The cricket




Zablotsky, Hayley

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THE CRICKET is a feature-length family comedy screenplay. It follows the journey of CECIL, a hopeful and affectionate pet store cricket in the “Live Reptile Food” section of the store. Cecil dreams of being adopted like all the cute puppies and kittens on the other side of the store (but he is, in fact, in the store to be sold as food for lizards). The pet store manager’s cat FLUFFY rules the store with an iron fist, constantly reminding the animals of their place in the food chain and the value that humans assign them. Cecil is at the bottom of both scales, but steadfastly believes there’s a family out there that will want to adopt him. One day, a little girl named AGNES falls in love with him on a shopping trip to the pet store. She promises to care for him and love him forever, but her mom pulls her away. Cecil goes after her, dragging along his best friend – a mealworm named MEL, who wishes Cecil would realize that he already has everything he needs with his animal friendships. But Mel adores Cecil and goes along with the plan. Along the way, Cecil meets new friends, including a feeder rat named OPHELIA, who is a classically trained actor with dreams of joining a Shakespeare troupe, and a sickly dog named DEWEY, who just wants to be part of a group. Cecil experiences scary and wonderful life in the wild as he and his friends journey to Agnes’s house. All the while, Fluffy pursues them – no one escapes their place in the system! No one escapes the food chain! Plus, tensions grow among Cecil and his friends as his friends start loving life in the wild and questioning Cecil’s ongoing desire to be a pet. Wouldn’t it be better to be free? To not be owned by anyone? But Cecil is single-minded in his desire to be a pet – to be considered worthy and wanted. After a series of close calls, Cecil and his friends make it to Agnes’s house. She is delighted and instantly takes him in, but her mean older brother kidnaps Cecil to feed to his pet bearded dragon. Meanwhile, Cecil’s friends also find themselves in peril thanks to the human world. Cecil finally realizes that his true destiny is not to be a pet. His destiny is to rescue and value his friends and be a free independent cricket who owns himself. He escapes and reconciles with his friends, who then rush to the pet store to free all the animals. In the end, Cecil and Mel decide to be roommates, living in the wild together as best friends who own themselves.



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