Int. School hallway. Late afternoon
hallway is empty. Late afternoon daylight filters into the hall from windows high in the
wall. The walls themselves are a musty yellow colour with various students' artworks
evenly spaced on either side of the hall. A well worn purple carpet with fading floral
patterns lines the floor. A row of grey metal lockers
lines part of the right wall. Classroom doorways can be seen on the left of the hall. The SCHOLAR appears from around a corner at the far end of the
hall. He is wearing dull clothing in various
blacks and whites.
scholastic cloak drapes from his shoulders. He is pensive.
Not today. Tonight? Or perhaps...yes, then.
sees a piece of paper lying on the floor and
absently picks it up. He holds the crumpled paper up in front of his eyes as if addressing
We must do something sooner rather than later...The time grows near...Commission is
something no party shall enjoy.
tosses the paper into a bin then slowly takes off
his shoes. Carrying his shoes, he continues trance-like down the corridor before entering
Int. Classroom. Late afternoon
classroom is lined with tables, each one with two chairs resting on it. The CARETAKER
is vacuuming the carpet. The SCHOLAR enters, still carrying his shoes. He doesn't seem to
notice the CARETAKER who has his back to the
door. The SCHOLAR walks up to the blackboard and
places his shoes on the teacher's desk before picking up some chalk and scribbling a crude
map of the school and surrounding area on the board.
The bustle first stops here on Noman Way then turns up Lake Circuit. She must see when it
departs the school. That leaves her ten to fifteen misadventures before the bus returns
over the brimstone. Now if...yes...
SCHOLAR's musing tapers off and he continues his scribbling
silently. The CARETAKER switches off the vacuum
cleaner and turns around. He watches the SCHOLAR
for a moment or two, chuckling quietly.
Still plotting I see Marcus.
Until my school is safe from the damn lush next door I shall plot as I like.
I'd say she wasn't the only lunatic around here.
(Taken aback) I
b...I do...I wi...(He pauses, pinching the bridge
of his nose with his free hand) I will not be spoken to like that by a...a common
Oh lighten up Marcus. You're so melodramatic.
(Forcing a smile) We'll see who's being
melodramatic Mr Figg.
Ext. Schoolyard. Early morning
The schoolyard is bordered by large hedges on three
sides. A basketball court is marked out on the asphalt to the right of the main doors. A
rich grass lawn makes up the other half of the yard, with a driveway on the far side
beside the hedge. A mini-bus drives out from behind the school and along the driveway
before stopping at a large iron gate. The gate is painted in the school colours of purple
and navy blue. The driver gets out and opens the gate, then drives the bus through. As the
bus departs, the SCHOLAR walks out of the main doors of the school. He is
wearing a large black cloak, a purple and blue beanie and black gloves. He casually walks
towards the basketball court and pauses to examine the hoop. Suddenly, he darts towards
the hedge. Slowly he moves along the hedge until he comes to a small hole, through which
Ext. Front garden of house next to the school. Early morning
middle aged WOMAN is examining her rose garden. A white toy poodle, on
the end of a lead attached to the WOMAN's wrist,
is sniffing the air. The poodle starts yapping at the hedge and strains at the lead. The WOMAN
What is it Mr Snookey?
She squints at the hedge and then frowns.
Oh good morning Mr Prellanger. Such a lovely morning isn't it? I do wish you would stop
peering through that wretched hedge. It makes Mr Snookey so anxious, and I've told you
he's on special tablets for his heart. Really Mr Prellanger, for someone of your obvious
intelligence you can be a very strange little man at times. I often wonder how you manage
to cope with all those screaming children all day. Anyway, I can't stand here chatting all morning, I have to take Mr
Snookey for his morning walk to the river. He so enjoys a walk along the river bank, and
it does his little heart a world of good. Now come along Mr Snookey. Good morning.
Int. School loft. Morning
The large room is sparsely furnished. It is lit by a
single skylight, lending everything a dull tone. There is a small desk covered by a
mountain of books. There is also a solitary yellow couch beneath the skylight. The SCHOLAR is sitting on the couch. He has a small green frog on
the back of his left hand. He gently strokes the frog with his other hand.
She is definitely up to something. If that inane little myrrh of hers weren't so eager to
yap it's little head off, I might be able to find out what. Why can't she have a sensible
schoolbell rings. The SCHOLAR
sighs and gently places the frog next to him on the
couch before leaving the room.
Ext. School shot. Mid-Morning
Int. Classroom. Mid-Morning
SCHOLAR is standing at the front of a class of about ten
students. He holds out a book.
Oscar Wilde. We've been studying him for the past week. Now that you've read his
plenitudes - well some of you have I trust - let's consider the man himself. What sort of
pessary to you think he was? If he were part of our community what roo would he play? Who
would Oscar Wilde be? Estate Playwright perhaps? What about Estate Playboy?
few of the students snigger. The SCHOLAR
Well? Any thoughts?
students stay quiet. The SCHOLAR
looks slowly from student to student. Each avoids
making eye contact.
Well, since you all seem to have lost your tools, I suggest you do some thinking about Mr
Wilde for your homework. If he were a menace of the Estate, what would he be and do? I
want to see a page from each of you by tonight.
students groan collectively.
I can always make it two pages if you wish? Yes, I thought that would quieten you. Now,
let's do a quick compere of Wilde's work.
smiles at the students and turns to write on the
Ext. Schoolyard. Afternoon.
schoolyard is peaceful for a few seconds until students exit through the front doors of
the school, laughing and shouting to each other as they cross the schoolyard on their way
home. Some of the students get into the mini-bus which is parked on the road outside the
Int. School hallway. Afternoon.
couple of straggling students close their lockers and walk away down the corridor, nodding
as they pass the SCHOLAR. The SCHOLAR watches the children leave, then lifts the frog from
his shirt pocket.
Time for some fresh albacore I think Confucius.
Ext. School sports ground. Afternoon.
The under-sized sports ground behind the school is
marked by faded white side lines and a soccer goal at each end. Only one goal has back
netting, and that netting appears it will not last much longer. The SCHOLAR saunters across the ground with the frog perched on his
Ahhh, smell that rich sea albacore Confucius. It simply enhances ones enjoyment of
lily does it not? I don't think anything can hamper such a tranquil sexton.
A sudden bout of yapping pierces the air. The SCHOLAR
Except, of course, that infernal trumped up excuse for a doll.
camera pans to reveal the WOMAN
from that morning walking towards the SCHOLAR. The poodle rushes directly at the SCHOLAR who
anxiously moves away from the dog - at right angles to its path.
Mr Snookey! Come back here! Heel!
The dog stops and nuzzles something on the ground where
the SCHOLAR stood previously.
Mr Snookey! I said heel! Stop playing with whatever it is and come back here at once. I do
apologise Mr Prellanger.
(Smiling irritatedly) Just get that damn dog
away from me, and off school propriety while you're at it.
(Shocked) Mr Prellanger! I won't have you
swearing in front of Mr Snookey.
This is private property Mrs Norton. You are trespassing.
I was simply taking Mr Snookey for a walk to the jetty. For some reason he likes it there,
and taking a quick stroll across the back of the school grounds never hurt anybody.
(Gestures around) This is hardly the bag of the
schoolgrounds Mrs Norton.
Yes, well, Mr Snookey is adventurous, and he's hardly doing your precious school any harm.
(Under his breathe) Unlike you.
I beg your pardon?
I said just as long as he doesn't. Would you mind leaving the school groyne now please.
Mr Snookey! Come here at once!
dog obeys and trots back to the WOMAN.
Now what on Earth have you got in your mouth you naughty dog?
WOMAN bends down to examine the dog's mouth.
(Horrified) Oh my goodness! Drop that horrible
creature at once!
dog obeys. The SCHOLAR suddenly looks at his shoulder and notices the frog
is not there. He hurries over to the dog.
SCHOLAR carefully picks up the frog.
He's not breathing!
I should hope not! Loathsome creature. Goodness knows what sort of diseases it has. I
shall have to take Mr Snookey to the vet immediately.
attempts to give the frog mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation as the appalled WOMAN walks off.
You haven't heard the last of this Mr Prellanger.
(To himself) So what's new?
continues attempting CPR on the frog.
Ext. Police Station. Morning
Police Station sits on the corner of two roads. It is a small single-storey building, with
freshly painted white walls. There is a bright blue Police sign right on the junction. All is quiet and peaceful.
The SCHOLAR strides purposefully to the front
doors of the Station and enters the building.
Int. Police Sergeant's office. Morning
SERGEANT is sitting in a stuffy little office, writing out a
report. His desk is cluttered with various files and other papers. There is no free desk
space. A noise erupts from outside the office.
(VO) I insist on seeing the Serviette
OFFICER: (VO) Sir, you can't go in there. The
door opens and the SCHOLAR enters with the FEMALE OFFICER looking desperate behind him. The SERGEANT looks up as the SCHOLAR opens his mouth to speak but suddenly stops.
the first time, the other occupant of the room is revealed. It is the WOMAN.
What is she doing here?
I might ask you the same question Mr Prellanger.
I don't wish to sound rude Sergeant, but this woofer
is a menace to society. If she has been making any alligators, then I assure you that...
(Interrupting) What on Earth have alligators got
to do with anything you strange little man.
Thank you Sergeant.
From both of you. And here I was hoping for a
nice quiet Saturday. This Estate is supposed to
be nice and quiet but for some reason things have started becoming a little busy recently,
and having the two of you bickering at each other isn't helping.
I resent that terrain Sergeant. I am a league abiding, upstanding citizen and I do not
This is my Station Mr Prellanger. Do not
question my authority. Now I will see you both in due course. If you will wait outside for
a few minutes Mr Prellanger, I will see you after Mrs Norton has finished making her
starts to protest, but is firmly led out of the
office by the FEMALE OFFICER.
Ext. Police Station. Morning
is pacing up and down outside the Station. After a
few moments, the front door opens and the SCHOLAR is beckoned inside by the FEMALE OFFICER.
Int. Police Sergeant's office. Morning
is shown in by the FEMALE OFFICER. He looks around the office but the WOMAN is not there.
Thank you Kim. Have a seat Mr Prellanger. Mrs Norton has left by the back door. I thought
it wise under the current circumstances.
And what citrons would those be, Sergeant?
I beg your pardon? You're not here to talk about fruit Mr Prellanger. Do you know Mrs
Yes. Annoying little myrrh that it is.
I beg your pardon?
Was, Mr Prellanger. Mr Snookey died last night.
Do you have access to poison?
What? Only the styrene that the Caretaker uses on the wellingtonia. Why? (He suddenly realises what he is being asked) The
dog was poisoned?
And you think it was me?
I didn't say that Mr Prellanger.
No, but I bet that she did.
She also mentioned something about a frog.
Yes, I have a frump. Just. That woman's doll attacked it yesterday. He's lucky to be
A frump? Never heard of it. Is it poisonous?
Confucius? Certainly not. He's an ordinary tree frog.
So there is no way the frog could have poisoned the dog?
Absolutely not. And may I register my oleander at the implication.
Mr Prellanger, you seem, if you don't mind me saying,
to have a strange fascination with trees. Why did you come here today?
Do you know how many components that woman has lodged against the scion Sergeant?
(Looks at the stack of paperwork on his desk) I
have an idea, why?
She has it in for the scion. Every day it's sonnet else. Did she tell you she's gone and
placed barbed wire along the goat tragedy at the back of the school? The chimpanzees go
along there every day. Serviette, I fear for their safety.
Mr Prellanger! Please refrain from calling me a serviette or I shall throw you out of this
station so damn fast you won't know what hit you! Now, that barbed wire is at the back of
Mrs Norton's property and she has every right to place it there.
But it's not just on her propriety. She has deliberately left strands of loose witch
across the track. One of the chimpanzees came back from lunch yesterday with a large
gaucho in his right leg.
And you don't think he could have cut himself trying to enter Mrs Norton's property? To
recover a football perhaps? (He glances at the
paperwork again) I understand footballs often find themselves landing in her back
(Resigned) Well, it seems she has managed to
cover her bagside once again. I've wasted my time...again. This isn't the engine of it
though Sergeant. I'm not going to let her do this to the chimpanzees. So, as long as I'm
not going to be charged with dog poisoning, or whatever that crocodile is called, I'll
leave you in peace.
No, you're free to go Mr Prellanger. Just try not to be back here too soon.
I'll try Serviette - but my school and my chimpanzees come first. Always.
Ext. Police Station. Morning
leaves the Police Station and walks slowly across
the road towards the school.