Wild Woodland Adventure
by Barrie Teague Alguire
(Patterns for the puppets are linked below and notes on staging are provided at the end of this play.)
[Rabbit enters right, seeming to munch on grass.]
RACCOON: [entering left] Hello, Rabbit. How are you today?
RABBIT: I’m great, Raccoon. Just enjoying these tender green dandelions.
RACCOON: Well, I’m not much for dandelions. I prefer some nice crayfish out of the creek.
RABBIT: To each his own. [sniffs the air] Eeeww! What’s that smell?
RACCOON: [sniffs] Ugh. I smell it, too. Oh, no! It’s him.
RABBIT: Him? Who? [looks off-stage] Oh, him.
SKUNK: [enters] Hi, guys. Great day, huh? Seen any good worms around? I just love worms.
RACCOON: Well, no, not really. Uh, I’ve got to get going. I’ve got to go see my cousin on the other side of the woods. See you! [exits quickly]
RABBIT: Yeah, me too. I told Brer Rabbit I’d meet him in the briar patch today. [exits quickly]
SKUNK: Bye. Oh, good, here comes Chipmunk.
CHIPMUNK: [enters, singing to himself] Seeds, seeds, crunchy seeds. How I love to munch-y seeds! [sniffs] Pee yewee! [sees Skunk] Hi, skunk. Bye skunk! [exits quickly]
SKUNK: Hi, Chipmunk. Wait! Bye, chipmunk. Gee, every time I meet friends in the forest, they never seem to have time to chat. They’re always in a rush to go somewhere else. Sometimes I think maybe they don’t want to be around me. But why would that be? Oh, well. Maybe there are some tasty grubs over at the old fallen tree. Ymmm. I’ll go check it out. [Skunk exits]
RABBIT: [rabbit peeks out] Skunk? [sniffs the air] Good, he’s gone. [Rabbit enters]
CHIPMUNK: [enters] Hi, rabbit. Are you alone?
RABBIT: It’s safe, chipmunk. Skunk headed over toward the old rotten log.
CHIPMUNK: Thank goodness. I just hate that smell.
RABBIT: Me, too. It makes my nose itch.
[Dog howls off-stage. Rabbit and Chipmunk freeze.]
CHIPMUNK: D-d-did you hear that?
RABBIT: Yes. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It’s that woof-woof monster. It shows up every now and then.
CHIPMUNK: You never know when it’s coming. You never know what it’s going to do.
RABBIT: Well, I know what I’m going to do.
RABBIT: RUN!!!! [Rabbit scampers off-stage]
CHIPMUNK: Good idea. I’m heading for my burrow. [Chipmunk disappears into a hole, center stage]
DOG: [off-stage] Woof, woof….woof, woof….hoowwwwl. [Dog rushes onstage, sniffing]
DOG: [sniffs] What’s this? [sniffs] What’s this? Ooooh, I smell something very interesting. [sniffs] And here’s something else interesting. [sniffs] It goes this way. Oh, boy. I’m going to track it. Woof, woof … woof … oooowwwww! [Dog exits]
[Slight pause and then Raccoon comes running across the stage.]
RACCOON: Help! Help! It’s after me! The awful woof-woof monster! Help! [exits]
CHIPMUNK: [sticks his head up] Raccoon. Climb a tree! The woof-woof monster can’t climb.
DOG: [enters] Woof, woof!
CHIPMUNK: Yikes! [pops back into his hole]
DOG: I see it! I see that raccoon thing-y. I’m chasing it! I love a good chase! [exits chasing Raccoon]
DOG: [off-stage] Oowwooooo!
CHIPMUNK: [peeks out] Oh, good. Raccoon made it up the tree. I don’t see the woof-woof monster anymore. I guess it’s safe to come out.
SKUNK: [enters] Hi, Chipmunk. What’s the matter? You look scared.
CHIPMUNK: Skunk! Didn’t you hear him? The big woof-woof monster! He was here in the forest. We all had to run and hide.
SKUNK: Really? What does he look like?
CHIPMUNK: Well, he’s big …
CHIPMUNK: And brown …
CHIPMUNK: And furry.
CHIPMUNK: He has a long tail …
CHIPMUNK: And he sounds like …
DOG: [off-stage] Woof! Woof!
CHIPMUNK: That! Bye! [disappears into hole]
DOG: [enters sniffing] Woof, woof! [sniffs] I smell chippymunk. I’m gonna find it! I know it’s around here somewhere.
SKUNK: Hey, you!
DOG: Huh? What?
SKUNK: I’m talking to you. You’ve been scaring my friends.
DOG: What’s this? A little stripy thing. [sniffs] A little stinky thing! Dogs love stinky things. Oh, goody. Let’s play.
CHIPMUNK: [sticks his head out of his hole] Skunk! Are you crazy? Run!
SKUNK: I don’t want to play with you. You’ve been chasing my friends.
DOG: But it’s fun to chase rabbits and raccoons and little chippymunks. It makes me laugh. I think I’ll chase you too.
SKUNK: Okay, woof-woof monster. You want to play? I’ll play with you. Come on! [Skunk exits]
DOG: Oh, goody. I love to play chase. Here I come, little stripy thing!
[Dog follows Skunk. Offstage, there’s a squirting, hissing sound, perhaps with a cloud of mist floating onstage. Dog howling immediately starts.]
DOG: [off-stage] Ooowwwoooooo! My eyes sting! Oowwwwoooo. My nose stings! Oowwwooooo! I don’t want to play with you anymore, little stripy thing! I’m going home. Oowwwoooooooooo! [Dog runs across stage and exits]
SKUNK: [entering] Chipmunk? He’s gone.
CHIPMUNK: [comes out of hole] Skunk! How brave you were! Rabbit! Raccoon! The woof-woof monster is gone. Skunk chased him away.
RACCOON: [enters] Skunk! How wonderful. Thank you, thank you.
RABBIT: [enters] Skunk, you are a great friend. You saved us.
SKUNK: Aw, shucks. It was easy. I just let him have a blast of my special “perfume.”
RACCOON: Well, you know, I didn’t much like your special perfume before. But now I’ve changed my mind.
RABBIT: Me, too. Come on, Skunk, let me help you find some nice juicy worms or beetles – or whatever you like to eat.
SKUNK: Well, thanks, Rabbit. I knew you all would like me, once you got to know me.
CHIPMUNK: Skunk, you’ll never be lonely again.
RACCOON: That’s right. Now let’s go find some food. Last one down to the crawdad hole has to eat poison ivy.
[All speaking at once.]
RABBIT: Oh, no!
SKUNK: Wait for me!
Suggestions for Staging
Staging can be as elaborate as your budget and talents permit or it can also be as simple as a table turned on its side. A backdrop of trees provides the woodland setting, if you care to provide it. This could be an art project for older children or teens. In fact, the entire production can be approached as an activity for older children or teens.
You can use hand puppets or stuffed toys as the characters in the play. Alternatively, you can make your own two dimensional puppets glued to sticks. Patterns for stick puppets are provided at the end of this chapter. They can be small or large, depending on your facilities. However, the larger they are, the easier it is for a large audience to enjoy the show. You can also make them two-sided so they can enter and leave from either side of the stage. Just make one facing left and one facing right. Glue them together with a craft stick in the middle.