I'm still a week behind. This was the word for last week, and this week I got an entirely different word that will most likely be written next week. I've decided that until I can completely catch up by writing two of these scripts in one week I'll just keep saving the new words I get every Monday for the following week. I will catch up eventually... this, I vow!
The word for this (last) week is bunny, obviously. I figure it was because of the Easter holiday, but I really didn't want to write a story about the Easter bunny. The only other kind of bunny I could think of off the top of my head resided at the Playboy mansion, so I decided looking up bunny on the 'net would probably be a good idea. It immediately redirected me to the word rabbit, and I found a bunch of information about rabbits, including a number of mythological fables. One story, in particular, really interested me, and this is my attempt to convert the story into a comic script with my own embellishments stirred into the pot.
Panel 1. A father and son are lying on their backs in a grassy field at night. The son is resting his hands behind his head in a position of extreme relaxation as he looks up into the moonlit sky. The father’s hands are folded together and resting on his midsection as he also watches the sky.
The moon is really big tonight.
Yes, it is. Can you see the rabbit?
Panel 2. The son is sitting up now, surveying the landscape for any sign of the rabbit his father mentioned. His father has propped himself up on one arm and is laughing softly at the reaction of his son.
No. Not on the ground. On the moon.
Panel 3. The moon is very large in the sky, and is positioned so that the image of the jade rabbit is visible. The father is pointing up in the direction of the moon, and the son is looking up at the moon in response.
Can you see the rabbit there? It’s carved into the face of the moon.
Panel 4. The son is still looking up at the moon, and now his moonlit face is reacting excitedly to the fact that he can see the rabbit his father has pointed out. The father is pleased at the reaction the new discovery has prompted.
I do see it! How did that happen?
Go ahead and settle back down, and I’ll tell you the story.
Panel 1. A monkey, an otter, a jackal and a rabbit are gathered together in an open area of a forest. Trees from the forest surround them on all sides, but there is enough space in the open area to provide them with ample room to congregate.
Long, long ago a monkey, an otter, a jackal and a rabbit met in the forest that was their home.
Panel 2. The jackal is sitting on its haunches, and its mouth is wide open with its tongue lolling out. Drool is dripping from the jaws of the jackal, and the rabbit is looking up at the jackal nervously.
Though they were not normally friend to one another, they decided that they would set aside their differences and be charitable to the next person they found to celebrate the Buddhist Sabbath.
Panel 3. A gaunt, old man pushes his way through the trees and underbrush into the open area where the animals are gathered. He is frighteningly thin and dirty, and is wearing little more than rags. There are copious amounts of minor scratches on his bare arms, legs, hands and feet. His hair is unkempt and he sports a tangled beard.
Upon making their decision, an old man entered the wooded glade and approached the four animals.
Panel 4. The old man is curled up into the fetal position, shuddering
The starving man begged the animals for any food they could spare, and the monkey, otter, jackal and rabbit set off to gather what they could.
Panel 1. The monkey is in a tree, looking at a variety of fruit hanging from the branches, and biting into another juicy piece of fruit that it is holding in its hands.
The monkey took to the trees, and found a bountiful assortment of fresh fruit hanging amongst their perches. It was more fruit than the monkey had ever seen at one time.
Panel 2. The monkey has dropped to the ground, and is examining the misshapen fruit that has fallen from the fruit tree.
But although there was more than enough to share, the monkey ignored the lush fruit hanging in the trees and dropped to the ground.
Panel 3. The monkey has picked up a couple pieces of rotting fruit from the ground and is holding them in its hands. It is looking down at the fruit, with the remnants of the juicy, fresh piece of fruit still clinging to the fur around its mouth.
At the base of the tree the monkey found numerous pieces of rotting fruit. Knowing the beggar would never know the difference, he quickly gathered it in his arms and began to make his way back.
Panel 4. The otter is trotting along the bank of a flowing river.
The otter had also gone to a place he deemed comfortable. His home was the river, and he knew with hard work and determination that he could catch a beautiful fish to present to the old man.
Panel 5. The otter has lifted its head and is smelling the air as he continues to trot along the bank of the river.
But as the otter approached the river, his keen nose detected the scent of fish in the air. He began to follow it to the source.
Panel 1. The otter has come across a number of dead fish lying on the bank of the river. He has his nose down close to the dead fish and is examining them.
There the otter found dead fish that had washed up onto the river bank days before.
Panel 2. In the foreground, a strong, healthy fish is leaping from the river with rivulets of water trailing after it. The otter watches the fish from his place on the river bank in the background.
Although he knew a freshly caught fish would be better, the otter believed the effort involved would be too steep a price to pay for something as small as a beggar’s gratitude.
Panel 3. The otter is holding one of the dead fish in its mouth and has turned and is trotting away from the surging river.
He decided to bring one of the dead fish back to the starving man instead.
Panel 4. The jackal is on a well worn foot path in the forest that leads out from the dense forest into a field. An antelope is grazing not far from the jackal in the field, and the jackal is watching the antelope with hungry eyes and its tongue lolling again. The antelope is turned in the opposite direction, and has its head lowered for grazing, so it does not see the jackal.
The jackal was facing his own dilemma. He had come across an antelope grazing alone.
Panel 5. The antelope is lazily grazing in the field in the foreground. The jackal continues to watch in the background.
The jackal knew that if he gave chase he would eventually run the antelope down. But to work so hard for a meal only to give it away seemed a fool’s errand to the jackal.
Panel 1. The jackal is looking down as a lizard emerges from the thick confines of the forest and onto the foot path.
At that very moment, a lizard sluggishly crept forth from the dense undergrowth of the forest into the path of the jackal.
Panel 2. The jackal has snatched the lizard up, and the lizard is hanging limply from its jaws.
Without hesitation the jackal snapped the lizard up in its jaws, celebrating his good fortune with a yelp.
Panel 3. The jackal is trotting away from the field with its ears up and its tail happily in the air. The antelope is bounding away in the background.
The jackal turned tail to bring its prize back to the beggar, satisfied it would be enough.
Panel 4. It is night now, and the old man has built a fire. All four animals approach the fire cautiously. The rabbit is the only animal that does not have something in its mouth or paws.
As the sun left the sky, each of the four animals returned to the spot where they had left the beggar to present their charitable gifts.
Panel 1. The animals have gathered near the fire, and their offerings are sitting in front of them. The rabbit has nothing sitting in front of him. The beggar is looking at the offerings carefully.
Three of the animals presented their offerings to the old man, but the rabbit had nothing to show for his journey into the forest.
Panel 2. The other animals are looking at the rabbit with mirth and malevolence as the rabbit bows its head before the old man. The old man is looking at the rabbit pleasantly, with no anger or disappointment evident on his face.
The other animals mocked the rabbit for his lack of virtue, but the rabbit ignored them and humbly apologized to the beggar. He had not the skill of the monkey, the otter or the jackal. All he would have been able to gather was grass from the ground.
Panel 3. The rabbit leaps into the fire. The old man and the other animals are reacting with surprise.
So with no physical gift to present, the rabbit made the most charitable offering of all.
Panel 4. The old man is gesturing dramatically and light exudes from his body as he transforms into the Buddhist god Sakra.
As the rabbit burned upon the fire the beggar had built, the other animals watched in wonder as the old man began to change.
Panel 1. Sakra is towering over the blazing fire and the three animals cowering near it.
Standing before them now was Sakra, the ruler of Heaven.
Panel 2. Sakra is gesturing with a sweeping motion of his arm. The fire is gone, and the unharmed rabbit is all that remains. Smoke is billowing from the back of the rabbit and drifting up and away into the moonlit sky.
Sakra extinguished the flames and restored the rabbit back to life.
Panel 3. The smoke in the sky has formed the shape of a rabbit and is framed by the full moon. Sakra is gesturing at the smoke as light exudes from his hands. This same type of light outlines the “smoke rabbit” as the image is seared into the face of the moon.
The smoke from the fire rose into the sky in the shape of a rabbit, and as a reward for the virtue of the rabbit, Sakra traced its form into the face of the moon.
Panel 4. Sakra has gathered the rabbit into his arms and is holding it protectively as he glowers down at the other three animals. They are humbly bowing their heads in shame.
Though the rabbit did not have the skills of the other animals, he had proven that the rewards of virtue were not defined by what one was able to do, but what one was willing to do.
Panel 5. The moon, with the shape of the rabbit cut into it.
The evidence would be plain for all to see forevermore.