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A Meadowlark Calling

Log Line
Inspired by the novel "A Meadowlark Calling" by Patricia Martin.

Script Info
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Western
Est. Budget: Less than $1M

Screenplay Synopsis
When fourteen year old Amber Lockhardt’s father is tragically killed in a railroad accident leaving her mother without means to support their family of four, Amber the eldest is forced to move to 1890’s Kansas with her Aunt Grizelda and Uncle John.

Grizelda, having a difficult pregnancy with her second child, is uncomfortable accepting Amber into her growing home.  She verbally abuses the young girl and treats her with unkindness, Amber still suffering from the loss of her father, endures and makes friends with a neighbor boy, Clint finds himself wishing for more than just a budding friendship.  Amber finds her greatest solace in the bible her father gave her.  Reading passages at night, she prays for a better life ahead.  After the difficult birth of unexpected twins, Grizelda sinks further into her own despair and depression.  Amber becomes the full brunt of her misery.

An old traveling Indian offers to trade Amber a half starved horse for Amber's precious bible, she is reluctant, but the thought of having another friend to share her pain is more luring to Amber, she makes the trade.  The Indian promises to return Amber’s bible when "she has found her way".  Amber names the little mustang ‘Kickapoo’ and they become close friends, the horse allowing her to visit Clint more often now, as a surprise visit by her favorite Uncle Karl bolsters Amber’s resolve to endure Grizelda.

Amber is blamed for the accidental drowning of her young cousin three-year-old Lucy.  Grizelda's rage is fueled and she sells Kickapoo when Amber is working the fields one day, then destroys a favorite yellow dress that Amber wore at her father's funeral.  Amber is heartbroken and flees the farm, she goes to the city, where she finds boarding and work with a local pharmacist, his ill wife, and their young daughter.  Amber falls for a local boy named Bryan, and just as Amber seems to have finally found happiness, tragedy strikes again when the pharmacist’s wife dies, leaving Amber homeless once again.

She decides to find Uncle Karl, now homesteading in Oklahoma.  Arriving at a crossroads tavern, Amber's belongings are stolen by another passenger on the stage.  Left without cash or clothing, Amber is forced to stay and work for the dishonest tavern owner for meals and lodging. She befriends an injured dog, nursing him back to health.  The old Indian from years earlier appears.  He returns Amber’s bible in exchange for the healed dog, telling Amber that she has fulfilled her promise of faith and friendship.
As now a sudden wind blows into the tavern and Uncle Karl arrives, releasing Amber from her bonds, and delivering the ultimate gift of love and acceptance that Amber has been desperately searching for over the past year.