The Life and Death of Jake the Drake
An excerpt from The Life and Death of Jake the Drake
(A forest displaying autumn’s colors and a pond surrounded by tall grass sets the dimly lit scenery. The pianist and violinist make their entrance and take their places to the right of the stage. The narrator enters and takes his place to the left of the stage.)
(Narrator is spotlighted)
Narrator: The sun is settling amidst the golden leaves of October. The forest is first to accept that evening is approaching, readily growing sleepy beneath its blanket of color.
Crickets check their watches, not wanting to be late for work, and start at once rubbing their tiny legs together, providing incidental background music that only occasionally gets noticed.
Mosquitoes kiss their wives good-bye and send them off to perform a duty that I am quite certain we can do without.
For a moment or two, there is a lull in the forest. Then, a bunny with extraordinary hearing suddenly looks up to the sky. A queer sound is finally heard by all; a quacking chorus that grows louder and closer. Soon after, the very distinguishable sound of flapping wings is likewise heard.
The mallards have returned from their daily escapades, led safely to the pond by the notable Jake the Drake.
An expert navigator, Jake leads the flock around each tree, branch, and limb, and announces the precise moment in which the landing gear is to be lowered. The landing gear being little, yellow, webbed feet, of course.
The flock's arrival echoes through the trees, with a grand finale of splash landings.
The musicians are spotlighted while they play “Echoes through the Forest” as the ducks fly onto the stage and through the forest until they make their landing at the end of the piece. All the ducks land on the pond with exception of Jake’s ducklings.
(Narrator is dimly lit as the ducks are the focus.)
Narrator: “Superb! Just the right amount of splash!” says Jake. He was never slow to acknowledge a job well done and offer due praise to his flock.
Jake swims about the pond, performing a beak count, so to speak, to make sure that everyone has landed safely. He is little surprised to find that four ducks are not bobbing up and down and paddling about the water as they ought to be. He looks to the pond’s edge, and there on dry ground stand his four little children.
“Here we are, Father,” calls out his dear son Jeremy.
(Jeremy waves his wing)
“Yes, I see you,” returns Jake tenderly, for he loves his dear ones so.
(Jake swims over to his ducklings)
“We came awfully close this time, Father,” declares Isabel, proud as can be.
“Yes, this is exactly where we landed. We haven’t moved an inch!” adds Harold.
“What? So close to the pond? Why, I’m surprised you’re not soaked to the skin!” says Jake playfully.
“Oh, Father!” starts little Edgar, the littlest of the four. “Everyone knows that ducks can’t possibly or even remotely get wet!”
“True. Very true. But – you were so close to the pond that if you could have you surly would have!” said Jake with a crooked smile and a wink.