Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brooklyn

I’m one of those people who read the book before the movie comes out and then sits in the movie theater and picks out everything the screenwriters did that was different from the book.  In fact, the best thing for me to do when faced with a book/movie situation is to wait long enough that I have forgotten most of the details of the book.

I wouldn’t want to deprive future playgoers the opportunity to nitpick the details of Brooklyn the picture book vs. Brooklyn the play, so I am posting the text of the picture book today.  I added a twist to the play that is not in the book, so don’t feel that you don’t need to see the play because you have already read the book.

Brooklyn

Ever since he was a nestling in Central Park, Brooklyn had refused to fly. 
His parents tried, but could not get him to fly out of the nest.  They tried pushing him out.  They tried bribing him.  Finally, they tied a rope around him and lowered him out of the nest.  His brothers and sisters, who were each named after a borough of New York City, had long since taken to exploring the city with its busy, noisy, crumb dropping people.  They had even been to visit the places they were named after.  But not Brooklyn.  The truth is, he wasn’t afraid to fly. He was afraid of heights.  The thought of flying up to a tree branch struck terror into his soul.  Never mind soaring in the clouds.
By fall, all of Central Park was in a twitter.
 “He will never learn to fly in time for winter,” said Bronx, his brow furrowed with concern.
“It’s just not natural, he is a bird, for goodness sake!” said his older sister, Manhattan.
“Maybe we can carry him,” said Brooklyn’s middle sister, Queens.
“Nonsense,” said his brother, Staten Island.  “He’ll come around.  It’s just a phase.”
So they waited.  And they waited. And they waited.
One day, Brooklyn spied a girl in a blue coat holding a balloon and a pretzel.  Attracted by crumbly bits of pretzel, he swooped from the bushes into the little girl’s lap.  When he tried to snatch the pretzel, he got tangled in the balloon’s string and, to his horror, away he went.  “Help!” he cried. “I’m going to fall!  SOMEONE save me.  HEEEEELP!” he said as he struggled against the string.  Someone will rescue me,” he said with his eyes screwed tightly shut. “I’ll just wait.”  But the sirens and car horns of the city grew more faint as he floated higher.  He opened one eye. “Ack,” he screamed and shut it.  The smell of hot dogs and pretzels faded away as he floated even higher.  “I have no choice,” he thought with a shiver.  “I have to save myself.”  His stomach did a somersault as he opened both eyes, and stared.   And stared.   And then he let his breath out in a long, slow whistle.  “It’s kind of nice up here,” he said.  “The sky is so blue, the buildings are so tall, and look at all of those trees.”  “I have an idea,” he said.  He pecked at the string until it broke.  He grabbed the string with his beak and pulled the balloon between the buildings, past the crowds, into the park and right back into the lap of the little girl in the blue coat.  “Thank you, little bird,” she said and gave Brooklyn a handful of crumbs from her pretzel.  He ate all of them and then, to celebrate no longer being afraid, he flew to Brooklyn.  He had always wanted to see his borough of New York.

The End