INT. ZOO — PRIMATE EXHIBIT — DAY

A PEACOCK at attention, facing onlookers through glass. An ORANGUTAN sits back a ways, directing.

PEACOCK
I don’t t’ink I can do dis, Missa K.
‘S jus’ so… I dunno! Revealin’?

MISTER K. (ORANGUTAN)
No no no. Nonsense! You mustn’t
think of them, for what are they to
you? Nothing. Not to you, my dear,
not to you. Your grace—your
beauty—is what spellbinds and
ensnares; you need only realize
this, and charm follow.

PEACOCK
Why, Missa K… Y’embarrass me!
Oh, my feathas…

MISTER K.
Now, watch my arms, girl. Watch
‘em! Vigilance ne’er be ‘bandoned!
(a beat)
And…riiiiiiiise thy breast like
figurehead.

A beat.

PEACOCK
…Like dis?

MISTER K.
Hold! Hold, my sweet lady! You’ve
trapped their eyes with beauty’s
mercy! Strung tight, their woes
cords ‘neath fingertips.

PEACOCK
Tha’s a lotta words, Missa K., but
I can’t be holdin’ much lwonga.
My shouldas be killin’ me!

MISTER K.
Relax them! Must always relax.
You are a ballet head-of-pin
angel, my pet, not lumber
erected for crows.

The sound of straining. A cry.

PEACOCK
K.!

MISTER K.
The tail! Tail! Only eternal naught
if e’er without. …Spread! Spread!

Struggling. A beat.

PEACOCK
…’Kay, yeah?!

MISTER K.
…Aaaaannd heels.

PEACOCK
Oh my gwad. Issa nufta do ya in!
(a beat)
Wait, what abouts m’tail?! Y’sees
m’tail?!

MISTER K.
Look round you, child! Look
round.

PEACOCK
(a gasp)
My gwad… Zat me?

MISTER K.
No one else.

PEACOCK
Well, you could hardly know.

MISTER K.
Rubbish. You are a phoenix, sweet
lady; you are a swan. The madonna
e’er within you just needed lifting.
(a beat)
Now…look upon thy audience.

PEACOCK
Ooooooh… Missa K.! They’s
everywhere!

MISTER K.
From chieftain to child, madam,
you have their heartstrings.
Breathless, they now but beg your
barest pluck.