Bruce's Flood

By Trevor Fletcher


Two Australian kangaroos meet up and reminisce about Noah's Ark.


Noah, a reluctant shipbuilder
Sheila, a kangaroo
Bruce, another kangaroo
Reuben, Noah’s cousin
Dr Benjamin, a shrink


(The scene opens with Sheila standing in kangaroo pose and Noah standing frozen in shipbuilding pose.  Bruce hops on also in kangaroo pose.  Rolf Harris’s ‘Tie me kangaroo down’ plays on the sound system.)
Sheila: G’day Bruce!
Bruce: Oh, g’day Sheila.  How’s it hangin’?  Got another nipper in the pouch I see.
Sheila: Too right Bruce.  Since the Flood it seems that all Wayne has to do is look at me and I’m in the family way again!  S’pose it must be God’s way of repopulating the world after the Flood.  Talking of the Flood, have you seen anything of old Noah since that day we all got out of the Ark?
Bruce: Not a peep Sheila, not a peep.  As soon as the earth dried out it was back to the normal order of things before you could say 'Kylie Minogue'  – humans go their way and we 'roos and all the other animals go ours.  'Cept the dogs, of course – they got so used to sucking up to the humans in the Ark, they don't seem to be able to break the habit.
Sheila: I s'pose you’re right.  Shame though, really – he was real bonzer bloke, old Noah.
Bruce: Yeah, he was fair dinkum all right.  Mind you, in the early days there were a fair few that thought he was an ideal candidate for the funny farm.
Sheila: Too right Bruce!  Well it must have looked a bit odd, I s'pose, building a wallopin' great boat hundreds of miles from the sea.  Bound to cause a bit of comment…
(Bruce and Sheila freeze.  Noah unfreezes and mimes shipbuilding, hammering in nails.  He hits his thumb with the hammer and hops about a bit, sucking his injured thumb.  As this happens Reuben enters and watches for a moment in disbelief.)
Reuben: Morning, Cousin Noah.
Noah: Morning, Cousin Reuben.
Reuben: Watcherdoin’?
Noah: Buildin’.
Reuben: Watcherbuildin’?
Noah: Boat.
Reuben: Why?
Noah: God said.
Reuben: Why?
Noah: Flood.
Reuben: Big flood?
Noah: Huge.
Reuben: Ain't rained for months.
Noah: Nope.
Reuben: Built any boats before, then?
Noah: Nope.
Reuben: Who's it for?
Noah: Me.
Reuben: Small boat then?
Noah: And Mrs Noah.
Reuben: Have to be a bit more roomy then – well-nourished lass, Mrs Noah.
Noah: And our boys, Shem, Ham and Whatsisname.
Reuben: Good lads, Shem, Ham and Whatsisname.
Noah: And Shem's Missus.
Reuben: Lovely lass, Shem's Missus.
Noah: And Ham's Missus, and Japheth's.
Reuben: Japheth?
Noah: Whatsisname.
Reuben: Oh ar.  Need to be quite a big boat then, for that lot.
Noah: And the animals.
Reuben: Animals?
Noah: Two of every kind, God said.
Reuben: Need to be a huge boat then.
Noah: Seven of every kind of the clean ones.
Reuben: Need to be a monster boat then.
Noah: Ar.  Tis called 'the Ark'
Reuben: Hot, ain't it?
Noah: Ar, 'tis hot.
Reuben: Sunny, ain't it?
Noah: Ar, 'tis sunny.
Reuben: Been out in the sun long then?
Noah: Ar, quite a while.  Well, best be getting on.
(Noah resumes his work on the boat.  Reuben watches for a while then leaves shaking his head.  Noah freezes and Bruce and Sheila unfreeze to a snatch of the song 'Six White Boomers' (!!)
Sheila: Well, I s'pose that’s how the rumours started
Bruce: Too right Sheila.  Cousin Reuben told his Missus, Charlene, who told her neighbour, Marlene, who told her hairdresser, Darlene, and that was it – the story spread faster than a bush fire after a drought.  And the whole world and his wife were stopping by to see Nutty Noah building his boat in the Outback.
Sheila: Then they sent Dr Benjamin over to give him the once over.
Bruce: Flying Doctor?
Sheila: What do you mean, you crazy gallah – how would a doctor fly?
Bruce: Well, I dunno – it just sort of seemed to make sense when it came out.
Sheila: You know Bruce, sometimes I really worry about you.  Reckon you’re a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.
(Bruce and Sheila freeze and Noah unfreezes and resumes his shipbuilding.  Enter Dr Benjamin.)
Benjamin: Good morning, Noah my dear fellow.
Noah: (Continuing to build) Morning, Doc.
Benjamin: And how are you this morning?
Noah: Fine.
Benjamin: Not feeling at all dizzy?
Noah: Nope.
Benjamin: No hallucinations of any sort?  Pink elephants, little green men, floods coming, that sort of thing?
Noah: Nope.
Benjamin: Excellent!  And no strange sounds?  Drumming in the chest, ringing in the ears, voices from God – nothing of that sort at all?
Noah: Well, God spoke to me the other day if that's what you mean.
Benjamin: Did he, my dear fellow?  Did he?  Very interesting!  And what did he say?
Noah: He said to build this boat.
Benjamin: Did he indeed?  Told you to build a boat, eh?
Noah: Ar, he did.  And I am, so if you don’t mind I'd best be gettin' on.
(Noah starts to hammer again. Dr Benjamin watches for a while then tries a different tack.)
Benjamin: Noah, my dear chap, I can't help wondering whether all this building can be very good for a man of your…er…a man with, shall we say, quite so many years under his belt.
Noah: Ar?
Benjamin: Ar.  I mean yes.  I can't help wondering, my dear old chap, whether you might be a bit more comfortable at my Clinic.
Noah: The Funny Farm, you mean?
Benjamin: Mental Wellness Clinic, Noah – I do wish you people wouldn't call it the Funny Farm – sends out all the wrong messages.  Well, call me if you change your mind, we'll always have a place for you at the Clinic.
(Exit Dr Benjamin.  Noah freezes and Bruce and Sheila unfreeze to a snatch of  the Kangaroo Song.)
Bruce: So that's how it went on – no matter how much they said he was as mad as a kookaburra at full moon and tried to persuade him to stop, he just kept on building his boat.
Sheila: Good thing for us he did.
Bruce: Good thing for everyone.
Sheila: 'Cept for the folks that drowned.
Bruce: Well, he tried to save them of course.  Told them they'd be safe from the Flood if they came into the boat with him.
Sheila: But no-one believed him.
Bruce: Well, some of them sort of half believed – said they’d hang around near the boat just in case.  But it was no good of course – either you were in the boat and safe or you were out of it and drowned.
Sheila: Just goes to show doesn't it?
Bruce: Just goes to show what?
Sheila: That you can teach humans to do some quite clever things and sometimes they can be quite intelligent but in the end you just can't tame them.
Copyright Trevor Fletcher, all rights reserved.
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