Day 43: Peanut and the Orchid

Peanut and the Orchid
Matt Zurbo


(Image of map of Africa)

There once was a clearing between the savannah and the jungle where the market carts sometimes went through.
(View of buffalo drawn cart from behind and to the side, back wheel going over a bump, a few peanuts rising from bag.)

The elephant saw the peanut.
delicious peanut!

But, wait! Above it, there was an orchid (of exquisite beauty!)

Two birds (Pale Billed Hornbills) flew down (one for each ear)
“Take the peanut!” the first squawked. “Yum! What a treat!”
“Put the orchid behind your ear! No more greys!” the other insisted.

“Take them both! Take them both!” the monkeys (moustached guenon) screeched and chattered.

But the elephant knew poachers were waiting. It only had time to take one.  
(poachers hidden in trees around clearing)

“I don’t believe it! An elephant that won’t take a peanut!” the first bird flew into the air.
“Are you serious!?” protested the giraffe. “Where is it? I’LL eat the peanut!”
(bird and giraffe, above trees)

“Who? What? Eat?” rumbled the white rhino. “A peanut or an orchid? Where? A rare flower…? I’d love some colour!”

“Woh-hohoho!” boomed the hippo. “This I gotta see. Eat the orchid! Wear the peanut!”

Everybody laughed.
“Ahhh, hippos,” sighed the cheetah.    

“Listen you!” protested the hippo.
“Reow!” hissed the cheetah.
“Fight? Fight!” said the mountain gorilla. “Who am I fighting!? What! Where?”

“The elephant what…!? PEANUT!”
(Buffalo whispering in confused gorilla’s ear, gorilla shouting)

“But you can’t eat beauty!” said the hyena. 
“I’d rather go hungry for a day…”
“…and have a beautiful memory forever!” agrued the peacocks. 
(Hyena arguing with two Congo peacocks)

Soon, everybody was making so much noise it attracted the villagers.

The local doctor dusted off some old, traditional solutions.
(Doctor slipping out of whit smock, into voodoo clothes, while reading witch-doctoring book, stethoscope still around his neck, chicken claw in his mouth.)

(Antelopes running doctor into bush. Doctor is bouncing in air above them, still changing into witch doctor outfit.)

“The bones say…”
(All the animals, and villagers and poachers leaning over each other to see what the witch doctor’s bones and chicken claws say.)

(Close up of a leopard paw standing on the bones and claws)

“It has to be the orchid,” the leopard said. “Because what matters matters”
(Suitable images following of various animals struggling)
“Life is hard.”

“We can eat food, somehow, some way.”

“We can struggle.”

“Survive or die.”

“But something as beautiful as an orchid? That would be like having a small slice of magic and music behind your ear.”
(Leopard talking. Most of crowd leaning over each other seem to be relaxing, as if almost convinced.)

“WHAT ARE YOU ALL, BONKERS!? THE PEANUT!” a poacher wailed. “The elephant probably has mouths to feed. Beauty? Feh! What matters is food!”
(Poacher, neck strained as he yells, animals behind him all startled.)

(Bonobo screaming, vaguely to the right)

(Chequered elephant shrew (mouse) crocodile and poacher, all tensed, screaming vaguely to the left)

“Hey, where’s the elephant?”
(Poachers, animals and villagers frozen in various stages of stand-off. Aggressively in each other’s faces, but eyes down on little African kid, who is pointing to the left.)

(Image of ground where peanut and orchid were. Both are gone.)

(Elephant walking, flower in its ear, trunk tossing peanut into happy mouth.)


The End



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