Taming the Elephant

 

What’s on screen

What we hear

Title sequence:

Taming the Elephant

MUSIC up

We see a water-colored globe spinning toward us.

The image transitions to Gazelle and Zebra together, grazing in a green landscape.

NARRATOR:

In a time and place, not unlike now and here...

Detail: Gazelle’s face

NARRATOR:

lived Gazelle…

Detail: Zebra’s face

NARRATOR:

and Zebra…

Series of crossfaded images of: Gazelle and Zebra running, playing and sleeping in flowers.

NARRATOR:

Gazelle and Zebra cared for each other and did their best to live full and happy lives. And they did just that, until the day--

Zebra standing over Gazelle. Zebra’s pose is protective. Gazelle’s color has faded.

 

NARRATOR:

--when Gazelle got very sick.

Zebra and Gazelle are on their feet. but Gazelle is unsteady. Zebra tries to help. Gazelle lies down.

NARRATOR:

At first, Gazelle and Zebra 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 Zebra and Gazelle.

NARRATOR:

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

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

Detail: rocks begin to pile up

NARRATOR:

Troubles piled on troubles until...

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

NARRATOR:

some stones took on a life of their own.

Rocks and fragments form an Elephant looming behind and over Gazelle and Zebra.

NARRATOR:

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

 

Sound Effect:

Angry elephant blast

We see Gazelle and Zebra trying to find shelter under a tree’s canopy.

NARRATOR:

Gazelle tried hard to be strong. Zebra tried hard to shield Gazelle.

Elephant appears through the rain of stones to again loom over Gazelle and Zebra.

NARRATOR:

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

Detail: Zebra and Gazelle drinking at a pond being pelted by pebbles. Zebra tries protect Gazelle from the falling pebbles.

NARRATOR:

turning the lightest moments heavy…

Detail: Zebra and Gazelle lying next to each other as pebbles pelt them

NARRATOR:

making the simplest things hard.

Detail: Gazelle’s color fades even more.

NARRATOR:

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

Detail: The Elephant’s mocking face.

Sound Effect:

Angry elephant blast

We see Gazelle and Zebra clinging to each other. Owl lands on a tree branch above Gazelle and Zebra.

NARRATOR:

One day, Owl came to visit.

 

Detail: Owl

Owl:

Darlings, we need to tame this Elephant.

Detail: Gazelle’s face

Gazelle:

Don’t worry about us. We’re fine.

Zebra and Gazelle looking at each other

Zebra:

I can take care of Gazelle. I want to do it.

Detail: Owl’s face

Owl: (kindly)

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

Detail: Gazelle lowers her head

Gazelle:

I don’t want to be a burden.

Zebra’s hoof holding Gazelle’s hoof

Zebra:

We’re doing just fine.

Owl on the branch as Gazelle and Zebra look up.

Owl:

Yes, you are. But with some help, perhaps you can do even better.

Detail of Gazelle

Gazelle:

Zebra understands what I need.

Detail of Zebra

Zebra:

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

Detail of Owl

Owl:

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: Zebra and Gazelle looking into each other’s eyes.

 

 

Cutting back and forth as Owl speaks and Zebra and Gazelle listen

Owl:

Our community has groups that would love to help you. All of your friends are 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.

Gazelle touches her cheek to Zebra’s

Gazelle:

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

Zebra touches Gazelle’s hoof

Zebra: (quietly)

You’re the strong one.

Detail of Owl

Owl:

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: Angry elephant blast

View of Owl with wings outstretched above Zebra and Gazelle, with pebbles bouncing off her feathers

NARRATOR:

Owl spread her wings. The pebbles and stones bounced right off. Gazelle and Zebra saw that Owl could really help.

Detail: Gazelle’s face

Gazelle:

Zebra. Maybe we should give it a try.

Detail: Zebra’ s face

Zebra:

There are some things I want to keep doing, things we can do Ourselves.

 

 

Full view of Gazelle and Zebra and Owl

Owl:

It’s your plan, Zebra. Yours and Gazelle’s. Go ahead and list the tasks you would like to share. And then suggest friends and family members who might want to help. I will visit with each one...

Detail: Gazelle

Gazelle:

What if someone says no?

Detail: Owl

Owl:

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.

Gazelle and Zebra.

Thinking.

Talking.

Laughing.

Crying.

NARRATOR:

Gazelle and Zebra agreed and set to work on the plan. They thought and talked and laughed and cried. Then they shared their plan with Owl.

Owl flies off.

Owl:

I’ll get started right away.

NARRATOR: And off she flew with the plan.

Gazelle and Zebra, with the shadow of the Elephant coming over them

NARRATOR:

Suddenly Gazelle and Zebra heard a familiar rumbling and felt a cold shadow stretch over them.

Full view of the Elephant

Sound Effect:

Angry elephant blast

A storm of pebbles and stone begins to fall

 

SOUND EFFECT: wind, sandstorm sounds

Elephant‘s angry face grows larger.

ELEPHANT:

Weaklings! Can’t you stand on your own eight feet? Those outsiders won’t be able or willing to handle this!

Detail: Gazelle’s face

Gazelle:

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

Detail: Zebra’s face

Zebra:

Unlike you.

Elephant looms over Gazelle and Zebra. The Elephant rumbles ominously and grows larger.

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

Angry Elephant Blast

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!

View of Gazelle and Zebra through the storm

NARRATOR:

Just then, through the storm of rocks and stones...

Owl and a crowd of friends emerge through the shower of stones

NARRATOR:

came Owl with a crowd of smiling helpers.

A crowd of helpers includes Owl, another zebra, Monkey, three butterflies, and Rhino. Goat, Hyena, Cheetah, Toucan, Tortoise, and Wolve, along with Snake join them.

ZEBRA RELATIVE

We heard—

MONKEY

We thought—

RHINO

We wanted to see if maybe we could help.

Elephant rearing back in menace. The background darkens.

SOUND EFFECT: earthquake rumbling

Angry Elephant Blast

Quick cuts between Elephant and faces of helpers

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 Gazelle weak but determined, Zebra stands over Gazelle in a protective stance.

Gazelle: (shouting)

Look out!

Zebra: (shouting)

Don’t let him get to you!

The world darkens, lightning flashes, images fade to black, white and grey, devoid of all color.

SOUND EFFECTS: thunder, rumbling, cracks of lightning

Sounds continue under throughout the following

Detail: Owl in flight

Owl

Stick to the plan! Go, go, go!

A storm of rocks and pebbles swirls around them.

NARRATOR:

What followed was a long, stormy battle.

Quick cuts between various details: faces of various animals, rocks, clouds of other debris and Elephant.

NARRATOR:

Gazelle and Zebra and Owl and all the helpers tried to hold off the storm of stones and rocks the Elephant kept flinging their way.

Montage: faces of Gazelle and Zebra and the Elephant flashing, alternating with darkness and rocks

NARRATOR:

For a time, things were confusing and dark.

Gazelle is buried under a huge pile of rocks. Elephant’s front feet push on the pile. Zebra is trapped by other rocks, separated from Gazelle.

NARRATOR:

Things didn’t work perfectly at first. But they all kept trying.

There is a huge flash.

SOUND EFFECT: huge thunder clap

 

Screen is black briefly

SOUND EFFECT

Angry elephant blast

 

SOUND EFFECTS stop

 

NARRATOR:

What happened next surprised everyone.

Image fades up. Crowd of animals surround Elephant on the rock pile, reaching out to start removing the stones.The pile around Gazelle gets smaller and smaller.

NARRATOR:

The Helpers set to work. Each taking stones that they could handle. Some took large stones. Others took small ones.

Gazelle pushes a rock into Monkey’s hand.

SOUND EFFECT: tiny cracking noise of rock breaking

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

SOUND EFFECT: tiny “ping”

We see animals taking hold of stones from the pile and parts of the Elephant. Zebra is taking hold, too.

NARRATOR:

The Helpers began to lift away all the stones that had fallen and caught the stones that still fell through the air.

Stones in various types of animal hands. One by one the stones in their grasp morph into jewels.

NARRATOR:

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

Rhino lifts a large boulder.

RHINO:

I’ll help with the heavy lifting.

 

Toucan flies off with several stones in its beak.

TOUCAN:

I’ll help share important news with others.

 

Wolf howls at a rising moon.

WOLF:

Helping in the evenings works best for me.

Detail: Goat.

GOAT:

And I can help most days.

Hyena looks back while walking away from Gazelle and Zebra, a cub at Hyena’s feet.

HYENA:

I love you both, but I can’t help right now.

 

GAZELLE:

Hyena, we love you too. And we completely understand.

Cheetah runs off with a stone in his mouth.

CHEETAH:

I can run errands.

Snake slithers up to sit next to Gazelle.

SNAKE:

I’m a great lissstener.

Tortoise slowly moves across the screen with a stone on his back and a smile on his face. The stone becomes a gem.

TORTOISE:

I may not be quick, but you know you can trust me to get things done.

Shot of Owl.

Owl:

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

 

Shot of Monkey.

MONKEY:

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

Shot of Butterfly 1

 

Shot of Butterfly 2

 

Shot of butterfly 3

BUTTERFLY 1:

And we keep on asking—

BUTTERFLY 2:

and offering—

BUTTERFLY 3:

--because needs can change.

Detail: Owl talking

Owl:

Yes, they can.

Detail: Zebra stands by Gazelle as other animals continue to remove stones.

Zebra:

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

Gazelle:

We’ll understand.

The pile of stones around Gazelle and Zebra gets smaller. Both look more colorful and strong.

NARRATOR:

Gazelle and Zebra watched their friends and family and a great calm swept over them.

We see Gazelle and Zebra 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.

Elephant, grey and jagged, but much smaller, appears between Gazelle and Zebra.

SOUND EFFECT:

Tiny elephant blast

ELEPHANT:

I’m still here.

Detail: Gazelle’s and Zebra’s faces

Gazelle AND Zebra:

But so are we.

Wider shot with Gazelle, Zebra, Elephant, Owl and the others.

Owl:

We ALL are.

The Elephant, exhausted, sinks down between Gazelle and Zebra. Gazelle places a hoof over Elephant as he falls asleep.

ELEPHANT:

(tiny elephant blast)

(snores)

Shot slowly pulls out.

NARRATOR:

And that is how Gazelle--

Gazelle: (interrupting)

--and Zebra—

 

Zebra: (interrupting)

--and our team of wonderful helpers—

 

NARRATOR:

--tamed the Elephant.

FADE TO BLACK

 

CLOSING CREDITS

MUSIC out

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