EXT. HUNTING WOODS - LANDSDOWN COUNTY - NIGHT
It is a clear but cold Autumn night at some time in the nineteen thirties. The
Landsdown Woods are an assortment of various elements of nature: quiet water
streams, rushing rivers, heavy brushland, small trees, and the more dominant,
great tall pines. NATHAN LEE MORGAN, a Black man in his late thirties or
early forties, treks deep into the woods with his eleven year old son, DAVID
LEE, and his hound dog, SOUNDER. NATHAN LEE is a well built, strong manner of
a man with a deliberate and quiet manner - DAVID LEE, like his father is tall
and strong with big, bright active eyes. SOUNDER, their hound dog, is a
mixture of red-bone hound and bulldog, with great square jaws.
NATHAN LEE carries an old rifle, and a burlap sack thrown across his shoulder
-- DAVID LEE walks with a lantern as SOUNDER tracks ahead of them. They keep
moving until they come upon a quiet river stream --
EXT. RIVER STREAM - NIGHT
They walk along the edges of the river, with deliberation. It is obvious that
they have walked this route many times. They reach a cut-off point and circle
back into the woods, and pick up a pathway --
EXT. PATHWAY - NIGHT
They pick up speed in close approach to a weeded area and stop. DAVID looks
about in disappointment. SOUNDER scratches the earth -- NATHAN looks out into
the darkness with a nagging expression on his face --
There ain't no possums in this woods tonight,
Looks that way, son. Guess the cold done drove
most of 'em down to the big water country --
but if there's one left out here -- we gotta
It's cold, Daddy!
Here, put my jacket over you.
NATHAN takes his jacket off and drapes it over the boy's frame as SOUNDER
begins to scratch and whine with intensity. He moves to stand over the dog.
You all right, boy?
Suddenly SOUNDER's voice lets out and he breaks away in a burst of speed.
NATHAN and DAVID react quickly and take up the chase behind him.
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As SOUNDER makes his way through the woods -- NATHAN and DAVID rush behind
him, following the great unique sound of the dog's voice. It is a sound that
bounces -- soulful, louder and clearer than any purebred redbone. It is
spaced with precision, bouncing from slope to slope like a rubber ball,
filling up the night with music as though the branches of all the trees were
being pulled across silver strings.
EXT. THE BASE OF THE TREE WHERE THE POSSUM HAS TAKEN REFUGE - NIGHT
SOUNDER arrives and makes a leap to climb the tree as NATHAN and DAVID rush
on to the scene. NATHAN looks up and points to the spot where the possum is.
He puts his rifle down near him, and DAVID assists him in the shaking of the
tree as SOUNDER makes his leaps upward to the rhythm of the sound coming from
his voice. The possum gives way to the force and falls to the ground. SOUNDER
charges for the animal -- NATHAN quickly picks up his rifle and aims for the
animal. He fires into blank darkness and misses. The possum recovers from the
fall and scampers into thick brushland, with SOUNDER in close pursuit.
EXT. THE AREA OF THE THICK BRUSHLAND - NIGHT
SOUNDER cannot overcome the briar thickness of the brushland -- but the
possum with his smaller size manages to elude the dog.
EXT. THE EDGES OF THE BRUSHLAND AREA - NIGHT
SOUNDER comes out of the brush area, whining in frustration as NATHAN and
DAVID approach him. NATHAN immediately realizes that the possum has gotten
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