Taming the Elephant

What’s on screen

What we hear

Title sequence:

Taming the Elephant

MUSIC up

MUSIC out

We see Rosie and Sig together, two brightly colored zebras, dancing a playful tango. Rosie has a rose in her teeth.

NARRATOR:

Once upon a time, there were two little zebras, named Rosie…

Detail: Rosie’s face

ROSIE:

Here…

 

NARRATOR:

and Sig…

Detail: Sig’s face

SIG:

Hi.

Series of cuts and camera movements suggest Rosie and Sig dancing a playful tango that leads to Sig holding Rosie as she leans backwards.

NARRATOR:

who cared for each other and did their best to live happily ever after. They were doing a pretty good job of it until one day--

The tango pose morphs into Sig holding Rosie, who has collapsed. Sig’s pose is protective. Rosie’s color is dimmer. The wilted rose is on the ground next to them.

NARRATOR:

--when Rosie got very sick.

Sig and Rosie are on their feet, but Rosie is leaning heavily on Sig. They are unsteady.

NARRATOR:

At first, Rosie and Sig tried to go on living in their usual way, but in spite of their bravest efforts, their lives changed.

Same scene with overlay of rain-like storm of pebbles, stones and rocks falling on and around Sig and Rosie.

NARRATOR:

Problems seemed to rain down from everywhere, like stones falling out of the sky, pelting both of them.

.

SOUND EFFECTS: Rain noises mixed with sounds of little stones hitting things

Detail: rock on top of fallen rose

NARRATOR:

Troubles piled on troubles.

Rocks roll around and collide with each other, forming larger stones.

NARRATOR:

Some of the stacked-up stones took on a life of their own.

Rocks and fragments form an Elephant looming behind and over the zebras.

NARRATOR:

Though they wished they could deny it, Rosie and Sig found themselves struggling with a huge Elephant in the Room.

We see Rosie and Sig taking shelter under a bedraggled umbrella.

NARRATOR:

Rosie tried hard to be strong. Sig tried hard to shield Rosie.

 

ELEPHANT:

Bwah-hah-hah!

Elephant now stands in front of Rosie and Sig tossing rocks at them.

NARRATOR:

But no matter what they did, the Elephant always got in their way…

Detail: Rock knocks the umbrella out of their grasp

NARRATOR:

turning the lightest moments heavy…

Detail: Sig and Rosie clinging to each other as pebbles pelt them

NARRATOR:

making the simplest things hard.

Detail: A tear escapes Rosie’s eye. Her color looks even dimmer.

NARRATOR:

The Elephant in the Room filled their lives with gravel and stones and boulders everywhere.

Detail: The Elephant’s mocking face.

ELEPHANT:

Bwah hah hah hah!

We see Rosie and Sig clinging to each other.

NARRATOR:

One day, a gentle voice spoke to them.

Sig and Rosie’s eyes look upward.

HEKIMA: (VOICEOVER)

Darlings, we need to tame this Elephant.

The frame widens to reveal Hekima speaking from a nearby branch.

NARRATOR:

Sig and Rosie looked up. There was their dear friend, Hekima.

Detail: Rosie’s face

ROSIE:

Don’t worry about us. We’re fine.

Detail: Sig’s face

SIG:

I can take care of Rosie.

Sig and Rosie looking at each other

NARRATOR:

Sig’s eyes were full of love. So were Rosie’s.

Detail: Hekima’s face

HEKIMA: (kindly)

I know, my dears. You’re brave and strong. But wouldn’t you like some help?

Detail: Rosie’s eyes looking downward

ROSIE:

I don’t want to be a burden.

Sig’s hoof holding Rosie’s hoof

SIG:

We can do this.

Hekima on the branch as Rosie and Sig look up at her

HEKIMA:

I understand. But with some help, you can do this better.

Detail of Rosie

ROSIE:

Sig understands what I need.

Detail of Sig

SIG:

Rosie trusts me. We know what we’re doing.

Detail of Hekima

HEKIMA:

Of course. But there is so much to handle. Aren’t there some little things somebody else could do, besides the two of you?

Detail: Sig and Rosie looking into each other’s eyes.

NARRATOR:

Sig and Rosie looked at each other. They thought about what Hekima was saying.

Cutting back and forth as Hekima speaks and Sig and Rosie listen

HEKIMA:

Our community has groups that would love to help you. All of your friends are just longing to help. If you let some of us do the little things that anybody can do, that gives you more time and energy for the really big things that only you two can do.

Rosie touches Sig’s face

ROSIE:

I see how tired you get. You’re doing so much.

Sig touches Rosie’s hoof

SIG: (quietly)

You’re the strong one.

Detail of Hekima talking

HEKIMA:

It’s all up to you. You’re the ones in charge. You get to say what will really help you.

Detail: Blast of flying pebbles

NARRATOR:

Just then, the Elephant blasted a terrible blast.

SOUND EFFECT: warped trumpet

View of Hekima with her wings outstretched above Sig and Rosie, with pebbles bouncing off her feathers

NARRATOR:

Hekima spread her wings, and many rocks bounced right off her feathers. Rosie and Sig saw she could really help.

Detail: Rosie’s face, bright with hope

ROSIE:

Let’s try this, Sig! We’ll sit down and make a plan!

Detail: Sig’ s face

SIG:

Well, if that’s what you want. But there are some things I want to keep handling myself. Ourselves.

Full view of Rosie and Sig and Hekima

HEKIMA:

Lovely. In your plan you can list the needs you’d like to share. You can suggest who you know who might like to help with a particular thing.

Detail: Rosie

ROSIE:

What if one of them says no?

Detail: Hekima

HEKIMA:

I’ll find someone else or offer another task. An honest ‘no’ is better than a ‘yes’ that never happens. And if we need to change the plan, you can tell me or they can tell me, and we’ll all keep it working.

View of Rosie and Sig writing out their plan. Rosie and Sig with stick for a pencil and a leaf for paper, snuggling under the umbrella as sand swirls but doesn’t hit them.

NARRATOR:

Rosie and Sig nodded. They set to work on the plan. They thought and talked and laughed and cried. Then they shared their plan with Hekima.

Hekima looking at the plan

HEKIMA:

This looks wonderful. I’ll get started right away.

NARRATOR: And off she flew with the plan.

Rosie and Sig, with the shadow of the Elephant coming over them

NARRATOR:

Suddenly Rosie and Sig heard a familiar rumbling and felt a cold shadow stretch over them.

Full view of the Elephant

NARRATOR:

The Elephant appeared and stamped his foot.

View shakes as if the earth is shaking

SOUND EFFECT: rocky thud

Rock storm intensifies

ELEPHANT: (VOICEOVER)

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

We see the Elephant ‘s angry face—detail from one of the images

SOUND EFFECT: Elephant trumpeting noise, wind, sandstorm sounds

Full image of the Elephant suddenly dropping into the picture with Sig and Rosie

ELEPHANT: (roars)

Weenies! Weaklings! Can’t you stand on your own four feet? Those outsiders won’t be able or willing to handle all your needs!

Detail: Rosie’s face

ROSIE:

We’ll adjust. None of this is set in stone.

Detail: Sig’s face

SIG:

Unlike you.

The Elephant rumbles ominously and grows larger.

SOUND EFFECTS: rumbling, which continues under the Elephant’s lines.

ELEPHANT:

Losers!

The Elephant stands on his hind legs towering over them.

ELEPHANT:

You have no idea how scary I am! Nobody wants to be around all this! No one will come!

 

SOUND EFFECT: Rustling, whispers

Rumbling stops immediately

View of Rosie and Sig stepping into a clearing

NARRATOR:

Just then they heard rustling and whispers. When Rosie and Sig stepped into the clearing…

Hekima and a crowd of friends in the clearing

NARRATOR:

there stood Hekima with a crowd of smiling helpers.

A crowd of helpers includes Hekima, three zebras who are relatives of Sig, a couple of monkeys, three butterflies, a spider, and a rhino. There are also goats, a couple of hyenas, a pair of cheetahs, a toucan, a tortoise, and some wolves, along with a very long snake.

ZEBRA RELATIVE 1

We heard—

ZEBRA RELATIVE 2

We thought—

SEVERAL ANIMAL VOICES

We wanted to see if maybe we could help.

We see the Elephant on his hind legs, rearing back in menace. The background darkens.

ELEPHANT:

You didn’t ask that one to show up! Or that one! They’re just nosy posers!

Quick cuts between Elephant and faces of helpers

SOUND EFFECT: earthquake rumbling

ELEPHANT:

You idiots won’t follow through! And if you do, you’ll mess everything up! You’ll do more harm than good! THIS WILL NEVER WORK!

SOUND EFFECT: volcano blast

We see Rosie weak but determined, Sig holding her

ROSIE: (shouting)

Look out!

SIG: (shouting)

Don’t let him get to you!

The world darkens, lightning flashes, and the scene morphs to black, white and grey, devoid of all color.

SOUND EFFECTS: thunder, rumbling, cracks of lightning

Sounds continue under throughout the following

Detail: Hekima in flight

HEKIMA

Stick to the plan! Go, go, go!

Detail: storm of rocks and sand is swirling

NARRATOR:

What followed was a long, stormy battle.

Quick cuts between various details faces of various animals to rocks and clouds and other debris as well as the Elephant

NARRATOR:

Rosie and Sig and Hekima and all the helpers tried to hold off the storm of stones and rocks and flying debris the Elephant kept flinging their way.

Montage: faces of Rosie and Sig and the Elephant flashing, alternating with darkness and rocks

NARRATOR:

For a time, things were dark and confusing.

There is a huge flash.

SOUND EFFECT: huge thunder clap

Screen is black briefly

 

Image fades up. We see that Rosie is buried under a huge pile of rocks with just her head showing. On top of the rocks is the Elephant. Sig stands by helpless.

ELEPHANT:

Bwah hah hah hah hah

Detail: Sig with tear escaping his eye

SOUND EFFECTS stop

 

NARRATOR:

What happened next surprised everyone.

Crowd of animals surround the Elephant on the rock pile, reaching out to start removing the stones.

NARRATOR:

The Helpers set to work, and strangely, the steady storm of stones seemed to clear a little.

We see Rosie reach up to grasp one of the Elephant’s toes.

NARRATOR:

With a tiny ping, things began to change.

Rosie breaks off the tip of the Elephant’s toe.

SOUND EFFECT: tiny cracking noise of rock breaking

Close up: Rosie’s hoof placing the fragment into a Monkey’s hand.

 

The stone in the Monkey’s hand is transformed into a jewel.

SOUND EFFECT: tiny “ping”

 

NARRATOR:

The stony pings became gentle pongs, and then chimes, and then cheers.

SOUND EFFECT: cascade of pings, chimes, and happier noises building

We see animals taking hold of stones and pieces in the pile and parts of the Elephant. Sig is also taking hold, too, and Rosie is trying to rally.

NARRATOR:

Over and over it happened.

SOUND EFFECT: wash of musical “ping” and “pop” noises

Stones in various types of animal hands

NARRATOR:

The Helpers caught the stones that were still falling and began to lift away all the stones that had fallen.

One by one the stones in their grasp morph into jewels.

NARRATOR:

Big stones, small stones, stones in familiar shapes—each one changed as caring hands touched it. Every single one became a jewel.

One of the animals smiles joyfully looking at the jewel in his or her hand

NARRATOR:

The Helpers were thrilled as they took up each task.

Montage: Details of helpers grasping stones.

SPIDER:

I’ll set you up with an updates blog on the web.

RHINO:

I’ll get on the horn with the insurance company.

GOATS: (speaking together)

We’ll handle lawn care.

HYENA:

We’ll be ha-ha-ha-happy to take Rosie to Comedy Night!

ALPHA WOLF:

Hey Sig, we’re gonna take you out and howl at the moon.

CHEETAH:

We can run errands.

TOUCAN:

I’ll help sort out the bills.

TORTOISE:

I’ll make you some Mock Turtle Soup.

SNAKE:

And I’m a great lissstener.

HEKIMA:

Of course we’ll ask if you’d like us to do a certain thing instead of assuming you’d want it.

MONKEY:

And we’ll offer things you might not have thought of.

BUTTERFLY 1:

And we keep on asking—

BUTTERFLY 2:

and offering—

BUTTERFLY 3:

--because needs can change.

Detail: Hekima talking

HEKIMA:

We’ll all keep sharing what’s really going on.

Detail: Sig and Rosie talking to a couple of other animals

SIG:

Yes. If something happens in your life that makes it hard to help us, just tell us.

ROSIE:

We’ll understand.

We see Rosie and Sig. Flashes of colored light brighten their faces. Both look more colorful and strong.

NARRATOR:

They watched their friends and family and a great calm swept over them. Once again, Rosie and Sig gazed into each other’s eyes.

Detail view of Rosie and Sig

NARRATOR:

Sig leaned close to Rosie.

SIG: (whispering)

They’re really good at these things.

 

ROSIE:

Better than we are.

Detail of Rosie smiling, tear in corner of eye

NARRATOR:

This time the tear in Rosie’s eye was a happy one.

We see animals decorating everything with sparkling jewels. The Elephant is no longer in sight. The scene is full of color

NARRATOR:

From that moment on, the world for Sig and Rosie was transformed.

We see Rosie and Sig in their sparkling world.

NARRATOR:

What had been a nightmare of jagged rocks became a happy place filled with sparkling gems of love and caring.

The Elephant pops into the scene behind them, grey and jagged, but much smaller.

ELEPHANT:

I’m still here.

Detail: Rosie’s and Sig’s faces

ROSIE AND SIG:

But so are we.

Full view again, this time as animals pop into the scene

HEKIMA:

We ALL are.

The Elephant, exhausted, sinks down behind Rosie and Sig.

ELEPHANT:

Bah… fah…ah….

(snores)

 

NARRATOR:

And that is how Rosie--

ROSIE: (interrupting)

--and Sig—

 

SIG: (interrupting)

--and all these people we love—

Rosie and Sig kiss. Animals quietly lean together and relax.

NARRATOR:

--tamed the Elephant.

[text on screen]

Not necessarily the end…

 

CLOSING CREDITS

Fade out

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