ONE TOY FOR CHRISTMAS

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1 A CHRISTMAS MUSICAL IN ONE ACT Book by Geff Moyer Music by Mario Lombardo Lyrics by John Lallis Copyright MMXI All Rights Reserved Heuer Publishing LLC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ISBN: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that this work is subject to a royalty. Royalty must be paid every time a play is performed whether or not it is presented for profit and whether or not admission is charged. A play is performed any time it is acted before an audience. All rights to this work of any kind including but not limited to professional and amateur stage performing rights are controlled exclusively by Heuer Publishing LLC. Inquiries concerning rights should be addressed to Heuer Publishing LLC. This work is fully protected by copyright. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission of the publisher. Copying (by any means) or performing a copyrighted work without permission constitutes an infringement of copyright. All organizations receiving permission to produce this work agree to give the author(s) credit in any and all advertisement and publicity relating to the production. The author(s) billing must appear below the title and be at least 50% as large as the title of the Work. All programs, advertisements, and other printed material distributed or published in connection with production of the work must include the following notice: Produced by special arrangement with Heuer Publishing LLC of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There shall be no deletions, alterations, or changes of any kind made to the work, including the changing of character gender, the cutting of dialogue, or the alteration of objectionable language unless directly authorized by the publisher or otherwise allowed in the work s Production Notes. The title of the play shall not be altered. The right of performance is not transferable and is strictly forbidden in cases where scripts are borrowed or purchased second-hand from a third party. All rights, including but not limited to professional and amateur stage performing, recitation, lecturing, public reading, television, radio, motion picture, video or sound taping, internet streaming or other forms of broadcast as technology progresses, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved. COPYING OR REPRODUCING ALL OR ANY PART OF THIS BOOK IN ANY MANNER IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN BY LAW. One copy for each speaking role must be purchased for production purposes. Single copies of scripts are sold for personal reading or production consideration only. PUBLISHED BY HEUER PUBLISHING LLC P.O. BOX 248 CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA TOLL FREE (800) FAX (319)

2 Book by Geff Moyer Music by Mario Lombardo Lyrics by John Lallis SYNOPSIS: It s Christmas Eve, 1867, somewhere in the wilderness of the American West. A pioneer family has settled out here far from their home back in Boston, much to the dismay of son Joey, who not only misses his friends but is also fearful that Santa Claus will never find him. As the family settles in for Christmas Eve, some very hungry forest animals are in a desperate search for food. In the midst of their search, distant bells are heard and a classic Napoleonic wind-up soldier (mime role) plummets from the sky, landing in a snow bank. The animals call upon the assistance of Albert, the wise owl, to determine what this strange creature is and where it came from. Albert, who is not very happy about being awakened before sunset, concludes the strange object is a human toy and should be taken to the human abode. Only the bravest (or perhaps the most foolhardy) of the animals are willing to take the risk of a very dangerous trek to the human's den. Will they make it? Or will they become dinner? Kids will love the characters, adults will love the humor, and everyone will enjoy the fun, lively, and touching musical score. CAST OF CHARACTERS (2 MEN, 2 WOMEN, 3-8 EITHER) PA (m)...a pioneer father. (27 lines) JOEY (m)...a pioneer boy, 8-10 years old. (30 lines) HARRIET (f)...an energetic rabbit. (91 lines) BERNARD (m/f)...an overweight, grumpy beaver. Bernice if played by a woman. (103 lines) DEERDRA (f)...a narcissistic deer. (111 lines) TOY SOLDIER (mime role, m/f)...classic Napoleonic wind-up type. (No lines) ALBERT (m/f)...a wise owl. Alberta if played by a woman. (70 lines) 2

3 CHORUS (m/f)...three rabbits and two squirrels. (RABBIT 1-3; SQUIRREL 2: 8 lines each, SQUIRREL 1: 11 lines) A forest out west. SETTING TIME: Christmas Eve, 1867, just before sunset. AUTHOR S NOTE Obviously, a great deal of the charm and success of this show is in the costuming and make-up treatment of the animals. Have fun with it. PROPERTIES Small Christmas tree 1 small hand axe Hunting knife for trimming tree Pa s rifle Soldier s rifle 1 large pair of cracked spectacles 1 large pair of good spectacles Carrots Small ice pick Makeup kit Five large tags One gift-wrapped box A few pine cones 3

4 MUSICAL NUMBERS Song #1 WINTERTIME...Harriet, Bernard, Chorus Song #2 Song #3 Song #4 Song #5 Song #6 Song #7 Song #8 Song #9 SOMEDAY... Pa HOW S HE GONNA FIND US?... Joey and Pa PRETTY AS A PICTURE...Deerdra, Harriet, Bernard, Chorus WHAT IS IT?...Deerdra, Bernard, Harriet, Chorus NIGHT OWL...Albert JUST... Joey and Pa CURIOUS SORT...Albert A LITTLE RECOGNITION. Harriet, Bernard, Deerdra, Albert Song #10 MY CHRISTMAS WISH FOR YOU... Ensemble 4

5 SETTING: Most of the stage should be a snow-covered forest with several snow banks to hide the animals. To the far UL is the front of a small cabin, which must have a functional door. AT RISE: As lights come up, HARRIET and several other RABBITS and a few SQUIRRELS are scurrying about the stage, searching and sniffing for food, and always taking quick, cautious glances toward the cabin and SL wing. BERNARD is standing still in one place, looking unhappy. Two of the RABBITS, not HARRIET, suddenly come face-to-face. RABBIT 1: Find anything? RABBIT 2: Not a hair! THEY return to their scurrying. RABBIT 3: (Suddenly stops scurrying and holds up an item.) Hey, I found a round green thing. SQUIRREL 1: (Looking at item.) Horse poop! (Scurries off.) RABBIT 3: Oh. (Drops item and continues to scurry about.) Are you going to help, Bernard? BERNARD: My feet are frozen! Well, can you smell any food? BERNARD: My nose is frozen! Then just stand there and listen for the humans! BERNARD: My ears are frozen! Big help you are! (Scouring the area, mumbling.) A morsel, a tidbit, a crumb BERNARD: I hate winter! RABBIT 3: a bite, a nibble, a swallow BERNARD: I hate snow! RABBIT 2: a gnash, a munch, a grain. BERNARD: I hate cold! Stop griping and help us find some food! BERNARD: Where, Harriet? Huh? Where? YOU RE ALL A BUNCH OF DUMB BUNNIES! 5

6 SQUIRREL 1: (Pops up.) I m a squirrel! Learn your animals, Bernard! (Scurries around.) BERNARD: I DO know my animals! And I m also smart enough to know there s no food in the winter! Eat a snowball! SQUIRREL 2: (Pops up.) Had one for breakfast. (Scurries around.) I need a carrot! Ohhh, what I d give for a carrot, just one fat, juicy, luscious, delicious, orange carrot. (Smacks HER lips.) BERNARD: Stop drooling! You ll freeze your mouth shut. On second thought, go ahead and drool! SQUIRREL 2: AN ACORN!! I FOUND AN ACORN! IT S MINE! MINE, I TELL YOU! ALL MINE! (Runs to a hiding place, laughing maniacally.) RABBIT 1: A nut going nuts over a nut! There s got to be something around here! Even just one little scrawny carrot! BERNARD: There are no carrots, Harriet! Carrots are smart! They re like bears. They hibernate in the winter, which is what we should be doing - - hibernating! But noooo! We re out here freezing our tails off! I CANNOT SLEEP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! BERNARD: THEN SLEEP ON YOUR BACK! For cryin out loud, you silly bunny, it s WINTERTIME! SONG #1: WINTERTIME (HARRIET, BERNARD, CHORUS) WHEN YOUR NOSE IS COLD AND IT SHIVERS BERNARD: AND YOUR BONES FEEL OLD AND THEY QUIVER BOTH: THEN YOU CAN BE SURE THAT IT S WINTERTIME BERNARD: HEAR THE WIND IT S STRONG AND IT S BLOWING SEE THE SKY IT S DARK AND FOREBODING 6

7 BOTH: THAT CAN ONLY MEAN THAT IT S WINTERTIME Release. IT S SO HARD TO GET ALL OF LIFE S NECESSITIES GUESS THAT S WHY THE BEARS ALWAYS STAY IN BED BERNARD: ALL THIS BITTER WEATHER JUST GETS THE BEST OF ME CAN T GET IN MY HOUSE CAUSE IT S FROZEN WHAT A POOR LOCATION YOU VE CHOSEN BERNARD: LET S GO SOMEWHERE NEAR THE EQUATOR WHY WAIT TILL IT GETS ANY LATER WE D FEEL RIGHT AT HOME IN A SOUTHERN CLIME ONCE WE FIND A ROUTE WE CAN FOLLOW WE COULD LEAVE TODAY OR TOMORROW THEN WE LL SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE WINTERTIME! Release. MY BRAIN FEELS SO NUMB THAT I CAN T ANTICIPATE WHEN THESE FRIGID DAYS WILL ALL DISAPPEAR BERNARD: THESE ANNOYING THINGS WE JUST CANNOT TOLERATE I CAN T FEEL MY TAIL CAUSE IT S FREEZING MORNING, NOON, AND NIGHT I KEEP SNEEZING SUMMER, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE HAVE YOU GONE THE WARMTH OF SUNSHINE FILLS MY DAYS WITH DELIGHT SPRINGTIME, AND EVEN AUTUMN WOULD DO TO MAKE US FEEL EV RY THING IS ALL RIGHT 7

8 BERNARD: WHEN YOUR NOSE IS COLD AND IT SHIVERS AND YOUR BONES FEEL OLD AND THEY QUIVER THEN YOU CAN BE SURE THAT IT S WINTERTIME HEAR THE WIND IT S STRONG AND IT S BLOWING SEE THE SKY IT S DARK AND FOREBODING THAT CAN ONLY MEAN THAT IT S WINTERTIME BOTH: THAT CAN ONLY MEAN THAT IT S WINTERTIME SUMMER, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE HAVE YOU GONE THE SCENT OF CARROTS WOULD FLOAT UP IN THE AIR SPRINGTIME, AND EVEN AUTUMN WOULD DO WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH THAT WE CAN ALL SHARE BERNARD: Listen! RABBITS 1, 2, AND 3: (Popping up.) We re all ears! SQUIRREL 1: Is it them? SQUIRREL 2: Is it them? JOEY: (Offstage.) It s kinda short, Pa! PA: (Offstage.) It ll do fine! It s them!!! The ANIMALS begin running in different directions. RABBIT 1: SCRAM! SQUIRREL 2: BEAT IT! RABBIT 2: SPLIT! HIDE! ALL the animals scurry into hiding places. JOEY: (Offstage.) Kinda scraggly, too! PA: (Entering from SL, HE wears pioneer clothing and carries a short tree and a small ax.) We ll fill it out with decorations like we always do. JOEY: (Entering behind PA.) It s hardly any taller than me! 8

9 PA: And if we brought a bigger one into our little cabin, we d have to sleep in its limbs! (HE begins trimming and shaping the tree.) JOEY: Oh yeah! Wish we could have a bigger one, though, like we did back in Boston! PA: We had room for a bigger one. But one thing we couldn t do was walk out our front door and chop down our own Christmas tree, right? JOEY: Yeah, but it was also fun to see all my friends at the Christmas tree vendor. We d tease each other about who s getting the bigger tree. I ll bet that s what they re doing right now. PA: Look around us, Joey! Never saw trees that big back in Boston, now did we? Why, some of these trees are even taller than the buildings back there. (A moment.) Look, I know it s tough on you, son, leaving all your friends. It s tough on me too, and your Ma, but sometimes there s just no other choice. We may be the first, but we ain t gonna be the last. I promise you that! JOEY: You mean other folks are coming here? PA: You bet! JOEY: Kids, too? PA: All sorts of families! Why, someday there ll be a big, boomin city right here, all around us. JOEY: You think so? PA: Know so! We re right at the edge of the forest plenty of timber; right at the meetin of two rivers plenty of water. Valley s perfect for planting! No family that knows good grazin ground is gonna pass up this place. JOEY: But when s it gonna happen, Pa? I sure would like to have at least one friend around here. PA: It ll happen, Joey. Someday. You just have to be patient and believe, then like magic, a whole town will spring up here, and you ll have more friends than you can shake a stick at! Mark my words! 9

10 SONG #2: SOMEDAY (PA) PA: SOMEDAY THERE WILL BE A CITY FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE BIGGER THAN BOSTON OR NEW YORK GOING ON ENDLESSLY ONE DAY NEIGHBORS WILL COME CALLING OFFERING CHRISTMAS CHEER SOON THERE WILL BE A THOUSAND FOLKS MOVING IN EV RY YEAR THERE LL BE HOMES AND SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES AND STORES WITH TRAINS AND ROADS RUNNING THROUGH IT LL BE AS GREAT AS THE GREAT OUTDOORS THIS IS WHAT I PROMISE YOU SOMEDAY MAY YOU STILL REMEMBER WHAT I HAVE SAID TODAY MORE THAN A POSSIBILITY IT IS YOUR FATHER S GUARANTEE THAT WILL BECOME REALITY SOMEDAY! JOEY: How long before someday comes, Pa? How long will it be before I have some friends out here? PA: Son, I can t make any firm promises, but I ll bet you see some families settling here as early as this spring. They ll move in here, start clearing trees, plowin the ground JOEY: Clearing trees? PA: Have to, to make cabins and shops and churches and schools and JOEY: Schools!? Do they have to make schools? PA: (Chuckles.) Gotta have learnin, son! JOEY: Then maybe we should clear more trees, Pa! PA: We re fine like we are. JOEY: I could cut down a couple of the smaller ones right now, Pa! Get em down before we go to sleep! 10

11 PA: We ve cleared enough for our little plot of land. Our two cows graze over there, the plow horse s got his area. JOEY: (Looking up.) But how s he gonna see us? PA: Huh? Who? JOEY: Santa Claus! How s he gonna find us way out here, under all these trees? PA: Aw, don t worry about ol Santa. He s got his ways. JOEY: What ways, Pa? PA: Well, uh, you remember that hawk we saw out on the prairie? JOEY: We saw lots of hawks, Pa! PA: The one that swooped down and snatched that prairie dog right out of the grass! Took some pretty good eyesight to pull that off, right? Santa s eyes are even sharper! Plus, he s got magic working for him! JOEY: Magic!? PA: Don t you think it takes some magic for that chubby ol fellow to fit down a chimney? JOEY: I guess so. But we re under a bunch of durn trees with snow all around us. Even the roof of our cabin is covered by snow. He s gonna fly right on by, I just know it! How s he gonna see us? How s he gonna find us? SONG #3: HOW S HE GONNA FIND US? (JOEY AND PA) JOEY: HOW S HE GONNA FIND US? UPON THIS BIG FRONTIER; HE LL BE BACK IN BOSTON WHILE WE RE WAITING WAY OUT HERE! HOW S HE GONNA DO IT? HOWEVER WILL HE KNOW? TO INSTRUCT HIS REINDEER THE DIRECTION THEY SHOULD GO! SANTA GOES TO SO MANY PLACES BUT WITH THE ODDS HE FACES CAN HE STILL FIND THE WAY? HE LL PROBABLY BE PUZZLED WITH SUCH A MYSTERY OF WHY WE RE NOT WHERE WE USED TO BE 11

12 AND THOUGH SANTA IS VERY CLEVER I DON T KNOW IF HE D EVER REALIZE WHERE WE ARE WITHOUT SOME ONE TO GUIDE HIM I FEAR HE LL SURELY PASS US BY THIS YEAR. PA: SON, I M TELLING YOU HE LL KNOW RIGHT WHERE WE ARE JOEY: HOW WILL HE DO IT? PA: JUST THE WAY THAT THE WISE MEN FOLLOWED THAT STAR JOEY: YOU REALLY MEAN IT?? PA: IT ISN T HARD TO IMAGINE IF YOU BELIEVE IN HIS MAGIC JOEY: I LL REPEAT MY QUESTION AS CHRISTMAS DAY DRAWS NEAR FOR THE ANSWER STILL ISN T CLEAR: HOW S HE GONNA FIND US OUT HERE? PA: Sometimes sometimes you just have to believe, son. I believe we re going to have a wonderful life here, a hard one, but a wonderful one. Your mom believes that one day you re going to be President of the United States, although I don t know why you d want to. And you, my little buddy, just have to believe Santa can find you out here! Trust his magic, Joey! (Looks at trimmed tree.) Not bad, huh? JOEY: Can t get many presents under it. PA: There probably won t be as many this year, Joey. JOEY: Why? 12

13 PA: Well it s been a rough year for ol Santa. Since the War Between the States ended, a lot of new babies have been born, and that means Santa has to work even harder making enough toys for all of them, too. (Sniffs.) Hmmm, smell that? Your Ma s got a mighty tasty Christmas Eve supper brewin in there. JOEY: Good. I m hungry enough to eat a horse. PA: How d you know what we were having? You want a front leg or a back? (They laugh.) Let s get this tree inside and start stringing some popcorn. JOEY: I ll be there in a minute, Pa. (PA enters cabin. Roaming about, gazing at the sky.) I sure hope you have good eyes, Santa. (Sighs.) One toy. Just one toy. That s all I want. Just one toy to keep me company until the town springs up here. Can you do that, Santa? Tell you what, I ll make sure our fire is burning real hard tonight, so you can see the smoke. (Realizing, to himself.) Oh, but if the fire s real hot, can he still get down the chimney? WOMAN S VOICE: (From inside cabin.) Joey, supper s ready! JOEY: Comin, Ma! (Softly, looking up.) One toy. (Starts for cabin, then stops and looks up.) I won t make the fire too hot. (HE enters the cabin.) As cabin door shuts, HARRIET S head pops up first from behind a snow bank. Pssst! Bernard! All clear! (Pause.) Bernard!? PSSSSTTT! BERNARD: Did you spring a leak? Other RABBITS and SQUIRRELS begin to emerge and scurry about, sniffing the ground and searching for food as HARRIET approaches the front of the cabin. (Dangerously close to the cabin door.) Think they left any food? Carrots, corn, artichokes BERNARD: Get away from there, you hair brain! Freezing s bad enough without you getting us caught! RABBIT 3: (Picks up a flat, dark item.) Hey, hey, I found something. 13

14 SQUIRREL 1: (Scurries over to RABBIT 3 and checks the item.) Cow patty! (Scurries off.) RABBIT 3: Oh. (Drops item and scurries off.) Somewhere, somewhere there is one lonely carrot that did not hibernate, waiting for me to find it. Yessiree, just waiting! BERNARD: The ice froze me out of my own home! (Pointing to HIS tooth.) Look at this! I chipped my tooth trying to gnaw through it! Suddenly, in the distance, there is a quick jingling of bells. HARRIET hurries to BERNARD S side. Did you hear that? BERNARD: All I hear is my teeth chattering. DEERDRA bounds onto stage, startling the animals. DEERDRA: SURPRISE! (ALL the animals squeak in fear and hide.) It s just me, the most beautiful animal in the forest. Come out, my pets! The ANIMALS begin to emerge. RABBIT 2: I hate it when she calls us that. SQUIRREL 2: Me, too! RABBIT 2: Makes me feel like a hamster. (They continue their scurrying and searching for food.) DEERDRA: Oh, please, it s just a term of endeerment. (SHE chuckles.) BERNARD: Why do you always have to sneak up on us? DEERDRA: Unlike SOME animals, Bernard, I m just naturally light on my hooves. BERNARD: And between your ears. Deerdra, you haven t by chance seen any nonhibernating carrots roaming about, have you? Or lettuce? Or corn? Or spinach? Yes, indeed, I d even eat spinach! 14

15 DEERDRA: Just some berries over there on a bush, but I finished them. Usually I save a few to crush up and use the juice for a little blush and eye shadow. I don t like being so pale and grey in the winter. But I was too hungry. Besides, the juice stains my beautiful hooves! Bernard, you are shaking like a bowl of a VAT of jelly. BERNARD: I m freezing! DEERDRA: Go home and get warm! BERNARD: The ice froze my door shut. I hate ice! DEERDRA: Oh, Bernard! Ice is the best part of winter. It reflects this. (SHE frames HER face with HER hooves and smiles.) BERNARD: Then go look at yourself in the ice covering my door. That should crack it! DEERDRA: Bernard, Bernard, my pet! You must learn to appreciate what others have and you lack. Take your tail, for example. Too big. Too flat. Mine? Just right. Fluffy and white. And your feet? Fat. Clumsy. Mine? Dainty. Light. Petite. And look at your squinty eyes, Bernard! Now look at mine! Why, when I flicker these lashes, the buck stops here. SONG #4: PRETTY AS A PICTURE (DEERDRA, BERNARD, HARRIET, CHORUS) DEERDRA: PRETTY AS A PICTURE FILLED WITH CHARM AND GRACE IT TAKES PEOPLE S BREATH AWAY WHEN THEY SEE MY FACE LOOK AT MY REFLECTION CLASSIC AND DIVINE THERE S NO PORTRAIT ANYWHERE LOVELIER THAN MINE THERE IS JUST ONE THING THAT TROUBLES ME SPEAKING HYPOTHETIC LY HOW CAN I BE SURE THE WAY I FEEL IS WHAT OTHERS ALSO SEE? PRETTY AS A PICTURE WONDR ING IF IT S TRUE: LOOKING AT IT HONESTLY IS THERE MORE THAN THAT TO ME? AM I REALLY PRETTY THROUGH AND THROUGH? 15

16 BERNARD: YOU ARE QUITE ATTRACTIVE THAT CAN T BE DENIED BUT IT TAKES A FRIEND TO KNOW WHAT YOU RE LIKE INSIDE DEERDRA: WELL THEN WON T YOU TELL US DO YOU ONLY SEE JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE IS THAT REALLY ME? OFTEN ALL YOU SEEM TO CARE ABOUT IS YOUR BEAUTY ON DISPLAY BERNARD: BUT BENEATH IT ALL YOU CAN BE NICE IN A MOST BEGUILING WAY. DEERDRA: PRETTY AS A PICTURE IS IT REALLY TRUE? BERNARD: SOMETIMES YOU RE A DOPEY DOE BUT WE WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW DEERDRA: DO YOU THINK I M BERNARD AND YES YOU RE REALLY ALL: PRETTY THROUGH AND THROUGH! DEERDRA: Yes. I know I am! Even though I have to work at it a wee bit harder in the winter. BERNARD: I think I m going to puke. Suddenly the bells are heard again in the distance. 16

17 There s that sound again. BERNARD: I heard it that time. DEERDRA: HUNTERS!!!! ALL ANIMALS: HUNTERS???? The all panic and begin running about, seeking hiding places, bumping into each other. THEY LL HANG MY FEET ON THEIR KEYCHAINS! DEERDRA: THEY LL PUT MY BEAUTIFUL HEAD ON THEIR WALL! BERNARD: THIS IS MY WINTER COAT, MY WINTER COAT! (Suddenly stopping.) Wait! Stop! Listen! (A moment.) It s gone again. Very strange, yessiree, very strange indeed! RABBIT 1: SSSHHH! ALL ANIMALS: WHAT!? RABBIT 1: I hear something else. THEY listen. A distant whistling sound is heard, similar to a bomb falling from the sky, growing louder. BERNARD: I hear it, too! What is it? SQUIRREL 2: It s getting louder and that means it s getting ALL ANIMALS: (THEY glance at each other.) CLOSER!!!! 17

18 Once again they panic and scurry about, seeking hiding places among the trees and snow banks. BERNARD gets behind a tree that is obviously too small to hide HIM. DEERDRA gives HIM a kick in the fanny, and he begrudgingly finds a more appropriate hiding place. DEERDRA takes HIS former tree. As the whistling reaches its peak, a TOY SOLDIER comes sliding onto stage, as if it dropped from the sky. We created this effect by incorporating a child s sliding board into a snow bank. The SOLDIER slides in and rolls to a seated position, facing the audience but on the SR side. It is a classic Napoleonic wind-up tin soldier with a large key in its back. Its rifle fires a loud bang or is accompanied by a sound effect timed accordingly. After the SOLDIER has landed, the ANIMALS cautiously emerge from their hiding places. Wh what is that thing!? DEERDRA: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear BERNARD: Is it a hunter.? SQUIRREL 1: A trapper.? RABBIT 2: A skinner.? DEERDRA: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear RABBIT 1: What is it? SQUIRREL 1: Can we eat it? RABBIT 3: It may want to eat you! DEERDRA: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It s not a fox! No bushy tail! BERNARD: It s not a wolf! No fangs! DEERDRA: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear BERNARD: Will you stop repeating your name!!?? (Moving closer to the SOLDIER.) It s not moving, nosiree, not moving at all! SQUIRREL 2: That s a good thing, isn t it, that it s not moving, isn t it? DEERDRA: Maybe it s dead. BERNARD: After a fall like that? You think? DEERDRA: Maybe it s playing coyote. BERNARD: Possum! DEERDRA: Don t be silly, Bernard! That is not a possum! It looks nothing like a possum! 18

19 BERNARD: I meant DEERDRA: As old as you are and you don t even know your animals! SQUIRREL 1: That s what I told him! BERNARD: I know my animals!! DEERDRA: Okay, smarty fur, what kind of animal is it? BERNARD: We ll know as soon as someone asks it! DEERDRA: Perfect job for Harriet! Me!? Why me!? DEERDRA: You re the luckiest of us. You have four rabbit s feet! SQUIRREL 1: That s right, she does! (Looking at RABBITS 1, 2, 3.) But you guys have a total of twelve. RABBITS 1, 2, AND 3: AND WE WANT TO KEEP THEM! BERNARD: (To DEEDRA, with a smirk.) Why don t you go? DEERDRA: Me!? BERNARD: Are you chicken? See! I DO know my animals. DEERDRA: Not me! I m shaking like a rock! BERNARD: LEAF! DEERDRA: Good idea! (Turns to go.) I think I will! BERNARD: (Grabbing DEERDRA.) No, you don t, spindle brain! We re all in this together! We re gonna find out what it is together! SONG #5: WHAT IS IT? (BERNARD, DEERDRA, HARRIET, CHORUS) BERNARD: WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS IT? GOOD HEAVENS, WHATEVER CAN IT BE? IT S SCARY BE WARY IT SURELY LOOKS DANGEROUS TO ME DEERDRA: SHOULD WE TOUCH IT? SHOULD WE SHAKE IT? IF WE MOVE IT, WILL WE BREAK IT? CAN T BE SURE OF ITS FRAGILITY! 19

20 AFTER MUCH CONSIDERATION BERNARD: AND INTENSE DELIBERATION HARRIET AND BERNARD: WE RE AFRAID THAT OUR CONCLUSION WILL JUST ADD TO THE CONFUSION DEERDRA: CAUSE TO TELL THE TRUTH YOU HAVEN T GOT A CLUE HARRIET AND BERNARD: CAUSE TO TELL THE TRUTH WE HAVEN T GOT A CLUE! DEERDRA: WE HAVE TO ADMIT IT LET S GIVE UP AND QUIT IT BERNARD: WE RE DEFEATED CONCEDE IT I FEAR THAT IT S CLEAR THAT BERNARD, HARRIET AND DEERDRA: WE WILL NEVER FIND THE ANSWER OR THE KEY WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS IT? GOOD HEAVENS WHATEVER CAN IT BE?? Well, whatever it is, it s here, right here in our forest! And we don t know what it wants, what it eats! Now one of us, yesireebob one of us has to find out! BERNARD: Not me! I want to keep my winter coat! RABBIT 1: I m not testing my luck! I don t care how many lucky feet I have! 20

21 RABBIT 2: Me too! I mean me also not.me.two.feet! SQUIRREL 1: Funny, right now, I do feel like a chicken! DEERDRA: I will not endanger my natural beauty! FINE!! I ll do it! Yesiree! I ll do it. ALL ANIMALS: You will!? Yes! (Cautiously approaching the SOLDIER.) Uh hello! DEERDRA: This is a hair-brained idea! BERNARD: Look who thought of it. DEERDRA: Oh, yeah! Are you uh are you an animal? BERNARD: Not too close, Harriet! DEERDRA: Yeah, curiosity killed the frog! BERNARD: CAT! Curiosity killed the CAT! DEERDRA: Cats, too? Uh, would you would you like to tell us your name? (Pause.) Would you? DEERDRA: Humpf! Not very sociable, is it? SQUIRREL 2: (Has moved a little closer to SOLDIER and is sniffing the air.) Funny! It looks human, but it doesn t smell human. We re just trying to be neighborly. My name s Harriet. (SHE is even closer to SOLDIER.) This is Deerdra. DEERDRA: (SHE curtsies.) Charmed, I m sure. This is Bernard. BERNARD: My pleasure. (SHE is now right up next to the SOLDIER.) You see, we were looking for food, mainly carrots you haven t seen any, have you? Carrots? Well, then we heard this strange noise, well, two strange noises actually, then you came (SHE nonchalantly leans on the SOLDIER S shoulder.) tumbling down out of (Suddenly the SOLDIER S arm moves. It rises and assumes a classic military attention stance with rifle shouldered. The animals shriek and hide.) (From HER hiding place.) DID YOU SEE THAT? DID YOU SEE THAT? It tried to grab and eat me. Yesireebob, grab and eat me! DEERDRA: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. RABBIT 3: She escaped by a hair. (The OTHERS look at RABBIT 3.) No pun intended. 21

22 DEERDRA: It isn t moving anymore. BERNARD: Maybe it s frozen! DEERDRA: Maybe it s playing coyote again. BERNARD: POSSUM!! DEERDRA: POSSUMS HANG BY THEIR TAILS! IS THAT THING HANGING BY ITS TAIL, BERNARD? HUH? IS IT? BERNARD: WELL, IT S NOT HOWLING AT THE MOON EITHER! STOP IT!! Deerdra, you try to talk to it. DEERDRA: ME!? I thought maybe, well, maybe it ll respond better to to beauty. DEERDRA: Huh? Nothing can resist your beauty, right? BERNARD: So she says. DEERDRA: That is true. So just just flap those lashes! BERNARD: Yeah. And wiggle your tail! DEERDRA: What kind of animal do you think I am!? Just give it one of your heart-stopping smiles. DEERDRA: I do have a lovely smile. BERNARD: Give it your Bambi look! DEERDRA: Well I suppose I could try. (SHE carefully approaches the SOLDIER.) That s it! We re right behind you. (They are ALL backing away.) RABBIT 3: Turn on the charm, Deerdra! SQUIRREL 1: Dazzle it with your beauty. DEERDRA: (Nearing SOLDIER and batting HER eyelashes.) Uh, excuse me. (To others.) What shall I ask it? What it is! BERNARD: Why it s here! RABBIT 2: Ask its name! DEERDRA: (Flirting.) What s your name, big boy? (Pause.) In town long, sailor? (Pause. Glances back at others and shrugs.) Keep talking! DEERDRA: I don t know what to say. BERNARD: That s a first! 22

23 DEERDRA: Uh, come here often, Soldier? It, uh it was nice of you to drop in. (All ANIMALS are now slowly circling the SOLDIER, studying it.) Maybe it doesn t speak animal. DEERDRA: (Loud and slow, with exaggerated enunciation.) DO YOU SPEAK ANIMAL? A moment. Not a word! RABBIT 1: Not a sound! SQUIRREL 1: Not a squeak! BERNARD: Not even a grunt! (Quickly turns away from SOLDIER.) How rude! BERNARD s tail bumps the SOLDIER, who marches a few steps, then aims HIS rifle into the air and fires. The loud bang sends the animals shrieking for hiding places. The firing of the rifle causes the CHORUS ANIMALS to run offstage, and they do not return until the last song of the show. The SOLDIER then shoulders HIS rifle and freezes. HARRIET S head pops out, soon followed by BERNARD. Where d everyone go? BERNARD: They left us! Ran off like scared rabbits! I don t appreciate that reference, Bernard! DEERDRA: (Storming out of HER hiding place.) YOU CLUMSY OAF, BERNARD! SEE WHAT YOU DID? SEE WHAT YOU DID? YOU FAT-TAILED SWIMMING SQUIRREL!! BERNARD: ME!? (Mocking.) IN TOWN LONG, SAILOR? NICE OF YOU TO. DEERDRA: IF YOUR BIG FAT TAIL HADN T OF Suddenly, a knothole in a tree flies open and an irritated ALBERT OWL shouts. ALBERT: WHOOOO IS MAKING ALL THE RUCKUS!? HARRIET, BERNARD, AND DEERDRA: ALBERT!!?? Oh, Albert, are we glad to see you! 23

24 ALBERT: IS THAT THE SUN I SEE? We have a serious problem here, Albert. ALBERT: SHOULD I GIVE A HOOT? I AM NOCTURNAL! HEAR ME? NOCTURNAL! AND YOU HAVE RUDELY AWAKENED ME FROM A LOVELY DREAM ABOUT SUMMER! SONG #6: NIGHT OWL (ALBERT) ALBERT: THE MIDDLE OF MY DAY IS THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT I M ALWAYS WIDE AWAKE WHEN THE STARS ARE SHINING BRIGHT I GET MY FORTY WINKS WHEN THE SUN IS AT ITS HEIGHT CAUSE I M A NIGHT OWL JUST TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP! YOU RUDELY WOKE ME UP IN A MOST OBNOXIOUS WAY I M TIRED AND UPSET CAUSE YOU VE FILLED ME WITH DISMAY MY SLUMBER IS NO MORE AND THERE S NO MORE I CAN SAY I M JUST A NIGHT OWL JUST TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP CHATTER HERE CLATTER THERE IT S ENOUGH TO MAKE ME SCREAM! HOW CAN I GET SOME REST WHEN YOU INTERRUPT MY DREAMS? BEFORE I LOSE MY GRIP I AM COUNTING UP TO TEN SO LISTEN TO MY PLEA FOR I WON T SAY IT AGAIN 24

25 THE MOON WILL SOON BE UP DO NOT BOTHER ME TILL THEN! CAUSE I M A NIGHT OWL JUST TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP!! At end of song, HE abruptly closes the knothole. The other animals look at each for a moment, then rush to HIS tree and begin pounding on the knothole. ALBERT!! DEERDRA: COME OUT!! BERNARD: WE NEED YOU!! ALLLBBBEEERRRTTT!! HARRIET, BERNARD, AND DEERDRA: AALLLBBBEERRRTTT!!! The knothole flies open. ALBERT: ALL RIGHT! SILENCE! (A pause.) Now please elucidate the essence of the emergency. HARRIET, BERNARD, AND DEERDRA: Huh? ALBERT: Paraphrase the perplexing problem! HARRIET, BERNARD, AND DEERDRA: Huh? ALBERT: What s the fuss? HARRIET, BERNARD, AND DEERDRA: Oohhh! Thank you for reading this free excerpt from ONE TOY FOR CHRISTMAS. For performance rights and/or a complete copy of the script, please contact us at: Heuer Publishing LLC P.O. Box 248 Cedar Rapids, Iowa Toll Free: Fax (319) HITPLAYS. COM 25