The scene is set, the actors prepared. Shem Do-Much rolls the camera as his father clears the frog from his throat.
"Hi, I'm Doctor Noah Do-Much, owner of Mixed Menagerie, the floating zoo that's here for you. With seven eager beavers on board already, we're looking to hire more babysitters for all our whiny beasts - "
"Hey!" interrupts Jay Do-Much, who happens to be standing next to a nearby cedar, ax poised for chopping. "I resent that remark."
Noah immediately turns to face his distraught son. "Relax, Jay. By 'beasts' I meant the hyenas, not you."
"Cut!" cries Shem, stopping the camera.
Jay takes that as a cue to start swinging.
Meanwhile Noah asks his oldest son, "So what's the problem?"
"You got distracted from your focus," replies Shem. "You need to concentrate, like you're always telling us to do. Put your whole heart into it. That sort of thing."
"Got it," says Noah. Soon they are shooting the scene again. This time Noah has found a clever way to wind down his speech. "All you cheetahs join with me or you'll be hanging from a tree."
Just then Jay cries, "Timber! Get out of the way, Dad!"
CRASH! goes the tree as actor and camera crew scramble for cover.
"One tree down, a thousand some to go!" cries Jay, relishing his victory. "Let's saw some lumber!"
Shem angrily shakes his head at him. "What are you trying to do, ruin the interview? You know we need it to recruit more workers. Only then can we begin construction. Thanks to you, we have to switch locations. Now memorize your lines, and this time get it right."
"But we're Dad's family," protests Jay, "and the only employees he needs. Besides, the President already gave him the blueprints. Why not begin the groundwork NOW?"
But on this point energetic Jay sadly finds himself outvoted. Once again the camera rolls. This time Mrs. Noah waltzes on stage, bearing a basket filled with delightful vegetarian delicacies.
"Need fresh inspiration for your perspiration?" she asks. "Then interview to join our crew and relish the homegrown fruit of your own labors."
"Gee thanks!" cries Ham, who loves to hog the limelight. He greedily grabs an alfalfa sandwich from her basket and shoves it in his face.
She gives his hand a playful swat and smiles wide for the camera. "Need help micro-managing your children's mealtimes? Then what you need are a few woodpeckers. Those delightful drill sergeants will get the point across in no time. Just get on board with us and - "
The "B" word triggers another cry of "Timber!" Time to dodge a falling tree. Meanwhile Mrs. Noah and her three daughters-in-law decide it's time for an emergency arbitration meeting.
"We demand an equal say on this sensitive issue," they tell Noah. "Before those monkeys pull anymore shenanigans!"
Doctor Do-Much readily agrees to their demand. "Tripling the number of bathrooms is an excellent idea. That way the men can each have one stall and the women two."
"Hey, how is that fair?" gripes Ham.
Noah turns to face him. "Please, son. You must understand. Relating with the opposite sex is like talking to a different species. If you don't learn their language - "
"Cut!" yells Shem. "Dad, you got distracted again. You're always getting distracted. How can I record anything for posterity if you don't lay down clear guidelines?"
At that point Noah decides it's time he had a heart-to-heart chat with his crew. "Listen, there will be no more squabbling," he insists. "If we're going to get this done, we've got to stick together. We can't be ostriches, ducking behind paper sandboxes to avoid tough issues. Or chickens, pecking doubt into our feed. In order to succeed, we must reign in our wild horses, learn to keep visual pace with the ants, and provide our busy bees with the sort of nectar that produces liquid gold."
"And one important thing to remember," he adds, "is that this isn't volunteer work, for the Lion of Judah Himself promises wages that far surpass free health care (a mere fringe benefit from touching the hem of his garment). Those wages are called 'survival,' which is after all what this voyage is all about."
"Timber!" cries Jay, in joyful agreement with his employer dad.
Noah responds with a grin that stretches from ear to ear. "Come on. This interview's over. It's time we all got down to work."
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