The Cowboy Who Cried Coyote

By Gayle A. Travis


(Adapted from the "Boy Who Cried Wolf"


in One Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright)

Characters

  • Cowboy
  • Coyote
  • Sheriff
  • Cow

Backdrop

  • Paint a herd of cattle on the background of the prairie.

Script

(Enter Cowboy and Cow. Cowboy is pacing back and forth.)

Cowboy:
(To the audience) Howdy folks. My job is to watch over these cattle from morning till night. It sure is a boring job. I try to kill time by singing and writing cowboy poetry. Try this on for size -

There once was a cowboy tall


Who hardly thought of his cattle at all.


They spent all their time grazing


Which made the tall cowboy feel lazy


And dream about horses and songs.



Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
I wish something exciting would happen, like a coyote would come along and try to get at my herd.


Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
In fact I wonder what would happen if I yelled, "coyote!" really loud. I will pretend there is a coyote! That will stir things up a bit!


Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
Help, help! It's a coyote! There is a coyote after the cattle. Help!


Sheriff:
(Runs on stage, very excited) What's the matter? Are you hurt? Where is the coyote?


Cowboy:
Hot diggity dog! Ya'll sure came fast! (Innocently) I guess all my yelling scared the coyote away.


Sheriff:
Well the main thing is that you are safe and the coyote didn't get the cattle. (Exits stage)


Cowboy:
That sure was fun! What should I do now. It is so boring out here. I know, what about a song? Sing along with me:

Home, home on the range,


Where the deer and the antelope play,


Where seldom is heard,


A discouraging word,


And the skies are not cloudy all day.

(Repeat - singing off key)



Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
Well that sure was nice but I am still bored. Why don't we have some more fun. I am going to yell and see if that fella comes running back to help.


Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
Help, help! It's a coyote! There is a coyote after the cattle. Help!


Sheriff:
(Runs on stage again, this time out of breath) What's the matter? (Looks around the stage) I don't see any coyote here. Are you sure there was a coyote after the cattle?


Cowboy:
Well, I swan. That coyote was right here a minute ago. I reckon my yelling scared him away.


Sheriff:
(Still suspicious) Well…if that coyote comes again, you yell and I will come running to the rescue. (Exits stage)


Cowboy:
(To audience) Boy we sure do have him fooled, don't we? Let's sing another song to liven things up a bit. Do you know "Get Along Little Dogies?" All together now.

As I walked out one morning for pleasure,


I met a cowpuncher a jogging along;


His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a jingling


And as he advanced he was singing this song:


Yippee ti yo, get along little dogies


It's your misfortune and none of my own


Yippe ti yo, get along little dogies.


You know that Wyoming will be your new home.

That sure was fun. I bet that fella will still come running if I call again.
Cow:
Mooo.


Cowboy:
Help, help! It's a coyote! There is a coyote after the cattle again. Help!


Sheriff:
(Runs on stage) Okay, where is that coyote? I don't see a coyote here! I think you are making this all up. Don't bother to call again because I am not just going to keep running up here for no reason. (Exits stage)

(Cow exits stage)



Cowboy:
Gosh darn, he sure is mad. Some people just can't take a joke. Where did that cow go? I had better round him up or I will be in big trouble! (Exits stage)


Coyote:
(Enters stage howling) Wow, look at all these cattle. I think I will have a little fun with that cowboy. It will teach him to go off and leave the herd like this. I will scare the daylights out of him when he comes back. (Hides to one side of the stage)


Cowboy:
I can't find that blasted cow anywhere! I hope it rejoined the herd or I am going to be in even more trouble with my trail boss.


Coyote:
(Jumps from corner of stage and scares the Cowboy) Grrrrrr.


Cowboy:
Help, help! It's a coyote! There is a coyote after the cattle. Help! It's going to eat me too. Help! There really is a coyote! (Runs off stage screaming)


Coyote:
That will teach him! (Exits stage howling)


Sheriff:
(Enters stage) Yawn. That cowboy just won't learn!


Cowboy:
(Enters stage out of breath) There REALLY is a coyote!


Sheriff:
Sorry pardoner - you called for help when there really wasn't a need before. We aren't going to believe you now. (Exits stage)


Cowboy:
Now I see what happens when you lie. Soon no one will believe anything you say, even when it is true. (To the audience) You nice folks remember that. I've sure learned my lesson! From now on, I'll stick to singing and poetry to entertain myself. Say, would you'll sing one with me now? How about, "Deep in the Heart of Texas?"

(Sheriff and coyote come back on stage to sing)

Deep in the Heart of Texas

(Music by Don Swander and words by June Hershey circa 1941)

The stars at night, are big and bright, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas,


The prairie sky is wide and high, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas.


The sage in bloom is like perfume, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas,


Reminds me of, the one I love, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas.


The coyotes wail, along the trail, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas,


The rabbits rush, around the brush, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas


The cowboys cry, "Ki-yip-pee-yi," (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas.


The dogies bawl, and bawl and bawl, (clap, clap, clap, clap)


Deep in the heart of Texas.

 



Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!


Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011