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..what I've got so far

....May 18, 2008

Scene opens with Ruth and Paul Martin standing outside their house in front of a shed, barnyard animal sounds in the distance.  Ruth is wearing a plain dress covered by a floral-print apron with scalloped hems. Paul wears khaki pants, a matching khaki shirt, and sensible shoes.  Though the audience can't hear what they're saying, the couple's body language, soft eyes, and pleasing smiles make it obvious that Paul and Ruth are engaged in mindless, rural chit-chat---the possibility of an early winter, perhaps.  The camera closes in as the bucolic scene is interrupted by a large collie entering stage right.  The collie is sweating as though she has run several miles or has been liberally spritzed with water from an off-camera spray bottle.  Ruth dries her sweaty palms on her apron.  Paul leans forward, hands on his knees so that he can better communicate with the dog.
Paul Martin: "Lassie, girl.  Where have you been?  Where's Timmy ?"
Lassie is catching her breath but recoils at the stench of Paul's.  Sensing a problem with his oral hygiene, Paul stands up straight.  Lassie sits and raises one paw.
Ruth Martin: "I think she's trying to tell us something.  What is it girl?"
At this, Lassie stands, turns, and begins walking back in the direction from which she came.  Paul's jaw slackens.  Ruth scratches her head.  Neither Martin moves.  Lassie then turns her head and, seeing that nobody is following, sits again.  Lassie stares at the humans.
Paul Martin: "I think you may be right, honey.  Is she right, Lassie?  Are you trying to tell us something?"
Lassie nods her shaggy head up and down.  The Martins continue staring at the dog even as Lassie walks away, stops, looks over her shoulder, walks away, and stops again.  Paul and Ruth resume their prior chit-chat, this time an overly kind assessment of Ruth's blueberry cobbler.  Lassie backtracks and takes a few steps toward them.
Ruth Martin (to Lassie): "Are you still here?  What could you possibly want?  And, by the way, where's Timmy?  I have some scrumptious cobbler and cold milk a'waiting on him."
A look of exasperation spreads across Lassie's face.  The collie again raises her paw but, this time, she uses it to slap her own forehead before dragging it down her face and snout.  Paul thinks of Curly Howard, but doesn't know why and quickly dismisses the thought.  Raising his voice as though the dog were hard of hearing, Paul speaks again.
Lassie scowls, releases a deeply held breath, and begins to draw a picture in the dirt.  The picture, though crudely drawn, clearly shows a smallish stick-figure standing at the bottom of a long cylinder.  Above the cylinder is roof and crossbar, rope wound around the bar like a spool of thread.  At the end of the rope there's an overturned bucket.  Paul thinks the bucket is made of wood and calls Ruth's attention to the meticulously drawn staves.  Ruth and Paul study the picture for what seems an eternity.
Paul and Ruth Martin (to Lassie, in unison): "We just don't understand you, girl.  Want some cobbler?"
At this, Lassie stands on her hind legs, cups her front paws around her mouth, and yells....

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