Day 194: The Lyrebird

The Lyrebird
Matt Zurbo


The Lyrebird was the King of birds.
(Beautiful Lyrebirds.)
It looked beautiful, and could imitate other bird’s calls.

Frank was the King of Kings. He could imitate kookaburras and blue chested wrens!
“Too easy!” he said.
(Lyrebird Fred relaxed expression, opposite kookaburra. Kookaburra looks startled as Fred goes:)
“Kook, kook, kook-ka-ka-ka…!”

(Small blue breasted wren flapping wings, looking angry, as Fred whistles music notes to it.)

He even imitated other lyrebirds imitating other birds.
(Eagle flying away, lyrebird on ground, going “SCREE!”. Fred, kicking back, lazily calling;) “SCREE x 2!”

Then, he went one better, and imitated a whole flock!
(Fred poking neck up with effort, surrounded by 30 talk balloons, each one with the image of a screeching cocky. Cockies either side of him looking baffled.)

“Wow, impressive,” said the other birds, but they were old news to Fred.
(Fred strutting by other birds.)

“That’s nothing…” he said, and started imitating dogs.
(Dog startled as Fred barks:) 

And cats.
(Fred hissing at cat who is leaping into the air.)
“Reow! Meow! Hss! Fsst!”

And lions!
(People jumping with fright, as Fred, behind them, roars;)

When the humans found out, they laughed and laughed!

“This is the craziest thing we’ve ever seen!” they bellowed.
(Everyone laughing at puzzled Fred.)

So Fred imitated them.
(Fred, to daily commuters/businessmen on phones, etc…)

And imitated them…
(Frightened looking kid looking back over shoulder in fear and tears, as Fred follows, going:)

And imitated them…!
(Fred outside double story house at night. Our first very of Little Boo, one of kids trying to sleep. Fred is yelling: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!” Everyone in house in beds, awake, grumpy.)

“I need a new challenge,” Fred moaned. “If you give me something I can’t imitate, I’ll go away.”
(Fred talking to half awake people and kids, all still in pajamas, one holding a night light.)

“Car horns,” someone suggested.
“Simple!” Fred whistled.
(Fred surrounded by cars at red light. Yelling “HONK! HINK, HONK!” Drivers, and window wiper, startled.)

“The sound of a hammer!” someone laughed.
“Pfft,” said Fred.
“Hey, that’s cheating!”
(Fred using a hammer on an anvil.)

“I bet you can’t imitate your own voice,” someone cheered.
That was clever. Fred could do his own voice, but how would he imitate it?
(Everyone slapping little girl on back as Fred marches off, determined.)

“Piece of cake!” said Fred.
(Fred yelling: “SQUAWK!” into echo canyon.)

(Fred cupping wing over ear to listen, as echo gets louder on return. Echo says Squawk! Fred shouting over it:)

Fred was driving everybody nuts!
“There is no sound I can’t copy! I can not be beat!” he bragged.
“How about imitating silence?” said Little Boo.
“Oh,” said Fred.
(Little boy, in pjs, tired, holding teddy. Fred looking startled.)

(Fred, face turning red. Everybody watching.)

(Fred, face redder, as if about to explode. Everybody leaning in, watching.)

(Fred, face red, cheeks puffed, sweat pouring off, steam coming out, feathers dropping. Everybody leaning right in, watching.)


“I’ll leave you alone! Geez, what a bunch of grumps!
(Fred calling over his shoulder as people watch him walk away.)

(Fred mumbling and grumbling into the distance. Everybody flopping down, wiping brows, exhaling, etc… “Sigh…!)

(Everybody startled, as Fred pokes his head into frame, behind them, smiling as he lets out a HUGE:)
“Well, I am a LYRE-bird!” said Fred.

The End.
(Final image of Little Boo slapping his face, letting out a; “Moan!”
Standing beside him, Fred is slapping his own face, letting out a; “Moan!”)



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