Scene 1: (The early morning sun illuminates a giant fig tree, bursting with leaves and fruit. Cawing crows, blue jays, and cardinals break from the fig tree in flashes of jet, blue, and red, flushed by the noises of approaching humans. A crow alights beside a squirrel in a nearby tree.)
MAUD: The nerve of those invaders! They think everything is theirs.
FRISK (chattering): Dive at them, dive, dive, dive! If you’re quick, you can drive them off!
MAUD: I suppose you are offering your services towards this endeavor.
FRISK (subdued): Well, no. We squirrels are very fleet, but it would be much safer for a bird.
MAUD: I think I’ll just sit right here, thank you very much. If you think your idea is so great, you can test it yourself, and I’ll content myself with watching.
FRISK (resigned): Oh, all right.
FRISK (a moment later): Hey, maybe the invaders have poor eyesight and will miss most of the fruit!
MAUD (patronizing): Think what you like.
Scene 2: (The sun is higher, and the humans are trudging away from the tree carrying buckets heaped with figs. Frisk slings himself off a branch and lands in Maud’s tree again.)
FRISK: Look! Look! They’re leaving! Let’s go see if they left some fruit!
MAUD (calmly): I suppose I’ll come along.
(Frisk skims down the tree trunk and springs over to the fig tree and up its sweeping boughs. Maud glides from her perch, brakes her wings, and alights with a rustle.)
FRISK (popping out of the leaves beside Maud): I was right!
MAUD (startled and a little cranky): What do you mean?
FRISK: They are blind! They missed the entire top half of the tree and didn’t get anywhere near the middle of it, either. Gotta go before the fam gets here and raids what’s left!
(Frisk scampers away. Maud shakes her head and thoughtfully tears a plump fig off an overhanging branch.)
MAUD (to herself): Those squirrels! So excitable and silly. Can’t they understand that the invaders don’t have the wings or climbing skills to reach the top of the tree?
Scene 1: (A cat dances lightly through lush grass. She jumps onto a low branch of the fig tree, black and white fur brushing the big, fuzzy leaves as she moves up the branch and into the tree. The jungle encloses her, and she is at home. Ears swiveling and tail twitching, the huntress prowls from branch to branch in her one-tree forest. Sensing the cat’s presence, the birds that drew her here fly out of the tree, protesting vocally.)
MAUD (alighting beside Frisk): That cat is at it again in the fig tree. Between her and the invaders, I scarce have chance to snatch a bite of fig.
FRISK (suspiciously): Do you think the invaders employ that beast to guard the tree?
MAUD: I doubt it, but they might as well as far as we’re concerned, for she’s quite successful.
FRISK (over his shoulder, as he bounds away): Well, I’m starting to give up on the figs this year. I’m going to go find some nuts.
MAUD (aside): You won’t have to look very far. I think one just ran away.