Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Columbia Workshop
Show: My Client Curley
Date: Mar 07 1940

Announcer:

Ladies and gentlemen, in the following play, any similarity to caterpillars, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

MUSIC:

SYMPHONIC treatment of "Yes, Sir, That's my Baby" up and fade out behind

Agent:

There are some things a man doesn't like to talk about because they're...(breaks off). Well, I'll just tell this story about my client, Curley, and then I'll go back to the agent business and try to forget it. But if I should get a lump in my throat while I'm telling it, I hope you'll understand, because this whole thing was so recent, I still feel pretty upset about it.

To make a long story short, I'm out walking one day in the suburbs where I live, when my attention is attracted by two kids sitting on the side of the road (fade harmonica in, well off-mike), and one of them is playing a harmonica. They're bent over watching something on the ground and I, being curious, go over to see what it is.

SOUND:

Fade in harmonica playing "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby".

AGENT:

Hiya, boys, what you got there?

SOUND:

Harmonica stops abruptly.

STINKY:

A trained caterpillar.

AGENT:

What's trained about it?

STINKY:

He dances.

AGENT:

(laughing) That's just natural insect movement, that ain't dancing. That's wiggling.

STINKY:

I'm telling you, he dances. You don't have to believe me.

AGENT:

(good-naturedly) Show me.

SOUND:

Harmonica begins tune.

AGENT:

(fascinated...after a moment) Well, what do you know! -- Now stop. (Harmonica Out) I'll be darned. Stops right when you do.

STINKY:

(proudly) Sure. That's what I'm tellin you.

AGENT:

(still incredulous) Play some more, Stinky.

SOUND:

Harmonica starts and plays through briefly to finish.

AGENT:

(lauging with delight) Lies right down when you're finished! Does he dance to any kind of music?

STINKY:

Nope. Only "Yes, Sir, That's my Baby."

AGENT:

You mean to tell me he dances to only one crummy old tune?

Stinky:

I tried lots more, but he only likes that one.

AGENT:

Say!

STINKY:

What!

AGENT:

I wonder if he's got any snake blood in him? You know there are some snakes who dance.

STINKY:

No kiddin'?

AGENT:

Here, let me take your harmonica a minute. Curley may be related to one of them Asiatic snakes or something. Lemme play it.

SOUND:

Plays "Hootchie Kootchie" (Danse de Ventre)

AGENT:

(stopping) Nope. Won't budge. I guess it's an American caterpillar, all right.

Stinky:

Oh, sure.

AGENT:

(all business) Look, fellers, I'll make you a proposition. How would you like to sell Curley?

STINKY:

I don't wanna sell him.

AGENT:

Why not?

Stinky:

(ashamed to confess that he loves the bug) Well, because I ├?┬ó?? well ├?┬ó?? just because.

AGENT:

Because you like him so much you don't want to part with him?

Stinky:

I just don't want to sell him, that's all. He's my pet, and I want to keep him.

AGENT:

Now look, kiddo. I think you're a very bright and sensitive boy, and because of that, I'm going to make you an immediate case payment of five dollars for Curley!

Stinky:

No! I like Curley, and Curley likes me, too; and when we're alone I talk to him, and he understands me. He likes to have me around. He's very intelligent, even though he don't look so smart.

AGENT:

Oh, he looks smart, all right.

Stinky:

My Dad or nobody else can't never get him to move. He lays down, just like on spite, almost. (Deadly serious) You know, if somebody took him away from me, Curley would die.

AGENT:

Think so?

Stinky:

Sure. He would absolutely die.

AGENT:

Listen to me, Stinky. I'm going to talk to you man to man. This caterpillar you're got is very valuable. He's worth a lot of money, way more than five dollars, maybe.

STINKY:

No kiddin'?

AGENT:

Now this is what we're gonna do, Stinky. You're gonna stay with Curley, and I'm gonna manage both of you. Curley will be my client!

STINKY:

What's that mean?

Stinky:

What's a client?

AGENT:

Well, you wouldn't understand very well. That's something I'll have to explain to your parents, because I've got to get their signatures on a long-term contract. You're a minor under the law, you see.

Stinky (apprehensive of the terminology) I didn't do anything wrong, did I?

MUSIC:

Harmonica with orchestra in transitional treatment of "Yes, sir"

AGENT:

That was how it began. I get Curley under my management and take him and Stinky with me. The first thing I do is start out after some publicity. And boy, do those reporters eat it up. Front page, with pictures. Pictures of Curley and pictures of Stinky and pictures of me. Pictures of my client dancing on a leaf, curling around the mayor's finger, climbing up on a pretty model's leg, sitting in a tiny box at the opera. And headlines! Headline, like in the Times:

TIMES:

Swing Caterpillar Sways to Strains of "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby"; Fred Astaire of Insect World Demonstrates Almost Human Sense of Rhythm.

MUSIC:

Motif...phrase from "Yes, Sir" builds progressively each time it is repeated after.

AGENT:

The Post--

POST:

Curley in Custody of Stinky, Young Svengali of Caterpillars.

MUSIC:

Motif

AGENT:

The Herald Tribune--

HEARLD TRIBUNE:

Insect Phenomenon Learned to Truck in Truck Garden, Manager Avers.

MUSIC:

Motif

AGENT:

The World-Telegram --

WORLD-TELEGRAM:

The Curley Crawl Becomes New National Dance Sensation.

MUSIC:

Motif

AGENT:

The Daily News--

NEWS:

Bug Cuts Rug! Story on Page 2.

MUSIC:

FINALE TREATMENT OF MOTIF

AGENT:

And sure enough, with all that publicity, things really begin happening. First, Bill Robinson introduces the Curley Capers at the Cotton Club!

SOUND:

Effect of solo tap-dancing.

Robinson:

Copasetic!

AGENT:

Then Raymond Scott writes a song called the "Caterpillar Creep."

MUSIC:

Fragment from "Caterpillar Creep"

AGENT:

Then, half a dozen agencies bid for the rights to syndicate a comic strip.

Bidder:

Four hundred and twenty-nine papers, five days a week, making a grand total of...

AGENT:

Other companies pay me royalties for Curley balloons and spaghetti and dolls and toys and picture books and decorations on the outside of drinking glasses.

Child:

Maw, buy me the glass with Curley's picture on it!

AGENT:

And, to make a long story short, I get a vaudeville offer. The money begins to roll in. I hire an expensive suite and a secretary.

Girl:

Curley Enterprises, good afternoon!

AGENT:

I buy Stinky a bike and a new suit of clothes.

Stinky:

Gee, thanks!

AGENT:

The publicity begins to pile up, and at the height of the excitement, I get a fax from Hollywood!

DEMILLE :

(on filter) OFFER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND FOR CURLEY APPEARANCE IN FEATURE-LENGTH MOVIE. USING HIM AS LIVE AMONG CARTOON CHARACTERS. APPRECIATE IMMEDIATE ANSWER. C.B. DEMILLE

AGENT:

Miss Neilson--

Girl:

Yes?

AGENT:

Send a fax to CB DeMille, Hollywood, California.

Girl:

Yes, sir.

AGENT:

CURLEY PRICE FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

Girl:

Is that all?

AGENT:

Do you think I should ask for more?

Girl:

No. I mean, is there any more to the wire?

SOUND:

TELEPHONE RINGS...RECEIVER LIFTED

Girl:

Curley Enterprises. Just a moment please. (To agent) Time magazine on the line. Will you take it on the table phone?

Agent:

(going off) Yeah, okay.

SOUND (Sound of telephone received off-mike. Following conversation is background all the way through to the end of the scene)

Agent:

Hello? Yes, this is him. Yes. Well, you see. Yuh. Uhuh. No, I discovered him in the boy's possession. That's right...No...No...Yes, sure...No, he hasn't yet...Right...I keep him right here...Stinky looks after him most of the time...Yes...What?...No...Oh, no...I beg your pardon...Oh, by all means...From the very first, yes...that's right...that's right...Hm?...Not yet...Probably not for another week or two...Absolutely...Well, we tried all kinds of tunes...no, sir...which...which are you referring to...No...I don't...Hm ...Yes.

Girl:

(same time as Agent) Curley Enterprises. Well, he's busy on another line. Who? Oh, yes...he wanted me to tell you to order a special air-mail daily shipment of willow leaves from Florida. (Third telephone rings) Wait a minute, will you? (Fourth telephone rings...alternates with third...finally the flustered girl can stand it no longer, and she shouts to agent) You better hire some more secretaries!

MUSIC:

"Yes, sir"...transitional cue rides over ringing telephones and conversation.

AGENT:

Well, things are going in great shape, and Curley is making us a bundle of dough, when all of a sudden I get three visitors I didn't figure on.

D1:

We have been reading about your wonderful specimen in the papers, and we have come to ask permission to examine it.

AGENT:

Examine it? What for?

D2:

We are lepidopterists.

AGENT:

Lepidopterists? But Curley's a caterpillar, not a leopard.

D3:

Ah, no, my dear man, lepidoptery is a branch of entomology dealing with the insect order of which your, er, shall we say, client is a member.

AGENT:

Well, I'm sure Curley doesn't want to be examined by nobody.

D1:

Oh, come, come. If this caterpillar is as remarkable as the newspapers say, then you certainly owe science the courtesy of permitting an examination.

D2:

Exactly.

D3:

It would be nothing short of criminal to withhold such knowledge from science.

AGENT:

(grudgingly) Well, if you want to put it that way.

D1:

It will take no more than two minutes.

AGENT:

Oh, I suppose it's all right. Come with me, please

SOUND:

steps...as of group passing from one room to another...door opens...closes.

AGENT:

Hello, Stinky.

Stinky:

Hello.

AGENT:

This is Master Stinky, gentlemen, discoverer and trainer of my client. He guards Curley all the time.

ALL:

ad lib greetings

AGENT:

Well, there he is, in that box. Please be careful how you handle him.

D2:

Aaahhh, here you are!

D3:

My! Muscular little fellow, isn't he?

D1:

Mmmm hmmm. (examining) Normal mandible...unusually conspicuous first maxillae.

D2:

I say, watch out there, Doctor. He's trying to bite you!

D3:

Ha! Never been attacked by a caterpillar before! Astounding.

D1:

See here, Doctor, just notice this remarkable elongation of the abdominal feet.

D3:

Yes, quite. And doesn't this feature make you think of the aglais antiopa?

D3:

Incredible!

D1:

Look here! Isn't this remarkable! I've never seen such ocelli except in the melanargia galathea. And the chitinization!

AGENT:

No kidding?

D2:

(to agent) Well, sir! Congratulations! This is a remarkable specimen, even before we test its reactions to musical stimuli.

AGENT:

Gosh, thanks.: D3: It is of the ordinary genus papilio rutulus, mind you, but it has the most extraordinary features.

AGENT:

Thanks very much.

D1:

But we feel that the specimen would be much more valuable to society, if you, instead of exhibiting it for commercial purposes, were to, uh, loan or donate it to the Museum of Natural History, where it could be further studied by the leading entomologists of the world.

AGENT:

But I...

D2:

Yes, and when it dies, we can dissect it, and...

Stinky:

No! No! They're not gonna take him away! (crying) Don't let them take Curley! (Keeps protesting and crying under.)

D3:

Don't cry, my boy, we're not going to hurt him.

D1 (ignoring the commotion) An insect like this occurs probably once in a million years; and surely, for the sake of a few dollars, you're not going to risk injuring him by overwork!

AGENT:

(rising above the mercenary motives) Are you accusing me of sacrificing Curley's health for profits? (scornfully) Why, that's ridiculous! Curley is...

SOUND:

Knocking on door...all noise stops, including Stinky's protestations.

AGENT:

Yes, come in.

SOUND:

Door opens

Girl:

Just got another wire from the coast. Spielberg's raised his offer to two hundred thousand.

AGENT (heatedly) Two hundred! Tell him five hundred thousand or nothing!

MUSIC:

Sock cue (loud/forcefully) then down behind.

AGENT:

Well, the papers get hold of the lepidopterists' story, and there's another pile of publicity. It gets to be a moral issue, with preachers delivering sermons, and all like that. I'm attacked editorially for exploiting caterpillar labor. But, on the other hand, I am defended as an individualist who refuses to submit to regimentation.

Defender:

A man owns a clever bug. He has the right to manage that bug. There is no question about his status as manager of that bug. Yet he is asked to release his client for scientific purposes. He refuses. He has right to refuse. Nobody denies that right. Yet, in certain quarters, he is attacked merely because he insists upon his constitutional guarantees. We say it is consoling to find a man, in this day of reckless encroachment upon the individual, who will stand up and fight for his rights. We wish him well. We stand behind him, foursquare, our feet firmly implanted in the soil from which his bug has sprung, to support his defiance of those who would turn back the progress of man.

CAPTION:

C U R L E Y

AGENT:

Then andy Rooney gets in his two bits on Sixty Minutes.

ROONEY:

Have you ever looked at a caterpillar? Just a plain green or brown caterpillar? I dunno. I've never really cared about caterpillars. But now we hear there's one that can dance. And my wife believes all of this. But she's a trusting soul. She still thinks our minah bird is gonna talk...

AGENT:

The American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution send Curley an engraved silver-plated twig and a minature flag to put on top of his box. The foreign correspondents get busy and cable long stories to their papers. In Madrid, the Spanish Graficano comes out with a dirty dig.

Graficano:

Mas los norte-americanos no deben olvidar que la danza espanola es la mejor de todas y que si la oruga del Senor Stinky tuviese un poquitin de buen oido para la musica, reconoceria los irrestibles ritmos de la jota, y no se limitaria a tocar "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby". Es un insulto a los paises latinos que esse insecto...

AGENT:

How do you like that for nerve? But get this. The Curley motif is reflected, as they say in the latest Paris fashions. Caterpillar doodads on hats and scarfs and all that comes out with a swell plug.

LE TEMPS:

Tous se rejouiront avec notre republique socur, les Etat-Unis, de la decouverte faite recemment par un petit garcon qui s-appelle Stinky, la decouverte d'une chenille dansante que le monde connait affectueusement sous le nom de Curley. Et c-est remarquable de constater que cet insects ne consent a danser que si l'on joue l'air justement celebre. "Oui, monsieur, c'est mon bebe!"

AGENT:

Not only that, but my clipping service sends me another pat on the back from Shanghai, China, which I get my laundryman to translate.

AGENT:

The Majarajah of Lahore sends Curley some willow leaves from the sacred willow trees of the Temple.

Stinky:

Gee, look, a package from a place named Lakeshore with a lot of funny-lookin' stamps.

AGENT:

Lahore, not Lakeshore.

Stinky:

C'n I have the stamps?

AGENT:

Yeah, here y'are. I sign Curley up for a superspecial movie short, and it sweeps the box office of the country inspite of terrible weather, including blizzards and rainstorms. Variety reports:

VARIETY:

Bliz and Driz Fail to Fizzle Biz as Bug Wows B.O. from N.Y. to L.A.

AGENT:

Life magazine runs a Margaret Bourke-White picture of Curley on the cover, with the caption...

Life:

Curley

AGENT:

CBS does a pickup direct from Curley's box, bringing the sound of Curley eating dinner.

Knell:

This is Jack Knell speaking to you from the headquarters of Curley Enterprises, where we have a microphone buried among willow leaves to pick up the sound of the world's leading insect danseus, busy eating dinner after a hard day's work of exhibiting his talents to the press.

AGENT:

The New Yorker comes out with a cartoon showing Martha Graham nibbling willow leaves...

Man:

Did you see this cartoon in The New Yorker.

Woman:

Lemme see. (Silence) Well, what's funny about that?

Man:

For heaven's sake, don't you get the point?

Woman:

No.

Man:

Well, don't you know who Martha Graham is?

Woman:

Yes.

Man:

And you know who Curley is, of course?

Woman:

The caterpillar.

Man:

Yes. Well, now, Curley lives on willow leaves, and...

AGENT:

DeMille raises his bid to three but I still hold out for five hundred thousand. Grover Whalen invites Curley to do an English country dance on the cover of Magna Charta at the World's Fair.

Well, to make a long story short, everything's going along hunky-dory until one day some more public-spirited guys get ahold of Curley. Only this time they['re not scientists but musicians.

Spokesman:

(fading on) And therefore, in the interests of music, we of the committee feel that you would be rendering an invaluable service to musical knowledge if you would permit us to test the effect of classical music on your client.

AGENT:

But what good will that do anybody?

Spokesman:

Why, it may open up an entirely new field of psychology in relation to music. The world knows very little about the musical instincts of animals and nothing at all about insects. Now...

AGENT:

But you're wasting your time. Curley dances to only one tune.

Spokesman:

Have you tried other tunes?

AGENT:

Why, sure. Tell him what you've played, Stinky.

Stinky:

I played "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More," "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." "The Beer Barrel Polka," "Shine On, Harvest Moon," "The music Goes Round and..."

Spokeman:

Ah, but no classical music!

AGENT:

Sure we did. I myself played "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" by Victor Herbert.

Spokesman:

That's hardly classical. Have you tried Rinsky-Korsakov Flight of the Bumble Bee, which after all is about an insect?

AGENT:

But Risky Corset-Koff sounds like a Russki and Curley is an American caterpillar and don't you forget it!

Spokesman:

No, I'm afraid you don't understand. Let me explain what we propose to do. (fading) We get Curley in a studio with an orchestra and go through a careful series of tests, using selected symphonic music of dance-like tempi. Now, by the choice of representative works, we can quickly establish...

SOUND:

Rap of baton

Conductor:

All right, I know you're tired, gentlemen, we've now been through sixty-seven pieces already├?┬ó??but let's try a few more and then we'll quit until tomorrow.

Voice:

(off mike) Has the caterpillar moved at all?

Conductor:

So far he hasn't budged once, but maybe we'll get him with the "Habanera" from "Carmen."

SOUND:

Baton rapping for attention

MUSIC:

"Habanera" for about 12 measures...then...

Conductor:

(perfunctorily...this is the sixty-eighth time he's had to stop at the beginning.) Stop! Stop! (music out) All right, try No. 69, "Rosamunde" ballet.

Music:

Same as above.

Conductor:

Stop. (Music out) Next, No. 70 Strauss's "Perpetuum Mobile."

Music:

Same as above...fade under

AGENT:

For two and a half days this went on, and, finally, after the two hundred and second try, something happened that really made the papers sit up and take notice all over again. The Amalgamated Press next day carried this story...

SOUND:

Fade in printer...Establish and down for...

AMALGAMATED:

Curley, the terpsichorean caterpillar, today staggered scientists and musicians when he suddenly went into a stately dance upon hearing the second movement of Beethoven's "Eight Symphony." The movement, marked allegretto scherzando, was the two hundred and third musical sampling performed in an effort to determine whether the supercaterpillar could, or would, dance to anything besides the song, "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby." The insect further astonished observers by dancing in a contrapuntal manner to an arrangement of melodies from both the song and the movement. Scientists are unable (fade in music) to explain the phenomenon. The management of the caterpillar announced meanwhile that Curley will appear as the lead in a ballet entitled "Extravaganza for Insects Only," by William Saroyan and that Curley will also be seen soon in a dance recital at Carnegie Hall.

MUSIC:

Up full and down under.

AGENT:

Well, when word gets out about that alligator scared-sando movement and the counterpunts, things really begin to break for us. No less than Hilary Clinton (you know who she is), well, she says to Peter Jennings on TV, she says:

HILARY:

It is not often that a creature smaller than one's little finger can completely captivate the imagination of millions. Yet such is the remarkable truth about the caterpillar named Curley (start fading) and only today I was telling the President that it has been many years since the country has become so interested in...

AGENT:

There's talk among stamp collectors of issuing a special Curley stamp.

Philatelist:

And, since the Curley stamp would be the only insect subject in existence, its value to philately (start fading) would naturally assume prodigious proportions and...

AGENT:

Scientific societies offer to investigate Curley's genius. And would you believe that the annual convention of the American Lepidoptological and Entomological Academy even invites Stinky to lecture before it.

Stinky:

(echo...hesitantly...scared...obviously no speech-maker) Er, so I says to my mother, "Maw can I have a penny, I want to buy a piece of candy." So my mother says yes, so she gives me the penny, er, so on my way to the store, I see a caterpillar, uh, crossing the road, er, um, so I stopped to watch it, see? (start fading) So then I picked it up, and then I started to...

AGENT:

And all this time the money keeps coming in. We're getting along fine, although it costs a lot to keep up my expensive offices and staff of secretaries. But I'm figuring on getting the big dough, the hundred thousand from Disney, and then retiring. Well, to make a long story short, there are a couple of exchanges of telegrams and phone calls, with me holding for my price, and then one night Disney wire.

DEMILLE:

(filter) WILL MEET YOUR PRICE OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PLEASE FLY OUT WITH CURLEY NEXT PLANE.

AGENT:

Wow! Am I excited! I rush into the next room, where Stinky and Curley are sleeping.

SOUND:

Door

AGENT:

Stinky! Wake up! We're rich! We're practically millionaires!

Stinky:

(sleepily) What's the matter?

AGENT:

Come on, kid, get your clothes on! Hurry! You're gonna take a long airplane ride with me and Curley! And boy, I'm gonna buy Curley the juiciest willow leaf he ever ate in his life. Now lemme tell the news to Curley. (As if opening Curley's box) Here you are, little fella, here you...(Freezes...then panicky) Where is he? Why isn't he in his box? Where's Curley? Curley!

Stinky:

(refuses to believe) I put him to bed all right. Ain't he in his box?

AGENT:

Quick! Look all around the room. Under the carpet, under the bed, on the walls, everywhere. And be careful where you walk!

Stinky:

(half-calling, half-crying) Curley! Come back! Curley! Where are you, Curley?

AGENT:

Curley! Curley, listen. (Sings "Yes, Sir" in a croaking, terror-stricken voice.)

Stinky:

Joins in the general desultory singing, interspersed with cries for "Curley?"

AGENT:

Curley! I love you! Where are you?

Stinky:

Curley, don't leave us!

AGENT:

Five hundred thousand bucks, Curley! (Sings vehemently...breaks off when he gets the idea) Here, Stinky! Take this flashlight and look for him along the corridor and ask the manager to let you look at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Meanwhile I'll phone the police.

Stinky:

Goes off half singing, half-crying.

SOUND:

Telephone receiver jiggles.

AGENT:

Operator! Operator! Get me police headquarters! Operator!

SOUND:

siren

Police Radio:

(filter) Calling all cars. Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for a dancing caterpillar. Be on the lookout for a dancing caterpillar. C-A-T-E-R-P-I-L-L-A-R. Caterpillar. That is all!

SOUND:

Code

Winchell:

(Filter) Flash! The Federal Bureau of Investigation will neither deny nor confirm rumors that Curley, the hundred-thousand-dollar caterpillar, was kidnapped. G-men are investigating closely.

SOUND:

single chime

Announcer:

(filter) Ladies and gentlemen, we have been requested by the civic authorities to make the following announcement. Whenever you hear the song "Yes, Sir, that's my Baby," will you please watch very carefully wherever you may be, for a dancing caterpillar in your vicinity. This announcement is in (fading) reference to Curley, the famous caterpillar whose recent career has...

AGENT:

The whole country searches in vain. Nobody's seen Curley. The police throw out a dragnet. Posses are formed. Radio stations play "Yes, Sir That's My Baby" at intervals throughout the day and ask all listeners to be on the lookout for a dancing caterpillar. Curley fans from all over send in money for a "Find Curley Fund."

SPINDLERIFT:

(grating...slight echo) And I am privileged, as president of the "Find Curley Club" to announce to the members that the "Find Curley Fund" has reached the impressive and staggering total of $12, 385.14 with the entire South yet to be heard from!

SOUND:

Great applause, fading into...

SPINDLERIFT:

And I am positive that every mother's son of you, yes, and every father's daughter will pledge his or her heart and hand to be the one main and permanent objective├?┬ó??that Curley may be found!

SOUND:

Even greater applause, fading into...

AGENT:

But nobody finds Curley. And now that he's gone, I begin to realize how much I love that bug. I begin to understand why it was Stinky couldn't bear to sell him to me, way back in those happy days. I can't bear thinking of willow leaves. I find myself hating all birds and looking suspiciously at cars. And I take to drinking.

Waiter:

What will it be for you, sir?

AGENT:

A triple Zombie.

Waiter:

Are you sure you...

AGENT:

A triple Zombie!

Waiter:

Yes, sir.

SOUND:

(background of talking out)

Agent:

And even Stinky tries to drink his way out of his grief.

SOUND:

(background of talking in)

Waiter:

And what will it be for you, young man?

Stinky:

A cup of coffee and make it black!

Waiter:

Are you sure you want...

Stinky:

Black coffee!

Waiter:

Yes, sir.

SOUND:

(background of talking out)

AGENT:

Meanwhile, sympathizers from all over the world, including Scandinavian countries, send me caterpillars, hoping maybe they have found Curley and are eligible for a reward offered by the "Find Curley Fund"!

Shipper:

Mister, here's another barrel of caterpillars from Australia. Where shall I put it?

AGENT:

Give it to the zoo.

Shipper:

Which zoo, mister?

AGENT:

Any zoo, any zoo, so long as you get it out of here!

Shipper:

Okay, mister.

SOUND:

Door closes

AGENT:

Days go by. Weeks go by. I send Stinky home.

Stinky:

(tearfully) Good-by.

AGENT:

Good-by Stinky. Well, at least you got a nice suit of clothes on you and a fine automobile and a chauffeur to drive you home in.

Stinky:

I would rather have Curley again.

AGENT:

Yes, I know. Well, good-by.

Stinky:

G'by.

AGENT:

G'by.

Stinky:

G'by. (pause)

AGENT:

And then one day I'm sitting in my place, playing sadly on the piano with one finger, as is my wont.

MUSIC:

One-finger plunking of "Yes, Sir"

AGENT:

All of a sudden, out from under the music rack creeps Curley. (Piano stops) Only, he's changed. He's different. He's not dancing any more. He---he's a├?┬ó??a butterfly!

MUSIC:

Orchestra sneaks in with Beethoven movement, softly and very slowly.

AGENT:

(to Curley, tenderly) Curley! Hello, Curley. You're a big boy now, ain't you? (Low...narrating) He flutters his wings a little when I say that, and I stroke his antennae, which are now very long and beautiful. I see he's getting restless for the outdoors, where he no doubt hears the call of his mate, so I sing a farewell to him. (Orchestra stops and agent sings softly, "Yes, Sir") He flutters around my head and then flies over to a picture of Stinky on the bureau and then flutters back to me, and after one long look at me he flies out the window, never more to come back again.

MUSIC:

Sneaks in lamentation arrangement of "Yes, Sir."

AGENT:

To make a long story short, I sit down, and I feel like crying. In fact, I do cry. (Pause) Yes, who would every think that a grown man would ever cry about a caterpillar? But I did, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

MUSIC:

Up briefly, then down again

AGENT:

Well, that's the story of my client, Curley.

MUSIC:

Up to finish.