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Title The Lion and the Field Mouse

·9 mins

Title: The Lion and the Field Mouse Credit: written by Author: Jonathan Batteas Draft date: Draft 2 - 2014-04-29 Contact: Licence: Template created by Antony Johnston and released under a Creative Commons Licence of “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported”. You can read more about the licence at

/* REMEMBER: I’m writing this script for myself. Technical perfection is not as important as reminding myself what I want to create. */



A mid-distance establishing shot showing the lion sleeping in his den, and other animals around, but all of them keeping their distance. The mouse approaches the sleeping lion.


Mouse-eye view as the mouse comes within reach of the lion’s paws. The lion looks bored, and has not lifted his head, but his eyes are watching the mouse.

CAPTION The lion to the field mouse said,

LION Were I a house cat, you’d be dead,…


Close-up of the lion’s paw, curling his claws into the dust in front of the mouse.

LION …to crawl so near a feline’s paw,…


Close-up of the lion’s lips curling back in a sneer. His ferocious teeth are visible.

LION …and feel no fear for tooth or claw.


The mouse strikes his most “Shakespearian orator” pose, one hand on his chest, the other stretched out to indicate the grandeur of the beast in front of him.

MOUSE Were you a house cat,

CAPTION replied the mouse.

MOUSE I’d faint at the vision of the house that could contain such a majestic beast–


The mouse considers (close-up) head down, and hand (loose fist) to mouth (as if thinking).

MOUSE If one believes the tales, at least.




sidelong view of the lion sitting up, addressing the mouse, while the other animals answer from a distance.

LION They’re true, indeed!

CAPTION the animals agreed.

MANDRILL Yes, yes. They’re all true.

BIRD I saw them with my own eyes.

SNAKE Would I lie?

Panel 2

The lion stands majestic.

LION I’m a spectacle most imposing.

Panel 3

The lion looks very pleased with himself; eyes closed, lost in wistful self-reverlry. This panel is to present a breather for the reader.

Panel 4

the lion bends his head down in front of the mouse, addressing the mouse at his level.

LION But come, don’t mislead,…

Panel 5

The lion tosses his head, dismissively, turning his back on the mouse. He’s going back to lay down.

LION …I note the speed, with which you plead my favor,…

Panel 6

The lion looks sidelong (possibly over his shoulder) at the mouse, for the first time doubting the mouse’s intent to “plead the lion’s favor”.

LION …I’m supposing.




The mouse is tiny in the mid ground, shaking his fist at the lion, while the lion busys himself with lying back down; for the most part, ignoring the mouse.

MOUSE (shouting) May it never be!

CAPTION said the mouse to he.

Panel 2

Mouse-level view from behind the mouses back. The lion looks down at the mouse impassively.

MOUSE I come, not seeking your favor. I simply slink on my belly to see,…

Panel 3

Close-up of the mouse’s determined face.

MOUSE …which of us you might think braver.

Panel 4

The lion laughs.

CAPTION The lion laughed at the thought of this. A mouse come to test its mettle.

Panel 5

The lion flicks his tail at the mouse and looks away from him. The mouse as to jump out of the way to avoid being knocked over by the lion’s tail.

CAPTION He flicked his tail to dismiss a summons so easy to settle.


Page 4

Panel 1

The mouse has turned his back on the lion and is looking over his shoulder at him as he plays at walking away.

MOUSE I see fear has gripped you, mighty king. I will try to suppress my laughter,…

Panel 2

(A very small panel) Now the lion has turned around, and is towering over the mouse as he walks away. The lion is in shadow; like an impressive, stone statue. The mouse is flipping his hand dismissively, apparently unaware of the lion’s mounting ire.

Panel 3

View from behind the mouse, the lion’s shadow is on the ground behind him. The mouse indicates the mandrill, bird, and snake that spoke earlier. They all have nervous looks on their faces. The mandrill is covering his eyes.

MOUSE …when I hear the songs they will sing,…

Panel 4

Same view as before, only a few things have occurred to let us know that things are progressing. The lion’s shadow now eclipses the mouse, causing him to look back. The mouse has a worried look in his eye. The other animals are running/flying/slithering away.

MOUSE …condemning your cowardice,…

Panel 5

The lions face is huge, filling the panel, as he is stooping down inches in front of the mouse. The mouse is small, and tucked up in the foreground, in front of the lion, right where the lion’s nose is.

MOUSE (weakly) …hereafter.


Page 5

Panel 1

The lion roars, sending the mouse rolling.

LION Preposterous!

CAPTION the lion said.

Panel 2

The lion is angry. General posturing.

LION We must, now, devise a test.

Panel 3

The lion is generally yelling in the direction of the mouse, still on the ground, occasionally spitting.

LION Choose a challenge! Go ahead! Anything you can do,…

Panel 4

The Lion has calmed down a little bit, as he issues the final part of his challenge to the mouse.

LION (stoically) …I will best.


Page 6

Panel(s) 1/2/3

The mouse stands up and brushes the dust from his fur.

Panel(s) 4/5

He walks over to stand below the lion. He is looking up at the lion. The lion has a quizzical look on his face.

Panel 6

The mouse bows. The lion kind of looks to the side like, “is anyone else seeing this?”

CAPTION Then bowed the mouse.

MOUSE I gladly accept.

Panel 7

The mouse points to a safari tent, far off in the distance.

MOUSE See you there, that yonder tent?


Page 7

Panel 1

The lion is listening to the mouse, while looking in the direction of the tent.

MOUSE A fearless fool has set that house,…

Panel 2

The mouse raises an eyebrow challenging the lion once again with his question.The Lion’s face is stern.

MOUSE …but did he ask for your consent?

LION (under his breath) No.

Panel 3

The mouse with his finger raised, as he is pontificating and elucidating the terms of the test to the lion.

MOUSE He has hidden in there, his companion, fair. (cont) The test, my liege, is this,…

Panel 4

The mouse is imagining the woman, sleeping in her tent, as the mouse tip-toes over to her.

CAPTION (voice of the mouse) …which of us would dare to cast off care, and woo her with,…

Panel 5

The mouse, gently kissing her cheek.

CAPTION (voice of the mouse) a kiss.


Page 8

Panel 1

Close-up of the mouse’s face, eyes closed, and a vacant smile on his face.

Panel 2

The lion, looking at the mouse. The lion is half-smiling.

LION Go ahead mouse, and show me your stuff.

Panel 3

It is as if the lion has invaded the mouse’s daydream. Close-up of the woman’s face. Her eye lids are lazily lolling open. There is a blank expression on her face.

CAPTION (voice of the lion) Though, with the proper pressure to her head,… (cont) …you should find it simple enough,…

Panel 4

The image from the previous panel, pulled back to reveal that the woman’s head is no longer attached to her body, and is laying in the desert where the lion and mouse are talking. (rather than the lavish interior of a tent.) The mouse (in the daydream) has a horrified look on his face.

CAPTION (voice of the lion) …for us to kiss her here instead.


Page 9

Panel 1

The mouse shakes his hands, emphatically. He has a worried look on his face.

MOUSE That won’t be needed,

CAPTION said the mouse.

Panel 2

3/4 panel. The lion is standing; looking down at the mouse who is still talking.

MOUSE Though, a token I’ll bring for you. An ivory button from her blouse,… (cont) …so you’ll know my words are true.

Panel 3

The mouse’s hindquarters, bounding away toward the tent.

CAPTION Without further banter, the mouse turned, and set out toward the tent.

Panel 4

The lion laying down, looking after the mouse. He’s totally relaxed, with a sardonic look on his face.

CAPTION The lion lay back, unconcerned, and watched him as he went.

LION (quietly) Fool.

Panel 5

Full-length, horizontal panel showing the passage of time. Starting at left with a twilight-type lighting, fading to mountains surrounded by stars on the right. The silhouettes of jackals and other animals walking in the distance.

CAPTION The dusk melted into Abyssinian night, and the jackals called across the plain.


Page 10

Panel 1

The lion laying asleep. The sun shines on his, still closed, eyes, and the rest of his body is still in shadow.

Panel 2

The lion has opened his eyes and is looking.

Panel 3

The world in silhouette because the light is new, in the mid-foreground we see the mouse returning.

CAPTION At the sun’s first, murky light, the mouse returned from his campaign.

Panel 4

The mouse placing a single, small button at the lion’s paw.

CAPTION He dropped the button at the lion’s feet.

Panel 5

The lion yawning. His jaws impressive.

CAPTION The lion blinked and yawned.

Panel 6

The lion has a bored look on his face. He is addressing the mouse.

LION Well mouse,… (cont) …you may think you have me beat,…

Panel 7

The lion standing up, stretching.

LION …but the day has only dawned.


Page 11

Panel 1

The lion standing behind the mouse, his chest out. He looks proud. (I’m thinking of an iconic image here. Both standing on a jut out bit of rock, the lion standing very proud, the mouse standing beside the lion’s paw. Their size is the main contrast, here.)

LION Stand back pipsqueak, and watch me work!

Panel 2

mid-close-up of the lion’s face roaring. If there is any “payoff” in this comic, this would be it. Make it terrifying. (Think of the image in the sketchbook, or something close to that.)

CAPTION Then, he let out a mighty roar.

Panel 3

The lion bounding off in the direction of the tent. You can see the man (a safari hunter-type) and the woman, both look terrified and caught off-guard.

CAPTION He shook his head, with a leonine smirk, and charged the tent’s front door.


Page 12

Panel 1

Close-up of the mouse’s head, sniffing the air.

CAPTION Two shots rang clear, in the African air,…


CAPTION …and the mouse heard the lion no more.

Panel 2

Large, almost full-page panel. The mouse standing in front of an elderberry bush which had been hidden behind the lion.

CAPTION So, he turned to the bush in the lion’s lair. (cont) There’d be elderberries in this winter’s store.