CAST OF CHARACTERS
Mr Lion – The King who is the aggrieved party
Mr Rabbit – The prosecutor & investigating officer
Mr Fox – the accused.
Mrs Lion – Mr Lion’s wife.
Jungle court, outside the King’s Den
The scene opens outside the Lion’s den, in the jungle. Mr Lion is presiding over court proceedings. Someone has stolen his favourite blanket (blankie to him) in the dead of the night. Mr Rabbit, the investigating officer has caught Mr Fox. Now, Mr Fox stands before Mr Lion, pleading his case.
Mr Fox and Mr Rabbit do not like each other. Their feud is legendary in the jungle. They are always squabbling over the pettiest things.
MR RABBIT (sternly) – “Mr Fox you are accused of stealing the King’s favourite blanket. How do you plead?”
MR FOX (bowing his head deferentially to the Lion) – “My King, I am innocent. I plead not guilty.”
MR RABBIT (sputtering in anger) – “Not guilty, my foot! You are guilty for sure. You are forever slinking about in the dead of the night, you crafty bugger. You did it.”
MR FOX (indignantly) – “Slinking about? What do you mean slinking about? I am a creature of the night. I hunt for food at night. Sheesh! Why would I go after a mouldy old blanket?”
MR LION (rising from his chair and roaring angrily) – “Mouldy! How dare you call my blankie, mouldy? It is anything but! I have had it since I was a wee cub. My Mommy made it for me. God rest her soul in peace.”
MR FOX (chastised) – “Oh! Forgive me my Lord. I meant no disrespect. (Then angrily in a frustrated voice) It’s just that Mr Rabbit has had it in for me since I caught him stealing carrots at your farm, just today morning. He accuses me unjustly. What proof does he have?”
MR RABBIT (laughing) – “Hah! You demand proof. I’ll show you proof, you thief. I’ll take you to the Lion’s Den.”
Mr Rabbit holds Mr Fox in a vice like grip and walks him into the King’s den. Mr Lion follows behind.
Inside the Lion’s Den
MR RABBIT (triumphantly pointing at paw prints in the mud) – “You wanted proof. See here now. These are your paw prints in the mud. You snuck in last night and stole the King’s blanket.”
MR FOX (first incredulous and then in a supercilious tone) – “My Paw prints? Mine? Hah! Indeed, you jest! You blind bat! Have you ever seen me go anywhere without my shoes on? My Mummy taught me well. I have delicate feet. I don’t want to muddy them in the infernal jungle sludge. I always wear shoes when I step out. Hah! My paw prints indeed!”
MR RABBIT (angrily) – “Liar! How dare you insult me? Your Mummy obviously did not teach you any manners. You must have removed your shoes when you went into the Lion’s den. Now you are just trying to mislead us.”
MR FOX (irritated & turning to Mr Lion) – “My king, is this all the proof that he has? My supposed paw prints? If this blubbering idiot had any brains, he would see that the prints are not even my size. I deny that these prints are mine. I am innocent. Please ask him to unshackle me.”
MR LION (in a resigned) – “Mr Fox is right. Mr Rabbit you arrested him without any proof. As per law he must be released immediately. Alas! I fear my blankie is lost for good. Sob!”
Mr Rabbit unshackles Mr Fox, indignantly.
Night time in the jungle, in the Lion’s Den
MR FOX (giggling and rubbing his hands in glee) – “Heh! Heh! That oaf thought he could pin this theft on me. They don’t call me sly for nothing. As if I would be stupid enough to leave behind any proof. Duh! He really is stupid. Now I’ll teach him a lesson. Not for accusing me but for insulting my intellect. I am going to frame that carrot crunching coot in the theft. Let’s see how Mr Prosecutor gets out of it. Hah!”
Mr Fox furtively enters the King’s den. The King is in a disturbed sleep (probably unable to sleep without his blankie). His queen is sleeping beside him peacefully, snoring gently.
Mr Fox drops a carrot by the King’s beside and steals away into the night. No one hears him come or go.
Jungle court, outside the King’s den
MR FOX (pleading to the King) – “My Lord. I come to you for justice. Mr Rabbit unjustly accused me yesterday in this court. He made a mockery of me in front of the jungle denizens. I was humiliated. I was innocent of any crime. I accused Mr Rabbit yesterday of stealing your carrots but no one heard me. I come today before you to reiterate my accusation. Mr Rabbit is a thief. If he can steal your carrots then surely he can steal your blanket too. In any case, his flea infested fur is shedding. He is moulting worse than a vulture. He cannot bear the cold. I am sure he stole your blanket to keep himself warm at night.”
MR RABBIT (aghast and then in an indignant voice) – “My King. I did no such thing. This devious creature is just jealous of my station at court. He just wishes to defame me. I did not steal your carrots.”
Enter Mrs Lion, the Queen
MRS LION (in an irritated tone to the King) – “Do you have nothing better to do? You sit here all comfy on your cushioned throne and dispense your stupid justice. Not once in so many years have I heard any decision forthcoming. You are good for nothing. I have to do all the work. I clean the Den, I hunt for food, I look after the cubs and all you do is sit regally unmindful. Stop this tomfoolery now and come and help me with chores.”
MR LION (embarrassed) – “Hush my queen. Not in front of the courtiers. This is not tomfoolery. Someone stole my blankie, night before last. You know I cannot sleep without it. Mr Fox says he is innocent. He is accusing Mr Rabbit now. I have to dispense justice. I am the King.”
MRS LION (incredulously) – “Someone stole your blanket? Why Mr Fox must be right then, I reckon. Today morning while sweeping the den I found a carrot near your bed. We don’t eat veggies. God Forbid! It must be Mr Rabbit then. He must have snuck in at night and stolen the blanket. The entire jungle knows who eats carrots here. I’m sure he is guilty.”
MR LION (roaring) – “Guards! Seize Mr Rabbit. Take him away this instant and throw him in the dungeons. Let him rot there!”
MR FOX (happily) – “My King. Thank you for believing me. Like I said, I truly am innocent. I did not steal your blankie.”
MRS LION (thinking to herself) – “God this man! So much fuss and drama he did over a stupid blanket. Thank God I got rid of that smelly old thing. Its reek was robbing me of sleep. Good riddance to both Mommy in law and blankie.