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Click, Clack, Achoo: A Draft, with notes for the illustrator.

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Farmer Brown goes to the barn every morning and turns on the lights.   

[A nice sunrise with FB walking to the barn, perhaps?]


He puts hay into the mangers so that the cows and sheep can eat breakfast.

[This first part shouldn’t take up too many pages,

but the animals should have their electric blankets

and it should be clear that the lights are ON.]


He puts seeds into the feeders so that the chickens and ducks can eat breakfast.


He puts slop into the troughs so that the pigs can eat breakfast.


The mice eat the leftovers.  (They like leftovers.)   

[small mouse being gleeful somehow?]


He milks the cows.


He gathers the eggs.


He opens the doors so that all the animals can go outside.


Then he goes back to the house to eat his own breakfast.  

[Not bacon!]


He goes on rainy days.   

[dripping hat]


He goes on sunny days.

[drooping hat]


He goes on windy days.

[escaping hat]


He goes on snowy days.

[almost buried hat]


He wakes up all the animals.  He does it every day.

One morning, all the animals slept late.  

[picture of the interior of the barn.  

The animals have their electric blankets,

but the lights are NOT on.  

Duck has a pile of books beside him,

and his head is under his blanket or a volume..

We can see the titles of “Quackula” and “Duckleberry Finn”

It is clear that Duck went to sleep while reading.  

Little Duck has books too:

“Make Way for Ducklings”,

“The Story About Ping”,

and “Angus and the Ducks” etc.]


Little Duck woke up first.  



She was hungry.  She looked for her breakfast.  There was no breakfast.


She was loud.  


She woke up the cows.  She woke up the chickens.  She woke up the sheep.  She woke up the pigs.

[Many opened eyes in the darkened barn?] 


She woke up Duck, too.

 [imagine if you will a duck with bedhead...]


They looked for their breakfasts.


There was no hay in the mangers.  There was no seed in the feeders.  There was no slop in the troughs.  There were no leftovers to be left over.

[Disappointed critters]


Where was Farmer Brown?


Someone had to go and wake up Farmer Brown, so that he would come and turn on the lights and give the animals their breakfasts.


The animals looked outside.  It was raining.  It was pouring.   It was thundering. It was blowing.

 [Think tropical storm levels of

this is a good day to stay inside]


It is not good weather for cows, said the cows.  The rain will get into our ears.  

It is not good weather for sheep, said the sheep.  The rain will make our fleeces soggy.   

It is not good weather for pigs, said the pigs.  The rain is turning our mud puddle into a pond.

(The mice didn’t say anything, but they didn’t go outside either.)


The animals all agreed that it was good weather for ducks.

[Most of the critters on one side, Duck on the other]


Duck was not sure.  The rain was very cold.  Duck liked rain, but he did not like cold.  Duck wanted to wait to see if the rain would stop.    

[Duck burrows under blankets]


Little Duck did not want to wait. Little Duck ran out into the rain.

[brave little duck vs rainstorm!]


The path was cold.  It was wet.  It was muddy.  Little Duck fell down. She got mud on her beak.  She got mud IN her beak.  It was cold and wet and it made her beak feel funny.   Little Duck ran back to the barn.

[muddy duckling is muddy!]


Sniffle Sniffle ACHOO!  

 [Little Duck sneezes,

Duck wakes up again.]


Little Duck wiped the mud off her beak and got ready to try again.


This time Duck came too.  

[Illustrations of Duck and Little Duck

peeking in the windows of FB’s house from the porch,

and then coming through the cat flap.

The house is dark and spooky,

and Little Duck stays close to Duck.]


Farmer Brown wasn’t in the kitchen.  He wasn’t in the living room.  He wasn’t in the bathroom, either.  None of the lights were working.  Duck and Little Duck heard a noise from upstairs.


Sniffle Sniffle ACHOO!   


They found Farmer Brown!


Farmer Brown had a bad cold.  Whenever he sat up, the room swayed.  The room spun.  When he coughed, it made his throat hurt.  When he sneezed it made his nose hurt.  And his head hurt all the time.  

[He has managed to put on his hat and

one boot, but is sitting on the

edge of the bed, looking miserable.]


Farmer Brown quacked at Duck, but he wasn’t speaking proper Duck, so Duck didn’t understand.  But it was obvious what needed to be done.


Duck put Little Duck in charge.

[Little Duck with enormous bottle labeled

Cough Syrup waddling up bedspread

with Farmer Brown tucked in with tissues,

a hot water bottle  and a

miserable expression.]


Then he went to the barn and told the animals what to do.  

[Duck on one side,

animals on the other,

eliding into a montage?]


He told the chickens to scratch down hay for the cows and the sheep.


He told the cows to give their milk to the pigs.


He told the mice to chew open one of the bags of grain for the chickens and the ducks to eat.  (The mice hadn’t waited to be told.)

 [Small mouse with an enormous pile

of seeds and bulging cheeks]


After breakfast, all the animals helped.


The sheep went over to the house to keep Farmer Brown nice and warm.

 [FB looking alarmed as sheep overpopulate

the bedroom, Little Duck has taken refuge

in a tissue box, and should look droopy.]


The cows tidied up the barn.

[A neat stack of electric blankets

and the cows “debating” what to do

about the push broom.]


The chickens made soup.

[Vegetarian vegetable!  

The kitchen should be on its way to disaster,

but not there yet. The stove should clearly be a gas stove.]


The phone didn’t work, so Duck wrote a note to give the lady who delivers the mail and then waited by the mailbox.  

[The note says

Please send the doctor

to see Farmer Brown.

 He is sick.]


The pigs wanted to help, but pigs are not good at tidying up so they went to see why the lights wouldn’t work.

[Muddy pigs looking wistfully

at the farmhouse porch

followed by montage of pigs discovering

water covered fields and roads in every direction.

The last picture has downed lines.]


Someone needed to go to town and get help. Someone who could swim.

[Another faceoff between

the animals and Duck.  

He is shrugging.  

It is kind of obvious after all.]


So Duck went to town.  

[He is wearing goggles,

fighting the wind,

clearly as equipped as

he can be for the expedition.]


It took Duck a long time to get help.  All the paper he found was too soggy to write on.  So he had to find someone who understood Duck.  

[Montage of Duck saying “Quack”

to various people, the last of whom

is a child who points him at the Doctor’s office.]


The animals tried not to be impatient.  But they waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And they were cold, and wet and...


Sniffle, sniffle, ACHOO!


[Show the animals falling ill

and being tucked up

with blankets, tissues,

and hot water bottles

while Little Duck runs around

with the medicine bottle.]


It wasn’t until breakfast time the next day that the Doctor and Duck reached the farm.

[In a helicopter!The storm clouds are breaking up.]


By then, all the animals felt sick.  Their throats hurt when they coughed.  Their noses hurt when they sneezed, and their heads hurt all the time.  

[Even the mice are dizzy.]


Everywhere Duck and the Doctor went they heard, Sniffle, Sniffle ACHOO!

[The Doctor rolls up his sleeves,

Duck finds Little Duck asleep

with an empty medicine bottle.]


Luckily, the Doctor knew what to do.  And soon, everyone felt better.


Well, almost everyone.


[Final illustration is Farmer Brown,

wearing his hat and boots and a

bathrobe over his longjohns, and

wielding a spoon and a medicine bottle

as he faces off with Duck, who is

tucked into bed with a hot water bottle,

tissues, and a miserable expression.]


Sniffle, Sniffle, ACHOO!