah, victory is mine.

INT – VARIOUS HOTEL ROOMS – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is practising with the CAW-BAND while the animals are showing their distress in the usual way by running to stuff their ears with cotton , ear plugs or whatever object happens to be handy. An irate customer, an eagle, Sam Spread-Eagle, calls up the manager, a fat turkey, Mr. Gobble.

SAM (on the phone)

This is Sam Spread-Eagle here from room 1001. I haven’t traveled all the way to have my ears blasted to the moon. If you don’t stop this infernal racket right away I am going to call the NOISE POLICE.

MR. GOBBLE (on the phone)

I will look into the matter, Sir.

SAM

You better. Or we have ways to deal with all kinds of weapons of mass disruption. I don’t like invasion of my piracy, I mean, privacy. Got it.

MR. GOBBLE

Very well sir. We will do our best to pour oil over troubled waters.

SAM

Good, you better. (bangs down the phone) Darn foreigners, don’t know how to treat their guests. Got to teach them every thing.

INT – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is getting ready to go out, humming a tune.

MELODY

Mom, all of us are going to see where we are going to perform. You want to come with us?

MARGE

No sweetie, Flow-Jo and I are off for some shopping. There is any early bird sale going on at TWEET-TRADE CENTRE. You go ahead. Is Monsieur Bull-Brass going too?

MELODY

After last night when the manager came to him to stop practising in the hotel because the guests were getting disturbed he wants to see if he can practice in the hall. He also wants to check out the a- coo, a-coo

MARGE

Acoustics, which is the way in which the sound bounces off the walls and comes to our ears.

BANANA-DRAMA (popping in his head)

Oh ! I hope he does not get bounced off from there as he got bounced off from here.

MARGE

Banana-Drama, promise you will see that he does not get offended in any way.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anything for you Margie. Come, Melody, lets be off.

MELODY
Bye, Mom.

MARGE

Bye, Melody. Enjoy.

The door shuts as the two leave and MARGE picks up her bag.

(Marge (CONT’D)

(to her-self)

Poor child. I hope she will not be too disappointed if she doesn’t win the contest.

INT -MUSIC-HALL -DAY
All the animals from Jungle-Land except Marge and Flow-Jo have collected at the venue where the show is going to be held. It is very grand and they are quite awe-struck. They file through the aisle and reach the stage.

BANANA-DRAMA
Awesome !

PEEK-A-BOO

A most enchanting experience.

PETER

PETER PARROT

PETER PARROT

If the empty hall is so wonderful, I wonder what it will be like when it is full of birds and beasts from all over the world.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, it will be something to write home about.

ME-FAR

Yes, they will get to know in about 100 years by the time you write the letter, mail it and then remember, you forgot to put the stamp.

PETER

He doesn’t forget . He’s just too cheap.

OLLIE (to ME-FAR)

Didn’t your mother tell you not to go too far, Me-Far.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Why are we wasting time on silly talk when there is important work at hand. I would like to check the acoustics of this place so that I am sure the sound reaches the furthest corner of this hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

(with a sour expression to Peek-A-Boo)

With his noise it is going to reach the four corners of the world. Hope we don’t get thrown out of this place. Better stop him before it is too late.

PEEK-A-BOO (hastily to Melody)

Melody, why don’t you go on stage and try out your voice.

Banana -Drama winks at the other animals and they all, except Ollie, who is anyway trying out the comfort of the seats and has dozed off, take up the refrain. “Yes Melody, go ahead . Don’t be shy. It’s good practise for you.” Even as they push her towards the stage. Melody climbs up the stage, turns around and looks at the vast, empty hall with a scared expression. She closes her eyes and sees Senor Julio
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT.- IN THE JUNGLE- DAY

SENOR JULIO

Melody, my child. Talent that is hidden away from the world is like a plant without sun. It becomes stunted. So be like the sunflower and bask in the sunlight of audience approval and sing for glory, the glory of God.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit
blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

Melody opens her eyes at the sound of all the animals clapping and shouting Bravo Melody, all except Monsieur Bull-Brass who has a pained expression on his face and is shaking his head. Behind a pillar stands Cuckoo, seething with anger, staring at Melody with malevolence.

CUCKOO (walking away) Melody, something will have to be done about you.

KING TWEETY FRUITY

KING TWEETY FRUITY

INT.- KING TWEETY – FRUITY’S PALACE HALL – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is having high tea with Mr. Cranium watching him with an exasperated air.
MR.CRANIUM

KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN,if you please.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(taking a bite of a chocolate covered apple)

King Tweety – Fruity to you, just like this yummy sweet fruit.

MR.CRANIUM It seems to me you have forgotten last times tummy ache, Sire.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (expression darkening)

Dare you remind me of that awful time when three bottles of the bitterest medicine was not enough to kill the pain. It is not your place, Mr. Cranium.

MR.CRANIUM (hastily and a little scared)

Forgive me, Sire. I did not mean to distress you. But Cuckoo Cool, your court singer is here with a request.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(sipping loudly as he drinks a milk shake)

What does she want ? You know how I hate to be disturbed when I am busy with my sweeties.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience)

Which means nothing will ever get done for when is he not busy with his sweeties, as he calls them. (turning to the King ) Sire, she will take a minute of your time.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

All right, all right, send her in. But not more than a minute.

MR. CRANIUM signals to the flamingo at the entrance who announces

FLAMINGO

Cuckoo Cool enters in the royal presence of KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN

Cuckoo-Cool sashays in with an air of false bravado.

CUCKOO

Your highness, it is so gracious of you to give me an audience. I am deeply honored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (cutting her short)

Get to the point. I don’t have all the time in the world to listen to your drivel.

CUCKOO

(thrown off balance but recovering quickly)

It is my humble request, Sire, if we should entertain the contestants at my mansion to welcome them.
MR.CRANIUM

An excellent idea.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Why ? so she can figure out the competition and find ways to beat or bribe them into submission ?

CUCKOO (fluttering)

Oh, no, no, Sire that is not my intention at all.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (going back to his eating)

I know you too well Cuckoo Cool but, I don’t care. Just don’t waste my time with your conniving tactics. Do what you want to. Now go. I have important matters to attend to, like this huge mound of sweeties.

MR. CRANIUM

MR. CRANIUM

Mr. Cranium looks disgusted as Cuckoo Cool backs out and then turns away to go.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience) His fondness for sweets is going to get him in such big trouble that all the medicines of he world will not be enough to cure him.

I/E / A HUGE LIMOUSINE /NIGHT
Melody and her four brothers are travelling in a swanky limousine. They take in the sights and sounds of the city in the night.
I/E. /CUCKOO’S MANSION / NIGHT
The limousine sweeps into the portico where the door man opens the door of the car and a handful of liveried flunky’s usher them into a huge hall ablaze with lights and awash with the din of chattering contestants.
Cuckoo moves among the guests, birds and beasts of every shape and size, chattering and laughing but she has noticed Melody’s arrival from the corner of her eyes.
Freezer is moving among the guests with queries of “ Some ice ? “ His eyes meets Cuckoo’s and he glides towards Melody.

FREEZER

A cold drink for Miss.

Melody is reaching out for the drink when her brother interrupts

SO-LA

Melody, cold drinks are bad for your throat.

Melody withdraws her hand. Cuckoo who was watching anxiously draws in her breath. Freezer looks significantly at her. Cuckoo signals with her eyes for him to follow her to the kitchen as she walks away.

INT.-CUCKOO’S KITCHEN – NIGHT
Cuckoo goes into the kitchen, takes a vol-au-vent, opens it and fills it with chillies and is waiting for Freezer when he walks in.

CUCKOO (handing him a plate of snacks)

Here, Freezer, these hot and spicy snacks should do the trick. And don’t forget to have a glass of extra cold iced water with you and place an ice cream cup on the table near by. I am going to draw her away from her brothers, they always look out for her.

FREEZER (giving a cold smile)

It will be done, Madame Cuckoo.

(he turns to go but stops when he hears Cuckoo’s voice)

CUCKOO

Hang on a second, Freezer. One more thing. Tell Stella to draw the bath water and fill it with extra chilly water. Throw in a few ice cubes too.

FREEZER

Very well Madame.

Freezer leaves and Cuckoo swishes behind him humming.

INT.- PARTY HALL – CUCKOO’S MANSION – NIGHT
Melody is looking around wonder struck when Cuckoo sweeps up to her and puts her arm around her shoulder.

CUCKOO (drawing her towards the table)

Come my dear. I want to ask you how you thought of becoming a singer ? Is your mother a singer too ?

MELODY (shy, hesitant and awe – struck)

No-o-o. Nothing like that. I just had to sing. Singing is my life.

CUCKOO

How amazing. I felt the same way. I just had to sing. We are so much like each other. And you are so unlike your brothers.

(she shoots a look of dislike towards crows as she says this harshly)

MELODY (drawing away from CUCKOO)

Oh, but they are very sweet and I love them.

CUCKOO (quickly pulling her towards herself and sweetening her voice)

Oh, I am sure you do. Just that I am sure they can’t hold a candle to you.

MELODY

How can you say that ?

Cuckoo is flummoxed but by then Freezer has reached them with his tray.

CUCKOO

(hastily) Ah, Freezer, my good man. What tasty bites. Melody, you must try some.

She picks up one with the chillies.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Let me. Open your mouth, child.
Melody opens her mouth and Cuckoo pops in the hot snack. Melody chews and then gasps, her eyes watering. There is the sound of sizzling coming from her mouth.

MELODY

Oh , its hot. My mouth is burning.

Cuckoo grabs the chilled water from Freezer’s tray.

CUCKOO

Here, drink this.

Melody gulps the water. But still the sound of sizzle persists. Cuckoo grabs the ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Here, eat this. It will cool of your mouth.

She feeds Melody ice cream and as she is doing so drops the bowl on her with the ice cream splattering down her front.
MELODY

Oh ! Oh !

She starts crying. Stella comes into the hall and as Cuckoo looks at her, Stella winks.

CUCKOO (drawing Melody away)

Come my child, we’ll clean you up and you will be good as new.

Melody and Cuckoo leave the hall.

INT. – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed coughing with a cold water compress on her forehead. All the animals are ranged round her, looking worried.

MARGE

(taking out the thermometer from her mouth and looking at it)

Gracious! Melody what made you have so much cold stuff. Didn’t your brothers stop you ?

DO-RAY

We couldn’t see her anywhere.

ME-FAR

One minute she is with Madame Cuckoo- Cool, and next minute, whoosh, vanished.

SO-LA

Who goes to a party and has a bath?

TI-DO

That too with cold water.

MARGE

Yes, child . I understand the ice cream fell on you but wasn’t there any hot water? And how can she serve such spicy, hot stuff to kids. I am going to have a word with her.

FLOW-JO

Yes, Melody, tell us. We need to get to the bottom of this business.

BANANA-DRAMA

A very, very nasty business. Mind you, there is something wrong here, I can feel it in my tail.

OLLIE

That’s a far-fetched tale.

MARGE

Oh ! Don’t start, you two, now. Melody, speak up.

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

Melody is trying to speak and only rasping sounds emanate from her throat. All the animals look at each other, shocked.

INT-SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE-DAY
Senor Julio is tinkling on the piano when Bat Van Friday brings him a juice.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, Bat Van. You are a good man Friday.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Wasn’t he the one who was Robinson Crusoe’s helper when he was marooned alone on an island.

SENOR JULIO

The same. And you are my ray of light when I am alone in this sea of darkness.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Isn’t it strange that a blind bat is helping a blind bird ?

SENOR JULIO

Strange are the ways of the lord. But I am sure there is a hidden meaning in all of this. Only we cannot see it at present.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

How will we see it if we don’t have eyes?

SENOR JULIO

To see , you don’t need eyes, you need a heart. And you have a very big heart.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, but it is concealed in this very ugly body which does not know whether it is a bird or a beast.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You will find out one day. But for the time being, be of good cheer, your shining soul will be an example for all of creation one day.

Senor Julio takes a sip of the juice and it goes the wrong way and he starts coughing. Bat Van Friday strokes him on the back and the coughing subsides.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

You know, my heart says, Melody is in some big trouble. She needs me. Why don’t you start packing ? We are going on a journey.

He is overcome by a coughing fit again.

DISSOLVE TO:
INT. -HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is coughing. Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo are looking at her worried.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, the contest in two days and Melody in this condition. Coughing up a storm and her throat completely jammed. She can’t speak a word, how is she going to sing ?

PEEK-A-BOO

(fanning her with his tail feathers and wiping Melody’s brow.)

There, there child.

One of his feathers tickle her nose and she sneezes.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man,you got to stop using your beautiful tail feathers as a hand-kerchief or a mop or a feather duster or whatever comes to your mind.

PEEK-A-BOO

Sorry, force of habit. But it is my feeling that all beauty should have a purpose. It’s not enough just to look good.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are one strange dude, man. But I like you. But what are we going to do? I am going bananas just thinking about it.

PEEK-A-BOO

Well, they say when in doubt, shout to God. There is house of Prayer just around the corner. Why don’t we take Melody along and see if God gives us some ideas or shows us a way.

BANANA-DRAMA

(looking at Melody sniffling)

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Lets go, bro.

(MORE)
Come on Melody,let’s put on a jacket on you and see if our prayers will do the trick.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT – HOUSE OF PRAYER – DAY
We pull back from a board which says ON A WING AND A PRAYER to include three figures, Peek-A-Boo, Banana-Drama and Melody in a red hooded jacket looking up at the HOUSE OF PRAYER with two wings folded in prayer above it.

BANANA-DRAMA

Is this place strictly for the birds or what ?

PEEK-A-BOO

No, places of worship are for everyone. You think there are special Gods for each kind ? A bird- God, a beast-God, a Man- God ? No, there is only one God. And his heart and home is open to all.

BANANA-DRAMA

You may look tatty sometimes Peek-A-Boo but you sure say some very wise things. All right, let’s go in and pray for our wee Melody here.

The three go in.

I/E -JEWEL SHOP -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson is wearing a security guard uniform and standing at the door of a jewel shop. Just then four badgers wearing trench coats and slouch hats enter the door. As Dawson stands out side the door he hears a commotion and rushes into the shop . The four badgers are holding up the cashier with pistols, the customers are on the floor and the manager, a fat kiwi bird, is quaking in the corner. One of the badgers is scooping the jewelry and stashing it in his bag. Dawson takes a flying leap and tackles the badger holding the pistol. The other badgers attack him but he fights bravely. In the mean time the manager has pressed the alarm and the BIRD- POLICE arrives with wailing sirens. Taking advantage of the commotion one of the badgers slips in a diamond necklace into Dawsons’ pocket. As the thieves are being hustled away the badger who had slipped in the necklace points to Dawson and says

BADGER-BANDIT

He’s with us. Check his pocket.

KIWI-MANAGER

He got you arrested.

BADGER-BANDIT

Check his pocket. He was afraid we would not keep our side of the bargain. So he decided to blow the whistle on us. But being a jackdaw, he couldn’t resist and flicked a necklace. Check his pocket. You will find proof.

Everyone looks at Mr. Jack Dawson who puts his hand in his pocket and turns it out and looks at the necklace with a stupefied expression.

BIRD-POLICE INSPECTOR

Arrest him.

Mr. Jack Dawson makes a break for it, the necklace still in his hands. He runs out of the shop with the police and others hot on his heels. As he is running he sees the HOUSE OF PRAYER and runs in and bumps into Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo, and Melody who are coming out of the door. They all go flying in different directions and the necklace clatters to the floor. Banana-Drama takes one look at the necklace and then looks at the crowd yelling and running, “ Thief , Thief” through the door which is ajar and understands the matter at once.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo, brother. You are the thief. Have to do my bit as a law abiding citizen and give you up.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I have been framed. This is the first time I didn’t steal and have been caught with the goods on me.

PEEK-A-BOO

Are you trying to tell me that you , a jackdaw, notorious for picking up shiny objects, is not responsible for this, (pointing to the necklace) Business. I don’t believe you brother.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can believe what you like. I know we jackdaws have a bad reputation. And I want to change, to fight my nature. But this one I did not do.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, I am sorry for you brother and all that but we got to do what we got to do.So,

He marches towards the door when he feels a tug on his arm. He looks around.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Melody, what gives ?

MELODY (hoarsely)

Banana-Drama, please don’t. Please give him a chance.

Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo AND Mr. Jack Dawson look amazed.

BANANA-DRAMA

Melody, he’s a felon, a dangerous criminal. You want to give him a chance?

MELODY

God gives everyone a chance, my Mom says. No matter who ? So why not him.

BANANA-DRAMA (looking at the jackdaw)

All right then, you can go. We can’t break Melody’s heart, not when she is ill and all that.

Mr. Jack Dawson, gets up and dusts himself.

MR. JACK DAWSON Thank you. I won’t forget this kind gesture.

He is about to leave when he stops at Peek-A-Boo’s voice.

PEEK-A-BOO

Wait. Your necklace.

MR. JACK DAWSON

It’s not my necklace and I don’t want it. I am not a thief. It’s just a disease for which there is no cure.

He looks very sad.

BANANA-DRAMA Hey brother, looks like you were speaking the truth. Don’t take it to heart.

(MORE)

You are standing in place of prayer, God is listening to you. He’ll come up with something.

MELODY

I know who can help him. Professor .

BANANA-DRAMA

You mean that Dodo Ding-Bat can help this poor bird. More likely he will confuse him so much he will graduate from petty thieving to grand larceny and become a major robber.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Look, I am so desperate I will give anything, anyone a chance.

BANANA-DRAMA

All right then, if you want to take a chance. Don’t blame me later on. Let’s go.

They all leave and we see them bathed in a pool of shining light as they walk out of the door.

INT. – HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
All the animals are collected in the hotel lobby along with Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle. Marge is gesticulating and talking with Mr. Gobble.

MARGE

Mr. Gobble, my daughter is missing, don’t you understand. She is not well and this is a big place where no one knows her and you say you can’t do anything. What kind of answer is that ?

OLLIE

This turkey is speaking gobble – gobble gobbledygook.

SAM

I say we organize a search party. Darn foreigners. Got to help them with everything.

MARGE (frantically)

Mr. Gobble, you have to do something, please. My poor Melody, alone, God knows where.

She starts crying and all the animals rush to comfort her.

FLOW-JO

There, there Margie, don’t cry. We will find Melody.

PETER

Yes, even if we have to search every nook and corner of Land OF Birds.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, I have some experience in that matter. I say we begin right away.

PETER

Doggone Turtle, if we let you do the searching we’ll be hundred years old by the time you reach the front door.

SAM

Look , no point wasting time. Talk, talk, talk, that’s all you foreigners do. It’s time for action.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

I agree with you. In France, we, too, believe in action. Viva la France.

SAM

You are French ? Parlez vous Francais ? (But actually mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways)

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Pour quoi ! What did you say ? What language was that ?

SAM

You are from France and you don’t know Parlez vous Francais ? (again mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways) This guy is an imposter.

Monsieur Bull -Brass starts swelling up in anger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You call me an imposter, you vulgar American. I will not tolerate it. I will bring this up in the UNITED NATIONS.

SAM

Go right ahead, my friend. I can’t wait.

Ollie notices Melody, Peek-A-Boo, Banana – Drama and Mr. Jack Dawson walking through the door.

OLLIE

Stop this war of words immediately. There is Melody.

MARGE rushes to MELODY and hugs her.

MARGE

Melody, my child, where have you been I have been sick with worry.

BANANA-DRAMA

We went to the House of Prayer to pray for Melody’s good health.

MARGE (looking at PEEK-A-BOO)

Peek-A-Boo, you are , at least a responsible person. Couldn’t you leave a message at the desk with Mr. Turkey, I mean, Mr. Gobble.

PEEK-A-BOO (looking contrite)

I am sorry Marge. We just didn’t think what with the contest coming up and Melody in this state.

MARGE(smiling forgivingly)

It’s quite all right, it’s nice of all you to be so concerned. (Then looking at Mr. Jack Dawson) And who is this gentleman ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Mr. Jack Dawson at your service.

BANANA-DRAMA

He has some business with Professor Dink Do Fuzzy And Cool Critter.

OLLIE (with dignity) PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER.

(MORE)

Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. (bowing to Mr. Jack Dawson) And how can I be of service to you ?

BANANA-DRAMA

It’s private business.

OLLIE

In that case I will give you an appointment for 3 this afternoon, right after lunch.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thank you, kind Sir. (He bows to Ollie) I take your leave. And will be back at 3 sharp. (He bows to everyone and finally, taking MARGE’S hand kisses it) And let me compliment you , Madame, on the fine child you have raised,

He looks at Melody sucking her thumb.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

A most kind-hearted and generous girl, Bless you all.
He takes leave. All the animals admiringly watch him leave.

SAM

He’s the goods. That’s for sure. I think I can arrange for him to come to the U.S. We need fine folks like him.

MARGE

Birds like him are welcome everywhere. (taking Melody by the hand) Now come on child, you need to rest.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

We’ll meet in Professor Ding-Dong’s room at 3. (patting his tummy) Time for lunch. I believe it is banana nut bread today. My favorite.

SAM

A chocolate- mouse for me. Yummy

PETER (to Mimi-Tang)

Yuck !

They all disperse with Mimi-Tang lagging behind till Peter turns around.

PETER (CONT’D)

We are going for lunch, not dinner. Can you step on it ?

Mimi-Tang craning her neck and trying to walk faster, huffing and puffing at the same time.

MIMI -TANG

I think I need some mechanical device to help me.

PETER

Give me a break.

MIMI -TANG

Not a break, an accelerator which will make me go faster.

PETER

(throwing up his hands in he air.)

Ye gods!

We see his hands in the air as they all file out.

BANANA-DRAMA
(V.O) I have a great idea for you Mimi-Tang.

INT- OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY

Ollie is perched on a sofa with his wings steepled as Mr. Jack Dawson sits in front of him with a woebegone face.

OLLIE

(taking out and polishing his spectacles and putting them back on again)

So you say you have this problem only when you see shiny objects. You just get blinded by the shine and then you don’t remember what happens till you see the object in your pocket or where ever you choose to put it. Interesting.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, yes. I am by nature a very honest person but when it comes to shiny objects, somehow I cannot help myself. I have to take them.

OLLIE

Yes, it is a common problem, especially with women. They just can’t resist shiny objects, the shinier the better, like diamonds, for example.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, but they know what they are doing.

OLLIE

You will be surprised. But,anyway, we are here to sort out your problem. And I think I have the solution, a simple one but effective.

He whips out a pair of dark glasses.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

I am going to do a simple experiment with you which, unknown to you, I have already set up. (handing Dawson the glasses) Here, put on these.

Dawson wears the glasses.
OLLIE (CONT’D)

Now walk out of the door. And come back in two minutes.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking sceptical)

I hope you know what you are doing.

Jack Dawson goes out.

CONTINUOUS

INT- PASSAGE – JUST OUTSIDE OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY As Mr. Jack Dawson stands outside Ollie’s room Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo come walking by. They spot the jackdaw standing outside Ollie’s room with his shades on

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey man, what happened ? I thought Ollie was supposed to help you. Why are you looking as if you have been punished ?

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, and what’s with the dark glasses man. You look like funny.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Don’t ask me. He’s doing some kind of experiment and asked me to wear this and come back in two minutes.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

I think that owl has lost it. He’s gone cuckoo.

PEEK-A-BOO

He’s an owl, he can’t go cuckoo. Cuckoos go cuckoo. You know (he makes his voice sweeter like a cuckoo) cuckoo, cuckoo.

OLLIE (from inside)

To -whit -who

PEEK-A-BOO

Nothing, I am just saying (again he makes his voice like a cuckoo as he says) Cuckoo, cuckoo.
OLLIE
Too-whit who

BANANA-DRAMA

Drat it, this owl is making me go bananas. Let’s get out of here. (to JACK DAWSON) You go on in. And let us know what happened. We are going to Melody’s room to see how she is doing. Her room is 1111, that is double one , double one.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Got it. I will be there. If I am cured of my habit of stealing things I have to thank her. It was her idea.
(MORE)
(he opens the door and looks back before going in and says) Wish me luck.

BANANA-DRAMA

All the best, brother. All the very best.

CONTINUOUS

INT -OLLIE’S ROOM -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson walks in. He looks at Ollie

MR. JACK DAWSON
Well ?

OLLIE The experiment is a success. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking amazed)

How ? When ? Where ? Why?

OLLIE (smiling)

Take off your glasses and turn around.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes off his glasses and turns around. A shiny silver salver with some small silver objects winks at him.

OLLIE (CONT’D)(V.O.)

Do you see all those shiny objects. They were lying there and you did not pick them up as you left the door. Because the dark glasses were cutting the glare so they were no longer shiny. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Hallelujah ! Beat Does that mean I have to wear these glasses all the time.

OLLIE (laughing)

Who..who..who, To wit who, of course not, my good man. It is only for sometime. Then you will be cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I can’t thank you enough. Surely you are a wise owl. Tell me, what can I do for you. Anything. Tell me what do you want ?

OLLIE

What I want, you can’t do for me. So, it’s quite all right, my man. I am happy my experiment worked. For a man of science that is enough.

MR. JACK DAWSON At least tell me. You never know the power of goodness. Just tell me. I will do anything in my power to return the good you did to me.

OLLIE

Well, there is only one thing I want. I want Melody to sing in the contest. Marge is a dear friend of mine and I know all the friends of Jungle-Land will be very disappointed if she is unable to sing. They were so looking forward to it. But as you know her throat is damaged ever since she went to Cuckoo Cool’s party and was made to have all that cold stuff.

MR. JACK DAWSON (throwing up his hand/wings)

Cuckoo, I should have known it. She would be behind it. But, wait I have a plan to foil her. Yes, Melody will sing. You can bet your last dollar on it. I have to go but I will be back. Tell Melody and the others not to lose heart.

Mr. Jack Dawson opens the door and leaves the room.

OLLIE

(putting his wings together and pursing his lips)

Who ! Who ever thought that some one who everyone thought was a thoroughly bad fellow would turn out to be so nice. And now if he can only find a way to help Melody she would be a role model for those who believe in the power of goodness.

I/E. CUCKOO’S ROOM AND OUTSIDE CUCKOO’S WINDOW – NIGHT

CUCKOO is on the phone. STELLA is sitting next to her looking at a magazine – FOOD FOR TWEETS and drooling over the photos of goodies.

CUCKOO

Yes, I am calling on behalf of Cuckoo Cool. Yes, she is willing to relocate to London if she gets what she wants. Good money, housing, health insurance and (looking at Stella) Food stamps for my staff. How many do I have on the staff for food stamps ? (again as she looks at Stella) Oh ! I would say about six, no make that eight. Food for eight people. Oh, you are putting me on hold. All right, I will wait till you ask the SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOWL MUSIC.

Outside the window we get a glimpse of Mr. Jack Dawson, wearing his glasses, as he swings wildly on a creeper . We see this intermittently as the scene continues.

STELLA

Cuckoo, why do you want to leave Land Of Birds. This is as good as it gets. We have a great life here.

CUCKOO

Because I want to teach that snooty Mr. Cranium a lesson and also that greedy pig King Tweety -Fruity.

STELLA

But he won’t let you go. You are under a contract.

Now we see a toffee nosed Englishman picking up the phone. He is about to say something when Cuckoo’s following dialogue reaches him.

CUCKOO

Who cares about contracts ? Once I am in London he can take his contract and eat it with his sweeties for all I care.

ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

I heard that Madame Cuckoo Cool. I’m afraid we do not desire the services of one who does not honour her contract.
(MORE)
And I think I will be getting in touch with King Tweety – Fruity about this. We royals should stick together.

He puts down the phone with a resounding thud which assails Cuckoo’s ears. She puts down the phone and glares at Stella.

CUCKOO

(screeching and lunging towards Stella )

All because of you !

Stella rushes pell-mell out of the room pursued by Cuckoo.

Mr. Jack Dawson who has been wildly swinging, clutching to a creeper now jumps in. He goes to Cuckoo’s dressing table and starts rummaging. But he can’t see the bottle. He is frantic. Then he hears the sound of Cuckoo returning and leaps out of the window. He peers in again and looks at Cuckoo picking up the bottle and looking at it speculatively and then pouring the contents down her throat. Mr. Jack Dawson is puzzled and then it occurs to him. He takes of his glares and the bottle sparkles into focus. But it is almost over. Just a quarter is left when Cuckoo stops and puts the stopper and puts it in her clutch bag which she shuts with a snap.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (to herself)

Ah ! Some for tomorrow. Poor Melody, so you thought you could compete with Cuckoo- Cool.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
All the animals have collected in Marge’s room. It is the day of the contest and the animals are dressed in their finery debating what to do. Melody is in bed with a thermometer stuck in her mouth. Marge takes out the thermometer, looks at it.

MARGE

It’s still high enough for Melody to not attend the function. She needs to rest. Anyway, her throat is not in the condition to sing even if she made the effort.

MELODY

I wanted to see my brothers perform.

DO-RAY

We don’t want to perform any more.

MARGE

Of course you have to perform. So many of us have come all the way for this.

SO-LA

I think Melody can perform if she tries.

MARGE

No, I don’t want her too. Not if her throat is in the condition it is now. It would not serve any purpose. Look, why don’t you all go ahead and I will stay back with Melody and nurse her.

TI-DO

Mom ! How can you come all the way and not see the show.

ME-FAR

We will not go if you are not going to come with us. That is final.
MARGE

Me-Far, you are going too far now.

MELODY

Mom, please go . I will feel much better if you do.

MARGE

Melody, you know that is not possible. I can’t leave you alone.

BANANA-DRAMA

Look, Marge, you go ahead. It’s not fair since your kids are performing. I will stay back with MELODY.

MARGE
But,

OLLIE

He is right you know. The CAW-BAND will perform much better if they know you are there, watching them.

MARGE
But,

MELODY

Please go, Ma. I beg of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, in case there is a crisis or mishap when the CAW- BAND performs the mother should be around.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, there is no need to be so negative man. It’s bad enough that Melody can’t perform, now you are thinking there could be a crisis with the CAW-BAND.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Well, one must think of all possible things that can happen.

BANANA-DRAMA

Be positive man. That’s when things work out. And keep the faith.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. (looking at the clock ) The event is scheduled to begin in three hours. I think we should leave in an hour. There is bound to be traffic and we need to get early to get good seats.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

We’ll be leaving even earlier. I want the CAW-BAND to become comfortable.( He says this in the French way as come-for-tab- lay.)

MIMI -TANG

Come for what ? Can anyone figure out what that man talks.

PETER

You can if you are French. Otherwise its just better to listen and nod. If you say something there will be another crisis and we’ll be all fighting.

PEEK-A-BOO

This is a sad state of affairs. But lets make the best of it. I think Melody needs to rest so let’s be on our way.

All the animals file out giving sympathetic looks to Melody. Mimi- Tang is on skates from now on. Only Flow-Jo lingers to give Melody a peck.

FLOW-JO

Rest well, my child. Remember it is always darkest before dawn.

Melody shuts her eyes and nods. In the darkness there is a Voice.

MELODY’S (V.O.)

Please God, let my brother’s win.

I/E. – VENUE OF CONTEST – NIGHT
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 signalling 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 gruelling 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 its called, “ Grin and Bear It”. Ha ha, I hope we won’t be doing that through the song.

Then she gives and 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.

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.
(MORE)
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 he 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 when ever 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.
(MORE)

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.

INT.- MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
Cuckoo is walking along imperiously with Stella trying to keep pace when her way is blocked by Magpie and her seven children.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, how wonderful. I was just telling my children here that one of the contestants is my friend. And here you are. Meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and (pointing to one of them) Guess, what’s his name?

CUCKOO (sourly)

I can guess.

STELLA (from the back ground)

I know, it must be December.

CUCKOO (shaking her head)

Confused as usual. All right what is it you want Magpie ?

MAGPIE

Oh, Cuckoo, can you give the children your autograph. (then she looks at Stella and says) Stella, they are giving free ice creams in the lobby behind.

Before Cuckoo can say anything Stella zooms off.

STELLA
(V.O) Back in a jiffy.

Cuckoo gives and exasperated sigh.

CUCKOO

All right, give me the autograph books.

The Magpie children clamor around her handing her their autograph books but Cuckoo’s hand is holding the clutch bag. She looks around for a place to put it.

MAGPIE

I’ll hold it.

Cuckoo hands her the bag and begins to sign the autographs. Magpie quietly slips out the vial of MAGIC POTION. Then she hustles her children.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

All right children, that’s enough. Let’s go or we’ll be late.

The children snatch their autograph books from Cuckoo and follow their mother. Cuckoo is flabbergasted.

MAGPIE (CONT’D) (handing her the bag)

All right Cuckoo, got to run.

She rushes off with Cuckoo glaring at her back, rushing off with her children. She spots Stella returning with a huge cone of ice cream.

CUCKOO

Stella, don’t you ever leave without taking my permission. You are so bad for my image, look at you.

Stella tries to rush, trips and the whole ice cream splatters on CUCKOO’S face and dress.

STELLA
Oops !

Cuckoo glares at her balefully through the ice cream and seeing her expression Stella turns to flee even as Cuckoo gives a shriek and lunges after her. A mocking bird and couple of hyenas laugh gleefully.

EXT.- MUSIC HALL- NIGHT

Mr. Jack Dawson waits outside when MAGPIE comes rushing out with her brood.

MAGPIE (handing him the vial)

Here it is. You better rush, Not a moment to be lost.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes. I have to get to Melody in time.

He rushes off. As Magpie turns to go she see Stella being chased by Cuckoo.

MAGPIE (to her children)

As you can see it never pays to be with selfish, greedy people. They will always get you in trouble. Let’s go in. It’s almost time for the show.

She flutters in with her children.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed while Banana-Drama sits on the couch. They are both watching the events at the MUSIC HALL. They see King Tweety-Fruity arrive with Mr. Cranium. He has an all day sucker with him which he licks intermittently, even as he waves to the crowd.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, you should have been there. This is too bad.

MR. JACK DAWSON(V.O.)

She will be there.
Melody and Banana-Drama turn and see Mr. Jack Dawson.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo man, You gave us a scare turning up from no where.

MR. JACK DAWSON

There is not a moment to be lost. (he holds up the vial. It has FAIR IS FOWL written on it and below in tiny letters COUGH SYRUP)
(MORE)
This is the magic potion which will make Melody sing again. Quick, Melody, gulp it down and then we have to fly to the hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

What about me , man.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can take a cab. Now hurry, we have no time to waste on foolish chatter. (Here Banana-Drama gives him a glare) Come on Melody, drink up.

He hands Melody the vial and she gulps it down.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Let’s be off. We have no time to waste. The concert has already started.

INT. – MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
All the animals are seated and there is huge commotion which slowly tones down as O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two slithers on to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

The moment is here. The moment when the contest to choose the future court-singer of the LAND OF BIRDS held at the behest of and with the benevolent eye of our beloved royal highness (here she looks at King Tweety -Fruity who is busy with his sucker) KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN, popularly known as King Tweety-Fruity and his able minister Mr. Cranium. So without further delay let’s begin the show. Our first contestant is a well known group from Africa, the BOUNCING BABOONS with their lead singer Bongo. They are going to perform a hit single from their latest album called, (here she consults her paper) “ I am going Ape over you .” How appropriate.

The band starts performing.

EXT.- LAND OF BIRDS.-OVER THE CITY – NIGHT

We see Mr. Jack Dawson and Melody rushing towards the lights of the music hall. We zoom down to see Banana- Drama in a variety of situations trying to get to the venue. He is hailing a cab, not getting a response, he is sticking his thumb out for a lift, running, bumping into birds and beasts. Finally, a car screeches next to him. It is Sam Spread-Eagle.

SAM

What’s the rush?

BANANA-DRAMA

The rush. The concert has started and Melody’s rushing there to perform.

SAM

So why are you rushing like a monkey gone bananas.

BANANA-DRAMA

Because I want to see her perform and bring glory to Jungle-Land.

SAM

Whose Glory? I thought it was Melody to perform.

BANANA-DRAMA

There is so much confusion in your mind about everything, no wonder you can never do anything right.

SAM

I can do one thing right, I can give you a lift.

He opens the door and Banana-Drama gets in.

SAM (CONT’D)

And on the way you can explain to me whose Glory !

The car takes off with a screech.

BACK TO:
INT. – MUSIC-HALL-STAGE – NIGHT

The four bears are performing in a gruff voice. King Tweety-Fruity is yawning. He turns to Mr. Cranium.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Listen, this is turning out to be a waste of time. Not a decent singer in this motley lot. There is no Melody, only rhythm. Where is Melody ?

MR.CRANIUM

I believe there is a singer named Melody but she is indisposed. Too much ice cream in Cuckoo’s party, it is rumored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

I should have guessed CUCKOO would be behind it. As it is I got a call from the royal family in Britain, a Prince Charles, that Cuckoo has been trying to get in touch with them regarding employment. She wants to sing for them.

MR.CRANIUM (trying to mollify him)

She is an artiste, Sire. They will sing for their supper anywhere.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Yes , but not at my expense. Where is she? Call her.
Mr. Cranium signals to a flamingo standing behind them.

MR.CRANIUM (to the flamingo)

Go and tell 0- Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two that his highness would be to like to have a word with Cuckoo as soon as possible.

The flamingo bows and goes away.

BACK TO THE STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

And now to perform for you is a group from Jungle-Land, the CAW-BAND.

All the animals from Jungle-Land clap enthusiastically. The CAW-BAND begins to perform. Their music is so atrocious that there is a stunned silence for a moment . Then a number of little birds fly off to the ceiling and some animals are seen stampeding to the exit. Even King Tweety-Fruity is galvanized. Utter chaos reigns but the CAW-BAND continue blithely unaware of the reaction around them. Mr. Cranium is staring stupefied with his beak/jaw hanging open.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

What, what is the meaning of this atrocious sound . Stop them immediately.

MR.CRANIUM

No, no sire. We can’t do that. If we you do that you will become very unpopular. Press from all over the world is here. (handing him a pair of cushions lying beside them) Here, use these to close your ears.

King Tweety – Fruity uses both the cushions to shut out the fearful din. Mercifully, the number comes to an end and O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two comes on stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH

That was quite an earful. Monsieur Bull- Brass beams. And now since we are going country wise, another singer from Jungle- Land, Melody Hatchery.

The animals from Jungle-Land look at each other and at Marge who can barely hold her tears back.

MARGE (whispers to herself)

My poor Melody.

EXT. – SKY-CLOSE TO THE VENUE – NIGHT

Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson are flying furiously, beads of sweat dropping from the brow.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

Melody Hatchery. This is the second call for Melody Hatchery.

There is a stir among the audience. Then Magpie, looks around and quickly flies to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)

Ah here is Melody Hatchery.

MAGPIE

Did you say Melody ? I heard Magpie. I am so sorry, what with seven kids and me a single mom.
(MORE)
They were making a fine old racket and I thought I heard you say Magpie when actually you were saying….

EXT. – MUSIC HALL – NIGHT
We see Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson pushing through the crowds and hurrying up the stairs of the music hall.

BACK TO THE STAGE.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (tapping her feet impatiently)

Yes, yes, my good woman, we understand. Now can you leave the stage and let us go on with our function.

MAGPIE

(giving a desperate look at the door)

Oh, there is no need to be so uppity, Mrs. O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two, we are all not married into the lap of luxury

The audience titters.

KIWI-MANAGER

(sitting in the audience leaning towards his friend, Mr. Gobble)

 Several times, in fact. I should know. She does the shopping for all her jewels and baubles in my store.

MAGPIE

I am a single mom and its not easy, making ends meet, looking after seven kids

She spots Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson rushing in.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

Anyway, here is your contestant. I must fly, my children are alone.

She flies off just as Melody stumbles on the stage, panting. The Jungle-Land animals give a rousing cheer that King Tweety-Fruity, who was nodding off, gets up with a start.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY What, what happened ?

MR.CRANIUM

Melody is here.

Melody stands on the stage.

O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two hands her a mike and swishes off.

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

The audience is entranced. The sound reaches Bat Van Friday as they travel overhead, Cuckoo-Cool and Stella as they make their way towards the hall. Cuckoo-Cool has changed into another gown. It reaches Banana-Drama and Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle as they race into the hall to hear the last part of the song. The song closes and the audience erupts in a frenzy of clapping and cheering. Even King Tweety-Fruity is happy and clapping. Marge is wearing a happy smile even as Monsieur Bull-Brass leans over to one of the birds sitting next to him ( a colorful macaw).

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS
My student.

Peek-A Boo and Peter give each other significant glances. Flow-Jo titters.

SAM The bird sure can sing. I think I need to start working on her visa right away.

BANANA-DRAMA

How do you assume she wants to come to your country. She’s quite happy in Jungle- Land.

SAM

But everyone wants to come to the good old U.S.A. Don’t they ?

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Mr. Cranium, I think we need to draw a contract right away. I think we have found our court singer.

MR.CRANIUM If your Majesty, could be a little patient. There is still Cuckoo Cools’ challenge song.

We can see Cuckoo Cool sashaying towards the stage.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Oh, forget her. Who wants her and her tantrums and her constant whining, in any case.

MR.CRANIUM

We can’t do that Sire. Protocol.

King Tweety-Fruity makes a face and starts throwing pea- nuts and catching it in his mouth.
O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two has sashayed on to the stage followed by Cuckoo Cool.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

It is time now for the challenge round. Cuckoo – Cool will sing and the judges will give marks to all the contestants followed by the audience vote.

CUCKOO

There is need for that. I have decided to withdraw from the contest.
There is a collective gasp from the audience . Even King Tweety -Fruity sits up.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Has she gone cuckoo?

MR.CRANIUM

Let’s see what she has to say.

CUCKOO

For a long time I have been thinking of retiring and giving this crown to a worthy singer. And now I have found her. It is none other than my own daughter, Melody.

Everyone is stunned and we see the reaction of the different animals in the audience.

MARGE

What is that woman saying . Melody is my daughter.

CUCKOO

Long ago I left her in Marjorie Hatchery’s nest as I had no time to look after her , busy as I was with my career.

The Jungle-land animals look at each other. Banana -Drama whistles.

MARGE (getting up and shouting)

She lies ! Melody is my daughter. How can you say that Melody is your daughter ?

CUCKOO

I only knew her as MELODY. The moment her complete name was announced I knew it was her. And then I saw you sitting there with (she points to Ollie) that Fuzz-Ball

OLLIE (interrupting)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. If you please.

CUCKOO

Whatever. The moment I saw the two of and the CAW-BAND I put two and two together and knew that the talented singer on stage is none other than my own daughter, Melody. (she opens out her arms to Melody) Come , my child. Come and hug your true and only Mom.

MELODY

(shouts) No,no, no. You are not my mother. You are mean and cruel. You left me. It was (pointing to Marge) She who looked after me and took care of me. She is my mother, not you.

Cuckoo looks discomfited. There is clapping from the balcony. It is King Tweety-Fruity.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Well said Melody. So Cuckoo, no more court-singer means no more mansions, no more fancy furs, no more wines and delights you are always singing about. Melody is going to be the new court singer. She will be given citizenship of LAND OF BIRDS. Cuckoo, you may kindly vacate the mansion for Melody to move in right away.

MELODY

If you please, Sire, I was very happy to win the contest but I do not wish to stay here. I realize now I was happiest in Jungle-Land.

All the Jungle-Land animals smile.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SAM)

See what I told you. Everyone doesn’t want to leave their home.

MARGE

And there is school. I have been studying the system of education here and it is not the way we teach in Jungle-Land.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (getting annoyed)

That is not possible. Once I have decided she is going to be the court-singer there is no way she is going to leave this place. And only her mother is allowed to stay with her, the rest have to go.

MARGE

But I have four other kids, I can’t leave them.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

It is decided. The discussion is closed unless you want to be clapped in a dungeon.

MR.CRANIUM

Guards, escort Melody Hatchery to the private chambers where she will be held till the other members of her group leave the country.

The animals of Jungle-Land are nonplussed. Marge is frantically look around. Suddenly there is a loud screech. It is Bat Van Friday with Senor Julio atop.

SENOR JULIO

( holding out his curved stick as Bat Van swoops down)

Melody, hold on to this.
Melody jumps up and holds on to the stick. Bat Van Friday flies off with a screech while everyone looks stunned. Mr. Cranium is the first to recover.

MR.CRANIUM (to King Tweety Fruity who is expostulating and gesturing wildly)

Best to accept what has happened gracefully or you will look like a fool. (to the audience) Ha ha . Looks like the matter is no longer in our hands. Bon Voyage Melody. (looking at Cuckoo Cool) Cuckoo Cool will remain our court-singer.

Cuckoo Cool curtsies and a thought runs through her mind.

CUCKOO (V.O.)

Only till I get a better job. I hear there are some good opportunities in the U.S.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE- NIGHT
All the animals are celebrating. There is bonfire and music playing which is being operated by Banana-Drama. Everyone is dancing.
Bat Van Friday and Ollie are sitting together deep in discussion.

OLLIE

So, you see my dear man, and you are their kind, you have been needlessly worried. You are neither a bird nor a beast but a mammal, the same way human beings are.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

It is a relief to know. But, now I feel I don’t belong anywhere. (looking at all the animals enjoying themselves) Neither with the birds nor with the beasts. And human beings are scared of me. They think I suck blood. Whereas I am a fruit-bat, I only eat fruits.

OLLIE (clicking his tongue sympathetically)

If I were you, my good man, I wouldn’t give a hoot. You can enjoy the facilities of all three clubs.
Bat Van Friday grins showing his teeth.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

And, maybe, a visit to the dentist would dispel your reputation as a blood-sucker.

They hear the tap- tap of a cane and look up. Senor Julio is looking at them and smiling.

SENOR JULIO

And what is the topic of discussion ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I know what I am. I am a human being. I am a guy.

OLLIE

No, no. You are from the species of mammal of which humans are a part.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I don’t care, as long as I am not a vampire.

SENOR JULIO

You are a fruit bat, in any case. You only suck the juice of fruits. Well, I am glad that has been cleared up finally.

(MORE)

Now if only we could find a way for me to regain my sight then I would be able to see and hear Peek-A-Boo’s amazing tap dance.

We see Peek-A-Boo dancing.

OLLIE

Perhaps, I can help. Tell me, what were you doing when you lost your sight.

SENOR JULIO

I remember the day so well.
DISSOLVE TO:

FLASHBACK
Senor Julio is singing when a there is a short circuit and the mike in his hand becomes electrified. There is a flash and then black with Senor Julio shouting

SENOR JULIO (V.O.)
I can’t see.

DISSOLVE TO:
BACK TO PRESENT

OLLIE

I see. The electricity damaged one of the nerves in your brain. Again there is a simple solution to it.

Bat Van Friday and Senor Julio waited with bated breath.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

It is like this. You have been wearing these dark glasses for so long your eyes have forgotten to see. Your eye sight was probably restored in a couple of months but you chose to remain blind by wearing these thick glasses. It is rightly said there are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

SENOR JULIO (excited)

That’s right. I told Bat Van Friday the time we were flying over Land Of Birds that I can sense the light.

OLLIE

Do not see the world through dark glasses or even rosy spectacles. And you will see light.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, thank you, Professor Martin O, (he hesitates)

OLLIE

Never mind. Just call me Ollie.

There is a clapping sound and they look up. It is Banana- Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Attention folks. On everyone’s request Melody is going to give us a song.

MELODY (sings)

Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright; Round yon virgin mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing alleluia Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born! Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace Jesus, Lord at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

A hush falls over the animals. Then a clearing of throat.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Very good, very good. Since everyone seems to be in the mood of music I would call upon the CAW-BAND to sing to a special number prepared by me.

All the animals start to disperse.

FLOW-JO

Got to run. I have some early morning sales to catch.

SENOR JULIO

I must fly too. I have to lose these glasses. Come on Bat Van Friday.

PETER

Hey Mimi-Tang, catch me if you can.

MIMI -TANG (following behind him)

Not fair, you got an early start.

PEEK-A-BOO

My feet are killing me.

He clumps off.

OLLIE

Oh I better turn in too. I have an early morning meditation session.

BANANA-DRAMA

Oh, is that what you were doing. I thought you were dozing, Professor Do-Do

OLLIE

Ollie will suffice please. Good night. Thanks for a swinging time.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anytime Professor. You are quite a hoot in your own way.

OLLIE (flying off)

And you are a swinging dude. Good night

MARGE

Come on Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La, Ti-Do. Come on Melody. It’s bed- time.

We see them going into her nest. Melody is holding her hand.

MELODY (V.O.) I love you Mama.
THE END.
Story & Screenplay
SHIPRA SHUKLA

 

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THE BIRDS’ TALE – a children’s comedy play for adults ( to figure this out you have to read the play!)

à•

ENGLISH AVATAR OF THE PUBLISHED HINDI PLAY STAGED IN INDIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PLAYWRIGHT, SHIPRA SHUKLA ( in the center), her father, COL. B.C. SHUKLA ( on the left ) & her husband , MR. GIRISH SHUKLA ( on the right )

GEE- PECK
middle aged and ashamed of his ugly feet . He loves Flo-Jo, the deer.

 

FLO- JO , an athlete who although middle aged is fashion conscious and in love with GEE- PECK

 

BANANA – DRAMA, cool monkey who is a remix 👩‍🎨 artiste .

SENOR JULIO – blind thrush , Melody’s mentor and teacher .

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

PEACE- MEAL, THE PIGEON OF PEACE , who is all a TWITTER and about to take off!

CONFUSED CHINESE CONTESTANT

SOME SCENES FROM THE PLAY

THE CAW- DOORS BAND practising with their tutor MR. RABID . Their music is driving the jungle folks nuts.

DR. CHARLIE CHAPLIN ( you can figure out his medical skills from his name !)

GURU- GODMAN & PENGUIN trying to be politically savvy .!

THE BIRD’S TALE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Melody: a little cuckoo bird, our heroine.

Cuckoo: Melody’s mother who had abandoned Melody in Caw-gee’s nest.

Caw-gee: motherly crow with a brood of four.

Do-ray: Caw-gee’s first born, a musician.

Me-Far: a fat crow, younger to Do-ray. He plays the drums.

So-La: the third boy who plays the flute.

Ti-do: the girl crow, who plays the triangle.

Mr. Rabid: Music Tutor to the crows. He wears the Talibani turban and sports a beard, no moustache. This is to distinguish him from the rest of the Muslims of the world who are not rabid.

Senor Julio: a thrush, who is blind.

Gee-Peck: a middle aged peacock who is beautiful but ashamed of his ugly feet which are always clad in big clod-hopping boots. He is a classical Indian dancer. He loves Flow-Jo, the deer.

Flow-Jo: An athlete who is extremely fashion conscious. She loves Gee-Peck. She is middle-aged and is lost in youthful dreams.

Banana-Drama: A rocking monkey who is a Disc Jockey. He wears cool clothes, a bandana on his head, a single ear-ring, black shades and a carries a walk-man. Talks like a black rap singer.

Peter: a parrot.

Laurel/ Hardy: two rabbits.

Butterflies; a few small, a few big.

Kite-King – a king who is inordinately fond of the good life.

Guru God-man: Master of ceremonies,and later,the home minister to Kite-King. He is a crane who never stands on his two feet. He wears a white robe, a saffron shawl and a green Muslim cap (the three colors to show his affiliation to all communities- Hindu, Muslim, Christian). Around his neck he wears a beaded rosary with a cross and a Hindu caste mark on his fore-head and sports a beard. He wears glasses to show he is erudite.

Dr. Charlie: Court doctor to Kite-King who looks and acts like Charlie Chaplin.

Platy- pus: A contestant from Australia.

Pee-wee-King: A Chinese contestant.

Freezer: The judge who is a penguin.

Peace-meal: a pigeon.

Mrs. Brown: a sparrow who is Cuckoo‘s maid. She is very hilly-billy.

Mr. Brown: Mrs. Brown’s alcoholic husband who is down on his luck and so drowns his sorrow in liquor.

Alien: he can look like Steven Spielberg’s E. T. since he has come from a galaxy far, far away so can look like nothing on earth.

Audience: any number of actors, children or adults can be added to the cast in order to make a statement. The director can give free rein to his creativity.

Set direction: A few golden bars to denote luxury as well as being caged can be placed in Kite-king’s court as well as in Cuckoo’s bed chamber.

The Bird’s Tale

ACT 1

SCENE 1

Place: The jungle/Time:An hour before dawn. The jungle sleeps

Characters: All the animals of the jungle except Kite-King, his courtiers and the contestants from Australia and China

CUCKOO’S VOICE

Ko hoo Ko hoo.

As the first rays of the sun touch the jungle we see Cuckoo tip-toe on to the stage holding the wing/hand of a little cuckoo bird.

LITTLE CUCKOO

Mom,Where are you taking me? I am scared.

Cuckoo

Shhhh child, I am only doing what is good for you.
(The little cuckoo weeps.)

CUCKOO’S VOICE

Shhhhh, Shhhhhh.

At one end of the stage is a nest in which dozes Caw-gee along with her brood of four little crows. Cuckoo circles the nest cautiously, pushes the little cuckoo in it and moves stealthily away.

It is morning now. The animals of the jungle are awake. The two rabbits roll on to the stage playfully. A peacock who is wearing huge boots walks in and spreads his feathers and dances in an oriental style. A deer who wears smart trainer shoes munches on grass. The two rabbits dash against the crow’s nest. She opens one eye and looks at them.

LAUREL/HARDY
(the two rabbits sing)

Good morning, good morning, a very top of the morning to you.

FLOW-JO
(sings in a very sweet voice)

Good morning.

GEE-PECK.

(dancing in an oriental way and
singing)

Dha dha dhin dha, dha, dha, dhin dha, dha tin tin ta,dha tin tin ta

ALL THE ANIMALS
(together)
Good morning, good morning, a very top of the morning to you.

Caw-Gee shakes the nest to wake her children and sings.

CAW-GEE
(singing in a raucous voice)

Rise and shine, O children of mine,

There’s much to be done and work is fun

When the work is over it’s time for some leisure

We’ll dance and sing for the jungle folks pleasure.

All the animals look at each other distressed when she sings the last four lines. The four crows are shaking their wings, reluctant to get up.

DO-RAY

Mom,please, please let me sleep.

ME-FAR

Just five minutes more.

TI-DO

There’s no school today.

There is a sound of snoring from SO-LA. Suddenly CAW-GEE spies the little cuckoo in her nest.

CAW-GEE

Goodness! Who is this?

She shakes the little cuckoo to
wake her. The little bird yawns
and stretches.

CAW-GEE

Who, in the name of heaven, are you?

Little Cuckoo just shakes her head.

CAW-GEE

Are you mute?

The four crows caw raucously and circle her. The Little bird shakes her head again. The jungle creatures look at each other amazed and then slowly come towards her.

ME-FAR

(pecking the little cuckoo)
She’s so …B.l.a.c.k.

DO-RAY

She’s so tiny.

TI-DO
(looking at the little cuckoo’s
frightened face)

She’s in a funk.

SO-LA
(pecking the little cuckoo)

Ya, but why don’t you speak. Come on say something.

The little cuckoo bird cries musically.

LITTLE CUCKOO
Kooo hoo boo hooo. Ko hoo boo hoo.
(The four crows shut their ears
with their wings/hands)

DO-RAY

What a rough voice!

ME-FAR

Stop crying. My ear drums are about to burst.

SO-LA

You are so ugly.

TI-DO

And have an ugly voice. It’s so harsh.

The four crows peck the little cuckoo who tries to save herself desperately.

GEE-PECK

(whispering to FLOW-JO)

Goodness gracious. They are calling her sweet voice harsh? Have they ever heard themselves? The jungle is in a tizzy ever since they arrived.

FLOW-JO

True, Mr. Gee-peck. Their cacophony has ruined our peace of mind.

GEE-PECK

Thank your stars Flow-Jo that you are so swift and can run away from their sound of music.

(Looks down at his boot-clad
feet)

Just look at my feet..

(takes out his foot from the
boot)

Do they have any purpose at all…I have to wear these heavy boots just to hide them. I can’t even run away from their din.

The crows are pecking the little
cuckoo. CAW-GEE picks her up and
cradles her in her lap and then
turns on the crows.

CAW-GEE

Stop this nonsense right away. You are not going to harass the poor darling.

The LITTLE CUCKOO cries pathetically. The crows shut their ears with their wings.

ME-FAR

All right, all right,Caw, caw, we won’t trouble her.
Just tell her to stop the infernal racket.

PETER
(whispering to GEE-PECK)

Ah, the little bird even cries musically.

These little birds are heard by MR. RABID who has just hopped on to the stage.

MR. RABID
(closing his ears)

You call her musical. Her voice is enough to burst anyone’s ear drums. Ribbid!

CAW-GEE
(to the little cuckoo bird)
Don’t cry, my child. I will take care of you.
(she looks angrily at the
crows)

If any of you dare to trouble her, I swear I will..

BANANA-DRAMA

Squeeze their throat. At least we’ll be spared the trauma of their singing. Anyway, I don’t have to listen to them,I have my means.

(He switches on his walk-man
and dances snapping his
fingers.)

LITTLE CUCKOO

Koo hoo Boo hoo, Koo Hoo, Bo hoo, Mommy, Mommy.

CAW-GEE
(wiping the little bird’s
tears)

Don’t cry, little one.
(to the crows)

Shoo, go away. Go and get ready. Can’t you see your music teacher is here.

MR. RABID

Salaam Madam.

All the animal look at each other distressed and react.

PETER

Music class, nooooo, never…

FLOW-JO

Gotta run

Runs from the stage, followed by Peter.

GEE-PECK
(walking away in a dignified
manner his boots clod hopping
away)

I think we have had enough. There is something known as noise pollution. This racket is harming the environment. Today I am going to definitely write to the home-ministry.

He leaves the stage grumbling, followed by the two rabbits. The monkey is still dancing with his eyes closed.

CAW-GEE
(taking out the ear phones from
his ears)

What’s going on Banana-Drama. Gitt.

BANANA-DRAMA

Cool it mama. When will you recognise true art? We creative critters are always in a   trance. We don’t care what’s happening around us.

CAW-GEE
(pecking him)

Gitt, creative critter my foot, You are just a remix artiste.I know all about you “types”! Shoo now….

SCENE 2.

SAME TIME/SAME DAY AS SCENE 1.

CHARACTERS: ALL THE CHARACTERS OF SCENE 1.

Mr. Rabid is conducting his music class. The little Cuckoo bird who is now called MELODY is sitting close by. CAW-GEE is knitting a sweater and looks up over her spectacles intermittently. The rest of the animals are hiding behind rocks, trees, in the grass. As the music class progresses they try various ways to close their ears.

MR. RABID

All right, my pets, let’s begin.

DO-RAY

Dooooooooooooo
(FLOW-JO stuffs her ears with
cotton wool)

ME-FAR

Raaaaaaaaaaay
(GEE-PECK puts ear-plugs in his
ears and ties a bandage around
his head.)

SO-LA

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
(Peter start banging his head
against a tree)

TI-DO

Faa.mmmph Mmmphh

( He wants to sing but PETER’S
hand/wing cover his mouth)

MR. RABID

(opening his hitherto closed
eyes)

What happened? Come on, sing.

(he looks at the creatures of
the jungle running hither-
thither)

Ribbid Ribbid! What in God’s name is happening here? Shoo, Gitt! How dare you interrupt our practice session!

(to the crows)

Never mind, my pets, they are all jealous of you. Never fear, don’t give up.

(to the little cuckoo, Melody)

You there,

(Melody looks at him with huge
eyes)

Yes, yes, you. Let’s see how well you can sing. Sing with me.
(He croaks)

Do, ray,me, far, so, la,ti, doooooo

The animals close their ears and make all sorts of action and faces.

MELODY
(trying to imitate MR. RABID)

Do, ray, me, fa, so, la, ti,dooooooo

MR. RABID

That’s much better. Just keep practising. One day you will learn to sing just like us.
(The animals have moved closer.
MR, RABID now looks at the
crows and says)

MR. RABID

All right then, my pets. Let’s begin.

THE CAW SONG
Caw, caw, caw, we are the crows four.
Loo, loo, loo, looking for a song to bore.
You, you, you, are our audience for sure,
We,we,we,we have trapped you evermore.

We have trapped you evermore,
And we’ll never let you go,
For if we let you go,
Who’ll buy tickets for the show.

No tickets for the show
Means no money for us bores
No money for us bores means
No future for us crows.

No,no,no,no,please see our shows,
So we don’t eat trash anymore,
We live like kings and sleep like stars,
Take Oprah and Paris and Cruise our cars.

Parties and Photos, glitter and glamor,
We have no talent but still we clamor.
For the good life or la dolce vita
Who cares for talent when we have our teacher.    

(Here they look at MR. RABID who hops with excitement)

FADE OUT.

SCENE 3
Place: Another corner of the jungle/ Time: day.

CHARACTERS: MELODY/ SENOR JULIO WHO IS BLIND AND WEARING DARK GLASSES

Melody is singing a song as she wanders in the jungle.

SONG
The jungle is alive with the sound of music.
If music be the food of love,
love is all I need.
If need is the future of music,
I can do without it,yes sir,indeed.
In deed I will pray,
In prayers I will say,
Give me only music,
only music to share.

As she sings and twirls and hops she bumps into a brown bird who is wearing dark glasses.

MELODY

Goodness,couldn’t you see me ?

SENOR JULIO

No,child. I am blind.

MELODY

Oh! I am sorry.

SENOR JULIO

It’s okay. You are beautiful, child.

MELODY

But,but,I am….
(she looks at herself and then
at SENOR JULIO)

How do you know, you can’t see.

SENOR JULIO

To see you don’t need eyes. A good heart is enough and I can see you with them, my child. I heard you singing but..Can you come closer?

Melody goes near SENOR JULIO who touches her face with his wings/hands.

SENOR JULIO

Beautiful.
(his hand/wings linger at her
throat)
Very beautiful but…..

MELODY

That’s not ..I mean that’s my neck.

SENOR JULIO

I know let me finish what I am saying. Your throat is sensitive but there’s something missing here.

MELODY

(sadly)

I know MR. RABID also says that. He says I do not know how to sing.

SENOR JULIO

Well child,, if he says that you should be happy. If you sing like him the audience will pelt you with rotten tomatoes and eggs. I didn’t mean you can’t sing.

MELODY

Then what did you mean?

SENOR JULIO

I meant your throat is weak. It is sensitive but it lacks strength.

MELODY

Oh, what should I do for that Mr.

SENOR JULIO
(bowing low)

Senor Julio at your service, my child. For that you have to train your voice.

MELODY
(wailing).

Oh what should I do. Who will train me? (Then looking hopefully at Senor Julio)
Will you train me?

SENOR JULIO.

Of course, child. But on one condition.

MELODY

What condition?

SENOR JULIO

That you will tell no one about me except your mother.

MELODY

Done. I won’t tell anyone.

SENOR JULIO

All right then. Lets make a beginning right away.

(Both sing, first SENOR JULIO followed by MELODY)

SONG

SEVEN NOTES OF MUSIC( from the film Sound of Music)

Doe a deer, a female deer,ray, a drop of golden sun,
Me,a name I call myself,Far a long,long way to run.
So,a needle pulling thread, la,a note to follow so.
Tea, a drink with jam and bread, that will bring us back
to Do, o, o, o, Doe,a deer a female deer…..

FADE OUT.

ACT 2.

SCENE 1.
Place: KITE-KING’S COURT : /TIME:NIGHT
CHARACTERS : KITE-KING, CUCKOO- MELODY’S  MOTHER, COURTIERS

KITE-KING is seated on a throne and CUCKOO is dancing and singing.)

SONG
I could have danced all night.
(From the film MY Fair Lady)

Cuckoo takes a final twirl, loses her balance and falls.

KITE-KING

Watch out! Did you get hurt?
(Gets up, places her hand on
her hips and limps a bit)
Oh no, Sire, Just a little sprain.

KITE-KING

I have told you again and again and again that you are not as young as before. It’s high time you retired so that we can get a new court dancer.

(From Cuckoo’s expression we
can see that she does not like
the idea.)

All right, let’s get this message across that we are going to hold a huge contest and whoever wins is going to get lots of goodies.

CUCKOO

Yes, Your highness, Kite- King.

She limps out of the court with a sour expression on her face.

KITE-KING

(to one of the courtiers)
See that the message is proclaimed to every nook and corner of the world. Cuckoo is really very crafty. Given half a chance she would even tell me to go fly a kite.

All the courtiers laugh uproariously.

ONE OF THE COURTIERS

Ha ha. That’s funny what his royal highness the Kite-King just said. Cuckoo is capable of telling him to go fly a kite.

(laughs)

FADE OUT.

SCENE 2.
PLACE: THE JUNGLE / TIME: DAY
CHARACTERS: ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE JUNGLE

The younger animals have grown up. Do-Ray holds a guitar and is the lead singer, Me-Far is on the drums, So-La plays the flute from which instrument emanates a variety of sounds intermittently and Ti-Do beats her metal triangle with a small rod. All the crows are singing THE CAW SONG. Mr. Rabid has a long white beard and wears spectacles. All the creatures of the jungle are dancing to THE CAW SONG.

BANANA-DRAMA

Not bad, I am going to remix this number.

PETER

When will you stop your monkey tricks and stop being a copy cat. It’s very confusing, all this remix and stuff.

Gee-Peck is dancing and by mistake steps on Flow-Jo’s toes.

FLOW-JO

Ouch, ouch,ouch! Your huge boots have squashed my big toe.

GEE-PECK

Ooops! sorry! sorry! I am so sorry. But you know my problem, don’t you?

The rabbits are also hopping to the music. Melody brings some snacks for everyone.

MELODY

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

Ladies and gentlemen creatures. I see that you like our music.

LAUREL
(to Hardy)
Do we have choice in the matter?
(Twisting both his ears with a
painful expression)
Well, it hardly matters now. My ear drums are completely shattered.

HARDY
(to Laurel)

Yes, just like a snake you know. He can’t hear too, just moves along with the snake charmer’s pipe.

GEE-PECK

(who has a brown noodle
dangling from his beak)
Snake? Who said snake? Where’s the snake?

All the animals are shocked into
silence.

MR. RABID
(looks scared and looks around)

Where’s the snake? Snake’s are my mortal enemies.

CAW-GEE
(throws a hard stare in
Laurel/Hardy’s direction,then
speaks soothingly to Mr.
Rabid)

There’s no snake around. Don’t worry Mr. Rabid. If a snake dares to come here Gee- peck here will eat him up for dinner.

The noodles are still hanging from Gee-Peck’s beak. All the animals look at him.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yes,well, let him eat his noodles first. When the snake comes he will eat him as well.

GEE-PECK

Gross. I am not like other pea-cocks who eat snakes. Snakes are our friends actually. They eat up all the animals who are pests like rats,fro…
(Peter quickly shuts his mouth
with his hands/wings)

MR. RABID
(puffing with anger)

What did you say? I know what you were going to say. Frogs. Snakes eat pests like frogs.

PETER
(giggling)

No, no. You are quite mistaken sir. How can you be our enemy? You sing so sweetly. Ah, what a melodious voice.

MR. RABID
(cooling down a bit)

All right, all right. There is no need to butter me up. I know you critters like the back of my tongue. You make fun of me and (points to the crows) and my pupils. Now just wait and see, I am going to teach you all a lesson you’ll never forget.

CAW-GEE
(nodding her head)

Yes, to be sure. Mr. Rabid is entering my children in a competition at the court of Kite-King. The winner will be made the court-singer. Later, there is talk of getting a good pension.

PETER
(to a butterfly)

Nothing can beat a good job in the government. Just eat, drink and be merry. No stress!

BUTTERFLY ONE
(flapping her wings)

Betcha ! Now take me for instance. I work in the State Department. All I have to do is fly here and fly there -in the country, out of the country and all for free. No worries man.

CAW-GEE

All right then. It is decided. We are all going to Kite-King’s court to encourage our group. Mr. Rabid has named the band – THE CAW-DOORS BAND.

BANANA-DRAMA
Dude, what kind of a name is that? So old and boring.

GEE-PECK
(whispers to Flow-Jo)

Just like their teacher.

Mr. Rabid over hears this remark and starts to puff up with anger.

MR. RABID

I heard what you said. So I am old and boring! Ribbid!Ribbid!

CAW-GEE
(distressed)

Mr. Rabid ! Control your self. You have to watch your blood pressure. You might…..

BANANA-DRAMA
(to Flow-jo)

Burst like a big, fat balloon.

Flow-Jo 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

Yes, sir, please don’t worry. We are sure to make you famous all over the world.

ME-FAR

The world of music will remember you for ever and for ever.

TI-DO

And we’ll be big stars too. Everyone will look at us and sing, Twinkle, twinkle little stars,

SO-LA
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.

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 what are 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

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 to 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, non, 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, 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 wants 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 her self.

To bring up children is quite a task. It’s not easy being a single mom.

The crows peck Melody and she runs from the stage cooing away. The other animals, except Mr. Rabid, follow her. Mr. Rabid hops in the other direction. Midway he stops and addresses the audience.

MR. RABID

Did all you folks note their behavior? Well, I am not going to spare them. I am going to teach them a lesson come what may. The sky can fall or the earth can shake I will not rest till I teach them a lesson. I too have a weapon that they know not. Now, all of you just wait for the explosion!

He hops off. Suddenly there is a loud crash and we hear Mr. Rabid’s loud voice shouting Ribbid)

MR. RABID (O.S.)

Who put this tub of water in the way? I am soaking wet.

BANANA-DRAMA (O.S.)

This is for you Mr. Rabid. You need to have a good wash before you compete with us.

The sound of laughter of all the
jungle folks.

MR. RABID

Ribbid! Ribbid!

SCENE 3

PLACE:A CORNER OF THE JUNGLE/DAY

CHARACTERS:ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE JUNGLE EXCEPT MR. RABID,CAW-GEE, AND THE FOUR CROWS. MELODY SITS IN THE CORNER.

Gee-Peck is dances in an oriental way while Laurel and Hardy play a percussion instrument from India-the tabla

GEE-PECK

Dha,dha,tirkit, ta dha, krandha,krandha,tirkit, tirkit, ta tha.

All the animals clap enthusiastically.

BANANA-DRAMA

Cool, very cool. No, no, I mean, hot, very hot.

FLOW-JO
(laughing)

You better decide whether Mr. Gee-Peck’s dance is cool or hot.

HARDY

I think it’s neither cool nor hot it looks like he is playing the fool.

ALL THE ANIMALS

Whaaaaaaaaaaat!

HARDY
Well, if Mr. Gee Peck is gonna dance with such huge boots it’s not our dance but kinda like a tap dance.

BUTTERFLY ONE

Tap dance, whatever is that?

LAUREL

We had seen it when we had gone abroad once. The dancers wore huge boots and were dancing. And very fast too.

GEE-PECK

Oh well, compared to them I am a nothing. Neither here nor there.

FLOW-JO

Why don’t you just present a demo. Don’t take part in the competition.

PETER

Then who is going to represent us? We do need to teach Mr.
Rabid a good lesson.

Everybody is thinking.

MELODY

Cooo.

All the animals look towards her.

MELODY (cont’d)

Will all of you give me a chance to sing on your behalf? BANANA-DRAMA

But can you sing? You have a sweet voice but professional training is what you need.

MELODY

I have trained professionally. But I can’t reveal the name of the maestro. It’s top secret.

PETER

All right, in that case why don’t you sing and let us decide.

ALL THE ANIMALS
(together)

Hear! hear! let us hear you.

MELODY
All right.

She comes to the center of the
stage and sings.

SONG
The hills are alive with the sound of music. (from the film Sound of Music)

She sings a few lines and then stops. The animals are quiet for a moment and then clap enthusiastically and shout”hear,hear,” and “bravo”!

GEE-PECK

Wonderful! What a melodious voice! Perfectly in tune and rhythm.

BANANA-DRAMA

Rocking! Simply rocking!

FLOW-JO

All right then, it is decided. Melody will represent us.

ALL THE ANIMALS
(all together)

Yes, yes.

PETER

All right Melody. You have to win the first prize. We’ll never get a chance like this one to teach Mr. Rabid a good lesson.

MELODY

All that is fine but let’s not forget my brother’s are also taking part in the contest. If I win they are going to feel bad.

FLOW-JO

Well, just listen to the wee bird. Everyone takes part in the contest,girl. But, this must be the first time I am hearing that someone is afraid to take part in the contest for fear of winning!

BANANA-DRAMA

That happens only when the results are “fixed” as to who is to win and who is to lose. Then it is smarter to lose for if you dare to win you could lose your life.

FLOW-JO

Yes, but this contest is not one of those ones for the Kite-King genuinely wants an entertainer for his court,whether it be a singer or a dancer.

PETER

And,not only are you a good singer but you dance well too. I have seen you hopping from branch to branch,from tree to tree.

FLOW-JO
(singing operatically)

I could have danced all night…
(she sings two lines of the
song from the film My Fair
Lady)

GEE-PECK

(sings where she breaks off)
You could have danced all night…..

They look at each other lovingly while the animals look at each other.

PETER

All right, all right, the two of you. How long do you intend to live in the past?

BANANA-DRAMA

Ya man. You gotta swing with the times dude.

(he snaps his fingers and
dances and sings)

SONG

Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Up, up to the sky
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly
Fly, robin fly Up, up to the sky
(from the group

Silver Convention)

Just then a pigeon flutters towards them. All the animals look at each other amazed

PEACE-MEAL
(the pigeon)

I have brought you a proclamation from Kite -King.

GEE-PECK

Go ahead.

PEACE-MEAL

The Kite-King wants you all to know that you are all welcome to his land but no one is permitted to bring their tutor or teacher with them.

Just then Caw-gee and Mr. Rabid arrive.

BANANA-DRAMA

Oh Caw-nee, I mean Caw-Gee! He has just brought an important message from the King that Mr. Rabid is not permitted in the contest.

CAW-GEE

Why Not? What kind of rule is that?

PEACE-MEAL

This is not a rule, it’s the law. The contestants cannot be accompanied by their tutors.

MR. RABID

Stuff and nonsense. I am going to go, let me see who dare stop me.

PEACE-MEAL

You are not going to get a visa.

MR. RABID

Why won’t you give me one? What kind of law is this? You can’t do this.

GEE-PECK

Listen, my good fellow, it’s their country, they can do whatever they want.

MR. RABID

I’ll see who will stop me from entering the country. I have my ways.

FLOW-JO

God forbid. Illegal alien. Are you going to break the law?

MR. RABID

Well, by hook or by crook, whatever it takes.

GEE-PECK

Why are you so stubborn Mr. Rabid? And why do you want to force yourself everywhere, even when you are not wanted. After all, you must be having a place of your own. Why don’t you go and live there peacefully?

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, the fact is his well is very deep and the water’s are very shallow and murky. And there are many frogs like him who go ribbid, ribbid all the time. That’s why this dude has run away and come here.

PETER

Well if he has run away and come here then he needs to sit quietly in a corner. Where’s the need to go ribbid, ribbid all the time.

GEE-PECK

Force of habit, my friend, force of habit.

MR. RABID

Ribbid, ribbid.

CAW-GEE

Mr. Rabid, don’t you bother about what they all say.

Peace, my friend, peace.

PEACE-MEAL
Did you say some thing to me ?

CAW-GEE

I said Peace.

PEACE-MEAL

Yes, that’s my name Peace-Meal. In short, Peace.

ALL THE ANIMALS

Whaaaaaaaaat?

PEACE-MEAL

Yes, I am the pigeon of Peace. Another bird was in charge of this work but ever since the hunters have got rid of her I am now in charge of this work.

BANANA-DRAMA

I see. Yes, the dove was the messenger of peace but now he is extinct like the dodo bird. And now you are in charge of this work.

PEACE-MEAL

Yes, and now I am going to fly off too. Farewell.

He flies away.

All the animals sing.

SONG
Fly, robin, fly…

BANANA-DRAMA
(to Mr. Rabid)

Well, you better live in peace in the jungle. We’ll take a quick tour of the world and come, man.

GEE-PECK

And if you get too bored you still have your well where the other frog’s await you.

MR. RABID

Ribbid!Ribbid! Looks like you are not going to

behave yourselves. Go fly a kite.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hellooo, we are going to meet the Kite-King. How can we fly a kite here?

All the animals laugh uproariously at his joke.

GEE-PECK

Great joke! We can’t fly a kite here coz we are going to meet the Kite-King!! Ho Ho Ho. Well said Banana-Drama.

Banana-Drama pulls up his collar
and smirks.

CAW-GEE

Melody, what are you doing here this late. Come into the nest. It’s time to go to bed. We have to leave early tomorrow.

(Addressing the other animals)
Come along, all of you too.

BANANA-DRAMA

No way Mam. I was thinking of going to the disco. I have just got a new job as the D.J. I have to play all the latest hit songs.

CAW-GEE
You have to play, that’s all. Anyone can do that for you, they don’t need you for that. Go. Go to sleep, or you will all miss the flight tomorrow.

BANANA-DRAMA
All right Caw-Nee, I mean Caw-Gee. We respect you, that is why we listen to you Mam or
(looking at Mr. Rabid)

By this time we would have got rid of certain individuals.

Goes away singing “Black is black, I want my baby back”by Los Bravos)

Mr. Rabid looks at him furiously.
All the animals leave. Only Mr.

Rabid remains on stage.

MR. RABID
We’ll see who will get rid of whom. I will destroy all of you. I have a secret weapon and that weapon is going to spell your doom.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 4.

PLACE: CUCKOO’S LUXURIOUS BED CHAMBER WHICH IS FURNISHED WITH A FEW GOLDEN RODS TO DENOTE LUXURY AND THE FEELING OF BEING CAGED/ TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS: CUCKOO/A PIGEON/MRS. BROWN/MELODY

Cuckoo is pacing the floor. There is a knock on the door.

CUCKOO’S VOICE

Come in.
(A pigeon comes in and bows
before Cuckoo.)
Did you do what I told you to do?

PIGEON

Yes madam,I told both my friends to keep an eye on the contestants and to let me know who among them is the best.

CUCKOO

And?

PIGEON

According to my sources the most talented of the lot is a young singer named Melody.

CUCKOO

All right then, go and invite her. Tell her I want to meet her tomorrow, in the evening. Tell her I want to give her tips to help her win the contest.

PIGEON

(bowing respectfully)
To be sure Madam.
(Goes away)

CUCKOO
(putting her wings/hand
together)

Wants to replace me, indeed! We’ll see about that. I am going to teach her such a lesson that she‘ll go crying to her mamma. After I am done with her she’ll not even be able to eat, forget about tweet.

(she claps peremptorily) Where is everyone? Yoohooo, I say, yoohoo.

A little sparrow comes in running.

MRS. BROWN

Yes Madam.

CUCKOO

Are you deaf Mrs. Brown? Your problem is that you are hopping here and there all the time and when there is work to be done you are nowhere to be seen.

MRS. BROWN

(wringing her hands in fear)
Yes madam, to be sure madam. I had just gone to collect some grains and grit ( gives a shy smile) I am expecting five wee ones soon and we’ll need a bigger nest too. Hubby dear can’t do all the house work, he has to work outside too to make ends meet.

CUCKOO
(sarcastically)

I know exactly what he does outside. When are you folks going to change your ways? Your husband has no work, he’s always drunk in bars and you, you go on producing children. What’s your husband’s name?

MRS. BROWN
(lowers her eyes shyly clasps
her hand and swings side to
side)

Mr. Lancelot Brown.

CUCKOO

Whatever! Go and tell Mr. Hadalot to take a break and come and meet me right away. I have some work for him.

MRS. BROWN

Right away Missus (Cuckoo glares at her) I mean madame.

CUCKOO

Now off with you. Go and get me a few grains and salad leaves. And, bring me a cold glass of water.

MRS. BROWN
(who is a little slow-witted)
To drink?

CUCKOO
(exasperated)

No, to have a bath! Oh God, give me strength that I can deal with these slow witted and hilly billy sorts. Now, go, O mother of mine, go and do as I say.

MRS. BROWN

Mother? I am not your mother. I am going to be a mother soon.
(Shyly)

Just a few days to go.

CUCKOO
(stamping her feet)

Are you going to leave or no!

The sparrow hops away
(Cuckoo draws in a deep breath)

What a life! On the one hand I have to deal with these dumb hilly billy sorts and on the other I have to deal with that rogue Kite-King who has no other interest in life but to sing, dance and be merry. Just because I am a little old, I mean a little mature now, he is scouting around for young blood. He has one leg in the grave but he behaves like a young rooster. Anyway, I can handle him and his new singing sensation, what did pigeon say was her name, ah Yes! Melody.

Fade to black for a few moments to indicate that it is the next day and then we hear’s Melody’s voice.

MELODY’S VOICE

Koooooo.

Lights come on gradually. Melody is standing on one corner of the stage.

Cuckoo is on the settee in a
dishevelled state

MELODY

Madam you called me so here I am. I am a big fan, Madam.

Your songs are an inspiration to me.

CUCKOO
(Yawning)

Really! You are so little then how can you be a big fan? (Giggling)
Just a joke. Come in, come and sit down.
(Pats the settee)

Come here, come sit next to me.

Melody sits next to her, a little scared, a little nervous.

CUCKOO

Now then, tell me, where did you learn to sing. I mean, who is your teacher?

MELODY’S VOICE
(as she thinks)

Senor Julio told me to tell no one but (addresses Cuckoo)
Mother had appointed Mr. Rabid to tutor all of us.

CUCKOO
(taken aback)

Mr. Rabid! That tuneless frog who goes ribbid, ribbid in the rainy weather.

MELODY

The same.

CUCKOO

Lordloveaduck!

CUCKOO’S VOICE
(as she thinks to herself)

Did that pigeon make a mistake? How can she be a good singer? (Addresses Melody)

All right, let me hear you, let me see how you sing.

MELODY

I am sorry, the maestro forbid from singing in front of anyone.

CUCKOO

Drat it! All right, at least let me hear you sing the seven notes of melody, just like Mr. Ribbid taught you to sing.

MELODY

Just like Mr. Ribbid taught me to sing. All right.
(she sings hoarsely)
Do, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

CUCKOO
(gives an evil smile)

Hear, hear! What a voice. Wonderful, my child. You will surely win the first prize in this contest.
(Joyfully)
Will you eat something?
(Claps her hands peremptorily)
Mrs. Brown, yoohoo,Mrs. Brown, are you deaf?

Mrs Brown who is wearing an apron and has a duster in which she is wiping her hands comes in running.

MRS. BROWN

Yes Missus
(Cuckoo glares at her)
I mean Madame.

CUCKOO

Go and get a cola with ice for her. And get me some hot tea and don’t forget the ginger.

MRS. BROWN
(as she goes )

Yes missus

(flustered)

I mean Madame

The lights are slowly dimming as
we hear Melody.

MELODY’S VOICE

My teacher told me not drink anything cold. And definitely not any cola. It has chemicals that kill bugs.

CUCKOO

Drat it!

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 5 A.

PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT IN HIS PALACE/ TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS:KITE-KING/CUCKOO/JUDGE-A FAT PENGUIN/ALL THE ANIMALS OF JUNGLE LAND/AUDIENCE WHICH CAN ALSO COMPRISE OF ANY BIRDS,BEASTS OR HUMANS THROUGH WHICH ONE MAY WANT TO MAKE A STATEMENT, AN ALIEN WHO HAS COME FROM ANOTHER GALAXY/MR. LANCELOT BROWN, MRS. BROWN AND THEIR FIVE CHILDREN/GURU GODMAN.

Kite-king comes and sits on his throne.

The audience claps

KITE-KING

Let the contest begin.

The Master of ceremonies is a crane. He holds the mike.
He stands on one foot then the other.

GURU GODMAN

Salaam,Namaste,Good Evening! Ich bin ein Guru Godman and welcome you all. The Kite-King, in all his benevolence, has organized this contest magnifique for all of us to enjoy. Tres bien. Now, I will call on each contestant to come one by one and I hope you will enjoy their performance. So, first let me invite.. ( looks at his paper)

PETER

(to Gee-Peck)
Why doesn’t he speak in one language,it’s very confusing.

GEE-PECK

So, he can please everyone.

GURU GODMAN

The first contestant tonight is China’s famous singer,

(looking at a paper in his hands)

Who is also trained in the martial arts like judo karate,Pee-Wee- King.

Everyone claps and Pee-Wee-King comes on stage and sings in the Chinese Style and also demonstrates Judo and karate.

PEE-WEE-KING
(Sings in a falsetto)

Chop, chop, chop,chop suey.

Pop, pop, pop, pop goes the weasel.

Top, top, top, top of the Morning,

Cop, cop, cop, cop out come evening.

Come morning, come evening,
By day and by night,

Buy, buy, buy our motto,

And sell, sell, sell,

When the time is right.

Buy and sell, buy and sell,

Do we care wherever we dwell.

All we want is the ship to sail,

We’ll bail out when the going is hell.

The song concludes and everyone claps.

LAUREL
(to Hardy)

He looks like a boy then why does he sing like a girl? And his name is Pee-Wee-King. Is he small or is he a King? And why does he exercise when he sings? I am so confused.

GEE-PECK

So is he. And that is his problem. He can’t decide what he wants, what he wants to be and where he is going? I guess he’ll make up his mind when the going is hell.

GURU GODMAN

And now is the turn of the famous bird from Australia – Platy-Pus.

A weird looking bird comes on stage.

LAUREL

Now what kind of bird is this, I just can’t figure it out.

PETER

Nor can it. It hasn’t decided what it wants to be, a bird or a beast. So its neither here nor there – just a Platy-pus.

LAUREL

That Chinese man should also decide what it wants to be or it will turn out like this creature-neither here nor there.

PLATY-PUS
(Singing)

Fowl is fair and Fair is Fowl

Live we do not cheek by jowl.

Open spaces,weather fair,

Plenty to eat and not a care.

Confused are we and do not dare

To take a stand and show them all

We mean business and will not stick

Any funny business before we kick

All and sundry from our land.
No, no. no, no, yes, yes, yes, yes.
No-yes, no-yes, no- yes, no-yes,
Confused are we, we are confused,
Lord clear the heads of these Platy-pus.

All the creatures clap. We see a short rotund individual clad from top to toe in a burqa/abaya coming in. He stands in a corner. This is Mr. Rabid

GURU GODMAN

And now we call on stage four talented singers from the jungle- Do-ray, Me-far, So-la, Ti-do, to present their song titled, Black is Black.

The creatures clap and the four crows come on stage lugging their instruments which they place with stylized swagger and superior attitude.

FOUR CROWS
(singing in a rap style)
Black is black and so is white.
Day is day and so is night.

If black is white and day is night

What does it matter if we look a sight,
What does it matter if we give you a fright,
What does it matter if you want us out of sight.

We may be bores

but now-a-days

anything goes.

If anything goes
than what does it matter
If we are not sure of our tunes or our pater.
We follow the credo of all our kind
To stiff the suckers who pay to watch
Our shows and our broadsides divine.
If they now complain,
We’ll not return their money
come thunder or rain.
No, no, that’s not our intention,
No,no,we’ll not allow any intervention,
We want our money
and we’ll hold it tight,
Nothing will cure us,
not even a swift kick
Up our backsides.

At the beginning of the song the audience is too stunned to react. Then, they slowly start to close their ears. Some of them are trying to get out of the hall. The Kite-King is flapping his wings in anger. The Guru-Godman hastily comes on stage. Only the alien is clapping appreciatively.

GURU GODMAN

Yes, yes, to be sure. I think that is enough for the night.Due to time constraints we’ll have to cut short this number.We apologize.

The animals are happy. From the burqa/abaya clad individual comes the sound of “Ribbid, Ribbid.” All the Jungle-Land creatures look around surprised then at each other.

GURU GODMAN (cont’d)

Finally it is the turn of a young and talented singer.
I invite on stage Melody.

Melody comes on stage. All the
creatures clap. Cuckoo gives and
evil smile.

MELODY
(singing)
The hills are alive with the Sound of
Music. (from the film Sound of Music)

The audience is entranced, particularly Kite-King. Only the alien is closing his ears with a pained expression. When the song is over the creatures clap enthusiastically and shout “Bravo,Bravo”and “Hear, Hear!” Cuckoo looks furious.The Kite-King comes on stage.

KITE-KING

Well done, well done! Tonight’s program was excellent and entertaining. I am very pleased.
(The audience claps)

Singers from all parts of the world have entertained us tonight with songs in many different languages. But music is one language that brings together people from all over the world. For music knows no boundaries,no languages,it is above all. Music touches not our minds but our hearts. And the entertainer whose song has touched all our hearts is no other than the winner of tonight’s contest, Melody.

The creatures clap and yell ‘Bravo’ and ‘Hear, Hear!’ Cuckoo looks furious.

KITE-KING (cont’d)

We would like Melody to come on stage and accept her prize.

Melody comes on stage and accepts her gift. A tiny crown is placed on her head.

KITE-KING (cont’d)

I am so pleased with Melody’s singing that I hereby appoint her as our court singer. Henceforth she will live here and entertain me. The whole world will enjoy her music.
In return Melody will get untold riches and fame….
(The audience claps)

KITE-KING (cont’d)

And henceforth she will live in a golden
cage (he looks at Cuckoo)

Since our old entertainer is about to retire she will now live in a brass cage and her cage will be prepared for Melody.
(It is clear that Cuckoo does
not like the Kite-King’s uggestion.)

KITE-KING (cont’d)

And Cuckoo, you are hereby appointed Melody’s chaperone. Please take care that she is taken care of and does not want for anything.
(Cuckoo stands up and
curtsies. Kite-King looks at Melody)

KITE-KING (cont’d)
I congratulate you and wish you well for a bright future and a new world.

MELODY
(To Kite-King)

May I have your permission to say a few words.

KITE-KING

To be sure, you may.

MELODY

I thank you all for considering me worthy of such honor and for supporting me in this journey, I would like to call upon the person who has my deepest respect. I would like to call her on stage and in front of all you ask her for her blessings. Mom…..

Caw-gee looks at Melody. She has tears in her eyes. She walks slowly towards the stage. She is old and has white hair but Cuckoo recognizes her. Melody touches Caw-Gee’s feet who blesses her. The audience claps. The two embrace.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 5 B

PLACE/TIME: SAME AS SCENE 5. THE STAGE IS BLACK FOR A MOMENT AND THEN SLOWLY LIGHTS UP TO SHOW THE AUDIENCE HAS LEFT. ONLY CUCKOO IS LEFT ALONE.
41.

CHARACTERS:CUCKOO/ MR.RABID

Cuckoo is pacing the floor. A sudden sound distracts her and she sees that a burqa/abaya clad figure approaches her.

CUCKOO
(frightened)

What..who ..is there?

The burqa/abaya clad figure comes close and lifts the veil from his face to reveal Mr. Rabid. Cuckoo screams.

MR. RABID

Ribbid! I removed the veil from my face! Then why did you scream?

CUCKOO

Never mind. Who are you? I am going to call the sentry to throw you out.

MR. RABID
Don’t even think of making the mistake. You stand to lose a lot.

CUCKOO

Really? I have just lost everything. What do I have to lose now?

MR. RABID

If you do as I tell you then you will get what your heart desires..

CUCKOO

What are you implying, sir. At least think of your grey beard before talking such rubbish.

MR. RABID

Oh dear me Madame. You have got me wrong. In any case, you are not that young either.

CUCKOO
(narrowing her eyes and raising
an eyebrow)

Really, For the likes of you I am no less than a beautiful hourie from heaven. Just which planet are you from Mister?

MR. RABID

Ribbid! Ribbid! Your tongue is as sharp as a knife. If you were in my country….

CUCKOO

Exactly, that’s why I am not in your country. I have no wish to live in a deep well
(she looks him up and down)

Nor do I wish to suffocate my self. I like to breathe free in the fresh air, understood?

MR. RABID

Do you call living in a golden cage freedom?

CUCKOO

Well, it certainly beats living in a dark well.

MR. RABID

Heaven help me! Why have I got myself entangled in this useless debate. Do you want to hear about something that is in your interest?

CUCKOO

All right, go on.

MR. RABID

Actually I am the tutor to the Caw-Doors Band.

CUCKOO

Ah, so that is why you hide your face.

MR. RABID
What rubbish. The laws in your country are so weird that I have to resort to these means.

CUCKOO

Every country has its own laws. The laws in your country are no less weird.
(She shudders)
Goodness, I couldn’t live there for even a day.

MR. RABID
(irritated)

Who is calling you there in any event? Why don’t you listen to that which is in your interest?

CUCKOO

It’s not possible that it will only be in my interest and not yours. You don’t look like a philanthropist to me.

MR. RABID
(almost in tears)

Please, I beg of you. Listen to me carefully.

CUCKOO

All right, all right, hurry up. It’s time for my massage.

MR. RABID
(stuttering in disgust)

Massage? Here we are about to talk of important matters of the state, of a world which is going to be topsy-turvy and you can only think of your massage.

CUCKOO
( tossing her head scornfully)

Soooooo! If you took an interest in some massage you wouldn’t be so hyper, I mean stressed, I mean tensed. You would be more happy and relaxed.

MR. RABID
(hopping up and down)

Ribbid! Ribbid! Who says I am not relaxed. I am very happy go lucky
(trying to laugh)
See how I laugh. He he he. See.

CUCKOO

All right, all right. There is no need for these histrionics.
All Right out with it. My time is precious.

MR. RABID

So I like I said before I am the tutor of the Caw-Doors band.

CUCKOO

Oh Yes, that reminds me you are Melody’s tutor too, then how did she learn to sing so well.

MR. RABID

What do you mean? Melody does not know how to sing and yet she won the contest. I suspect a huge conspiracy is afoot and Kite-king is at the bottom of it all. I think he’s jealous of my talent and wants to discredit me in front of everyone.

CUCKOO

Are you retarded, by any chance?

MR. RABID

Ribbid, Ribbid.

CUCKOO

Anyway, go on.

MR. RABID

I feel the two of us should get together (Cuckoo gives him a hard stare), I don’t mean that. I mean if you help me to dethrone Kite-King then, in return, I will make you the court singer.

CUCKOO

And pray tell me what is your plan to dethrone him?

Mr. Rabid takes out a packet from his garment.

MR. RABID

Here take this medicine. Just stir it in Kite-king’s tea.

CUCKOO

I see, and then what will happen?

MR. RABID

What will happen? Kite-king will lose his memory, he’ll forget he’s the king and we can easily place anyone we want on his throne.

CUCKOO

It seems to me you are very fond of Bollywood films. I mean memory loss and all that. Just like a movie.

MR. RABID
No way. I’m not fond of such trash. This kind of cheap entertainment is forbidden where I come from.

CUCKOO

Oh, then what’s all this singing and dancing,what’s your explanation for all that?

MR. RABID

I am doing all that out of my country, not in there.

CUCKOO

Wow,that kind of reasoning stinks of double standards. What is bad there can’t be good here?

MR. RABID

You won’t understand these political matters.

CUCKOO

Hmmm, I understand your political matters completely. These political matters have only one agenda, get what you want and have a lot of fun. Who cares about the poor public. Any way,what do I care. As long as my fun and games continue I am not bothered what happens to the world around me(extends her hand forward). All right, give me your memory loss potion.

Mr. Rabid gives her vial. Cuckoo
walks away, her heels clicking.

MR. RABID

So you want to be the court dancer eh, we’ll see about that. You are not fit to be a street dancer. Just let me become the king then I will make you dance to my tune. You”ll forget your steps, Madame. Ribbid, ribbid.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE 6.

PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT IN HIS PALACE/TIME:NIGHT

CHARACTERS:KITE-KING/MELODY/ALL THE COURTIERS/CUCKOO/GURU-GODMAN/PENGUIN/MRS. BROWN/DR.CHARLIE

MELODY
(singing sadly as she twirls
slowly)

SONG

The hills are alive with the sound of music (From the film”Sound of Music”)

KITE-KING

Bravo, Bravo. I am pleased, very pleased. (to Cuckoo) I hope you are looking after her? She should not want for anything.

He takes out a string of pearls from his neck and extends his hand/wing to Melody.

KITE-KING (CONT’D)

This is for you.

Melody accepts the necklace but from her demeanor we can see that she is not happy.

KITE-KING (CONT’D)

It seems to me you are not very happy. Why? Is anything the matter?

MELODY

You have given me everything but..

KITE-KING

But?

Melody is silent.

KITE-KING

Tell me what is that I cannot give you? (a little sternly), Come on, out with it?

MELODY
(softly)

I want to breathe in the open air. Can I go back to the jungle?

KITE-KING

There is only one thing you cannot get and you have asked for it- Freedom. Besides this, you can have anything you want.

MELODY

I don’t want anything else. I just want to fly in the open skies, please let me go.

KITE-KING
(more sternly)

That is not possible. You can go now.

Melody walks away slowly, downcast.

KITE-KING
(to Cuckoo)

Go and explain to her, entertain her. Give her whatever she wants so that she no longer wants to leave from here.

CUCKOO’S VOICE

Yes , your highness.

Cuckoo goes away. Kite-King is lost in thought when Guru-Godman, who is standing next to him speaks.

GURU GODMAN

With your permission Sire, can I say something?

KITE-KING

Yes, yes, go on.

GURU GODMAN

It is my observation,your highness, that this old Cuckoo will be unable to take care of the little cuckoo. On the contrary it is very likely that she will only trouble her. My suggestion is we appoint someone else to take care of her.

KITE-KING

Wonderful,you have great manipulative skills. I am glad I included you in my council of ministers just after the contest.

GURU GODMAN
(bowing low)

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

KITE-KING

So, in your wise opinion who would be most suitable to look after Melody?

GURU GODMAN

One name does comes to my mind but I am not sure if he will agree.

KITE-KING

Who?

GURU GODMAN

His name is Senior Julio. He lives in the same jungle to which Melody belongs.

KITE-KING

But, a man?

GURU GODMAN
By God’s grace he is blind.

KITE-KING
(laughing)

What a joke! A blind man to keep an eye on Melody. But really your manipulative skills are worthy of praise.

GURU GODMAN

So, should I send him a message Sire?

KITE-KING

Yes, of course!
(laughs)

Ah, the crafty Cuckoo will tie herself up in knots.
Simply great, Guru-Godman, I am pleased.

GURU GODMAN

I have another request, Sire?

KITE-KING

Yes, of course. Go on.

GURU GODMAN

I have a friend, Mr. Rabid, who is very wealthy. He has embarked on a world tour. He would like to enjoy the sights and sounds of our country. Please grant him a visa.

KITE-KING

Why not, why not. If he is your friend he must be of some consequence. I will give orders for his visa. Do bring him to the court sometime.

GURU GODMAN

To be sure, your highness. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Pays his respects by bowing very low.

KITE-KING
(yawns loudly, bored of Guru-
Godman’s courtesies)

All right, all right,now think of something new to entertain us. The contest was a complete washout. Except for Melody’s all the items were absolute rubbish

PENGUIN
(who is standing close by)

May I make a suggestion sire?

KITE-KING

Mr. Penguin, you are so cold, what suggestion could you possibly give? Anyway, go on.

PENGUIN

I think we should have a contest between Cuckoo and Melody.
The loser will have to become the other’s maid-servant.

KITE-KING
(laughs)

Great, simply great! What an idea. Your mind is a devil’s workshop and its working overtime.
(To Guru-Godman)

Make arrangements and invite all those who had come before.

GURU GODMAN
Yes, your sire.

Kite-king rises, stretches and
yawns loudly.

KITE-KING

All right then, the court is adjourned. We’ll go and rest now.

Kite-king walks away. As he is going he is scratching his beard,yawning, rubbing his eyes. All the courtiers heave a sigh of relief. Suddenly, Kite-king comes back. Everyone is alert again.

KITE-KING (cont’d)

Somebody tell Cuckoo to bring a glass of milk to my room.

GURU GODMAN

Yes, your highness.

Kite-king leaves. The other courtiers follow. Only the Penguin waddles behind.

GURU GODMAN
(to Penguin)

Your idea was excellent. Will you come to my house tonight.
Mr. Rabid is coming too.

PENGUIN

If you give me dinner I will come. I am fond of fish.
GURU GODMAN
Me too. I have arranged for some flies for Mr. Rabid. He is an expert in catching flies.

PENGUIN

Gross. Then it will be impossible to suffer him.

GURU GODMAN

Yes, but in politics one has to make friends with all kinds of people. And he can be useful, you know.

PENGUIN

All right then I’ll suffer him too. I’ll even swallow a few flies for his sake.

GURU GODMAN

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

They leave. We hear Penguin’s

voice back-stage.

PENGUIN (O.S.)

Your name is Guru but you speak English very well. Where did you get your training?

GURU GODMAN (O.S.)

We have been at it since my grandfather’s time Now it flows in my blood.

Melody walks in slowly. She sings the same song she had sung in court, “The hills are alive with the sound of music,” Cuckoo follows, there is a glass of milk in her hand. Melody stands behind some gold bars, she looks sad.

CUCKOO

What do you want for?

MELODY

I want my Mom.

CUCKOO

Didn’t you recognise me. I Am your real mom. Many years ago I had left you in Caw-Gee’s nest. Come on, Give me a hug.

MELODY
(moving back)

No, never. You Are not my mom, Caw-gee is my mom.

CUCKOO

I gave birth to you, Melody.

MELODY

So what, you gave birth to me and left me. Caw-gee gave me life.

CUCKOO

Your two are not the same. Look at me. My color, my looks, my qualities are all like yours. I can give you everything. Riches, wealth, name, fame.

MELODY

Riches, wealth, name, fame – I can give you these, not you. Today I have all this so you are with me. I don’t want any of this.

CUCKOO

Then, what do you want, child?

MELODY

I want Caw-gee’s love.
(screams)
I want Caw-Gee’s love.

Melody falls down on the bed covered with a velvet bed spread and weeps. Cuckoo takes out the vial which was given to her by Mr. Rabid.

CUCKOO (V.O.)

I think I should give this memory loss potion to her. When she will forget her old life she’ll forget Caw-gee too. Then I can control her totally.

She pours the potion in the glass of milk and then comes to Melody and strokes her with loving hands.

CUCKOO

Melody, my child. Please get up and drink this milk, it will make you feel much better. I will personally talk to Kite-king today and ask him to send you back to your mother.

MELODY
(with tears in her eyes and
choked throat)

Promise?

CUCKOO

Yes, yes, my child. I am your mother, not your enemy.
Come drink this.

Melody drinks the milk laced with the potion.

MELODY
(putting her arms around
Cuckoo’s neck)

Mom, you are so wonderful.

She loses her grip and faints.

CUCKOO
(gets up and claps)

Hello, is anyone around?

Mrs. Brown comes running.

MRS. BROWN

Yes Missus…..I mean Yes Madame.

CUCKOO

Look at her, what has happened to her. Go and call the doctor right away and tell Guru-Godman to inform his highness that Melody has fainted.(Mrs. Brown is staring at her with a deer caught in the headlights expression) Oh for God’s sake, what are you staring at me bug-eyed. Go on, hurry up.

MRS. BROWN

Yes, should I call the doctor first or go and inform Guru-Godman.

CUCKOO

Oh Lordy, Lordy, are you a complete nincompoop? Go and tell Guru-Godman first. Only when he sees her condition will matters proceed further.

MRS. BROWN
(innocently)

What matters Missus…I mean Madame?

CUCKOO

Just this that his star singer is no longer in a state to entertain his highness. He’ll have no choice but to come to me. And he thought he could take away my golden cage.

There is a sound of someone clearing his throat. Cuckoo and Mrs. Brown jump in fright.

GURU GODMAN

I have seen everything and I have heard everything too.

Cuckoo is flustered.

CUCKOO

Sir, I was just saying, I mean….

GURU GODMAN

I know perfectly well what you mean. I have never seen anyone as mean as you. And now for your selfish interests your tried to do away with this poor wee creature. You will be punished for this, for sure.

CUCKOO

All right, go and tell. I, too, will tell his highness that I merely gave Melody the potion which your friend Mr. Rabid had given me to give him.

GURU GODMAN
(sighing deeply)

You are a very crooked woman. And how did you come to know that Mr. Rabid is my friend?

CUCKOO

Not only I, but everyone knows he is your friend. You asked for his visa in front of everyone. What do you think, are you the only one who has spies?

GURU GODMAN

All right, all right, Mata Hari. This round is yours. But what do we do with her (looks at Melody) And I have called for Senor Julio to take care of her.

CUCKOO

According to my sources Senor Julio is blind, so he can while his time away in some corner. And as for her, she has lost her memory,not her singing abilities, so now she will sing and dance to our tune.

All this while Mrs. Brown has been stepping back slowly and now she quickly takes a step back and disappears from the scene.

CUCKOO
(looking around)

Oh, where did Mrs. Brown vanish. These folks are a bunch of lazy good for nothings. One’s attention is diverted for just a second and off they go. It’s just as well or we would have to get rid of her as well.

GURU GODMAN

We’ll have to show this one to the doctor just so that his highness does not suspect any foul play.

CUCKOO
(screaming)

Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Brown, where the dickens are you?

Mrs. Brown rushes in, panting.

MRS. BROWN

Yes, Missus…I mean, Madame.

CUCKOO

Go and call Dr. Charlie and be quick.

MRS. BROWN

Yes, yes Missus…I mean Madame, madame.

Mrs. Brown leaves. Cuckoo picks up the glass and holds it high and says looking at it.

CUCKOO

I hope she loses only her memory with this potion. There will be no other ill effects.

GURU GODMAN

That only Dr. Charlie can tell us.

Dr. Charlie comes followed by Mrs.
Brown.

DR.CHARLIE

Oh dear, oh dear, what happened? Dr. Charlie at your service.

GURU GODMAN

Will you (pointing to Melody) look at her please. We don’t know what happened. She just fainted suddenly.

Dr. Charlie takes out a large magnifying glass and inspects Melody.

DR.CHARLIE

The patient’s condition is extremely serious. Her body has bloated up hugely.

CUCKOO
(sarcastically)

Maybe it is because you are looking at her through a magnifying glass.

Dr. Charlie takes out a stethoscope and puts the two ends into Melody’s ears and listens into one with his ear.

DR.CHARLIE

I can hear some strange sounds. The patient’s mental state is highly disturbed.

GURU GODMAN

I think you need to get your brains examined as soon as possible.

CUCKOO
(voice dripping with sarcasm)

What can anyone do about the state of affairs in this country. Fools rush in here and angels fear to tread. Everything is available at wholesale prices and this doctor too is part of the deal.

DR.CHARLIE
(angrily)
Maybe you are not aware that I hold an M.B.B.S. Degree.

CUCKOO

And I know very well what that means, My Boys,Babies and Spouses need my services and for that I need to stick it to you. Just like you your degrees too are available at wholesale rates.

GURU GODMAN

Anyway, now just do what other folks do. Just splash some water on her face.

He looks towards Mrs. Brown who is staring open-mouthed. She is flustered and runs off and comes back with a bowl of water. Dr. Charlie splashes Melody’s face with water. Melody opens her eyes and looks around wide-eyed and distressed. Then she tries to speak.

MELODY
Ko…….

CUCKOO

Melody! What happened, tell me?

Melody stares at her wide-eyed,
trying in vain to speak.

MRS. BROWN

Lordloveaduck! The cat has got the wee mite’s tongue.

CUCKOO

What are you saying? Can’t you speak plain English?
Ignoramus,hilly billy critter.

GURU GODMAN

Well, she speaks the truth in her rustic way. This one’s voice has gone and,most probably, she can’t recognise anyone too.

CUCKOO

Drat it!
(then a little happily)

Well, now at least they will have to reinstate me as the court singer.

Kite-king enters.

KITE-KING

Wrong! That is impossible. You are no longer fit for this post. We now seek fresh blood which is young,beautiful and can entertain us. Dry,old bones will not do.

(To Guru-Godman)

Send Peace-meal pigeon with the message that we are going to hold another contest. This time, besides untold wealth the winner will also get dearness allowance, transport, medical and an expense account.

CUCKOO
(drawing in her breath)

Oh! This prize will tempt anyone.

KITE-KING

Yes,and I think you should start thinking about packing your bags and moving on. And yes, along with you,

(pointing to Melody)

Take her along too. She is of no use now.

CUCKOO

What will I do with her? Call her mom. She’ll take her away.

GURU GODMAN

She is absolutely right. And there is no need for that thrush, Senor Julio too. I will tell him not to come.

KITE-KING

It he wants to pay his way and come, he can come. I have heard he too is fond of singing and dancing. He used to be a very famous singer at one time. Then he went blind due to an accident. And ever since then he stopped performing in public. Now he lives in a cottage in the jungle.

CUCKOO

Yes, I remember. Many years ago, I mean not so very long ago, just about fifteen, no, ten, no…

GURU GODMAN

There is no need to stress your bird brain. I know for a fact that the thrush has not performed in public for the last twenty five years. Go on now.

CUCKOO
(grimacing)

Uh, oh! Anyway, both of us had performed together once before the Queen of England. Suddenly the electricity went off. The thrush was holding a mike. When the lights came on again suddenly there was a loud bang and smoke all over.

Senor Julio shouted and fainted right there. He lost his eyes in that accident.

KITE-KING
(yawning)

All right, all right, there is no need for your hundred year old tales. Take this ( looking towards Melody) one away and (looking towards Dr. Charlie) you help her too. If You can’t cure a body at least you can help lift it.

Mrs. Brown steps forward too. Cuckoo and Mrs. Brown lift Melody from the shoulders and Dr. Charlie lifts her feet. They all leave the stage.

GURU GODMAN

Sire, till you get someone to replace the Cuckoo don’t throw her out.

KITE-KING

You are so right. We do need someone to entertain us.
We’ll just have to make do with her.

(sighing deeply)

It’s just my bad luck.

GURU GODMAN
(smiling)

Don’t lose heart, your highness. Just throw a few coins and watch the fun. Not one but thousands will come running. Their breed is such. There are just a few who care about the arts, and one of those was Melody, but alas, that crafty Cuckoo has cast her evil eye on her.

KITE-KING

Well, her time is up in any case. You just go ahead and announce the contest.

GURU GODMAN
(bowing low)

Yes, your highness. Your slightest whim is my command. KITE-KING

I like your style. That is why I chose to make a high school failed like you my minister over many talented candidates. Come on, it’s late. (Yawns) I am off to sleep.

Goes away.

GURU GODMAN
(narrowing his eyes)

Oh, you love to sleep, don’t you.
One day I’ll put you to sleep permanently that you won’t
get up to see the morning sun. I am just a high school drop out but I will make sure you’ll drop dead soon.

FADE OUT.

ACT 3

Scene 1

PLACE: A CORNER OF THE JUNGLE /TIME: DAY
CHARACTERS: ALL THE CREATURES OF JUNGLE-LAND AND SENOR JULIO.
(All the animals from Jungle-land are busy playing. The two rabbits, Laurel and Hardy,are wrestling with each other, the
crows are playing baseball.
The deer, parrot and
butterflies are also playing.
Banana-Drama, the monkey is
giving the commentary. The
game can be imaginary.)

BANANA-DRAMA

Do-ray has thrown the ball and Me-far has hit it, the ball is
flying….
(We can hear the plodding sound
of Gee-Peck’s boots coming
towards them )

Across the boundary

(Gee-peck catches the ball)

Straight into Gee-Peck’s hands.

GEE-PECK

Saved by a wing and a prayer.

BANANA-DRAMA

Can we call this a run out

ALL THE CROWS
(shouting)

Out, out!

BANANA-DRAMA

This is not a run out because Gee-Peck is not a member of the team.

Gee-peck throws the ball which lands on Mr. Rabid who gets up with a start.

MR. RABID

Ribbid! Ribbid! Is the game over or not? Come on my students! Its time for music practise. You will surely win the contest this time.
That is why I have hopped from such a long way to help you.
Come on now, take out your music instruments.

(The crows take out their music
instruments. The other animals
take out the devices like ear
plugs,cotton wool etc. to shut
out the sound. There is a
sound of someone singing. It
is Senor Julio, the blind
singer, who is coming towards
them tap-tapping with his
cane. He is wearing dark
glasses. He bumps into Gee-peck.)

GEE-PECK

Brother,careful! Can’t you see?

SENOR JULIO

No.

GEE-PECK

Oh! I am sorry! Dark glasses are in fashion so I did not realize and….

MR. RABID

Sure! you couldn’t see the cane too ?

GEE-PECK
(giving him a hard stare)

You love to fan the fire, don’t you?

(to Senor Julio)

I thought, you use the stick to protect yourself from the many deadly creatures hiding in the grass like snakes,scorpions and some poisonous toads.

Mr. Rabid begins to puff up in anger. Caw-gee tries to save the situation by quickly intervening and addressing Senor Julio.

CAW-GEE

What do you want?

SENOR JULIO

Does Melody live here?

CAW-GEE

She used to live here but ever since she won the contest she has become the chief entertainer in Kite-King’s court. Now she lives there. But, how do you know her?

SENOR JULIO

She was my pupil.

BANANA-DRAMA

Gee, that Melody sure turned out to be a dark horse. I used to wonder, how did she become such a hit singer?

MR. RABID

So,you used to give her tuitions. Now I know why there was no improvement in her singing. This system of extra tuition has completely spoilt our system of education….tuition is
not good.

SENOR JULIO

I want to meet Melody. Somehow, I have this feeling in my bones that Melody is not happy.

FLOW-JO
(to Peter parrot)

Blind folks have a stronger sixth sense than us.

CAW-GEE

To meet Melody you will have to go very far from this jungle.
To the city.

SENOR JULIO

Oh!

CAW-GEE

We are all going to leave soon. The Kite-king is holding another contest.

GEE-PECK

You can come too.

MR. RABID
(puffing up with importance)

But he doesn’t have a visa. My friend Guru-Godman arranged one for me but for him….

GEE-PECK.
Yes, indeed, this is a serious matter.

MR. RABID

And, contestants are forbidden from getting their teacher or mentor with them.

(Everyone is quiet, they have their thinking caps on)

BANANA-DRAMA
(jumping with joy)

An idea!
(All the creature look at him
with anticipation)

If he can’t go as a teacher or mentor he can go as a contestant, for sure.

(All the animals, except Mr.
Rabid, jump around in
excitement)

GEE-PECK

Banana-Drama! You are a genius.

CAW-GEE
(laughs)

It seems to me that you do need brains even to imitate. I used to think you are all style and no substance but it seems to me you do pack a punch.

FLOW-JO
(giggling)

Hey, Caw-gee, haven’t you heard that song.
(she sings)

SONG
Muhammad, Muhammad Ali
He floats like a butterfly and sings like a bee.
Muhammad, the black superman,
Who calls to the other guy I’m Ali catch me if you
can. (All the creatures sing and dance with joy. Gee-Peck does the tap dance)
Muhammad, Muhammad Ali

He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee Muhammad the black superman

Who calls to the other guy I’m Ali catch me if you can

(Banana-drama’s walkman falls on the stage as the creatures move out of the stage singing and dancing as they go. Only
Mr. Rabid is left behind. He
takes out his cellphone and
presses a button.)

MR. RABID
(speaking on the phone)

Hello. Who is that? Oh Guru-Godman. I am your dear friend Mr. Rabid speaking. Greetings from me to you! I just wanted to inform you that Melody’s teacher is also coming to your kingdom but as contestant.
(he listens for sometime)

What!

(The mobile falls from his
hand, he picks it up hastily
and holds it to his ear)

Melody has lost her memory and her voice too. Ribbid, ribbid.I Had given the medicine for Kite-king then what, oh, this is the crafty cuckoo’s doing indeed. All right then, I will make some other arrangements, all right, all right then. My heartfelt good wishes to you.

(he switches off the phone and
hops off the stage. Banana –
drama comes from the other
side to pick up the walkman he
had dropped. The monkey picks up the walkman.)

BANANA-DRAMA
(thinking)

Oh so that is the way the cookie crumbles. I will consult Gee-peck, Peter,and Flow-Jo and decide what is do be done now!

SCENE 2.
PLACE: KITE-KING’S COURT. TIME: NIGHT.

CHARACTERS: ALL THE CREATURES WHO WERE PRESENT AT THE PREVIOUS CONTEST. THIS TIME MR. RABID IS NOT WEARING A VEIL.

The kite-king is seated on his throne.

Guru Godman comes on stage.

GURU GODMAN

All of you are very welcome. I am sure you must wondering that we just held a contest, what was the hurry for another one. The reason for this is the Kite-king’s generosity and soft heart. He has kept the contest with this logic in mind that winning and losing are only two sides of the same coin so why should only one person become the winner. Why don’t we give a prize to each contestant according to his talent as one’s meat is another’s poison. You must be thinking what kind of weird logic is this so without further ado let me invite on stage the four talented guys from the jungle, the Caw-Doors Band.
(The audience claps. Mr. Rabid
who is standing on the edge of
the propels the four crows
forward.)

MR. RABID

This is your chance, lady luck is about to smile on you. (The four crows come on stage
and arrange their instruments)

(All the animals take out the
various devices to close their
ears such as ear plugs, cotton
wool etc and plug their ears.
Peter parrot is standing in front of a pillar.)

SONG
Lots of chocolates for me to eat, lots of chocolates for me to eat,                           Lots of chocolates for me to eat,
Lots of chocolates for me to eat.

(The four crows go on and on
and on repeating the same
line refusing to stop. After
some time Peter parrot is
beating his head on the pillar
keeping time with the song. )

KITE-KING

Enough! stop! What kind of song is this?

DO-RAY

This is a rap song, sire.

KITE-KING

Rap, to be sure. Anyone who sings this song should be rapped hard on the knuckles and made to wrap his singing career. Henceforth, this song should be given to the farmers.

(Everyone looks at him,
surprised)

There is no better song than this to drive away the birds from the fields. We are pleased with your service to us. You will be henceforth known as , what did you say was the name of this song?

ME-FAR

Rap song.

KITE-KING

You will be known as rap stars

(The four crows jump and give
each other high fives. The animals clap.)

KITE-KING

Anyone else?

GURU GODMAN

Yes, your sire. There is a new contestant. I mean an old contestant but now in a new avatar who would like to present an item for your listening pleasure.

KITE-KING

To be sure. Old is gold.

CUCKOO
(addressing the audience)

It seems he has understood finally. Anyway, no problem, he will live and learn.

(Senor Julio comes on stage and
sings)

SONG

CHIM CHIMINEYCHIM CHIMINEY

CHIM CHIM CHER-EE!

A SWEEP IS AS LUCKY

AS LUCKY CAN BE

CHIM CHIMINEY

CHIM CHIMINEY

CHIM CHIM CHER-OO!

GOOD LUCK WILL RUB OFF WHEN

I SHAKE ‘ANDS WITH YOU

OR BLOW ME A KISS

AND THAT’S LUCKY TOO

(The Kite-king and the audience
are entranced, they all give
him a standing ovation)

KITE-KING

Bravo! Bravo! Wonderful. You are an extraordinary talent but alas! In our kingdom we have place only for a female entertainer I mean a lady singer or dancer
(looks at Guru Godman)

Am I right Guru-Godman?

GURU GODMAN

Yes, your sire. In any case we men hardly have time from our brain-related business. These kind of shenanigans only suit the women folk.

CUCKOO
(who is sitting next to Flow-Jo
leans towards her and says)

Just listen to these men folk,one can learn a trick or two about how to eat your cake and have it too. They will send the women to the front to face the fire from the enemy and when it suits them they will not miss a trick to use them for their burning desires, if you get my drift. Dirty, rotten scoundrels.

FLOW-JO
(giggling)

It seems to me you will soon become a member of the women’s liberation movement.

CUCKOO

No way! I am against such nonsense. Just cropping your hair short like men or wearing trousers cannot free you. For me only money is freedom.

FLOW-JO

But for money you are dancing to their tune. Then what kind of freedom are you talking about?

(We see that a just a few
moments after this
conversation began Kite-King
is glaring at them, then the
others too are looking at
them. When The two of them
feel the silence they look
around flustered.)

KITE-KING

I am giving such an important speech and the two of you are yakking away?

(The two of them stand up)

CUCKOO

Forgive us Sire. We were just telling each other how young and handsome you look tonight.

KITE-KING
(cooling down)

Thank you! But this is not the time for small talk when important matters of the state are being discussed.

GURU GODMAN

Sire, please don’t trouble yourself. These women are never going to change. What else can they think of besides lipstick, make up, clothes and jewels.

MR. RABID
(standing up)

May I have your permission to say a few words. Sire.

KITE-KING

And who may you be?

GURU GODMAN
He is my friend, Mr. Rabid.

KITE-KING

Oh I see, the visa fellow. Go on, have your say.

MR. RABID
(pointing to Cuckoo)

Ask her where has she hidden Melody?

(Caw-gee and the creatures from
the jungle are startled. Kite-
king and Guru Godman are
flabbergasted. Cuckoo opens
her beak to say something,
then closes it.)

GURU GODMAN

Yes, yes, she has hidden Melody some place because she is jealous of her.

(The Kite-King looks at Guru
God man and realizes what the other is trying to say)

KITE-KING
(to Cuckoo)
At once, present Melody in court or you will be the worse for it.

CAW-GEE
(screams)

My child, my wee one!

(addressing Cuckoo)

You have hidden my daughter some place, out with it or I will wring or neck, I was thinking that now there would be an item by Melody, she will coming soon but…

MR. RABID

Madam, you have no idea how crafty is this cuckoo. It was her plan to get rid of Melody so that she could take her place as the court singer but her plans were not successful. Melody is still alive, only she has lost her voice and her memory.

CAW-GEE
(screams)

My baby!

MR. RABID
And her plan was also to get rid of the Kite-king. She had confided in me about her nefarious plans.

CUCKOO
(screams)

Lies! lies! all lies ! it was he …..

(shuts her beak)

GURU GODMAN
(smiling evilly)

Go on, do go on. But remember this you better back you words with proof or else….

KITE-KING
(furious)
What? She dares?
(Clapping his wings/hands)

Guards! Guards!

(Peace-meal, the pigeon and Mr. Brown run in, Mr. Brown is a little unsteady on his feet)

KITE-KING
(to Peace-meal)

You? Where are the other guards?

PEACE-MEAL
Sire, they have gone to pour, I mean, protect the oil which is in troubled waters so that the kingdom can keep running smoothly on well oiled wheels.

KITE-KING

Where have they gone?

PEACE-MEAL
(pointing to Mr. Rabid)

Close to his well there is another well. The water of that well has certain herbs which are famous for their oil. It is said that it keeps the mind fresh and the body strong and healthy.

KITE-KING
( pointing to Mr. Brown)

And what about him? Why can’t he stand straight?

PEACE-MEAL

Sire, he is Mr. Hadalot, I mean Sir Lancelot Brown. This morning he drank a little too much, I mean tea which does not suit him at all and that is why he is in this condition.

(Mr. Brown can’t keep his
balance and falls down. Mrs
Brown screams and runs to him with her five children)

MRS. BROWN

My husband!

(She cries hysterically and the
children scream daddy, daddy)

KITE-KING
(shouts)
Stop this infernal racket. Where is Dr. Charlie?

(Dr. Charlie runs out from the
crowd)

What kind of a doctor are you. Don’t you have sense enough to come to a patient at once.

DR.CHARLIE

I had come to see the show so I didn’t bring my medical bag.

GURU GODMAN

No matter what the crisis, he is always ready with his excuses.

KITE-KING

Examine the patient please.

(Dr. Charlie takes out his
magnifying glass and examines
Mr. Brown. The Cuckoo takes
this opportunity to sidle out)

Where did you get your degree?

MR.BROWN

From the Lee Strasberg School of Acting. I have played a doctor in many movies and television shows.

KITE-KING

And, if I am not mistaken, this costume you are wearing is from the costume department of General Hospital.

DR.CHARLIE

How did you guess?

GURU GODMAN

We are deeply grateful to the good Lord that his royal high highness did on fall sick or else….

DR.CHARLIE
(miffed)

Maybe you are not aware of the fact that I have cured many fatal diseases in many films. In ‘Love Story” Ali Mcgraw had cancer and so did Debra Winger in “Terms of Endearment” and had it not been for me they

GURU GODMAN

But didn’t they both die in the film?

DR.CHARLIE

That was the director’s fault. I had cured them completely. These director’s are famous for killing people in films so that it runs.

(By this time Cuckoo has left the stage)

KITE-KING

Will you both stop this balderdash. (addressing Dr. Charlie)

Why don’t you follow your regular line of treatment and sprinkle some water on his face.

(The alien comes forward and
gives him a weirdly shaped
blue bottle. Dr. Charlie pours
out some liquid on his palm
and sprinkles Mr. Brown’s
face. Mr. Brown gets up instantly.)

MRS. BROWN

My husband!

BROWN’S FIVE CHILDREN

Daddy! Daddy!

MR.BROWN
A current of energy and strength is running through my body.
I feel as if I can tackle anyone.

BANANA-DRAMA
(jumps and stands before him)

In that case,

(he points to Mr. Rabid)

Can you push him? After all you are tiny and he is big and fat.

MR. RABID

Ribbid! Ribbid!

(Mr. Brown goes to Mr. Rabid.
He stands before him and blows
on him. Mr. Rabid stumbles
backwards and falls down with
a resounding thump. All the
animals laugh uproariously.)

MR. RABID

Ribbid! Ribbid!

KITE-KING
(laughing)

Very good, very good. Now do what you had been called for in the first place. Take the crafty cuckoo….

(looks around)

Where is she? Find her.

(Everyone disperses)

MR. RABID
(whispering to Caw-Gee)

I am sure she is with Melody. Why don’t you ask Senor Julio to sing her favorite song. You never know she may follow his voice and come here or give some clue to her whereabouts.

CAW-GEE
Not a bad idea at all.

(She goes to Senor Julio and
says)

Senor Julio, why don’t you sing Melody’s favorite song.
Melody may hear it and come to us.

SENOR JULIO

All right
(He holds the mike and sings)

SONG
Edelweiss, edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever.

(Everyone is entranced by his
song. After some time we can
hear Melody’s voice. She is
singing in tandem with Senor
Julio. Singing she comes on
stage, followed by the Cuckoo.
Melody completes the song with
Senor Julio. She Has tears in
her eyes,her lips are
quivering, her voice is
quavering.)

CAW-GEE
(rushes to Melody)

Babyeee….
(Melody embraces her and cries)

My child, what happened to you?

(Cuckoo looks at
her frightened)

MELODY

There is nothing to worry about mom. I went dizzy in the bathroom and fell down and hit my head on floor and fainted.

GEE-PECK
(to Peter)
The same old story when you want to save someone.

MELODY
(gesturing towards Cuckoo)

Had it not been for Madame Cuckoo I would not be alive today, Mom.

CAW-GEE
No, no, banish the very thought, my child. You are safe and sound, that is enough for me.

(to Cuckoo)

I am very, very grateful to you.

(Tears are streaming down
Cuckoo’s cheeks )

CUCKOO

Please forgive me Melody, I never wanted to kill you. Greed had made me blind. I though that if you lost your memory then you would

(gesturing to Caw-Gee) )

forget her and accept me as your mom. But How was I to know that you would lose your voice as well.

(angrily)

All this is because of

(pointing to Mr. Rabid)

This fat frog and

(points to Guru Godman)

This hypocritical bird. Both of them had plotted to kill our gracious king. But how could I be so disloyal?

BANANA-DRAMA
(to Peter)

She may be a wily bird but she is not so bad at heart.

FLOW-JO

Seems to me her tears have washed away the ill will in her heart.

CUCKOO

(to Kite-King)

Sire, this entire plot was the handiwork of your loyal minister Guru Godman and his dearest friend, Mr. Rabid.

GURU GODMAN

This Cuckoo is a liar, its her last desperate attempt to save herself.

PENGUIN

No, she speaks the truth. I am a witness to the fact that these two tried to lure me to be a part of their plan but were unsuccessful, naturally.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah! A new twist in the tale.

KITE-KING
(angrily)

So,this is what has been happening!
(gestures to Peace-meal and Mr.Brown)

Capture these two terrorists.

(Mr. Rabid and Guru Godman try
to escape but all the animal
surround them and Mr. Brown
blows on the two and pushes
them towards Kite-king till
they fall at is feet. After
this whenever they try to
escape Mr. Brown prevents them
by blowing on them and brining
them back to their original
position.)

KITE-KING
(looking towards Banana-Drama)

Thank you. If you had not called me and warned me about these two traitors I would have been taken in by their arguements.
(Mr. Rabid glares at Banana
Drama)

BANANA-DRAMA
(bowing low)

There is no need to thank me. After all humans, I mean animals, must help other animals, I mean animals must help you. I am just happy that

(looking at Mr. Rabid)

We are free from this tuneless toad.

KITE-KING

Tell me, how can I reward you?

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, it was only my sense of duty which made me do what I did but if you really want to reward me please give permission to Melody go back to her home.

KITE-KING

You have made a difficult request. If she goes back who will entertain me?

CUCKOO
(softly)

I am here, your highness.

(Kite-King glances at her
fleetingly. Suddenly Melody
speaks)

MELODY

Mom.

(she faints)

KITE-KING

Oh, she has fainted again. Where is Dr. Charlie?

(Dr. Charlie comes near Melody and examines her with his magnifying glass.)

DR.CHARLIE

She is being stifled in this atmosphere. She has to leave this place or she won’t survive.

KITE-KING

Where to?

DR.CHARLIE

In the open air where she can breathe, far from here, in the jungle.

ALL THE ANIMALS
(shouting)

Please, please

CAW-GEE

Your highness, please save my daughter’s life, let her go.

(The Kite-King thinks, there is
pin drop silence in the
court.)

KITE-KING

All right.

ALL THE ANIMALS
(joyfully)

Yaaaaaaay!

KITE-KING
(raising his hand/wing)

There is one condition!

(all the animal are quiet)

All of you will come with Cuckoo and Senor Julio to meet me once a year.

ALL THE ANIMALS

Yaaaaay! Thank you.

ALIEN

Zee zoo zap. Zim zim za zoo.

GEE-PECK

What is he saying?

(The alien comes near Senor
Julio, the blind thrush, takes
out his dark glasses.

From his flask he takes out
some liquid and splashes it on
his eyes. Senor Julio, whose
eyes were closed opens them. )

SENOR JULIO

I can see.
(he looks at Cuckoo)
Cuckoo.

CUCKOO

Please forgive me. I hurt your feelings. When you went blind I left you and came away.

SENOR JULIO
(whispering)

When you went away you were….

CUCKOO

Yes, my husband, Melody is your daughter.

(Everyone is shocked. Melody
moves slowly towards Senor
Julio)

BANANA-DRAMA

Another twist in the tale.

FLOW-JO

How romantic!

GEE-PECK

What a beautiful twist.
(Both of them look into each
other’s eyes)

BANANA-DRAMA

Oh, for Pete’s sake, why don’t you get over your old as hills love story and get married.

PETER

You won’t understand. The bitter-sweet feeling of being apart is more satisfying then getting hitched.

MELODY

(goes towards Senor Julio)

Dad!

(Senor Julio embraces Melody.
Everyone claps.)

KITE-KING

All right then! Senor Julio and Cuckoo are hereby appointed as the chief singer and dancer of our court and

(looking towards Melody )

Where would you like to stay?

MELODY

Your highness, I would like to be with Caw-gee. (she goes towards Caw-Gee and embraces her)

She took a stranger into her home and heart, gave her love and made her own. I owe to her to love her in return.

KITE-KING

As you wish.

(looks towards Mr. Brown)

Henceforth you are my Chief Minister but keep in mind,get into the habit of drinking tea. All other stuff is off limits for you.

MRS. BROWN
My husband!

CUCKOO

She is he real drama-queen, not me. Oh well, now that she is the minister’s wife I will have to find me another one.

SENOR JULIO
(lovingly)

I am there to do all your work.

CUCKOO
(dramatically)

My husband!
(They embrace. Senor Julio
sings, followed by Cuckoo,
then Melody. The animals sing
in chorus.)

SONG
(We are the World by Michael
Jackson)

There comes a time

When we head a certain call

When the world must come together as one

There are people dying

And it’s time to lend a hand to life

The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on

Pretending day by day

That someone, somewhere will soon make a change

We are all a part of

God’s great big family

And the truth, you know love is all we need

[Chorus]

We are the world

We are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day

So let’s start giving

There’s a choice we’re making

We’re saving our own lives

It’s true we’ll make a better day

Just you and me.

THE END.

PUBLISHING DETAILS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACK COVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRANSLATION

COL. B. C. SHUKLA’S daughter, SHIPRA SHUKLA spent her childhood and youth as a typical , ‘army kid ‘ traveling to the many and varied regions that make India. She completed her masters in International Relations fromThe Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi. After her marriage , encouraged by her husband, MR. GIRISH SHUKLA ,  she completed the producers course from the Film and Television Insitute of India, Pune and has been active in the varied media related fields like theatre, television , publishing as a writer, photographer director and producer . She writes in two languages, Hindi and English.

Kissa Koyal ka ( The Story of the Cuckoo ) is the first in the series called Kaise Kaise kisse ( Stories to make you wonder ) *

Shipra Shukla has two daughters and she lives with her family in Mumbai.

*This is a literal translation . In actual fact ‘Kissa Koyal Ka’ is The Bird’s Tale which is one of the parts of the series called Melody which is a part of The Collected Tails of Jungle Land . There are seven such series with fourteen books in each ( seven in English and seven in Hindi ) which make up the Collected Tails of Jungle Land

News about the forthcoming play .

 

Posters

Opening day excitement !

Melody on stage .

Four crows and their tutor !

The cast !

Taking a bow with the cast

The playwright , SHIPRA SHUKLA , with her father COL. B. C. Shukla ( on her left )o, the director , NADIRA ZAHEER BABBAR, ( on the right ) and the authors’ ,daughter PALLAVI SHUKLA ( in the background )

REVIEWS OF THE PLAY .

 

 

 

1

Melody

A cuckoo who wants to sing.....

A cuckoo who wants to sing…..

Add Mediatalesofjunglemelody_tag

EXT.- IN THE SKY ABOVE A JUNGLE – DAY-EARLY MORNING
As we float gently in the sky the silence is broken by the sound of a cuckoo bird.
CUCKOO (O.S.)
Koo hooo
The sound gains in momentum as we slowly pick up speed like a bird descending .
CUCKOO (O.S.) (CONT’D) Koo hoo koo hoo koo hoo

We hover over the canopy of a forest briefly and as we float we move in tandem with the sound which has transformed into a melodious classical song . We follow the sound and reach an anorexic, black cuckoo bird, eyes closed, singing with all the fervor of a prima donna. As she closes her song we hear the sound of clapping. She opens one of her eyes and looks at a fat canary,Stella,clapping fervently.

STELLA

Bravo! Bravo! Cuckoo, bravo! You sing like an angel !

She clasps wings to her breast and continues as Cuckoo opens the other eye and looks at her.

STELLA (CONT’D)

Ah! Such talent, wasted in the jungle, such beauty, wasted in the jungle, so much …..
A sardonic voice interrupts her.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Sucking up..
It is a black jackdaw,Mr. Jack Dawson, looking sarcastically at her. Then a breathless voice

(O.S.),
MAGPIE (V.O.)

Wasted in the jungle.

It is a brown magpie sitting next to him. The canary glares at them even as Cuckoo preens into a mirror placed in her nest.

CUCKOO small_15

She’s right you know. I am made for bigger things. I am a star. A diamond.
Stella continues for her,

STELLA

Yes, Cuckoo, and your place is in a big palace not in this ugly, untidy nest.

MAGPIE

A little bit of cleaning never hurt anybody. Scrub a dub rub, that is my motto.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Perhaps, yellow Stella here may consider doing that.

He hums, under his breath,

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow.

Stella glares at him. She looks at Cuckoo who flounces around.

CUCKOO

Oh, be quiet, you brainless bird. Don’t tease the poor thing. She speaks the truth. I can’t be bothered to cook and clean, that is for ordinary folks like Magpie here.

Magpie looks annoyed as Cuckoo strikes a pose in front of the mirror again

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I am going to be a star. And nothing will stand in the way of my becoming one.

She twirls around and sashays forward and trips and almost falls over an object laying in her path.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Oops!

Cuckoo looks down. A small,speckled egg lies in her way.
She looks at the egg horror struck. She screeches.

CUCKOO

God in Heaven!

All the birds close their ears, pained. Cuckoo stutters

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

What is this?

MAGPIE

I may not be very smart like you Cuckoo but it looks like an egg to me.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Congratulations are in order. Cuckoo you are about to have a baby.

Stella, clapping her wings.

STELLA

A baby ! How wonderful ! How splendid! This is so- so- so exciting Cuckoo!

CUCKOO

Oh be quiet, you bird brain. A baby is not part of my plan. Babies are a bother- feeds and diapers, play schools and lunch boxes. No way Jose, I am not going to put up with all that !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Pardon, my ignorance but now that the baby is here how do you intend to avoid that?

Cuckoo looks at the egg and her eyes narrow as she thinks.
All the birds look at her curiously.

STELLA

Yes, CUCKOO,What are you going to do ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, sorry, Stella here is curious,tell her Cuckoo.

Stella glares at him. Then looks at Cuckoo.
Cuckoo rolls the egg back and forth with her feet as she looks at it malevolently. Then a wily expression comes on her face and she smiles. A wicked smile.

CUCKOO

Ah ! I have an idea. Yes. That Is the only way.

MAGPIE

What? What way ? Do, tell us ?

CUCKOO (softly)

I can’t do that. It is a secret, a surprise.

MR. JACK DAWSON

(under his breath to Magpie) Probably a shock . I hope Cuckoo’s idea is not too much of a shock for the poor baby.

Cuckoo comes out of her reverie and claps her wings peremptorily.

CUCKOO

Enough ! Off with you. Shoo! Shoo ! All of you. I have plans to make. A lot of preparations.

The birds take off and flutter mid air.

MAGPIE
How rude !

MR. JACK DAWSON

Manners was never Cuckoo’s strong point. Maybe the baby IS better off without her.

STELLA

Cuckoo, look what Mr. Jack Dawson is saying about you.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yellow, yellow dirty fellow AND a sneak.

STELLA glares at him

STELLA

At least I am not a thief like you Mr. Jack Dawson. So there.

She pokes her tongue at the jackdaw.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thieving is a natural trait of jackdaws and who can fight nature. (under his breath to Magpie) Oh, how I wish I could kick this habit.

MAGPIE (whispering to the jackdaw)

Don’t worry Mr. Jack Dawson. We all know you can’t help yourself.
(MORE)
Something will come up, you mark my words. Magpies are never wrong.

Magpie looks at Stella fiercely and screeches.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

You horrible, horrible bird to insult such a respectable gentleman. I am going to teach you a lesson.

She flies towards Stella who cowers in fear and screams

STELLA

Help, help me Cuckoo. Magpie is going to..

Cuckoo flies out of her nest in a rage.

CUCKOO

Stop that infernal racket at once. Be off with you, you useless birds. You are behaving like humans.

Jackdaw bows low to Cuckoo.

MR. JACK DAWSON

With pleasure. We will leave you and the yellow canary to yourselves. Come, let us be off my friend, Magpie.

The jackdaw and the magpie fly off. Stella looks at Cuckoo and hops towards her.

STELLA

Oh, Thank you Cuckoo. You are so wonderfully brave.

Cuckoo gives a sigh of exasperation.

CUCKOO

Turn around Stella.

Stellas eyes turn round with surprise.

STELLA

But, but , but

CUCKOO

I said turn around.
Stella turns around slowly still speaking.
STELLA

But , but , but , but

CUCKOO
Exactly !

She gives Stella a kick on her butt who goes flying in the air with a whistling sound and her buts fading away in the distance.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

A big kick on the Butt, that is what was needed.

She turns around and marches into her nest muttering.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

I have enough problems of my own.

She looks at the egg and purses her lips.

CUCKOO(CONT’D)

You have to go baby. Mommy wants to be star.

The egg just sits there as a ray of sunshine falls on it and it twinkles.

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

A dishevelled mother crow, Marjorie (Marge) Hatchery sits patiently in her nest. She has a polka dotted red scarf on her head and is fanning herself. A peacock, Peek-a-boo, walks by, his feet thumping in a pair of huge boots.

PEEK-A-BOO

Hey Margie,How’s the egg hatching coming along?

Marge looks at him irritated.

MARGE

It was coming along quite nicely till your thumping disturbed my concentration. What’s With those boots Peek-a-boo?

A Soft “To-whit-too” of an owl calling and we see a erudite looking owl, Ollie, wearing round spectacles,perched on a tree.

OLLIE

The beauteous one is cursed with rather, large, ugly, feet and makes a valiant attempt to hide them. Q.E.D. Or to put it in simple Greek, in the words of Euclid, “Quod Drat demon drat dum bum”!

A monkey, Banana-Drama, swings up side down from a tree .

BANANA-DRAMA

Whatever ! Does everything have to be so complicated PROF. Martin Do – Z- Fat And Furry-Ball ? And I bet my last bunch of bananas that Euclid, whoever, that was, never said that.

Ollie looks annoyed.
OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D., You ignoramus! PROFESSOR M-A-R-T-I-N, MARTIN , Then a double O, A double D, a double I, a double O, A double U, A double S, ODIOUS, HYPHEN, Then a double D, a double R, A DOUBLE O, a double W, a double Z, a double Y, DROWSY, HYPHEN, HYPHEN. Then a double S.,a double

Ollie blinks twice through his round spectacles as he says each double alphabet.

BANANA-DRAMA

Whoa, stop right there Professor Dozy etc.,etc. We got the picture. But I have just two questions for you Professor Emeritus, with your permission. One, do you see double through those spectacles and is that why everything is double for you? And Question Number two. Why have you left out the other Alphabets from the English Language ? There are just four left.

Ollie looks more annoyed.

OLLIE

Banana Drama

One thing is for sure, you are double trouble. And I don’t need any advice from remix artistes. They are just a bunch of copy cats.
Banana – Drama looks annoyed and jumps up and down on the branch.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, hey, watch who you are calling a copy cat. You need to change your spectacles, man. You are talking to the coolest monkey in town.

He starts dancing as he snaps and clicks his finger and thumb.

MARGE gives an exasperated sigh and fans herself more furiously.

MARGE

Do you mind? Will you be quiet ? All this is giving me a headache.

A deer with huge eyelashes trips in daintily. She is FLOW- JO, the fashion conscious deer.

FLOW-JO

Quit it, you guys. Can’t you see Margie needs rest and quiet. She is about to become a Mommy, God help her.

She looks towards MARGIE.
FLOW-JO (CONT’D)

I found the perfect place for baby clothes. Want to go shopping, Margie?

Margie thinks.

MARGE

Well, I do have to buy some clothes for the little one’s. But I can’t leave the eggs for a moment. They are nice and warm and just about to hatch.
BANANA-DRAMA

Why don’t you ask Professor Martin Dozy Fat And Furry – Ball here to sit on them while you ladies go shopping. He can doze off if he wants to.

Ollie eyes become larger and rounder at the thought and he opens his beak to protest.

PEEK-A-BOO That’s a fine idea, my friend. Margie here needs the break.
Flow -Jo clasps her hands together.

FLOW-JO

Well, then, that is settled. Thank you Professor Dozy. You will be real cosy in here. Come on, Margie, lets go. There is a big sale on at Beak-Mart. I need new training shoes. So hop to it.

Ollie’s expression is a sight as he waddles towards Margie’s nest . All the others are trying to stifle their laughter. Ollie takes Margie’s place as she hops out with her large, shabby purse.

MARGE

Thank you , Professor Martin Do Dah ….

She struggles with the rest of his name as the rest are trying to control their laughter in various ways. FLOW- JO is hiding behind a tree, Peek-a-Boo has turned his back and is shaking with laughter. Banana -Drama is standing with his hands on his hips . He has an amused expression and is about to say something when Marge gives him a warning look.

OLLIE

with as much as dignity as he can muster.

OLLIE PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Prof. Emeritus,Ph.D.

MARGE (hastily)

Yes, Yes . The same. Please make yourself comfortable. I will be back in two shakes of a duck’s tail.

A parrot (Peter) and a turtle( Mimi-Tang) walk into the scene. PETER talks very fast and in contrast Mimi-Tang weighs each word as he speaks. His speech is as slow as his walk and he has a slightly effeminate voice. They both look at OLLIE seated in the nest.

PETER

Hey, what’s up, Prof. Martin Dodo…Ding Dong. Darn it, if I can say your name.
Ollie gives Peter a hard stare. All the animals burst out laughing.
MIMI -TANG What’s so funny? Seems to me Professor here is planning to move in with Marge.

Ollie is looking exasperated and puffs up and Marge looking at his expression hastily tries to sooth his ruffled feathers.

MARGE

Stop right there both of you. No smarty- pant stuff from you Peter, and Mimi-Tang, if you don’t want to be on the slow boat back to China you better keep your comments to your self. The Professor here is being neighborly which is more than I can say for you folks. So be off, all of you and leave the good Professor alone.

She looks towards OLLIE and sweetens her voice.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Don’t mind them Professor Martin. They are just jealous because they are not as smart as you are. You just make your self comfortable. Its hot today, have a cold drink, relax. The sun is a little strong today. Why don’t you take my scarf?

She whips off her polka dotted scarf and,before the Professor can say anything, puts it on his head and ties it under his chin in a trice. This too much for the other animals who cannot control their laughter and run away from the scene, shaking and tottering with laughter. Only Peter and Mimi-Tang remain since they have not understood anything. Banana-Drama stays back to say one word.

BANANA-DRAMA
“ Sweet.”

But, at Marge’s glare he too swings off, snapping and clicking his fingers. Peter opens his mouth to say something but Marge silences him with a admonishing finger. Mimi-Tang too opens his mouth but closes it as she glares at him. They both leave, still looking puzzled.

MARGE

I am off Professor MARTIN DO-DO-DO

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS….

MARGE

Yes, yes. I’ll be back soon. Take care Professor.

She flies off, followed by Flow- Jo who smiles at Ollie

FLOW-JO

Bye-Bye sweetie pie ! I will get back a nice gift for you for being so nice.

Ollie just glares at her .As the two exit they pass by Cuckoo and Stella hiding behind a tree. Cuckoo has a basket with the egg nestling in it.

STELLA (Whispering)

What do we do now Cuckoo ? That fur ball is sitting in the nest.
CUCKOO

Shush, not so loud. He is an owl, they like to sleep during the day. He will doze off any time now.

They both look at Ollie who is already looking sleepy. He gives a big yawn and starts nodding off. Cuckoo looks significantly at Stella who smiles gleefully. Ollie gives a gentle snore. Cuckoo stealthily looks around, then creeps forward with Stella following at a safe distance. A twig cracks and Stella hastily flies back and hides behind a tree. Cuckoo gives her a look and moves forward. She quietly places the egg in the nest just below Ollie who is twitching, snoring and making whistling sounds in his sleep. Cuckoo, then quietly backs off, almost bumping into Stella who gasps and gives a little scream. Cuckoo puts her wings over Stella’s mouth and drags her behind a tree even as Ollie wakes up with a start, looks around, clears his throat and goes back to sleep again.

Prof Ollie

INT- A HUGE PALACE BELONGING TO KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, -FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is the falcon King who is inordinately found of sweet things. He also likes to have a good time.
The business of governing is left to his able prime minister, Mr. Cranium, an elegant crane, who stands on one leg and keeps shifting his position on different matters according to the exigencies of the situation. At the moment he is watching the King gorging on sweets with a dyspeptic eye.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

These dough-nuts are divine and the chocolate cake is fine and I can’t keep my hands off the pie and praline.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh.

MR. CRANIUM

That is very well but we have a delegation from…..

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

(Grabbing a bowl of ice cream and slurping huge spoonfuls)

Boo to the delegation. Give them some of this wonderful ice cream and they will listen to whatever we have to say.

MR. CRANIUM

It’s not as easy as you think. The problems of the world cannot be solved with ice cream.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I agree. Maybe, not only with ice cream. You have to give them chocolate cake and doughnuts and , maybe, some lollipops. An all day sucker will keep them busy.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking directly to the audience )

Oh boy ! Wish everything was easy as a pie.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (CONT’D)

Pie. Yes, yes I forgot. Strawberry pie, Pecan pie, Apple pie. (Claps his hand) Get me some apple pie. And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.

Mr. Cranium shifts his position from one leg to another and also his stance.

MR. CRANIUM

Your highness, COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, – FRUIT-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT,-SWEET-TOOT-TOOT- TOOT, AL-AMEN, if you please,

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Don’t be formal Mr. Cranium, You can call me by my short name, King Tweety – Fruity and that reminds me what about strawberry shortcake. That is my absolute favorite.

MR. CRANIUM

(Looking at the audience again)

Which one is not, I tell you. This King and his sweet tooth is making me go bananas !

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Bananas, as in Banana split with three, no, no, four, no five scoops of ice cream and don’t forget the toppings, the chocolate syrup and the nuts and the sprinkles. Yummy,yummy

MR. CRANIUM

May I remind you, your highness, that the business of the state is not ruled by your tummy. So many sweets can have a very, very, very, very, very

Even as he says this King Tweety – Fruity’s expression changes to one of pain and he clutches on to his tummy.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow. Ow. Ow. Ouch.

MR. CRANIUM (To the audience) Yes, this is what happens when you sit on the couch and eat till you burst.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

Ow ! Ow! Ow! Call the doctor. My stomach takes, I mean my tummy aches I mean, you know what I mean, call the doctor, Mr. Cranium.

Mr. Cranium gives a big sigh and looks at the audience.

MR. CRANIUM

His tummy aches. No more goodies for him, baked or otherwise. It’s going to be soup, dry bread and water. Lots and lots of water.

INT- CUCKOO NEST – NIGHT
Cuckoo watching TV, her feet propped up on the table as she sips water from a glass. Stella sits near her eating buttered pop corn, her beak greasy with butter.

CUCKOO

(Looking at her and raising her eyebrows)

If you eat so much butter you are going to look more of a butter ball than you already do, Stella. Go and get me an asparagus stick.

STELLA

(Hopefully)

With a dip?

CUCKOO

No dip, only stick, you dip-stick.

Stella makes a round with her beak in a moue and hops to it. She Goes to the fridge and takes out an asparagus and waddles back to Cuckoo.

STELLA

(Handing Cuckoo the stick)

I really don’t know Cuckoo how you can live on this stuff. It’s healthy and all I know but it is so little.

CUCKOO

Got to watch my figure,Butter-ball.

STELLA

Well,I never fancied looking like a stick, you know. Pleasantly plump,that’s what I am and….

Cuckoo’s attention is diverted by an announcement on the TV

CUCKOO

Be quiet, Fatty. Let me listen.

Stella makes another moue with her beak.
On the television a giraffe’s head can be seen lying horizontally across the screen. Next to him is a giant panda barely squeezing into the frame

PANDA

Here is an important announcement from the Land Of Birds ruled by the all wise, all powerful, all greed, sorry, all feed, sorry, all,

(He shakes his head )

(MORE)
Whatever, KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT- TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN, affectionately known by his subjects as King Tweety – Fruity. His majesty announces a World- Wide Singing contest – a Song-Festival- open to every bird and beast that roam the earth.

GIRAFFE

(Whose tongue is lolling out as his head is horizontal)

I didn’t know KING SWEET, Sorry, KING TWEET TOOT HOOT BOOT LOOT SOOT ROOT

(His tongue is getting all entangled in the process)

PANDA

(Looking disgusted)

This is what happens when you get a job if your father is an important person and not because you are fit for it. In fact, you don’t even fit where you are supposed to fit, like this TV screen for instance.

GIRAFFE

Well, maybe I can’t fit in vertically but you can’t fit in horizontally. Just because you like to party with important people and get this job does not mean you can boss me around.

The panda tries to push the giraffe out of the screen who is trying to butt him out. CUCKOO switches off the TV in disgust with her remote.

CUCKOO

Politics ! It’s everywhere.
She looks at Stella who is looking in the fridge, only her butt visible as she forages for food.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

(Under her breath )

I am going to double lock the fridge.

CUCKOO

(CONT’D) (To STELLA)

Stella get your butt out of the fridge and come here. I need you to go and get me some stamps , paper and envelopes. I hope that pigeon mail is not on a strike as usual.

Stella comes back, her mouth stuffed with noodles, some of which are dangling out of her mouth.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Gross. Go to the post office right away and get me some envelopes. I am going to be a star, finally.

STELLA

(Trying to speak with her mouth full)

CUCKOO

( steadily becoming more irritated )

What is it ? Speak up ? Out with it ?

Stella makes a brave attempt to speak that the noodles fly out and are dangling all over Cuckoo’s head and face. Through the veil of noodles Cuckoo’s eyes glare out balefully. Stella looks at her and her beak opens and shuts.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Screams and lunges at Stella who screeches and flies out of the window. Cuckoo’s voice follows her.

Don’t come back without the envelopes or I will put you on a diet of lettuce leaves and bird seed.

Stella shudders when she hears this, her tiny wings flap harder and she whizzes like a yellow meteor against the blue sky.

EXT.- MARGE’S NEST – DAY
Marge is sitting in her nest , knitting. She is wearing a bonnet and has on her spectacles.

MARGE

One knit, two purl, two knit, two purl,
There is only a short skein of wool left.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh , no. Just a few lines to go and my fourth sweater would have been complete.

She looks around and see OLLIE dozing in the tree. Her eyes brighten.

MARGE (CONT’D)

PROFESSOR DODO DOZE BALL…No, no , that’s not it… PROFESSOR DOOZY BALD..no..PROFESSOR DOZE AND HOSE FUR WALL…oh, darn it.

She plucks a fruit from the tree and tosses it at OLLIE who gets up with a start.

MARGE (CONT’D)

You who, you who, you who!

OLLIE

(Looking around)

Too whit who ?

MARGE

You who? You who ? You who ?

OLLIE

(Looking around,dazed)

Too whit who ?

MARGE (Muttering)

Drat it , you nitwit, you who.

Ollie adjusts his spectacles and looks at Marge.

OLLIE

Ah Madame Marjorie Hatchery. A very top of the morning to you. How is the hatching process going on ?

MARGE

It’s going on and on and on. Look Professor Doze And Ball,I mean Professor

OLLIE

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

MARGE

Absolutely and all that. I need a little favor Professor. I am knitting these sweaters for the wee ones and I have run out of wool. Do you mind sitting on the eggs till I make a dash and get some from Flow -Jo. I know she has the same color.

Ollie looks around to see if there are any other animals around. Then he waddles towards Marge.

OLLIE (Gallantly)

With pleasure dear lady. But make haste.

MARGE

As the crow flies, I will be back in a jiffy. I am not keeping you from anything important ,am I.

OLLIE

I am expecting a visitor from France. A very important person, Monsieur Bull- Brass.

MARGE

Really, and why is this important person so very important ?

OLLIE

He is an artiste, a musician. His voice is so magnificent that he has to live in a special sound proof house.

MARGE

Oh that is wonderful! I love music and always wanted to be a singer. Oh, but I must fly.

Ollie settles into the nest as Marge hurries off.

MARGE (CONT’D)

(Over her shoulder as she flies off)

I want to meet your friend too. Maybe he can tutor my children while he is here.

OLLIE (Shaking his head)

Her children are not here and she is already making plans for them. Just like a mother.

He settles down comfortably and begins to doze off. We show the inside of an egg. A beak is knocking against the shell.

O.S. Voice of a baby crow –

Hey, Open up. It’s dark in here. And I am hungry too.

Then another voice( O.S.) – Mom, Mom. Are you there ?

Then a third voice -Is this a joke or what ?

Fourth Voice – The joke’s on us, clown. Push hard.

Sharp rat-a -tat sound

A beak emerges from under Ollie and pecks at him hard and he takes off like a rocket.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

(Rubbing his butt)

Ouch, that hurt.
He perches at the edge of the nest and looks at the four crows who look at him curiously. Then one of the crows says

CROW

Mama ?

Sound of laughter. OLLIE’S Neck swivels around to see Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey Professor Dozy Do Dumb Ball. Those four critters think you are their Mama.
Peek-a-Boo clumps in.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Hey, Peek -a -Boo, Marge’s kids have adopted Professor Doozy Fun Dong Ding
All the crows start hollering for food .

CROWS

I am hungry . I am thirsty. Mama. Mama. Caw-Caw.

Ollie is going crazy trying to control them.

OLLIE

Stop this racket , I say. I am not your mother, children. Where is Margie ?
The crow kids make such a racket that all the animals collect.
PETER

Hey, where is Marge ? Why is the Professor Do That And The Other always in her nest?
MIMI -TANG Maybe they are planning to get married. How romantic.

Ollie fluffs up in disgust.

OLLIE

Stuff and nonsense. I was baby-sitting, I mean egg-sitting, when

FLOW-JO

How eggs-citing for you Professor Doing Do Fuzzy Wool !

OLLIE

Precisely, that is what Marge has gone to get…

He suddenly notices that Flow-Jo, is here.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

Hey , She went to you to get wool. What are you doing here? And where is Marge ?

All the animals look at each other. The silence is suddenly broken by a deep, loud croak. We see MARGE arriving with a large bull-frog, Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (Gushing)

Oh Professor Do Doing Woozy Fool

OLLIE

(Exasperated and still trying to hold on to the shreds of his dignity.)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. What took you so long ? Your children are hungry and thirsty and they want their Mama.
Marge notices the crows and shrieks in delight.

MARGE
My babies !
She clasps them to her bosom. The babies caw in delight.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! This is a wonderful Day. Today my babies came into this world and on this blessed day Monsieur Bull Brass has come into our lives.

Monsieur Bull Brass puffs up with pleasure.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Speaks in a French accent )

You are too kind, Madame Marjorie Hatchery. I am but a humble musician.

melody_01

MARGE

Oh , no, no. You are divine messenger from God. All my life I have craved to be a singer but it is was not to be. But now that you are here my children can follow my dreams and become artistes like you.

All the animals look at each other. Banana-Drama raises his eye brows to Peek-a-Boo as if to say this doesn’t bode too well.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Oh ! Do say you will teach my little ones to sing. Please Monsieur Bull-Brass. I want them to be as famous as you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(Bowing low as much as his girth will permit him)

It will be an honour to teach your off- springs Madame.

Marge clasps her wings and looks heavenwards.

MARGE

Oh happy, happy Day. Thank you Lord.

She pulls the four crows towards her on both sides with her wings and says solemnly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Today, in honour of Monsieur Bull Brass and his Music I name my four children, (Touching each one of them) DO-RAY, ME-FAR, SO-LA and TI-DO, after the seven notes of music.

All the animals clap enthusiastically when they all hear a crack and fall silent looking at each other. Marge peers into her nest and looks astonished as she beholds a egg split in the middle and a tiny ,black bird looking at her and blinking with enormous eyes.

TINY BIRDsmall_03
Mama ?
PEEK-A-BOO

Shiver me feathers ! I thought you were going to have four children

OLLIE

(Interjecting)

Quadruplets !

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, yes. The same. Where did the fifth one come from ?

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey ! Professor Do Dah Dit Dumb Fool, did you , but you are a

OLLIE

Yes, it is not possible as I am a man

MIMI -TANG

I thought he was an owl.

PETER

A man-owl or a owl-man.

MIMI -TANG

I see, like I am a man -turtle or a turtle-man.

PETER

I am not sure about that. But if you say so you are.

Since Marge is looking stunned at the sudden turn of events Flow-Jo walks up to her and hugs her.

FLOW-JO

Margie, this is like a bonus. You know five for the price of four. Beak-Mart is having a sale this week end and they have advertised so.

Marge who has been paralysed with shock so far comes to with a start.

MARGE

Yes, yes , of course. Welcome my child.

BANANA-DRAMA

What are you going to call her Marge since you have used all the notes of music once and one twice.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Clears his throat.)

If I may make a suggestion ?

MARGE (Gushing)

Yes, of course Monsieur Bull Brass. It is your prerogative. After all, they are all going to be your students.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (Bowing low )

You are too kind Madame. I name the little one , Melody.

All the animals clap.
Melody looks at everyone and says
MELODY
CUCKOO.
All the animals look at each other. Marge looks surprised.

ESTABLISHING SHOT
EXT – LAND OF BIRDS – DAY

There are posters of the forthcoming Song-Festival, many featuring King Tweety -Fruity.
We see rich birds in fancy attire whizzing around in their fancy cars. Their homes are shaped like golden cages.
We linger on a large poster featuring CUCKOO clad in a gown with a boa around her shoulders and pearls at her throat.

cuckoo

The poster reads
CUCKOO-COOL
OUR BELOVED COURT SINGER CHALLENGES
THE PARTICIPANTS TO A FINAL ROUND.
THE WINNER WILL TAKE HER PLACE AS THE COURT SINGER.
We zip through the streets of the LAND OF BIRDS lingering over Clubs that say – ADMITTANCE – STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS and other interesting monuments with signs like FREE- BIRDS, FEATHER-REPORT, EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT, HOT CHICKS, FLY TO THE SKY AIRMAIL, TWEET MALL, ON A WING AND A PRAYER ( outside a place of worship ) etc.

As we cruise we see birds of various kinds doing pretty much the same things as humans do till we finally reach the large palace gardens of King Tweety – Fruity. We cruise through the place grounds and passages till we reach the Main Hall where King Tweety – Fruity is ensconced on a cushioned throne being fanned by two pink flamingoes, his prime minister Mr. Cranium by his side and Cuckoo-Cool performing on a stage.

CUCKOO
SONG

I AM A CREATURE DIVINE
WHO LOVES THE GOOD TIMES
TRAVEL TO FAR AWAY LANDS
IN FOUL WEATHER AND FINE
IN MANY SEASONS AND CLIMES
JUST GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY,
AND I WILL BE FINE
WE WILL DRINK FINE WINE
AND WE WILL LIE SUPINE
CHOCOLATES AND SWEETS
WILL BE OURS TO DINE
( here King Tweety – Fruity perks up )
SO GIVE ME A GOOD TIME
A GOOD TIME
A VERY GOOD TIME.

She stretches the last part of the song to a crescendo but her throat can’t take it and she starts coughing.
The courtiers look at each other. Stella claps her wing to her mouth distressed. Mr. Cranium raises his eyebrows.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY (popping a sweet in is mouth)

What is the meaning of this ? What is wrong with your voice?

(MORE)

Is that how you are going to compete with the challengers. As a court singer you have a responsibility which you have forgotten.

Cuckoo looks crushed.

MR. CRANIUM

You haven’t actually been drinking the fine wine you are singing about, have you. You know it is forbidden in our kingdom.

KING TWEETY – FRUITY

I am sure it is ice cream she has been indulging in. Greedy bird.

He says this even as he pops in another sweetie in his mouth.

MR. CRANIUM (conciliatory)

Well, sire, if she does that she is in a very big problem. No more court singer means No more mansions, no more big cars, no more nice clothes, no more fancy furs and no more tasty treats.

Here STELLA sticks out her tongue, distressed.

CUCKOO-COOL (abashed)

Forgive me, Sire. This will not happen again.

MR. CRANIUM

It better not. His highness patience is running thin.

Stella is slyly foraging in a bowl lying behind and he catches her at it and slaps her wing with his cane.
Then he hooks his crane around Stella’s neck and pitches her so she goes flying off.

AL CRANIUM

And take this greedy bird with you. She is a disgrace to birds.
Cuckoo-Cool sashays off with as much dignity as she can muster.

EXT. – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is hopping along singing a dreadful tune when he is waylaid by Banana-Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah, if it is not the great maestro himself.

Monsieur Bull-Brass hops to one side but Banana -Drama shifts too. They do this a couple of times.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Be off you pesky monkey. I am not going to be diverted by you. The last time you sent me on a wild goose chase to the swamps for tasty mosquitoes. Every day is not a Sunday.

Banana-Drama looks to the other animals hiding behind various bushes and trees making wild gestures to prevent Monsieur Bull-Brass from going any further.

BANANA-DRAMA

Ah but today is Friday and there are week- end specially on Fridays. Mac Birdies has the tastiest fried worms and stuff.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Non ! No ! I don’t eat worms or anything crawling on the ground. That is so unhygienic. Only flying delights for me.

He eyes a fly hovering in the air.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

Bon appetite!

He flicks his tongue and catches the fly and smacks his lips.

BANANA-DRAMA

Gross. I mean what a tasty bite.

He looks at the animals signalling to him. They even hold up a banner which says STOP THE FROG FROM SINGING.
Monsieur Bull-Brass cleverly side-steps Banana-Drama and hops on. All the animals rush to Banana-Drama.

PEEK-A-BOO

I should have known a simple task would be beyond you. That bull frog has ruined the peace and quiet of the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well,I tried ! But he says he’s determined to make the Caw-Band win the contest in Bird-Land.

PETER

(pointing to Banana-Drama’s walk man covering his ears)

You have these to cover your ears, but what about us ?

All the animals nod their heads vehemently.

BANANA-DRAMA (Pointing to FLOW -JO)

Well she has her trainers to run away (and pointing to Mimi-Tang’s shell) He just hides in his attached house. So what’s the big deal, man.

Suddenly a raucous cacophony fills the air and all the animals rush to see the four offsprings of Marge Hatchery cawing under the tutelage of Monsieur Bull Brass’s booming voice. Marge watches her four children with pride and joy while Melody holds her hand/wing and sucks her thumbs.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All Together now.
THE FOUR CROWS WE ARE

THE CROWS FOUR WHO ARE TOGETHER EVERMORE,

WE SING ANY SONG AND WE TAKE THE WORLD ALONG

ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY TO NEVER- NEVER LAND.

Monsieur Bull Brass joins in, his voice booming while the animals react. Flow-Jo runs around in circles, Mimi-Tang withdraws into her shell, Peter bangs his head against a tree, Peek-a-Boo parts his feathers and tries to stuff them in his ears,Banana-Drama looks at the reaction of his friends and he hangs up side down from a branch with his tail in front of Monsieur Bull Brass

BANANA-DRAMA

Mouse,Mouse Bull-Brass. Your good friend Professor Lucy Goosy and Dozy Fur-Ball is calling you. Something urgent.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

First of all it is not Mouse- Mouse , you barbaric ape, it is Monsieur. And, second, your tactics are not going to work. The Professor is in a conference and will be back only later this afternoon. So, be off with you and let us continue our practice.

Banana -Drama is at his wit’s end. He looks at the four crows and says,

BANANA-DRAMA

How come they get to sing and not she.

He points to MELODY.
Banana-Drama appealing to MARGE

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

It’s really not fair. She is your child too. She needs a fair chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(opening and shutting his mouth a few times stupefied)

Singing needs Melody and rhythm. Little black birds cannot sing. Le peau noir oiseau.

FLOW-JO

Flow -Jo

Flow -Jo

Well, if little black birds cannot sing, how come they are singing.

She points to the four crows on the band, each one manning a different instrument.

PETER

Fair’s fair

Moose-Moose. You have to give her chance too.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

It’s Monsieur ! And I have no problem, it is up to her mother to decide.

MARGE (pushing Melody forward) Go on, my dear child.

Melody takes a few hesitant steps forward and stands near Monsieur Bull-Brass.

MARGE (CONT’D) (whispering to Flow-Jo)

She is not very pretty, unlike the other four. Maybe she has this talent which will take her forward in the world.

Flow-Jo bats her eyelashes.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

All right then let us hear you. Can you sing the first seven notes of music. Here let me show you. Do, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Monsieur Bull Brass sings and all the animals react.

MELODY

Do, ray, Me, Far, So, La, Ti, Do.

Melody sings and the animals are entranced but the frog reacts in the opposite way.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Stop ! Stop ! What is this ? Abominable.

Melody stops, stricken. All the animals glare at him.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

I mean, my dear child, with practise you will learn to sing like us, your brothers and I. But as of now, I can see years and years of practise ahead of you to come to my level. Now sing after me – DO , RAY, ME , FA, SO , LA, TI , DO.

All the animals close their ears.

MELODY

DO, RAY, ME FA, SO, LA, TI DO.

Monsieur Bull-Brass shuts his ear.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Allors! Allez! Stop ! Stop ! This is insupportable. You cannot sing, not in a million years.
Melody starts crying and runs away.

MARGE

Melody, my child, stop. Come back.

PEEK-A-BOO

PEEKABOO

PEEKABOO

(To MONSIEUR BULL BRASS)

Now, see what you have done. You have hurt the poor child’s feelings. She can sing better than all of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

(puffing up in anger) And what do you know about singing ? Your harsh voice can scare the children. Is that why you are called Peek-a-Boo?

Peek-a- Bo looks crestfallen so Banana-Drama jumps into the fray. He jumps in front of Monsieur Bull Brass.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s my best friend you are being rude to, Mousey

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (correcting him)

MONSIEUR!

BANANA-DRAMA
Whatever !

MARGE (clapping her wings)

Stop it, stop it right now. Banana-Drama. Monsieur Bull Brass is our guest. Is that the way you behave with an honored guest from another country ?

She attempts to soothe the frog who has puffed up so much that he is in the danger of bursting.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Forgive us Monsieur. This is all a big mistake. You are the greatest singer in the world. Don’t worry, Melody will be fine.

She looks at Banana-Drama sternly

MARGE (CONT’D)

Banana-Drama, I think an apology is in order.
BANANA-DRAMA (walking to the frog and looking contrite)
(MORE)
Sorry, Mousse, mousse.. Oh, what the, sorry.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (patronizingly)

It’s all right. I don’t expect remix artistes to know much about music.

Banana-Drama starts to lose his cool. Marge notices this and tries to diffuse the situation.

MARGE

All right , all right. Everyone off to their home. Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La AND Ti- Do, time for a nice snack and cold drink. I have noodle-worms for you and beetle- juice for Mossy here.

DO-RAY Mom,

Can’t we have a pizza today.

MARGE

Nope, you got to eat healthy. It’s going to be noodle-worms with some grains and grit.

BANANA-DRAMA (walking away with Peek-a- Boo)
Gross!

PEEK-A-BOO

Why? What’s wrong. I like snake nuggets.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are my best friend. But there is a lot I need to learn about you.

Peter walking away with Mimi-Tang

PETER

Thank God, we are vegetarians.

MIMI -TANG (looking at FLOW-JO)

She told me she’s one too. We should party more often. I think , she’s cute.

PETER

Hey,Hey, Hey. Slow down.

(Then corrects himself as he sees him puffing as he tries to catch up with him)

PETER (CONT’D)
Maybe, not. If he goes any slower we would meet ourselves on the way back.

SENOR JULIO

SENOR JULIO

EXT.- SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE SAME JUNGLE – DAY

Melody is running and crying when she bumps into a brown bird. This is Senor Julio, the brown thrush, who is blind. He wears thick, black glass and carries a white tipped cane.

SENOR JULIO

Oh, watch it my friend. You could get hurt if you don’t watch where you are going.

MELODY

Oh! I am sorry. I couldn’t see for the tears. But, what about you ? How come you didn’t see ?

SENOR JULIO

Because, nina, I can’t see. I am blind.

MELODY

Oh ! I’m so sorry.

SENOR JULIO

It’s quite all right, nina, you were not to know. By the way, , why were you crying ?

MELODY

My name is not Nina and I was crying because, because….

She starts weeping.

SENOR JULIO

Please don’t cry….what is your name?

MELODY

It is Melody.

SENOR JULIO

That is a very pretty name, Melody. I was calling you nina because nina means little girl in Spanish. But you are a very, very little girl so I will call you chiquita. (he bows low) Senor Julio at your service. So, tell me, Melody, why were you crying?
(MORE)
And, what are you doing alone in the forest, it is not safe for little girls to wander alone in the forest.

MELODY

Because, Monsieur Bull Brass does not like my voice. He said I can never be a singer.

SENOR JULIO(clicking his tongue)

That is too bad, mi pobre chiquita, I mean, my poor little girl, the little Melody. Let me hear your voice. I may not be as grand as your Mossy Bull Pat, but I have knowledge of music too. So, let us hear you.

Melody sings Twinkle,twinkle little star.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Santa Maria! You sing like an angel. Charming! But your voice needs training.

MELODY (with tears in her eyes)

But who will teach me ? I am scared of Monsieur Bull Brass. He has a very loud voice. Oh, but I do want to learn.

SENOR JULIO

Teaching is not the problem. But I do not want you to come alone through the forest, little one. Do you have any friend who can bring you here.

MELODY shakes her head dismally and then brightens.

MELODY

I know, I can ask Banana -Drama. He is a very, very sweet monkey and also a musician, just like you so he’s sure to help me.

SENOR JULIO

Very well then. You talk to your friend. I will meet you at the edge of the jungle in the morning and we can begin your classes. You have natural talent, my child. A little training is all you need.

MELODY

What do you say to thank you in Spanish.

SENOR JULIO

Gracias. Muchos gracias. A big Thank you.

MELODY

Muchos gracias, Senor Julio! I will be there.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You are good child, Melody. It will be a pleasure to teach you. Come, I will drop you off to the edge of the jungle so you don’t get lost.

Senor Julio uses his white-tipped cane as he flies through the branches with Melody following behind him.

EXT – EDGE OF THE JUNGLE – DAY- VERY EARLY MORNING

BANANA-DRAMA is pacing up and down with MELODY standing near him, sucking her thumb.

BANANA-DRAMA

What have you got me into Melody, my child ? Who is this Senor Julio and why has he agreed to teach you singing?

MELODY (taking out her thumb from her mouth)

I told you he’s a teacher and he’s blind. And he told me to bring a grown-up with me as he doesn’t want me coming alone in the jungle.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yes, yes, yes. That is why I came. He seems like a sensible person. But where is he ?

Suddenly they hear a screech and a bat appears before them. He wears a cape. Banana-Drama screams and jumps up to a branch.

MELODY (calmly) Who are you ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

(who now has a lugubrious expression)

I have no idea. Some say I am a bird and some say I am a beast.

(MORE)
But, I am not sure if I am either. At present, I am, however, Senor Julio’s batman, his assistant and his carrier. I have come from him to escort you to his home where he awaits Miss Melody and her escort Mr. Banana-Drama.

He looks up to Banana-Drama as he says this. Banana-Drama comes down from the tree sheepishly.

BANANA-DRAMA

You gave me scare, man. Appearing out of nowhere.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Well, lets be off, my friend, while its still dark. I find it easier to find my way in the dark though I have recently got a Global Positioning System, to help me find my way at any time. Ah, the wonders of technology!

Bat Van Friday takes off with Melody following closely behind and Banana-Drama swinging from branch to branch behind them. They arrive at Senor Julio’s home where he’s waiting for them sitting next to a piano placed near the window. Banana-Drama is quite red in the face and panting.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, I mean Van, your name is Van, but you are travelling like a rocket. You just took off. (wiping his face with a large hanky) I have to get my breath back.

Senor Julio, Bat Van Friday laugh and Melody giggles.

SENOR JULIO

Well, well, well. You must be Banana- Drama, the famous remix artiste.

Banana-Drama bows.

BANANA-DRAMA

The same. And you must be Senor Julio, the well known singer who had disappeared many years back from public life.

Senor Julio bows

SENOR JULIO

The same. And this is Bat Van Friday, my trusty Man Friday and long distance carrier.

BANANA-DRAMA

I met him, your harrier plane and your fine friend. He seems to be a double in many things, like a double delight. There some sort of confusion here. Is he a bird or a beast, is he a plane or a helper ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, I have an identity crisis. I do not know who or what I am.

BANANA-DRAMA You should meet the other double delight, Professor Dozy, Do-Do Fuzz Ball Kind of Confused Critter. Maybe, he can help him. He claims to be very wise.

Bat Van Friday bows low and then looks up and smiles, showing his vampire like teeth.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Some dental work could help to make you popular too.

Senor Julio taps his cane impatiently on the leg of the piano.

SENOR JULIO

All right, let’s begin the lessons. No time to waste.

BANANA-DRAMA

That’s cool, bro. I mean SENOR JULIO, you go on and teach Melody. I want to see Mr. Dozy-Ball, Fuzzy-Wall’s face when Melody wins the contest.

SENOR JULIO

Contest ? What contest ?

BANANA-DRAMA

The one that the frog, Mousey Bull And Back, is training that CAW-BAND for, if you get my drift.

SENOR JULIO

No, I don’t. But do not worry, by the time Melody is done here she will be a singer to be reckoned with, capable of performing anywhere. (he turns to MELODY) All right child, let us begin.

Senor Julio strikes the keys of the piano and his voice rises clear and pure, followed by Melody’s sweet one. At first he sings and Melody follows. They they sing this hymn together.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to greatness the trees on the hill.

Melody repeats.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

Spirit of God in the finger of morning Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will

SENOR JULIO/MELODY
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only…

INT -CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is pacing in her room. Stella sits on the couch licking two ice creams, one in each hand.

CUCKOO

How dare he? So he thinks he can insult Cuckoo Cool and get away. I will show him who I am?

STELLA

Everyone knows who you are. You are Cuckoo Cool, the greatest singer in the world.

CUCKOO

That I am. But it is time to make that stuffed shirt Mr. Cranium realize that. I have to make plans.

Her attention is diverted by an advertisement on the TV.

TELEVISION
A nightingale appears singing. Suddenly, she makes a gagging sounds and clutches her throat. A voice says: CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE ? Then a vial appears floating in air with a green liquid sparkling in it. It floats up, the nightingale opens her mouth and the vial pours out the green liquid in her mouth. Her voice restored she starts warbling again. The voice says as the following letters appear on the screen: FAIR IS FOWL, THE MAGIC POTION FROM THE SING SONG COMPANY OF CHINA. COMING SOON. Awaiting patent from the FOUL DRUG ADMINISTRATION(FDA).

CUCKOO

(turning around and snapping her fingers)

That’s it. That’s what I need.

She looks at Stella and makes a disgusted face.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you have to stop eating everything in sight. You’ll burst like a balloon one day. Now go away and don’t come back till you find Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie.

Stella flies off, still licking her ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (still pacing the floor)

I will see who can win against me.

EXT.- NEAR SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE – DAY

Melody AND Senor Julio are practising. As Melody sings we can see the reaction of the jungle animals. Even the trees wave and grass rustle with joy. As Melody’s voice soars up to a crescendo Senor Julio claps.

SENOR JULIO

Ah, chiquita ! You sing like angel. No singer in the world can hold a candle to you. The world awaits you. You are ready for the contest.

MELODY

But I only sing because I like to sing. A contest is not my dream. I am too shy.

SENOR JULIO

No, no, do not say that, my child. That is an insult to the talent that God has given you. It is your duty to sing for his glory and let the world listen and honour. Talent, which hides away from the sun of audience applause and appreciation, withers and dies. So, go and take your place in the sun, chiquita.

MELODY

I will have to ask mama.

BAND OF CROWS

BAND OF CROWS

EXT./ NEAR MARGIE’S NEST /DAY

While Marge watches the CAW-BAND is practising under Monsieur Bull-Brass’ direction. The other animals are roaming nonchalant, seemingly unaffected by the din. She looks up to see Melody approaching with Senor Julio and Banana-Drama. The animals also look up, curious, and remove their ear plugs, cotton wool,and whatever else they may have used to shut out the din of the frog and crow singing. Banana-Drama walks up to Marge with the other two.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey, Margie, we have a confession to make. Melody here has been learning to sing with Senor Julio here.
All the animals gasp and Monsieur Bull-Brass puffs up indignantly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Mon Dieu ! This is abominable. She cannot sing.

BANANA-DRAMA

As if you can.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing with indignation.

MARGE (hastily)

Please Mussy Hair, let me get to the bottom of the matter.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

Senora, let me introduce myself. I am Senor Julio, trained and established singer, now retired from public life.

PEEK-A-BOO (to the others)

I know him, he used to be very famous and then at the height of his fame decided to retire when he went blind due to some strange reason.

All the animals make sympathetic sounds.

MARGE

Yes, Senor Julio, but what is my Melody doing with you ? She cannot sing.

SENOR JULIO

Melody can not only sing but she is a rare talent. Believe me, I am a trained singer too.

BANANA-DRAMA

And she is going to take part in the contest, no matter what some Most Of Bully Blast has to say about it.

Monsieur Bull-Brass starts puffing up with anger.

MARGE

Please be quiet Banana-Drama. It is not your decision to make.

SENOR JULIO

I’m sorry if I have offended you, Madame, but when Melody came to me crying I could not stop myself from lending a helping hand. Now, it is your decision whether Melody should be in the contest or not.

All the animals shout that Melody should be allowed to participate too. Even the four crows join in.

OLLIE

I think, Marjorie, it is in the child’s interest that she, too, participates.
(MORE)
It will give her confidence which she is sadly lacking.

BANANA-DRAMA

Hear, hear Professor Do-Doing Something Right For A Change Critter. Marge, you got to listen to the Professor.

Marjorie looks at Monsieur Bull-Brass, afraid to offend him. All the others catch on to her dilemma.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Ah, but we must first have to take permission from, Mo,Mu,Mi, Most Full And Last Greatest Singer In The World.

Flow-Jo titters while the other animals take up Banana- Drama’s refrain with Please, Don’t say No, You are the greatest. Monsieur Bull-Brass looks gratified.

OLLIE

Yes, my friend. Your permission will clear the air, so to speak. And will put the little bird on the path to success. She will bring glory to Jungle-Land.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SENOR JULIO)

He can never speak straight. But his heart is in the right place as you can see.

Senor Julio nods.
MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Oui, I mean Yes. I am not one to stand in the way of le peau oiseau’s, I mean the little bird’s, success.

All the animals cheer but stop when he raises one finger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

But I have a condition too.

The animals listen with bated breath as he addresses Marge.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS (CONT’D)

She may have to take a few lessons with me.
(MORE)
I cannot undo everything that has been taught but I can certainly pull her back from the wrong direction and put her in the same league as her brother’s here.

All the animals look crestfallen and look towards Senor Julio to see how he as taken this insult. Senor Julio, merely smiles.

SENOR JULIO (bowing low)

I agree with and applaud your decision.

Monsieur Bull-Brass smiles at him patronizingly.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You have done a good job on her Senor Julio and I insist she is your protege. I only intend to tweak a few wrong notes.

SENOR JULIO

I fully comprehend. Now I must take your leave. He bows low and turns to go.

BANANA-DRAMA (whispers in his ear)

You are the best, Senor Julio. And don’t worry ( he takes out a pair of ear plugs ) I have a special pair of small ear plugs for Melody which will take care of this problem

SENOR JULIO (smiling and flying off)
Adios.

AlL the animals wave to him shouting, Adios Senor Julio,
Muchas Gracias Senor Julio.

Melody hugs Marge.

MELODY

Thank you Mom, you are the best.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo Cool is lounging on a settee when Stella ushers in Mr. Jack Dawson and Magpie. Magpie, as usual is chattering thirteen to a dozen.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, by all that is wonderful. Where have you been ? We all left Jungle-Land together and then when we reached the Land Of Birds you disappeared.
(MORE)
Then, of course, we have been following your success story. We did try to get in touch with you , trying to call you by phone, by mail, in person but no. There was always an answering service and no one would let us in. We were so happy to see Stella when she came to call us and I said to Mr. Jack Dawson here that it is unlikely that Cuckoo would forget us. She is just busy, what with being such a famous star and all. And,you know what he said ? He said that,

CUCKOO (interrupting)

I need you to do something for me.

MAGPIE (gasping)

Oh, how did you guess? That’s exactly what he said.

CUCKOO

I need you to help me to get the magic potion FAIR IS FOWL from the SING-SONG COMPANY of China.

MAGPIE (gasping)

You want us to go to China !

CUCKOO

Don’t be silly, you twit. The head offices of the company is here. You Just have to steal it from there. (smirking) Mr. Jack Dawson here has a natural flair for that kind of work.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You have always been very good at taking advantage of someone’s weakness, Cuckoo. But that is beside the point. We’ll need money, not only for our services but also for incidentals and an expense account. We have many expenses and Magpie here has a family to support.

MAGPIE

Oh, yes cuckoo. By God’s grace I have seven children. Would you like to know their names ? They are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

melody_02

CUCKOO (sarcastically)

I can guess the other three names. Now stop your foolish chattering, you twit, and off with you. Of course I will pay you and well. Go now. Stella show these two out and yes, (she addresses Mr. Jack Dawson ) Mr. Jack Dawson, kindly put back the silver you picked up and put in you pocket in your way in.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes out the silver bric-a-brac and places it on the console.

MR. JACK DAWSON (sourly)

Force of habit, Cuckoo, as you well know.

Stella shows them out.

CUCKOO (to herself)

Just my luck to be surrounded by a foolish, chattering Magpie and a thieving rascal.
Then she rubs her hand in glee.
CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah! But they have their uses.

Stella comes fluttering in.

STELLA

Cuckoo, when is dinner ? I am starving.

CUCKOO (looking irritated again)

But I am still trying to figure out what is your use and why do I tolerate you, tub of lard.

STELLA

I am your friend CUCKOO.

CUCKOO (shuddering)

That remains to be seen.

Cuckoo turns her back on Stella and walks away.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Well, I am off to bed, tubby. Got to watch my figure. You fend for your self.

Behind her Stella wails as she walks away.

STELLA (O.S.)

Cuckoo, dinner !!!!!!

Cuckoo rolls her eyes heavenwards and continues to walk away.

small_11 small_19 small_07

EXT -IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
Melody is helping her brothers to pack their instruments.

DO-RAY

Hey, Melody, what do you want from us when we win. Of course, you know, we are going to share our prize with you.

ME-FAR

Yes, Melody, don’t bother about Monsieur Bull-Brass. He’s a pompous old ass.

SO-LA

Me-Far, you are going too-far as usual, as Mom says. There is no need to talk about your teacher like that.

TI-DO

Got to respect the dude , bro. Anyway, tell us Melody,what do you want ?

FLOW-JO (popping her head in)

And what if Melody wins ? Why do you take for granted that only you will win. Melody can win too.

All the crows have a hearty laugh. Marge walks into the room smiling.

MARGE

Well, let’s not get Melody’s hopes up too much. I am sure she will win one day but she has still much to learn. Monsieur Bull-Brass has promised to give extra coaching to Melody.

FLOW-JO

Huh! That’s interesting. I am sure BANANA- DRAMA would be most interested.

(MORE)

Marge, actually everyone wanted to talk to you about something important. That is why they sent me to call you.

MARGE

I’ll be out in a jiffy. You go ahead.

FLOW-JO (leaving)

Bye kids. Have a good one.

MARGE picks up a few cookies.

MARGE (V.O.)

A tasty bite for everyone. They have been such a support. I wonder what they want?
She leaves and as she nears the door she turns around.

MARGE (CONT’D)

Kids, I will be back soon. Be good.

ME-FAR (grinning)

Mom, can I be bad. Just for a change

MARGE (laughing)

Don’t go too far ME-FAR.

All the kids laugh. MARGE leaves and the door shuts behind her.

DO-RAY

That’s what you wanted to hear, didn’t you?

ME-FAR

It’s kind of cool, bro.

MELODY

I think I have the coolest brothers in the world.

They all hug her.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE – DAY
All the animals are collected on a grassy knoll near a flowing stream. Marge approaches them with some trepidation wondering what is the matter. She waves to them and walks over.

MARGE (offering the cookies)

I have brought some cookies for everyone,freshly baked this morning.

FLOW-JO (taking a small nibble)

Got to watch my figure but I can never resist your delicious cookies MARGE. You are such a joy Marge. And that’s why we have all collected here to make a proposal to you. I do hope you will say Yes.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, We are happy with your decision to enter your children in the contest and would be overjoyed if they were to win. And, it is our greatest wish to be there for you to support you in your endeavours.

BANANA-DRAMA

Professor Doze-Ball, Fur-Ball Critter, can you speak in simple English ? Marge here is wondering what you are talking about.

OLLIE

It is simple English, you ignorant whippersnapper and, it is PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus.

PEEK-A-BOO

All right, all right. Let’s not stray from the topic. Marge, in a nut shell, what Professor (pauses and then rushes before the PROFESSOR can object) Dodo Doing Fuzzy Woozy Fool was trying to say that we would all like to come with you to the Land of Birds and cheer your kids. If you don’t mind ?

PETER

Yes, Marge, it will be a nice vacation for all of us.

MIMI -TANG

Yes , the last time I took a vacation when I went back home to China, two hundred years back.

PETER

That’s because you were too cheap to spend on a ticket and decided to walk so about, so 199 were spent in travelling.

MIMI -TANG

Well, there were no planes back then.

FLOW-JO

Oh let’s not get diverted from the topic again. So, Marge, what do you think of the idea ?

Everyone looks towards Marge. She is crying.

BANANA-DRAMA (alarmed)

Hey, Marge, why are you crying. We won’t come , if you don’t want us.

MARGE (blowing her nose in an oversized hanky)

Don’t be silly Banana-Drama, these are tears of joy. I am so happy I have such good friends.

FLOW-JO (rushing to her and hugging her)

Oh, Margie, you are so sweet. That’s why we all love you. (she turns to everyone) Don’t we love her guys.

ALL THE ANIMLS (shouting)
Yay !

BANANA-DRAMA

Three cheers for MARGIE. Hip, hip,

ALL THE ANIMALS
Hurrah !

A Montage of all the Jungle-Land animals flying by TWEET- AIR to and arriving in the Land of Birds. They are taking in the sights and sounds of the place as they travel by the GREY-BUSTARD Bus. They arrive at their hotel- THE PELICAN HOTEL – and are shown to their rooms which theyare sharing. The CAW-BAND stay in one room, Peter and Mimi-Tang in another, Flow-Jo and Marge share one room, Monsieur Bull-Brass and Ollie in one, Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo share a room. Melody has a little room attached to her Mom’s. They are shown up to their rooms by little Robin red-breasts who busy themselves helping them to arrange their luggage.

INT – CUCKOO COOL’S ROOM – NIGHT
Cuckoo is getting her fitting of the gown she is about to wear for the Musical Contest Night. Stella hovers around her eating chips from a huge bag of potato chips. Stella makes huge crunchy sounds which is getting on Cuckoo’s nerves.

CUCKOO

Do you mind ? I am trying to get a fitting here.

STELLA

Cuckoo, Is anything the matter ? Why are you in such a bad mood ?

CUCKOO

Because, I am trying to get a fitting here and your crunching is driving me crazy. Moreover, where have those numbskulls, Jack Dawson and Magpie disappeared ? They were supposed to get the magic potion, FAIR IS FOWL for my throat and they are not here yet and the contest in a week’s time.

(There is a knock on the door)

CUCKOO (CONT’D)
Come in !
A portly penguin is at the door.

freezer

FREEZER (speaking in Icy Tones)

A couple of vagabonds to see you , Madam. They say they have completed your errand. A Mr. Jack Dawson and Mrs. Magpie.

CUCKOO ( waving peremptorily )

Yes, Freezer, let them in and (she looks towards Stella who giggles ) You know what to do ?

Stella hastens away while Freezer goes to call Dawson and Magpie. He returns and ushers them in.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

That will be all Freezer.

He goes away even as
Stella comes forward and giggling nervously puts a tape on Magpie’s beak even as she opens it to start her chattering and staples Dawson’s wings.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Just a few precautions. One , to stop her chattering which never fails to give me a head-ache and two, to stop, Mr. Nimble Fingers here, right in his track.

Magpie is going blue in her face in an effort to talk and Mr. Jack Dawson is very insulted.

MR. JACK DAWSON

If you will hand us our payment we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Not so fast, my friend. Let us see the goods first. (Then taking stock of his stapled wings and smiling ) Oh, yes. We do have a minor technical problem here. Never mind, Stella here will be happy to help.

Stella waddles to the jackdaw giggling, puts her hand in his coat pocket and takes out a vial. As she hold up the vial to the light it sparkles and Cuckoo gives a hiss of delight.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Yes. Give it to me Stella. This will make me the undisputed queen of the music world.

Stella waddles over to Cuckoo and gives her the vial.

MR. JACK DAWSON If you could pay us, we will be on our way.

CUCKOO

Yes, of course. I am sure you are not going to do anything for free.
(MORE)
(looking towards Stella)

Stella !
Stella is busy popping grapes in her mouth from the fruit bowl and when she hears Cuckoo’s stern voice she comes scurrying forward dropping all the fruits in the process.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Stella, you greedy bird, stop eating and give them their money.

STELLA

(rummaging through Cuckoo’s purse and taking out the money)

But Cuckoo I was eating fruits. That’s healthy and all, you said.

CUCKOO

Oh, for beaks’ sake, if you eat only the fruit and not with the chocolates and the ice creams. Now give them the money and release them, I say.

Stella scurries to do her bidding. As Dawson and Magpie leave, Cuckoo can be seen holding up the vial of sparkling liquid and smiling.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Ah, victory is mine.

INT – VARIOUS HOTEL ROOMS – DAY
Monsieur Bull-Brass is practising with the CAW-BAND while the animals are showing their distress in the usual way by running to stuff their ears with cotton , ear plugs or whatever object happens to be handy. An irate customer, an eagle, Sam Spread-Eagle, calls up the manager, a fat turkey, Mr. Gobble.

SAM (on the phone)

This is Sam Spread-Eagle here from room 1001. I haven’t traveled all the way to have my ears blasted to the moon. If you don’t stop this infernal racket right away I am going to call the NOISE POLICE.

MR. GOBBLE (on the phone)

I will look into the matter, Sir.

SAM

You better. Or we have ways to deal with all kinds of weapons of mass disruption. I don’t like invasion of my piracy, I mean, privacy. Got it.

MR. GOBBLE

Very well sir. We will do our best to pour oil over troubled waters.

SAM

Good, you better. (bangs down the phone) Darn foreigners, don’t know how to treat their guests. Got to teach them every thing.

INT – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is getting ready to go out, humming a tune.

MELODY

Mom, all of us are going to see where we are going to perform. You want to come with us?

MARGE

No sweetie, Flow-Jo and I are off for some shopping. There is any early bird sale going on at TWEET-TRADE CENTRE. You go ahead. Is Monsieur Bull-Brass going too?

MELODY

After last night when the manager came to him to stop practising in the hotel because the guests were getting disturbed he wants to see if he can practice in the hall. He also wants to check out the a- coo, a-coo

MARGE

Acoustics, which is the way in which the sound bounces off the walls and comes to our ears.

BANANA-DRAMA (popping in his head)

Oh ! I hope he does not get bounced off from there as he got bounced off from here.

MARGE

Banana-Drama, promise you will see that he does not get offended in any way.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anything for you Margie. Come, Melody, lets be off.

MELODY
Bye, Mom.

MARGE

Bye, Melody. Enjoy.

The door shuts as the two leave and MARGE picks up her bag.

(Marge (CONT’D)

(to her-self)

Poor child. I hope she will not be too disappointed if she doesn’t win the contest.

INT -MUSIC-HALL -DAY
All the animals from Jungle-Land except Marge and Flow-Jo have collected at the venue where the show is going to be held. It is very grand and they are quite awe-struck. They file through the aisle and reach the stage.

BANANA-DRAMA
Awesome !

PEEK-A-BOO

A most enchanting experience.

PETER

PETER PARROT

PETER PARROT

If the empty hall is so wonderful, I wonder what it will be like when it is full of birds and beasts from all over the world.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, it will be something to write home about.

ME-FAR

Yes, they will get to know in about 100 years by the time you write the letter, mail it and then remember, you forgot to put the stamp.

PETER

He doesn’t forget . He’s just too cheap.

OLLIE (to ME-FAR)

Didn’t your mother tell you not to go too far, Me-Far.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Why are we wasting time on silly talk when there is important work at hand. I would like to check the acoustics of this place so that I am sure the sound reaches the furthest corner of this hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

(with a sour expression to Peek-A-Boo)

With his noise it is going to reach the four corners of the world. Hope we don’t get thrown out of this place. Better stop him before it is too late.

PEEK-A-BOO (hastily to Melody)

Melody, why don’t you go on stage and try out your voice.

Banana -Drama winks at the other animals and they all, except Ollie, who is anyway trying out the comfort of the seats and has dozed off, take up the refrain. “Yes Melody, go ahead . Don’t be shy. It’s good practise for you.” Even as they push her towards the stage. Melody climbs up the stage, turns around and looks at the vast, empty hall with a scared expression. She closes her eyes and sees Senor Julio
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT.- IN THE JUNGLE- DAY

SENOR JULIO

Melody, my child. Talent that is hidden away from the world is like a plant without sun. It becomes stunted. So be like the sunflower and bask in the sunlight of audience approval and sing for glory, the glory of God.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit
blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

Melody opens her eyes at the sound of all the animals clapping and shouting Bravo Melody, all except Monsieur Bull-Brass who has a pained expression on his face and is shaking his head. Behind a pillar stands Cuckoo, seething with anger, staring at Melody with malevolence.

CUCKOO (walking away) Melody, something will have to be done about you.

KING TWEETY FRUITY

KING TWEETY FRUITY

INT.- KING TWEETY – FRUITY’S PALACE HALL – DAY

King Tweety – Fruity is having high tea with Mr. Cranium watching him with an exasperated air.
MR.CRANIUM

KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL- AMEN,if you please.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(taking a bite of a chocolate covered apple)

King Tweety – Fruity to you, just like this yummy sweet fruit.

MR.CRANIUM It seems to me you have forgotten last times tummy ache, Sire.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (expression darkening)

Dare you remind me of that awful time when three bottles of the bitterest medicine was not enough to kill the pain. It is not your place, Mr. Cranium.

MR.CRANIUM (hastily and a little scared)

Forgive me, Sire. I did not mean to distress you. But Cuckoo Cool, your court singer is here with a request.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

(sipping loudly as he drinks a milk shake)

What does she want ? You know how I hate to be disturbed when I am busy with my sweeties.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience)

Which means nothing will ever get done for when is he not busy with his sweeties, as he calls them. (turning to the King ) Sire, she will take a minute of your time.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

All right, all right, send her in. But not more than a minute.

MR. CRANIUM signals to the flamingo at the entrance who announces

FLAMINGO

Cuckoo Cool enters in the royal presence of KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN

Cuckoo-Cool sashays in with an air of false bravado.

CUCKOO

Your highness, it is so gracious of you to give me an audience. I am deeply honored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (cutting her short)

Get to the point. I don’t have all the time in the world to listen to your drivel.

CUCKOO

(thrown off balance but recovering quickly)

It is my humble request, Sire, if we should entertain the contestants at my mansion to welcome them.
MR.CRANIUM

An excellent idea.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Why ? so she can figure out the competition and find ways to beat or bribe them into submission ?

CUCKOO (fluttering)

Oh, no, no, Sire that is not my intention at all.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (going back to his eating)

I know you too well Cuckoo Cool but, I don’t care. Just don’t waste my time with your conniving tactics. Do what you want to. Now go. I have important matters to attend to, like this huge mound of sweeties.

MR. CRANIUM

MR. CRANIUM

Mr. Cranium looks disgusted as Cuckoo Cool backs out and then turns away to go.

MR.CRANIUM (looking at the audience) His fondness for sweets is going to get him in such big trouble that all the medicines of he world will not be enough to cure him.

I/E / A HUGE LIMOUSINE /NIGHT
Melody and her four brothers are travelling in a swanky limousine. They take in the sights and sounds of the city in the night.
I/E. /CUCKOO’S MANSION / NIGHT
The limousine sweeps into the portico where the door man opens the door of the car and a handful of liveried flunky’s usher them into a huge hall ablaze with lights and awash with the din of chattering contestants.
Cuckoo moves among the guests, birds and beasts of every shape and size, chattering and laughing but she has noticed Melody’s arrival from the corner of her eyes.
Freezer is moving among the guests with queries of “ Some ice ? “ His eyes meets Cuckoo’s and he glides towards Melody.

FREEZER

A cold drink for Miss.

Melody is reaching out for the drink when her brother interrupts

SO-LA

Melody, cold drinks are bad for your throat.

Melody withdraws her hand. Cuckoo who was watching anxiously draws in her breath. Freezer looks significantly at her. Cuckoo signals with her eyes for him to follow her to the kitchen as she walks away.

INT.-CUCKOO’S KITCHEN – NIGHT
Cuckoo goes into the kitchen, takes a vol-au-vent, opens it and fills it with chillies and is waiting for Freezer when he walks in.

CUCKOO (handing him a plate of snacks)

Here, Freezer, these hot and spicy snacks should do the trick. And don’t forget to have a glass of extra cold iced water with you and place an ice cream cup on the table near by. I am going to draw her away from her brothers, they always look out for her.

FREEZER (giving a cold smile)

It will be done, Madame Cuckoo.

(he turns to go but stops when he hears Cuckoo’s voice)

CUCKOO

Hang on a second, Freezer. One more thing. Tell Stella to draw the bath water and fill it with extra chilly water. Throw in a few ice cubes too.

FREEZER

Very well Madame.

Freezer leaves and Cuckoo swishes behind him humming.

INT.- PARTY HALL – CUCKOO’S MANSION – NIGHT
Melody is looking around wonder struck when Cuckoo sweeps up to her and puts her arm around her shoulder.

CUCKOO (drawing her towards the table)

Come my dear. I want to ask you how you thought of becoming a singer ? Is your mother a singer too ?

MELODY (shy, hesitant and awe – struck)

No-o-o. Nothing like that. I just had to sing. Singing is my life.

CUCKOO

How amazing. I felt the same way. I just had to sing. We are so much like each other. And you are so unlike your brothers.

(she shoots a look of dislike towards crows as she says this harshly)

MELODY (drawing away from CUCKOO)

Oh, but they are very sweet and I love them.

CUCKOO (quickly pulling her towards herself and sweetening her voice)

Oh, I am sure you do. Just that I am sure they can’t hold a candle to you.

MELODY

How can you say that ?

Cuckoo is flummoxed but by then Freezer has reached them with his tray.

CUCKOO

(hastily) Ah, Freezer, my good man. What tasty bites. Melody, you must try some.

She picks up one with the chillies.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Let me. Open your mouth, child.
Melody opens her mouth and Cuckoo pops in the hot snack. Melody chews and then gasps, her eyes watering. There is the sound of sizzling coming from her mouth.

MELODY

Oh , its hot. My mouth is burning.

Cuckoo grabs the chilled water from Freezer’s tray.

CUCKOO

Here, drink this.

Melody gulps the water. But still the sound of sizzle persists. Cuckoo grabs the ice cream.

CUCKOO (CONT’D)

Here, eat this. It will cool of your mouth.

She feeds Melody ice cream and as she is doing so drops the bowl on her with the ice cream splattering down her front.
MELODY

Oh ! Oh !

She starts crying. Stella comes into the hall and as Cuckoo looks at her, Stella winks.

CUCKOO (drawing Melody away)

Come my child, we’ll clean you up and you will be good as new.

Melody and Cuckoo leave the hall.

INT. – HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed coughing with a cold water compress on her forehead. All the animals are ranged round her, looking worried.

MARGE

(taking out the thermometer from her mouth and looking at it)

Gracious! Melody what made you have so much cold stuff. Didn’t your brothers stop you ?

DO-RAY

We couldn’t see her anywhere.

ME-FAR

One minute she is with Madame Cuckoo- Cool, and next minute, whoosh, vanished.

SO-LA

Who goes to a party and has a bath?

TI-DO

That too with cold water.

MARGE

Yes, child . I understand the ice cream fell on you but wasn’t there any hot water? And how can she serve such spicy, hot stuff to kids. I am going to have a word with her.

FLOW-JO

Yes, Melody, tell us. We need to get to the bottom of this business.

BANANA-DRAMA

A very, very nasty business. Mind you, there is something wrong here, I can feel it in my tail.

OLLIE

That’s a far-fetched tale.

MARGE

Oh ! Don’t start, you two, now. Melody, speak up.

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

MARGE, MELODY, CUCKOO

Melody is trying to speak and only rasping sounds emanate from her throat. All the animals look at each other, shocked.

INT-SENOR JULIO’S HOUSE-DAY
Senor Julio is tinkling on the piano when Bat Van Friday brings him a juice.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, Bat Van. You are a good man Friday.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Wasn’t he the one who was Robinson Crusoe’s helper when he was marooned alone on an island.

SENOR JULIO

The same. And you are my ray of light when I am alone in this sea of darkness.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Isn’t it strange that a blind bat is helping a blind bird ?

SENOR JULIO

Strange are the ways of the lord. But I am sure there is a hidden meaning in all of this. Only we cannot see it at present.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

How will we see it if we don’t have eyes?

SENOR JULIO

To see , you don’t need eyes, you need a heart. And you have a very big heart.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

Yes, but it is concealed in this very ugly body which does not know whether it is a bird or a beast.

SENOR JULIO (laughing)

You will find out one day. But for the time being, be of good cheer, your shining soul will be an example for all of creation one day.

Senor Julio takes a sip of the juice and it goes the wrong way and he starts coughing. Bat Van Friday strokes him on the back and the coughing subsides.

SENOR JULIO (CONT’D)

You know, my heart says, Melody is in some big trouble. She needs me. Why don’t you start packing ? We are going on a journey.

He is overcome by a coughing fit again.

DISSOLVE TO:
INT. -HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is coughing. Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo are looking at her worried.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, the contest in two days and Melody in this condition. Coughing up a storm and her throat completely jammed. She can’t speak a word, how is she going to sing ?

PEEK-A-BOO

(fanning her with his tail feathers and wiping Melody’s brow.)

There, there child.

One of his feathers tickle her nose and she sneezes.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man,you got to stop using your beautiful tail feathers as a hand-kerchief or a mop or a feather duster or whatever comes to your mind.

PEEK-A-BOO

Sorry, force of habit. But it is my feeling that all beauty should have a purpose. It’s not enough just to look good.

BANANA-DRAMA

You are one strange dude, man. But I like you. But what are we going to do? I am going bananas just thinking about it.

PEEK-A-BOO

Well, they say when in doubt, shout to God. There is house of Prayer just around the corner. Why don’t we take Melody along and see if God gives us some ideas or shows us a way.

BANANA-DRAMA

(looking at Melody sniffling)

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Lets go, bro.

(MORE)
Come on Melody,let’s put on a jacket on you and see if our prayers will do the trick.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT – HOUSE OF PRAYER – DAY
We pull back from a board which says ON A WING AND A PRAYER to include three figures, Peek-A-Boo, Banana-Drama and Melody in a red hooded jacket looking up at the HOUSE OF PRAYER with two wings folded in prayer above it.

BANANA-DRAMA

Is this place strictly for the birds or what ?

PEEK-A-BOO

No, places of worship are for everyone. You think there are special Gods for each kind ? A bird- God, a beast-God, a Man- God ? No, there is only one God. And his heart and home is open to all.

BANANA-DRAMA

You may look tatty sometimes Peek-A-Boo but you sure say some very wise things. All right, let’s go in and pray for our wee Melody here.

The three go in.

I/E -JEWEL SHOP -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson is wearing a security guard uniform and standing at the door of a jewel shop. Just then four badgers wearing trench coats and slouch hats enter the door. As Dawson stands out side the door he hears a commotion and rushes into the shop . The four badgers are holding up the cashier with pistols, the customers are on the floor and the manager, a fat kiwi bird, is quaking in the corner. One of the badgers is scooping the jewelry and stashing it in his bag. Dawson takes a flying leap and tackles the badger holding the pistol. The other badgers attack him but he fights bravely. In the mean time the manager has pressed the alarm and the BIRD- POLICE arrives with wailing sirens. Taking advantage of the commotion one of the badgers slips in a diamond necklace into Dawsons’ pocket. As the thieves are being hustled away the badger who had slipped in the necklace points to Dawson and says

BADGER-BANDIT

He’s with us. Check his pocket.

KIWI-MANAGER

He got you arrested.

BADGER-BANDIT

Check his pocket. He was afraid we would not keep our side of the bargain. So he decided to blow the whistle on us. But being a jackdaw, he couldn’t resist and flicked a necklace. Check his pocket. You will find proof.

Everyone looks at Mr. Jack Dawson who puts his hand in his pocket and turns it out and looks at the necklace with a stupefied expression.

BIRD-POLICE INSPECTOR

Arrest him.

Mr. Jack Dawson makes a break for it, the necklace still in his hands. He runs out of the shop with the police and others hot on his heels. As he is running he sees the HOUSE OF PRAYER and runs in and bumps into Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo, and Melody who are coming out of the door. They all go flying in different directions and the necklace clatters to the floor. Banana-Drama takes one look at the necklace and then looks at the crowd yelling and running, “ Thief , Thief” through the door which is ajar and understands the matter at once.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo, brother. You are the thief. Have to do my bit as a law abiding citizen and give you up.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I have been framed. This is the first time I didn’t steal and have been caught with the goods on me.

PEEK-A-BOO

Are you trying to tell me that you , a jackdaw, notorious for picking up shiny objects, is not responsible for this, (pointing to the necklace) Business. I don’t believe you brother.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can believe what you like. I know we jackdaws have a bad reputation. And I want to change, to fight my nature. But this one I did not do.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, I am sorry for you brother and all that but we got to do what we got to do.So,

He marches towards the door when he feels a tug on his arm. He looks around.

BANANA-DRAMA (CONT’D)

Melody, what gives ?

MELODY (hoarsely)

Banana-Drama, please don’t. Please give him a chance.

Banana-Drama, Peek-A-Boo AND Mr. Jack Dawson look amazed.

BANANA-DRAMA

Melody, he’s a felon, a dangerous criminal. You want to give him a chance?

MELODY

God gives everyone a chance, my Mom says. No matter who ? So why not him.

BANANA-DRAMA (looking at the jackdaw)

All right then, you can go. We can’t break Melody’s heart, not when she is ill and all that.

Mr. Jack Dawson, gets up and dusts himself.

MR. JACK DAWSON Thank you. I won’t forget this kind gesture.

He is about to leave when he stops at Peek-A-Boo’s voice.

PEEK-A-BOO

Wait. Your necklace.

MR. JACK DAWSON

It’s not my necklace and I don’t want it. I am not a thief. It’s just a disease for which there is no cure.

He looks very sad.

BANANA-DRAMA Hey brother, looks like you were speaking the truth. Don’t take it to heart.

(MORE)

You are standing in place of prayer, God is listening to you. He’ll come up with something.

MELODY

I know who can help him. Professor .

BANANA-DRAMA

You mean that Dodo Ding-Bat can help this poor bird. More likely he will confuse him so much he will graduate from petty thieving to grand larceny and become a major robber.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Look, I am so desperate I will give anything, anyone a chance.

BANANA-DRAMA

All right then, if you want to take a chance. Don’t blame me later on. Let’s go.

They all leave and we see them bathed in a pool of shining light as they walk out of the door.

INT. – HOTEL LOBBY – DAY
All the animals are collected in the hotel lobby along with Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle. Marge is gesticulating and talking with Mr. Gobble.

MARGE

Mr. Gobble, my daughter is missing, don’t you understand. She is not well and this is a big place where no one knows her and you say you can’t do anything. What kind of answer is that ?

OLLIE

This turkey is speaking gobble – gobble gobbledygook.

SAM

I say we organize a search party. Darn foreigners. Got to help them with everything.

MARGE (frantically)

Mr. Gobble, you have to do something, please. My poor Melody, alone, God knows where.

She starts crying and all the animals rush to comfort her.

FLOW-JO

There, there Margie, don’t cry. We will find Melody.

PETER

Yes, even if we have to search every nook and corner of Land OF Birds.

MIMI -TANG

Yes, I have some experience in that matter. I say we begin right away.

PETER

Doggone Turtle, if we let you do the searching we’ll be hundred years old by the time you reach the front door.

SAM

Look , no point wasting time. Talk, talk, talk, that’s all you foreigners do. It’s time for action.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

I agree with you. In France, we, too, believe in action. Viva la France.

SAM

You are French ? Parlez vous Francais ? (But actually mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways)

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Pour quoi ! What did you say ? What language was that ?

SAM

You are from France and you don’t know Parlez vous Francais ? (again mispronouncing and saying pail-lay woo France ways) This guy is an imposter.

Monsieur Bull -Brass starts swelling up in anger.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

You call me an imposter, you vulgar American. I will not tolerate it. I will bring this up in the UNITED NATIONS.

SAM

Go right ahead, my friend. I can’t wait.

Ollie notices Melody, Peek-A-Boo, Banana – Drama and Mr. Jack Dawson walking through the door.

OLLIE

Stop this war of words immediately. There is Melody.

MARGE rushes to MELODY and hugs her.

MARGE

Melody, my child, where have you been I have been sick with worry.

BANANA-DRAMA

We went to the House of Prayer to pray for Melody’s good health.

MARGE (looking at PEEK-A-BOO)

Peek-A-Boo, you are , at least a responsible person. Couldn’t you leave a message at the desk with Mr. Turkey, I mean, Mr. Gobble.

PEEK-A-BOO (looking contrite)

I am sorry Marge. We just didn’t think what with the contest coming up and Melody in this state.

MARGE(smiling forgivingly)

It’s quite all right, it’s nice of all you to be so concerned. (Then looking at Mr. Jack Dawson) And who is this gentleman ?

MR. JACK DAWSON

Mr. Jack Dawson at your service.

BANANA-DRAMA

He has some business with Professor Dink Do Fuzzy And Cool Critter.

OLLIE (with dignity) PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER.

(MORE)

Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. (bowing to Mr. Jack Dawson) And how can I be of service to you ?

BANANA-DRAMA

It’s private business.

OLLIE

In that case I will give you an appointment for 3 this afternoon, right after lunch.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Thank you, kind Sir. (He bows to Ollie) I take your leave. And will be back at 3 sharp. (He bows to everyone and finally, taking MARGE’S hand kisses it) And let me compliment you , Madame, on the fine child you have raised,

He looks at Melody sucking her thumb.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

A most kind-hearted and generous girl, Bless you all.
He takes leave. All the animals admiringly watch him leave.

SAM

He’s the goods. That’s for sure. I think I can arrange for him to come to the U.S. We need fine folks like him.

MARGE

Birds like him are welcome everywhere. (taking Melody by the hand) Now come on child, you need to rest.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

We’ll meet in Professor Ding-Dong’s room at 3. (patting his tummy) Time for lunch. I believe it is banana nut bread today. My favorite.

SAM

A chocolate- mouse for me. Yummy

PETER (to Mimi-Tang)

Yuck !

They all disperse with Mimi-Tang lagging behind till Peter turns around.

PETER (CONT’D)

We are going for lunch, not dinner. Can you step on it ?

Mimi-Tang craning her neck and trying to walk faster, huffing and puffing at the same time.

MIMI -TANG

I think I need some mechanical device to help me.

PETER

Give me a break.

MIMI -TANG

Not a break, an accelerator which will make me go faster.

PETER

(throwing up his hands in he air.)

Ye gods!

We see his hands in the air as they all file out.

BANANA-DRAMA
(V.O) I have a great idea for you Mimi-Tang.

INT- OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY

Ollie is perched on a sofa with his wings steepled as Mr. Jack Dawson sits in front of him with a woebegone face.

OLLIE

(taking out and polishing his spectacles and putting them back on again)

So you say you have this problem only when you see shiny objects. You just get blinded by the shine and then you don’t remember what happens till you see the object in your pocket or where ever you choose to put it. Interesting.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, yes. I am by nature a very honest person but when it comes to shiny objects, somehow I cannot help myself. I have to take them.

OLLIE

Yes, it is a common problem, especially with women. They just can’t resist shiny objects, the shinier the better, like diamonds, for example.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes, but they know what they are doing.

OLLIE

You will be surprised. But,anyway, we are here to sort out your problem. And I think I have the solution, a simple one but effective.

He whips out a pair of dark glasses.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

I am going to do a simple experiment with you which, unknown to you, I have already set up. (handing Dawson the glasses) Here, put on these.

Dawson wears the glasses.
OLLIE (CONT’D)

Now walk out of the door. And come back in two minutes.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking sceptical)

I hope you know what you are doing.

Jack Dawson goes out.

CONTINUOUS

INT- PASSAGE – JUST OUTSIDE OLLIE’S ROOM – DAY As Mr. Jack Dawson stands outside Ollie’s room Banana-Drama and Peek-A-Boo come walking by. They spot the jackdaw standing outside Ollie’s room with his shades on

BANANA-DRAMA

Hey man, what happened ? I thought Ollie was supposed to help you. Why are you looking as if you have been punished ?

PEEK-A-BOO

Yes, and what’s with the dark glasses man. You look like funny.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Don’t ask me. He’s doing some kind of experiment and asked me to wear this and come back in two minutes.

BANANA-DRAMA (to Peek-A-Boo)

I think that owl has lost it. He’s gone cuckoo.

PEEK-A-BOO

He’s an owl, he can’t go cuckoo. Cuckoos go cuckoo. You know (he makes his voice sweeter like a cuckoo) cuckoo, cuckoo.

OLLIE (from inside)

To -whit -who

PEEK-A-BOO

Nothing, I am just saying (again he makes his voice like a cuckoo as he says) Cuckoo, cuckoo.
OLLIE
Too-whit who

BANANA-DRAMA

Drat it, this owl is making me go bananas. Let’s get out of here. (to JACK DAWSON) You go on in. And let us know what happened. We are going to Melody’s room to see how she is doing. Her room is 1111, that is double one , double one.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Got it. I will be there. If I am cured of my habit of stealing things I have to thank her. It was her idea.
(MORE)
(he opens the door and looks back before going in and says) Wish me luck.

BANANA-DRAMA

All the best, brother. All the very best.

CONTINUOUS

INT -OLLIE’S ROOM -DAY

Mr. Jack Dawson walks in. He looks at Ollie

MR. JACK DAWSON
Well ?

OLLIE The experiment is a success. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON (looking amazed)

How ? When ? Where ? Why?

OLLIE (smiling)

Take off your glasses and turn around.

Mr. Jack Dawson takes off his glasses and turns around. A shiny silver salver with some small silver objects winks at him.

OLLIE (CONT’D)(V.O.)

Do you see all those shiny objects. They were lying there and you did not pick them up as you left the door. Because the dark glasses were cutting the glare so they were no longer shiny. You are cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON
Hallelujah ! Beat Does that mean I have to wear these glasses all the time.

OLLIE (laughing)

Who..who..who, To wit who, of course not, my good man. It is only for sometime. Then you will be cured.

MR. JACK DAWSON

I can’t thank you enough. Surely you are a wise owl. Tell me, what can I do for you. Anything. Tell me what do you want ?

OLLIE

What I want, you can’t do for me. So, it’s quite all right, my man. I am happy my experiment worked. For a man of science that is enough.

MR. JACK DAWSON At least tell me. You never know the power of goodness. Just tell me. I will do anything in my power to return the good you did to me.

OLLIE

Well, there is only one thing I want. I want Melody to sing in the contest. Marge is a dear friend of mine and I know all the friends of Jungle-Land will be very disappointed if she is unable to sing. They were so looking forward to it. But as you know her throat is damaged ever since she went to Cuckoo Cool’s party and was made to have all that cold stuff.

MR. JACK DAWSON (throwing up his hand/wings)

Cuckoo, I should have known it. She would be behind it. But, wait I have a plan to foil her. Yes, Melody will sing. You can bet your last dollar on it. I have to go but I will be back. Tell Melody and the others not to lose heart.

Mr. Jack Dawson opens the door and leaves the room.

OLLIE

(putting his wings together and pursing his lips)

Who ! Who ever thought that some one who everyone thought was a thoroughly bad fellow would turn out to be so nice. And now if he can only find a way to help Melody she would be a role model for those who believe in the power of goodness.

I/E. CUCKOO’S ROOM AND OUTSIDE CUCKOO’S WINDOW – NIGHT

CUCKOO is on the phone. STELLA is sitting next to her looking at a magazine – FOOD FOR TWEETS and drooling over the photos of goodies.

CUCKOO

Yes, I am calling on behalf of Cuckoo Cool. Yes, she is willing to relocate to London if she gets what she wants. Good money, housing, health insurance and (looking at Stella) Food stamps for my staff. How many do I have on the staff for food stamps ? (again as she looks at Stella) Oh ! I would say about six, no make that eight. Food for eight people. Oh, you are putting me on hold. All right, I will wait till you ask the SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOWL MUSIC.

Outside the window we get a glimpse of Mr. Jack Dawson, wearing his glasses, as he swings wildly on a creeper . We see this intermittently as the scene continues.

STELLA

Cuckoo, why do you want to leave Land Of Birds. This is as good as it gets. We have a great life here.

CUCKOO

Because I want to teach that snooty Mr. Cranium a lesson and also that greedy pig King Tweety -Fruity.

STELLA

But he won’t let you go. You are under a contract.

Now we see a toffee nosed Englishman picking up the phone. He is about to say something when Cuckoo’s following dialogue reaches him.

CUCKOO

Who cares about contracts ? Once I am in London he can take his contract and eat it with his sweeties for all I care.

ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

I heard that Madame Cuckoo Cool. I’m afraid we do not desire the services of one who does not honour her contract.
(MORE)
And I think I will be getting in touch with King Tweety – Fruity about this. We royals should stick together.

He puts down the phone with a resounding thud which assails Cuckoo’s ears. She puts down the phone and glares at Stella.

CUCKOO

(screeching and lunging towards Stella )

All because of you !

Stella rushes pell-mell out of the room pursued by Cuckoo.

Mr. Jack Dawson who has been wildly swinging, clutching to a creeper now jumps in. He goes to Cuckoo’s dressing table and starts rummaging. But he can’t see the bottle. He is frantic. Then he hears the sound of Cuckoo returning and leaps out of the window. He peers in again and looks at Cuckoo picking up the bottle and looking at it speculatively and then pouring the contents down her throat. Mr. Jack Dawson is puzzled and then it occurs to him. He takes of his glares and the bottle sparkles into focus. But it is almost over. Just a quarter is left when Cuckoo stops and puts the stopper and puts it in her clutch bag which she shuts with a snap.

CUCKOO (CONT’D) (to herself)

Ah ! Some for tomorrow. Poor Melody, so you thought you could compete with Cuckoo- Cool.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
All the animals have collected in Marge’s room. It is the day of the contest and the animals are dressed in their finery debating what to do. Melody is in bed with a thermometer stuck in her mouth. Marge takes out the thermometer, looks at it.

MARGE

It’s still high enough for Melody to not attend the function. She needs to rest. Anyway, her throat is not in the condition to sing even if she made the effort.

MELODY

I wanted to see my brothers perform.

DO-RAY

We don’t want to perform any more.

MARGE

Of course you have to perform. So many of us have come all the way for this.

SO-LA

I think Melody can perform if she tries.

MARGE

No, I don’t want her too. Not if her throat is in the condition it is now. It would not serve any purpose. Look, why don’t you all go ahead and I will stay back with Melody and nurse her.

TI-DO

Mom ! How can you come all the way and not see the show.

ME-FAR

We will not go if you are not going to come with us. That is final.
MARGE

Me-Far, you are going too far now.

MELODY

Mom, please go . I will feel much better if you do.

MARGE

Melody, you know that is not possible. I can’t leave you alone.

BANANA-DRAMA

Look, Marge, you go ahead. It’s not fair since your kids are performing. I will stay back with MELODY.

MARGE
But,

OLLIE

He is right you know. The CAW-BAND will perform much better if they know you are there, watching them.

MARGE
But,

MELODY

Please go, Ma. I beg of you.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Yes, Madame Marjorie Hatchery, in case there is a crisis or mishap when the CAW- BAND performs the mother should be around.

BANANA-DRAMA

Well, there is no need to be so negative man. It’s bad enough that Melody can’t perform, now you are thinking there could be a crisis with the CAW-BAND.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Well, one must think of all possible things that can happen.

BANANA-DRAMA

Be positive man. That’s when things work out. And keep the faith.

OLLIE

Hear, hear. (looking at the clock ) The event is scheduled to begin in three hours. I think we should leave in an hour. There is bound to be traffic and we need to get early to get good seats.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

We’ll be leaving even earlier. I want the CAW-BAND to become comfortable.( He says this in the French way as come-for-tab- lay.)

MIMI -TANG

Come for what ? Can anyone figure out what that man talks.

PETER

You can if you are French. Otherwise its just better to listen and nod. If you say something there will be another crisis and we’ll be all fighting.

PEEK-A-BOO

This is a sad state of affairs. But lets make the best of it. I think Melody needs to rest so let’s be on our way.

All the animals file out giving sympathetic looks to Melody. Mimi- Tang is on skates from now on. Only Flow-Jo lingers to give Melody a peck.

FLOW-JO

Rest well, my child. Remember it is always darkest before dawn.

Melody shuts her eyes and nods. In the darkness there is a Voice.

MELODY’S (V.O.)

Please God, let my brother’s win.

I/E. – VENUE OF CONTEST – NIGHT
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 signalling 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 gruelling 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 its called, “ Grin and Bear It”. Ha ha, I hope we won’t be doing that through the song.

Then she gives and 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.

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.
(MORE)
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 he 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 when ever 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.
(MORE)

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.

INT.- MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
Cuckoo is walking along imperiously with Stella trying to keep pace when her way is blocked by Magpie and her seven children.

MAGPIE

Cuckoo, how wonderful. I was just telling my children here that one of the contestants is my friend. And here you are. Meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and (pointing to one of them) Guess, what’s his name?

CUCKOO (sourly)

I can guess.

STELLA (from the back ground)

I know, it must be December.

CUCKOO (shaking her head)

Confused as usual. All right what is it you want Magpie ?

MAGPIE

Oh, Cuckoo, can you give the children your autograph. (then she looks at Stella and says) Stella, they are giving free ice creams in the lobby behind.

Before Cuckoo can say anything Stella zooms off.

STELLA
(V.O) Back in a jiffy.

Cuckoo gives and exasperated sigh.

CUCKOO

All right, give me the autograph books.

The Magpie children clamor around her handing her their autograph books but Cuckoo’s hand is holding the clutch bag. She looks around for a place to put it.

MAGPIE

I’ll hold it.

Cuckoo hands her the bag and begins to sign the autographs. Magpie quietly slips out the vial of MAGIC POTION. Then she hustles her children.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

All right children, that’s enough. Let’s go or we’ll be late.

The children snatch their autograph books from Cuckoo and follow their mother. Cuckoo is flabbergasted.

MAGPIE (CONT’D) (handing her the bag)

All right Cuckoo, got to run.

She rushes off with Cuckoo glaring at her back, rushing off with her children. She spots Stella returning with a huge cone of ice cream.

CUCKOO

Stella, don’t you ever leave without taking my permission. You are so bad for my image, look at you.

Stella tries to rush, trips and the whole ice cream splatters on CUCKOO’S face and dress.

STELLA
Oops !

Cuckoo glares at her balefully through the ice cream and seeing her expression Stella turns to flee even as Cuckoo gives a shriek and lunges after her. A mocking bird and couple of hyenas laugh gleefully.

EXT.- MUSIC HALL- NIGHT

Mr. Jack Dawson waits outside when MAGPIE comes rushing out with her brood.

MAGPIE (handing him the vial)

Here it is. You better rush, Not a moment to be lost.

MR. JACK DAWSON

Yes. I have to get to Melody in time.

He rushes off. As Magpie turns to go she see Stella being chased by Cuckoo.

MAGPIE (to her children)

As you can see it never pays to be with selfish, greedy people. They will always get you in trouble. Let’s go in. It’s almost time for the show.

She flutters in with her children.

INT.- HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Melody is lying in bed while Banana-Drama sits on the couch. They are both watching the events at the MUSIC HALL. They see King Tweety-Fruity arrive with Mr. Cranium. He has an all day sucker with him which he licks intermittently, even as he waves to the crowd.

BANANA-DRAMA

Man, you should have been there. This is too bad.

MR. JACK DAWSON(V.O.)

She will be there.
Melody and Banana-Drama turn and see Mr. Jack Dawson.

BANANA-DRAMA

Yo man, You gave us a scare turning up from no where.

MR. JACK DAWSON

There is not a moment to be lost. (he holds up the vial. It has FAIR IS FOWL written on it and below in tiny letters COUGH SYRUP)
(MORE)
This is the magic potion which will make Melody sing again. Quick, Melody, gulp it down and then we have to fly to the hall.

BANANA-DRAMA

What about me , man.

MR. JACK DAWSON

You can take a cab. Now hurry, we have no time to waste on foolish chatter. (Here Banana-Drama gives him a glare) Come on Melody, drink up.

He hands Melody the vial and she gulps it down.

MR. JACK DAWSON (CONT’D)

Let’s be off. We have no time to waste. The concert has already started.

INT. – MUSIC-HALL – NIGHT
All the animals are seated and there is huge commotion which slowly tones down as O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two slithers on to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

The moment is here. The moment when the contest to choose the future court-singer of the LAND OF BIRDS held at the behest of and with the benevolent eye of our beloved royal highness (here she looks at King Tweety -Fruity who is busy with his sucker) KING COO-TWEET-TOOT-TOOT, FRUIT-TWEET- TOOT-TOOT, SWEET-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT, AL-AMEN, popularly known as King Tweety-Fruity and his able minister Mr. Cranium. So without further delay let’s begin the show. Our first contestant is a well known group from Africa, the BOUNCING BABOONS with their lead singer Bongo. They are going to perform a hit single from their latest album called, (here she consults her paper) “ I am going Ape over you .” How appropriate.

The band starts performing.

EXT.- LAND OF BIRDS.-OVER THE CITY – NIGHT

We see Mr. Jack Dawson and Melody rushing towards the lights of the music hall. We zoom down to see Banana- Drama in a variety of situations trying to get to the venue. He is hailing a cab, not getting a response, he is sticking his thumb out for a lift, running, bumping into birds and beasts. Finally, a car screeches next to him. It is Sam Spread-Eagle.

SAM

What’s the rush?

BANANA-DRAMA

The rush. The concert has started and Melody’s rushing there to perform.

SAM

So why are you rushing like a monkey gone bananas.

BANANA-DRAMA

Because I want to see her perform and bring glory to Jungle-Land.

SAM

Whose Glory? I thought it was Melody to perform.

BANANA-DRAMA

There is so much confusion in your mind about everything, no wonder you can never do anything right.

SAM

I can do one thing right, I can give you a lift.

He opens the door and Banana-Drama gets in.

SAM (CONT’D)

And on the way you can explain to me whose Glory !

The car takes off with a screech.

BACK TO:
INT. – MUSIC-HALL-STAGE – NIGHT

The four bears are performing in a gruff voice. King Tweety-Fruity is yawning. He turns to Mr. Cranium.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Listen, this is turning out to be a waste of time. Not a decent singer in this motley lot. There is no Melody, only rhythm. Where is Melody ?

MR.CRANIUM

I believe there is a singer named Melody but she is indisposed. Too much ice cream in Cuckoo’s party, it is rumored.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

I should have guessed CUCKOO would be behind it. As it is I got a call from the royal family in Britain, a Prince Charles, that Cuckoo has been trying to get in touch with them regarding employment. She wants to sing for them.

MR.CRANIUM (trying to mollify him)

She is an artiste, Sire. They will sing for their supper anywhere.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Yes , but not at my expense. Where is she? Call her.
Mr. Cranium signals to a flamingo standing behind them.

MR.CRANIUM (to the flamingo)

Go and tell 0- Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two that his highness would be to like to have a word with Cuckoo as soon as possible.

The flamingo bows and goes away.

BACK TO THE STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

And now to perform for you is a group from Jungle-Land, the CAW-BAND.

All the animals from Jungle-Land clap enthusiastically. The CAW-BAND begins to perform. Their music is so atrocious that there is a stunned silence for a moment . Then a number of little birds fly off to the ceiling and some animals are seen stampeding to the exit. Even King Tweety-Fruity is galvanized. Utter chaos reigns but the CAW-BAND continue blithely unaware of the reaction around them. Mr. Cranium is staring stupefied with his beak/jaw hanging open.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

What, what is the meaning of this atrocious sound . Stop them immediately.

MR.CRANIUM

No, no sire. We can’t do that. If we you do that you will become very unpopular. Press from all over the world is here. (handing him a pair of cushions lying beside them) Here, use these to close your ears.

King Tweety – Fruity uses both the cushions to shut out the fearful din. Mercifully, the number comes to an end and O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two comes on stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH

That was quite an earful. Monsieur Bull- Brass beams. And now since we are going country wise, another singer from Jungle- Land, Melody Hatchery.

The animals from Jungle-Land look at each other and at Marge who can barely hold her tears back.

MARGE (whispers to herself)

My poor Melody.

EXT. – SKY-CLOSE TO THE VENUE – NIGHT

Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson are flying furiously, beads of sweat dropping from the brow.

BACK TO THE MUSIC HALL STAGE

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

Melody Hatchery. This is the second call for Melody Hatchery.

There is a stir among the audience. Then Magpie, looks around and quickly flies to the stage.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (CONT’D)

Ah here is Melody Hatchery.

MAGPIE

Did you say Melody ? I heard Magpie. I am so sorry, what with seven kids and me a single mom.
(MORE)
They were making a fine old racket and I thought I heard you say Magpie when actually you were saying….

EXT. – MUSIC HALL – NIGHT
We see Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson pushing through the crowds and hurrying up the stairs of the music hall.

BACK TO THE STAGE.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO (tapping her feet impatiently)

Yes, yes, my good woman, we understand. Now can you leave the stage and let us go on with our function.

MAGPIE

(giving a desperate look at the door)

Oh, there is no need to be so uppity, Mrs. O-Zee Van Too Die-Rich Two, we are all not married into the lap of luxury

The audience titters.

KIWI-MANAGER

(sitting in the audience leaning towards his friend, Mr. Gobble)

 Several times, in fact. I should know. She does the shopping for all her jewels and baubles in my store.

MAGPIE

I am a single mom and its not easy, making ends meet, looking after seven kids

She spots Melody and Mr. Jack Dawson rushing in.

MAGPIE (CONT’D)

Anyway, here is your contestant. I must fly, my children are alone.

She flies off just as Melody stumbles on the stage, panting. The Jungle-Land animals give a rousing cheer that King Tweety-Fruity, who was nodding off, gets up with a start.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY What, what happened ?

MR.CRANIUM

Melody is here.

Melody stands on the stage.

O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two hands her a mike and swishes off.

MELODY (singing)

Spirit of God in the clear running water Blowing to
greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God in the finger of morning
Fill the earth bring it to birth And blow where You will
Blow, blow, blow till I be But breath of the spirit blowing in me…
Down in the meadows the willows are moaning
Sheep in the pasture land cannot lie still
Spirit of God Creation is groaning…
Spirit of God, every man’s heart is lonely
Watching and waiting and hungry until
Spirit of God man longs that You only.

The audience is entranced. The sound reaches Bat Van Friday as they travel overhead, Cuckoo-Cool and Stella as they make their way towards the hall. Cuckoo-Cool has changed into another gown. It reaches Banana-Drama and Mr. Sam Spread-Eagle as they race into the hall to hear the last part of the song. The song closes and the audience erupts in a frenzy of clapping and cheering. Even King Tweety-Fruity is happy and clapping. Marge is wearing a happy smile even as Monsieur Bull-Brass leans over to one of the birds sitting next to him ( a colorful macaw).

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS
My student.

Peek-A Boo and Peter give each other significant glances. Flow-Jo titters.

SAM The bird sure can sing. I think I need to start working on her visa right away.

BANANA-DRAMA

How do you assume she wants to come to your country. She’s quite happy in Jungle- Land.

SAM

But everyone wants to come to the good old U.S.A. Don’t they ?

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Mr. Cranium, I think we need to draw a contract right away. I think we have found our court singer.

MR.CRANIUM If your Majesty, could be a little patient. There is still Cuckoo Cools’ challenge song.

We can see Cuckoo Cool sashaying towards the stage.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Oh, forget her. Who wants her and her tantrums and her constant whining, in any case.

MR.CRANIUM

We can’t do that Sire. Protocol.

King Tweety-Fruity makes a face and starts throwing pea- nuts and catching it in his mouth.
O-Zee Van Too Die Rich Two has sashayed on to the stage followed by Cuckoo Cool.

O-ZEE VAN TOO DIE-RICH TWO

It is time now for the challenge round. Cuckoo – Cool will sing and the judges will give marks to all the contestants followed by the audience vote.

CUCKOO

There is need for that. I have decided to withdraw from the contest.
There is a collective gasp from the audience . Even King Tweety -Fruity sits up.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Has she gone cuckoo?

MR.CRANIUM

Let’s see what she has to say.

CUCKOO

For a long time I have been thinking of retiring and giving this crown to a worthy singer. And now I have found her. It is none other than my own daughter, Melody.

Everyone is stunned and we see the reaction of the different animals in the audience.

MARGE

What is that woman saying . Melody is my daughter.

CUCKOO

Long ago I left her in Marjorie Hatchery’s nest as I had no time to look after her , busy as I was with my career.

The Jungle-land animals look at each other. Banana -Drama whistles.

MARGE (getting up and shouting)

She lies ! Melody is my daughter. How can you say that Melody is your daughter ?

CUCKOO

I only knew her as MELODY. The moment her complete name was announced I knew it was her. And then I saw you sitting there with (she points to Ollie) that Fuzz-Ball

OLLIE (interrupting)

PROFESSOR MARTIN OODDIIUUSS-DDRROOWWZZYY– SSQQUUEEKKYY-SSQQUUAAWWKKYY– PPIIEBBAALLDDYY-JJAACCKKAASS–FFUUNNYY- FFUZZBALL CRITTER. Ph.D.,Professor Emeritus. If you please.

CUCKOO

Whatever. The moment I saw the two of and the CAW-BAND I put two and two together and knew that the talented singer on stage is none other than my own daughter, Melody. (she opens out her arms to Melody) Come , my child. Come and hug your true and only Mom.

MELODY

(shouts) No,no, no. You are not my mother. You are mean and cruel. You left me. It was (pointing to Marge) She who looked after me and took care of me. She is my mother, not you.

Cuckoo looks discomfited. There is clapping from the balcony. It is King Tweety-Fruity.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

Well said Melody. So Cuckoo, no more court-singer means no more mansions, no more fancy furs, no more wines and delights you are always singing about. Melody is going to be the new court singer. She will be given citizenship of LAND OF BIRDS. Cuckoo, you may kindly vacate the mansion for Melody to move in right away.

MELODY

If you please, Sire, I was very happy to win the contest but I do not wish to stay here. I realize now I was happiest in Jungle-Land.

All the Jungle-Land animals smile.

BANANA-DRAMA (to SAM)

See what I told you. Everyone doesn’t want to leave their home.

MARGE

And there is school. I have been studying the system of education here and it is not the way we teach in Jungle-Land.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY (getting annoyed)

That is not possible. Once I have decided she is going to be the court-singer there is no way she is going to leave this place. And only her mother is allowed to stay with her, the rest have to go.

MARGE

But I have four other kids, I can’t leave them.

KING TWEETY-FRUITY

It is decided. The discussion is closed unless you want to be clapped in a dungeon.

MR.CRANIUM

Guards, escort Melody Hatchery to the private chambers where she will be held till the other members of her group leave the country.

The animals of Jungle-Land are nonplussed. Marge is frantically look around. Suddenly there is a loud screech. It is Bat Van Friday with Senor Julio atop.

SENOR JULIO

( holding out his curved stick as Bat Van swoops down)

Melody, hold on to this.
Melody jumps up and holds on to the stick. Bat Van Friday flies off with a screech while everyone looks stunned. Mr. Cranium is the first to recover.

MR.CRANIUM (to King Tweety Fruity who is expostulating and gesturing wildly)

Best to accept what has happened gracefully or you will look like a fool. (to the audience) Ha ha . Looks like the matter is no longer in our hands. Bon Voyage Melody. (looking at Cuckoo Cool) Cuckoo Cool will remain our court-singer.

Cuckoo Cool curtsies and a thought runs through her mind.

CUCKOO (V.O.)

Only till I get a better job. I hear there are some good opportunities in the U.S.

EXT – IN THE JUNGLE- NIGHT
All the animals are celebrating. There is bonfire and music playing which is being operated by Banana-Drama. Everyone is dancing.
Bat Van Friday and Ollie are sitting together deep in discussion.

OLLIE

So, you see my dear man, and you are their kind, you have been needlessly worried. You are neither a bird nor a beast but a mammal, the same way human beings are.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

It is a relief to know. But, now I feel I don’t belong anywhere. (looking at all the animals enjoying themselves) Neither with the birds nor with the beasts. And human beings are scared of me. They think I suck blood. Whereas I am a fruit-bat, I only eat fruits.

OLLIE (clicking his tongue sympathetically)

If I were you, my good man, I wouldn’t give a hoot. You can enjoy the facilities of all three clubs.
Bat Van Friday grins showing his teeth.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

And, maybe, a visit to the dentist would dispel your reputation as a blood-sucker.

They hear the tap- tap of a cane and look up. Senor Julio is looking at them and smiling.

SENOR JULIO

And what is the topic of discussion ?

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I know what I am. I am a human being. I am a guy.

OLLIE

No, no. You are from the species of mammal of which humans are a part.

BAT VAN FRIDAY

I don’t care, as long as I am not a vampire.

SENOR JULIO

You are a fruit bat, in any case. You only suck the juice of fruits. Well, I am glad that has been cleared up finally.

(MORE)

Now if only we could find a way for me to regain my sight then I would be able to see and hear Peek-A-Boo’s amazing tap dance.

We see Peek-A-Boo dancing.

OLLIE

Perhaps, I can help. Tell me, what were you doing when you lost your sight.

SENOR JULIO

I remember the day so well.
DISSOLVE TO:

FLASHBACK
Senor Julio is singing when a there is a short circuit and the mike in his hand becomes electrified. There is a flash and then black with Senor Julio shouting

SENOR JULIO (V.O.)
I can’t see.

DISSOLVE TO:
BACK TO PRESENT

OLLIE

I see. The electricity damaged one of the nerves in your brain. Again there is a simple solution to it.

Bat Van Friday and Senor Julio waited with bated breath.

OLLIE (CONT’D)

It is like this. You have been wearing these dark glasses for so long your eyes have forgotten to see. Your eye sight was probably restored in a couple of months but you chose to remain blind by wearing these thick glasses. It is rightly said there are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

SENOR JULIO (excited)

That’s right. I told Bat Van Friday the time we were flying over Land Of Birds that I can sense the light.

OLLIE

Do not see the world through dark glasses or even rosy spectacles. And you will see light.

SENOR JULIO

Thank you, thank you, Professor Martin O, (he hesitates)

OLLIE

Never mind. Just call me Ollie.

There is a clapping sound and they look up. It is Banana- Drama.

BANANA-DRAMA

Attention folks. On everyone’s request Melody is going to give us a song.

MELODY (sings)

Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright; Round yon virgin mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing alleluia Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born! Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace Jesus, Lord at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

A hush falls over the animals. Then a clearing of throat.

MONSIEUR BULL BRASS

Very good, very good. Since everyone seems to be in the mood of music I would call upon the CAW-BAND to sing to a special number prepared by me.

All the animals start to disperse.

FLOW-JO

Got to run. I have some early morning sales to catch.

SENOR JULIO

I must fly too. I have to lose these glasses. Come on Bat Van Friday.

PETER

Hey Mimi-Tang, catch me if you can.

MIMI -TANG (following behind him)

Not fair, you got an early start.

PEEK-A-BOO

My feet are killing me.

He clumps off.

OLLIE

Oh I better turn in too. I have an early morning meditation session.

BANANA-DRAMA

Oh, is that what you were doing. I thought you were dozing, Professor Do-Do

OLLIE

Ollie will suffice please. Good night. Thanks for a swinging time.

BANANA-DRAMA

Anytime Professor. You are quite a hoot in your own way.

OLLIE (flying off)

And you are a swinging dude. Good night

MARGE

Come on Do-Ray, Me-Far, So-La, Ti-Do. Come on Melody. It’s bed- time.

We see them going into her nest. Melody is holding her hand.

MELODY (V.O.) I love you Mama.
THE END.
Story & Screenplay
SHIPRA SHUKLA