SCENE 1

EXT. MORNING.

Green savannah clearing with a distant background of jungle & a village

A graceful, dark furred CAT, yawns and stretches, waking from slumber.

NARRATOR (VO)
Once upon a time, there was a cat.
A wild cat, who lived out in the bush, all on her lonesome.

Cat sits up, cleaning her claws. Then cocks her head to the side.

CAT
I am tired of living all alone in the bush.
I will take a husband, who should be the finest creature in all the jungle.

Cat walks off into the grass, meeting MR. CAT.

MR. CAT
I am the finest creature in all the jungle, as you can see.

She nuzzles him affectionately and they walk off down the path, tails entwined.

NARRATOR (VO)
And they were very happy

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

SCENE 2

EXT. NOONTIME SAVANNAH GRASSLAND W/ TALL GRASS

Cat and Mr. Cat stroll through the tall grasses without a care in the world.

SFX: SWISH!

LEOPARD
Mrrrrooowww!

Large claws tear through a curtain of foliage. LEOPARD jumps out from behind a clump of grass and knocks Mr. Cat head over heels into the dust. Cat jumps sky high, fur raised in a huge tufts.

CLOSE ON MR. CAT

Dizzy and covered in dirt & leaves, Mr. Cat gets up, slowly. Leopard raises one paw towards him and Mr. Cat shrinks back.

MR. CAT

HhhIISSSSSSS!

With one quick look to Cat, Mr. Cat bounds away, tail between his legs.

BACK TO CAT

Stunned, Cats sits, with one paw to her mouth.

CAT

Hmph! I see my husband cowers, covered in dust
and is not the finest creature in the land.

LEOPARD

No, my lady. It is I!

With that, Leopard grins a toothy grin and Cat hastily nods. Leopard pulls her close and licks a very perplexed Cat, wrapping his tail around her.

FADE

CU: ON LEOPARD, CONTENTEDLY GROOMING HIMSELF. MIRRORING HIM IS CAT.

With a long, satisfying stretch, Cat and Leopard saunter down a jungle pathway, side by side.

NARRATOR (VO)

 So Cat went to live with Leopard. And they lived happily together.

SCENE 3

CU ON MOUSE:

MOUSE is stuffing seeds happily in his mouth. 2 bright eyes loom overhead in the bushes. 2 smaller pair of eyes suddenly appear just below.

NARRATOR (VO)

Until one day...

PULL BACK ON MOUSE

Leopard & Cat stare down at him from behind some leaves.

PULL BACK EVEN MORE

and we see 2 huge, bright, ferocious eyes staring at Cat & Leopard from behind a wave of vines at a higher vantage point and a slowly gaping maw of sharp teeth.

NARRATOR (VO)

Suddenly...

SFX: whoosh

A blur of tawny fur and claws named LION absorbs Leopard, just as he is about to pounce on Mouse.

NARRATOR (VO)

out of the shadows leaps Lion! Right onto Leopard’s back...

Aghast, Cat watches and then she covers her eyes. sitting next to her is Mouse, and he does the same.

NARRATOR (VO) 

and ate him all up.

CAT
O-o-oh!

MCU ON LION, SLURPING UP THE LAST OF LEOPARD'S TAIL LIKE A BIT OF SPAGHETTI.

LION

You see, there is only one finest creature in all the jungle.
And it wasn’t Leopard.

CAT (BOWING)

It is you, King Lion.

Lion pounces on Cat, carrying her shivering body in his mouth and brings her to his den. There he curls around her, and takes a nap. Cat, blinks, stunned.

NARRATOR

So Cat went to live with Lion

SCENE 4

LION walks through the jungle, leading the way as Cat trails behind him.

SFX: ROAR FOLLOWED BY A TINY MEW

Proudly, they strut through the grasses into the forest.

NARRATOR (VO) they lived together very happily until one day

VFX: A LARGE DARK SHADOW LOOMS OVER LION AS HE LEADS CAT

SFX: SQUISHFU-CHU–

ELEPHANT puts one foot on top of Lion and squishes him flat.

Cat arches her back as this goes on, then sits down as she watches Elephant scrape off some brown, fuzzy goo.

CAT
O-o-o-oh! Oh Dear!

ELEPHANT

Ha-HA, Lady Cat, Lion was not the finest creature in all the jungle.
It is I, Lord Elephant.

Elephant kneels, patting the area behind his neck with his trunk, signaling Cat to climb up.

NARRATOR (VO)
Cat went to live with elephant, right between his two ears.

With a sigh, she looks at Elephant's glinting tusks and scampers up his back. With bemused air, she sat down on his neck, purring.

NARRATOR (VO)

And they lived together happily.

Cat sleeps as Elephant browses through the reeds by the bank, moving slowly.

NARRATOR (VO)
 …until one day, as they were moving through the tall reeds down by the river

SFX: BANG

Slowly, Elephant sinks down onto the ground and a puzzled, sleepy Cat slides off his back.

CU ON CAT SLIDING DOWN TO GROUND

Cat sits up and looks around, confused.

CUT TO: MAN with a gun.

Cat sniffs at Elephant and scampers away from the man as he checks out his kill.

CAT

O-o-o-o-oh! Poor elephant.

She watches as Man loads Elephant onto a sledge

MAN

You see, Lord Elephant, you are big, but I am clever. I have fought leopard, lion and now, I have hunted you!

Man proudly stands with one foot on Elephant's broad side. He notices Cat, sitting in the underbrush.

MAN

Hello, little one. Have you come to see what a great hunter I am?
Follow me, little one. Follow me, and you can have some of this great beast
as I prepare him for the village.

SCENE 5 - OUTSIDE VILLAGE

The sun sets, as Cat cautiously follows Man up the path and in the distance, you can make out a small village of huts. She trails Man all the way to his home and watches as he enters into his hut.

CAT

At last, I have found the finest creature in all the jungle.

She jumps up onto the thatch of his hut, curling up to sleep.

VFX: SUNRISE & NIGHTFALL X3

NARRATOR (VO)

 She lived up in the thatch of the hut, happily, and caught mice and rats
that dared to steal from Man's granary.

Cat is up with the sun. Out of the corner of her eye she spies MOUSE, helping himself to some grains.

PULL BACK ON:

Cat chasing MOUSE all over the village, running from house to house to house.

SCENE 6 - VILLAGE

VFX: SUNRISE

CAT stretches out, lying down at the roof of a hut, aiming her tummy at the sun.

NARRATOR (VO)

Until one day, as she sat on the roof warming herself in the sun,

SFX: MAN YELLS LOUDLY

MAN

Woman, I am telling you, you will do what I say!

NARRATOR

she heard a noise from inside the hut.

SFX: WOMAN YELLS LOUDER

WOMAN

As, you say?! As you say?! How dare you!

SFX: CROCKERY BREAKS AND A LOUD ARGUMENT GETS EVEN LOUDER.

NARRATOR
The voices of Man and his wife grew louder and louder until...

SFX: DOOR OPENS RAPIDLY

Man tumbles out, head over heels into the dust. WOMAN shakes her broom at him and tosses a pan at him. Panicked, he jumps up and runs off down the road and hides behind a hut. Watching all this, atop the hut, is Cat. She ponders, tail twitching furiously.

CAT

Aha!

Cat leaps down onto a window sill and watches Woman right her chair.

WOMAN

Tell me what to do, does he? I'll show him!

She hangs up her broom and grabs a stout spoon.

WOMAN
Next time, I'll stir him!

With that, she stoops to stir her pot over the fire.

CUT TO: OUTSIDE

Cat laughs to herself. With a stretch and yawn, she bounds to the sill of the window.

CAT

Now I do know who is truly the finest creature in all the jungle. It is Woman.

CAT leaps into the hut and rubs against Woman's legs.

WOMAN
Hello, dear. Did that foolish Man wake you? Poor thing, come, let me relax you.

Woman sits down and pats her lap.

CAT
Ah, yes, she is truly fine!

NARRATOR (vo)
She came down from the thatch, went inside the hut, and sat by the fire.

Cat jumps unto Woman's lap, curls up and purrs loudly.

NARRATOR
And that is where she’s been ever since.

A Shona story from Zimbabwe

END