Little Frog's Big Trip:
A Puppet Play
By Barrie Teague Alguire
- Little Frog
- Mama Frog
LIBRARIAN: Have you ever sung this song?
(sings) Oh, the frog sat on the lily pad, gazing at the sky.
The lily broke, the frog fell down, got water in his eye.
(returns to speaking voice.) Well, here’s a story that might tell you where that song came from.
MAMA FROG: Junior! Junior Bullfrog! Where are you?
LITTLE FROG: I’m right here, Mama. Sitting on this great big lily pad.
MAMA FROG: What are you doing there?
LITTLE FROG: Oh, I just like looking at the sky. I love to watch the clouds.
MAMA FROG: Well, that’s fine, honey. I’m going down to the other side to talk to Sissy Salamander. She said she knew a great place to catch big juicy bottle flies. I’ll be back soon.
(Mama Frog exits stage right)
LITTLE FROG: Okay, Mama. I’ll be right here. (pauses) Oh, look at that big cloud. It looks like a beaver.
LITTLE FROG: What’s that sound? Ohh! What’s happening? My lily pad is breaking. Aaaaahhhh! (begins to slip out of sight) I’m getting wet! There’s water in my eyes! I can’t see. Help!
TURTLE: (entering from stage right) I’ll help you, Little Frog. Climb on my back.
LITTLE FROG: Oh, thank you, Mr. Turtle. I was scared!
(Little Frog perches on top of Turtle)
TURTLE: You’re alright now. I’ll just swim over to this log where you can hop up and dry off. (Turtle moves left toward Alligator whose back is barely visible.)
LITTLE FROG: Thank you again, Mr. Turtle.
(Frog moves from turtle’s back to “log.”)
LITTLE FROG: This is good. I can see the shore. But I wonder how I am going to get back there. (Alligator moves slowly stage left) Hey! This log is starting to move! It’s going out into deeper water. Help! Mama!
DRAGONFLY: (buzzing overhead) What’s the matter, Little Frog? You are making an awful lot of noise.
LITTLE FROG: (all in a rush) I was sitting on a lily pad and it broke and I fell in the water and the turtle gave me a ride to this log and now the log is floating farther and farther from my home and I want somebody to rescue meeeeeee!
DRAGONFLY: Why don’t you ask the alligator to take you home?
LITTLE FROG: What alligator? Where?
DRAGONFLY: The one you are riding on.
LITTLE FROG: I’m not riding on an alligator. I’m riding on a log.
(The “log” rises up a bit to show that it is indeed an alligator.)
ALLIGATOR: Dragonfly, why do you keep buzzing around? I’m not bothering you.
DRAGONFLY: Sorry, Mr. Alligator. I am talking to the little frog.
ALLIGATOR: What frog? Where?
DRAGONFLY: The one on your back. I’m off now. Bye!
(Dragonfly buzzes away.)
LITTLE FROG: Excuse me, Mr. Alligator. I thought you were a log.
ALLIGATOR: Log? Well, I like that! Do you think you can hitch a ride on my back and then insult me? I have a good mind to dunk you and then turn you into a tasty little snack.
LITTLE FROG: Oh, no, please don’t. I didn’t mean to make you angry. I would just like to get back home and you are swimming the wrong way.
ALLIGATOR: What do you mean, I am swimming the wrong way? This is the only way I know how to swim.
LITTLE FROG: I mean you are going in the wrong direction. My home is back that way.
ALLIGATOR: Well, I’m going upstream to see my sweetie. If you don’t want to come along, you’d better find another ride.
LITTLE FROG: Help! Help! Won’t somebody help me? Help!
TURTLE: (reappearing) Good heavens, Little Frog. You are making too much noise.
LITTLE FROG: But the alligator is taking me away. I want my Mommeeeeeeeeeee!
TURTLE: Okay, okay. Here. Jump on my back and I’ll take you home.
(Little Frog jumps from alligator to turtle.)
ALLIGATOR: Thanks, Turtle for taking that frog off my back. He was slowing me down and my girlfriend is waiting up the river. (Calling to his girlfriend) Hold on, you sweet little bundle of scales! I’m on my way!
(Alligator exits stage left.)
(Turtle and Little Frog move slowly stage right.)
LITTLE FROG: Thank you, Turtle. I’m sorry I yelled so loud.
TURTLE: That’s okay, Little Frog. I didn’t mean to set you down on Alligator’s back. Are we getting close to your home?
LITTLE FROG: Yes! I see the big clump of reeds right next to our hole. Thank you, Turtle. Thank you so much.
TURTLE: Quite all right, Little Frog. All this swimming has given me an appetite. I’m off in search of a snack. See you later. (exits stage left)
LITTLE FROG: Ahh! Home at last!
MAMA FROG: (enters) I’m back, Junior. What did you do while I was gone? Are you still watching the clouds?
LITTLE FROG: No! (all in a rush) I fell in the water and Turtle took me to a log, but it wasn’t a log, it was an alligator and he tried to take me to see his sweet little bundle of scales, but I yelled really loud and Turtle rescued me and brought me home!
MAMA FROG: My goodness. What an adventure. I’ll bet you’re tired after all that excitement. Why don’t you climb onto that big lily pad over there and I will bring you some of the nice bug pudding Sissy Salamander gave to me?
LITTLE FROG: Oooooh, yummy. Thank you, Mama.
(Mama Frog leaves. Little Frog climbs onto new lily pad.)
LITTLE FROG: (climbing onto lily pad) Oh, boy! This is great! I can see all the way across the pond. And look at that strange cloud up there. It looks like a dinosaur. It looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It looks like ….
LITTLE FROG: Huh? What’s that sound?
(Lily pad “breaks” and dumps Little Frog)
LITTLE FROG: Oh, no! Not again! Mommeeeeeeeeeeeee!
LIBRARIAN: So now you know the story behind the song. Will you help me sing the song? (sings)
The frog sat on the lily pad
Gazing at the sky
The lily broke
The frog fell down
Got water in his eye.
The song is sung to the tune “It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo” by Wendell Hall. The traditional song, and many variations, is available from several sources and sound files can be found on the Internet. If you are not familiar with the tune, Fred Penner also records it on The Cat Came Back. As an alternate way of ending the puppet show, play lively banjo music instead of having the librarian sing. Banjo music can also be played during interludes when characters are entering or exiting the stage. Many sources are available but if you need to buy something, try The Banjo Kings by The Banjo Kings.
Use Folkmanis puppets or create your own. A long table turned on its side makes an inexpensive puppet stage. You can also increase the height by leaning large pieces of cardboard in front of it and covering the whole thing with plastic tablecloths or craft paper. The covering should be blue for the pond with perhaps some greenery at either side to indicate the banks. The dragonfly can be attached to a thin rod to fly above the stage. The lily pads can be made of green construction paper, scored to tear easily.