DUCK ADO ABOUT NOTHING

DRAMATIS PERSONAE (in the order in which they doth appear)

Chanting Order of Gregorian Monks

Bugs of the Warren in the Eastern Heath, a bunny

Daffy of Duckworth Moor

Elmer of  Township Fudd, a hunter of some renown

 

ACT ONE, Scene 1

{A clearing in a forest bordering  a lake. Emerging from the forest comes the monks, ….}

Chanting monks: 
Is est is , nox noctis de nox noctis,
is est is nos mos ledo sublimitas.
Haud magis resumpsi , vel curatio a secui ,
 nos teneo sulum secui per pectus pectoris*….

   {who stop at the edge of the clearing}

Chanting Monks: [tenors] This is the place

                           [altos] a place as good as any..

                         [tenors] to stop for the night

                           [all]     and rest our weary bones

{curtain}

Act One, scene 2

{camp has been set up. The monk assigned to cooking duties dumps a pail of roots and leaves into a giant cookpot, from under which a curl of smoke rises. A hare of some size and sassy demeanor suddenly dashes into view. He stops and takes in the lake, the monks, and turns to the audience}

Bugs:  Yoiks! ’tis no longer mayhap, but a certaintude, that upon my encountering the forked trail north of Alberkoiky-on-Ribble,
            I opted not for the correct path. Hey youse! {addressing the monks} Will yonder road taketh me to the fabled and many-storied
            Festival of Carrots?

Chanting Monks [together]: Verily, yea, verily

                                [tenors]:And stay ye for dinner, a stew poorly stocked

                                  [altos]: Yet wholesome

                           [tenors]: And indulge us to hear a tale or twain of this distant land you call

                                 [all]:Alberkoikee

{There comes from the woods the sound of a gunshot. The monks flee into the woods. Bugs looks around, shrugs his shoulders, and jumps into the monks’ cookpot. From the direction of the shot comes a frazzled and desperate Daffy}

Daffy:{dashing this way and that} Woot! woot-wootdoot-wootwootwoot! Sport is it? Sport to use this weapon of new design upon hapless creatures such as myself, who already suffered a great disadvantage at the hands of the spear, and in turn that nefarious invention men called the longbow, a trend predicating upon the future a continuation, aye, even an increase in velocity, of the widening of the disparity between our natural defenses and the efficiency with which men utilize and manipulate the physical mechanisms to…..{at this juncture, Bugs reaches out of the cookpot, and pulls the verbose duck back into the broth with him}

Bugs: Gads! Thou wouldst draw the hunter not only to thineself, but further, would your petulant soliloquy bring death upon us both.
          [The bushes part, stage right, a musket barrel appears] 
          Yoiks! [Bugs disappears below the brim of the pot. The camera draws back, revealing the fire that has slowly grown in size.]

Elmer: Vewily, that duck is sure to be sore wounded unto death. And fate must agwee with my consensus, for hath she not pwovided me with a cookpot, fire waging beneath it? {Looking around, scanning for game}My pwey is vewy, vewy cwose.

{Bugs and Daffy jump out of the cookpot at the same time, rubbing their behinds}

Elmer:{Has his gun’s barrel pressed to Daffy’ forehead}: Got you now! Wisheth ye to pway to thine heathen deities,
             knowing full well that the same courtesy would ye be wemiss in offewing to me in weturn?

Daffy: Kind sir, the cold steel pressed to my vulnerable and precious pate serves ye well as a translator of thine intentions, a divination which your words do not convey due to the strangeness of thine accent. I implore you sir, to seek the mercy which I am certain dwells in your heart, and consider as well that my frame is draped with a lamentable amount of gristle-based flesh, lacking in quality and quantity, thus ill worth your time or the cost of arming your projectile-spewing implement of death.  However, good sir{Daffy points to Bugs, who is slowly stepping towards the woods.}, I am told that the flesh of the hare, such as this fine specimen, is quite exquisite in taste and texture 

Elmer: Nice twy, but the King hath decweed this to be a season for the taking of fowl, and it will be fowl that I take

Daffy: Bear with me, O brave hunter! This land on which we trod is the property of the Earl of Warner,
         who, in his wisdom, hath decreed a bounty per the left ear of each ravaging hare that can be 
         trapped, pierced, shot, or run down by dogs.

{Elmer’s gun wavers uncertainly betwixt the hare and the duck}

Bugs: Soft! Doc, Remberest  that thou hast crossed into the Earl’s land, and when you once again find thineself
           trodding the King’s road, your spoils should match that set by His rulings.

Daffy: Nay! Where the game was taken determines the validity of same!

Bugs:The King’s rules forever take precedence. ‘Tis duck season.

Daffy: Rabbit season!

Bugs: Duck season, say I, a loyal subject of the King

Elmer: As am I! {to the audience as the animals continue to debate their fate} The wabbit’s wetort bears mewit, for I must twavel acwoss the Wegent’s wealm. 
           {Elmer brings the musket barrel up to Daffy’s head, who is so deep into debate that he fails to acknowledge when the blast of gunpowder and metal blows his beak around to the back of his head. Daffy does not pull his beak back into place, with a grimace on his blackened smoky face, because Daffy is dead, people. This isn’t a cartoon, dead is dead.}

Elmer: Perhaps now, noble duck, thine wings flapping will bear the fruit of flight, which task never did they succeed in life, encumbered as his spirit was by a wingspan more suited to gyrations and gesticulations than endeavors of an avionic nature. Now, he flies free of burden and fear, leaving me this small yield of flesh, a poor showing for my trouble….

Bugs: {aside; to the audience}Though harm lacks a clear trail to my present circumstance, I feel a behoovement to once again resume my journey whilst the hunter doth wax melancholy over his kill 
          {Bugs turns to leave, and finds his path blocked by the Gregorian Monks

Chanting monks:[tenors] I pray we might, brave hunter sir, interject our understanding of the legalities

                                 [all] of the present situation

                        [lead alto]: It is my considered opinion, that the consumption of both hare and fowl may be allowed.

                                 [all]: But only if they are consumed here

                        [lead alto]: On the Earl’s land

Bugs: Yoiks! I care not for the tenor of this conversation, nor for the alto. Hey! lemme go, willya!

Elmer:{reloads his gun as he talks} Thou hast swayed me to your manner of thinking, high-pitched monk. 
           {Elmer walks into the circle of monks, gun raised}

Bugs: No! Please! I’m too young to die, too handsome! Look, I can dance…BLAM!

[From out of the huddle of monks flies bloody bits, a limp fur. There is a splash as the carcass is thrown into the stewpot}

Chanting monks:        [all] The victuals will feed us all

                             [Tenors] Our disavowal of wordly goods precludes the profiting,
                                           other than in surcease from hunger, 

                                [all] from the fact of this creatures demise.

                      [Lead alto] Therefore keep the ear

                                [all] And all profits derived from same.

                         [tenors] Have you any more questions, hunter,

                                      of a legal or spiritual nature?

                      [baritone] Before the break of fast?

Elmer: No, I weckon, That’s All, Folks!

{curtain}

 

 

*It’s more fun if you look it up yourself

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