|Becoming a Storyteller: Example
Here's how I would write an opening scene of Monkey Steals the Drum.
zebra, gazelle, monkey, and other animals are dancing and singing just
before sun rise)
Boom didi ba, boom
didi ba, boom didi, boom didi, boom didi BA BA BOOM.
sun is rising. The time for breakfast is near, and all of you should quake
with fear, for I, Ajaniku, will soon begin the hunt. Beware, beware.
O Leopard king, Ajaniku,
I hear your warning. I am not a fool. With swift hooves, I will run away,
hiding in the light of day. While at night, we dance and play, it is now
as you say, the time to become hunter and prey.
Neah, neah, we gallop
away, for danger lies in the bright light of day. The sun now changes
everything. While at night, we dance and play, it is now as you say, the
time to become hunter and prey.
What foolish words
are spoken here. I smell no danger in the air. I am safe in the trees.
Ajaniku, your words stink like smelly cheese
GRHH, GRHH, silly
monkey, some day you'll pay for the words you say today. Leaping from
the brush, I will capture you. You will be a tasty treat, a little snack
that I will quickly eat. Grhh, grhh, get out of here. The dawn is near.
(All the animals run
(Eating his prey,
he tosses the skin away. It settles on a hollow tree.)
How fine a feast this
bush buck makes. I have eaten until my stomach aches. Hear the roar of
Ajaniku, the king. I can do anything. Beauty and power are my fame. All
the jungle trembles at my name. Silence replaces the jungle din when I
proclaim, "Let the hunt begin." (He goes to wipe his whiskers on the discarded
skin.) BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. OOOOh! I like the booming of this skin. I like
the way my feet want to dance and play; booming, ringing, roaring, singing.
Come, my subjecs, come and see. Come, my subjects, dance with me.
O, great Ajaniku,
how I want to make music with you, but where can I find a piece of skin?
And me, too?
I think there is enough
of me to take a little off the end. Into the bush I go for privacy; it
will be just a little injury. What pains today, soon will mend.
(All the animals follow
him into the bushes.)
And me, too.
(They all pull a piece
of skin from their behinds.)
AH OOOOOOOOOO! (They
appear with with drums and begin to dance.)
I too want to dance
and sing, but I am such a skinny thing, if I take a piece of skin off
me there won't be anything left to see. No, I better steal a drum
instead. I'll wait until all the animals go to bed; then, into the camp
I will creep to where Ajaniku lies asleep. Then, I, Monkey, will steal
the drum away.
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