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Harebrained Tales From Around The World

Some fun tales from Aesop Fables such as the Tortoise and the Hare. All contain a rabbit.

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Harebrained Tales From Around The World

Some fun tales from Aesop Fables such as the Tortoise and the Hare. All contain a rabbit.


Author:    Mark T. Sommers

Synopsis:

It takes a fable from Aesop, a fairytale from the Brothers Grimm and East African folktale to make up Harebrained Tales from Around the World. The show is comprised of The Tortoise and the Hare, The Hedgehog and the Hare and The Lion and the Hare. Told with great humor and heart, this play is interactive, needing participation from the audience which adds to the flavor of the piece. It teaches lessons about striving against the odds, never giving up and using brains over brawn. The rabbit goes from story to story and though he starts out as an arrogant and unfeeling rabbit in the first two tales, by the time of the last story, he finally becomes the hero.

Harebrained Tales From Around The World

Harebrained Tales From Around The World

By

Mark T. Somers




Hairbrained Tales From Around The Worls

Copyright 2009

by 

Mark T. Somers

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that HAIREBRAINED TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to HAIREBRAINED TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.



CAST OF CHARACTERS 

10 roles—can be done with as little as 4 actors

Parts for Males or Females:

Narrator/Lion: The omnipotent narrator, he or she likes riddles and quotes the Narrator’s bill of rights.  Will become the lion in the last tale.

Tortoise:  A slow and steady turtle, he challenges the rabbit to a race.

Zebra: A somewhat fatalistic zebra, he eventually becomes the narrator, and with the lion out of the picture becomes a much happier animal.

Gazelle: Tall and graceful, the gazelle is the negotiator and eventually in overly dramatic form, dinner for the lion.

Females

Mary Jane: A female rabbit, gun chewing, she has an obvious crush on the rabbit, and has a giggle that could grate on anyone’s nerves.

Greta: Ludwig’s wife, she is a hedgehog who supports him and  helps him with his plan.

Granny (voice from offstage only): Granny, never seen, monitors the rabbit in the first story.

Males

Rabbit: This is the hare who came to hear all the stories and then plays the part in each of the tales. He starts out mischievous, a bit arrogant, but becomes smarter and kinder by the last story.

Ludwig: A kind and clever hedgehog, Ludwig comes up with a plan to beat the rabbit at his own game.

Guy (one line only) He turns out to be Farmer McGregor on a photographic safari, he’s growled at by the lion and screams and runs off.

Original Cast

Larry Kern……………………………………………….Narrator, Lion

Douglas Cupples……………………………………..……………..Rabbit

Mark Somers…………………………Tortoise, Ludwig, Guy, Zebra

Sherrie Martin-Foster………………………Mary Jane, Greta, Granny


PROP LIST

Narrator’s Stool

2 Starbuck’s cups

Two Poster size pictures (or drawings) of Hedgehogs

Dictionary

2 Spray bottles

Sign saying “Hedgehogs are Better than Rabbits”

Arm sling

Crutch

Camera



SET

The Original Cast production’s set simply used two large (Styrofoam) rocks, one placed SR, the other placed SC and the Narrator’s stool placed SL.



Hare-Brained Tales From Around The World

(The NARRATOR comes out and greets the kids. Makes small talk with a few kids close as the audience is coming in. Once everyone is seated: )

NARRATOR

(To the audience)  Do you like riddles?  (affirmative response) What do you call a rabbit with lots of eggs who jumps off a bridge.

(The RABBIT walks across the stage.)

RABBIT

The Easter Bungee.

NARRATOR

Hey, that was my joke! (Turns back to audience) How far can a rabbit run into the woods?

RABBIT

Halfway…after that she’s running out of the woods.

NARRATOR

If you please!  How are a plum and a rabbit alike?

RABBIT

They’re…  

NARRATOR

(Shaking a finger to stop him) Ah.  (RABBIT tries again)  No!  (and again) Stop.  (Back to the audience)  So, how are a plum and a rabbit alike? (Gives RABBIT a look)

RABBIT

I’m not saying a word.  I don’t even know that riddle?

NARRATOR

Hush!  Anyone know?  (possible responses from the audience)  How are a plum and a rabbit alike?  They’re both purple except for the rabbit.   (This cracks the NARRATOR up…repeats the punch line again to himself chuckling over it again)

RABBIT

It’s not really a very good joke.  What’s a rabbit’s favorite Dance?

NARRATOR

What?

RABBIT

The bunny hop. (He does it ending in front of the NARRATOR) Now that’s a good joke.

NARRATOR

What are you doing here?

RABBIT

I understood you had some Rabbit stories and I thought I’d come and listen.  

NARRATOR

Will you really listen or will you continue to steal my punch lines.

RABBIT

I will be quiet as a mouse.  Actually mice are not that quiet, I knew one who would jammer away, you couldn’t shut him up…

NARRATOR

If you please…(the RABBIT stops)  Thank you.   Now, my first story is a real classic.  The Tortoise and the Hare.  This fable comes to us from Aesop. Aesop was a slave who lived two thousand seven hundred years ago.  There are a lot of rumors about Aesop, but we don’t really know all that much for sure about him.  But what we do have are his fables and this is one of his most famous.  Now, with these stories, I gonna need your help, when the rabbit is being particularly bad, and I point at you, I want you to say “No! Bad Bunny!”

RABBIT

What?  Hey, it’s not like we’re dogs you know. It’s not like you can just tell us to sit, roll over and play dead.

NARRATOR

I’m the narrator, I can do anything I want to.  Sit! (The RABBIT sits) Okay, shall we try it, I’ll point to you and you’ll say, “No! Bad Bunny!”  Okay louder, let that bunny know that he has been very very bad. (Practice until they have it)

RABBIT

What did I do?

NARRATOR

 Okay, now I can tell the story. One day,  a hare (the RABBIT jumps up) ran into a tortoise (The TORTOISE moves slowly on stage and will stop center) while they were both out shopping.  

(The TORTOISE pantomimes reaching for lettuce in a bin, very slowly.  The RABBIT comes up behind him.  Taps his foot impatiently.)

RABBIT

Some of the rest of us would like to eat in this century, you know.

ALL

 No! Bad Bunny!

TORTOISE

I’m moving as fast as I can.  

RABBIT

As fast as you can?  My grandmother can move faster than you.  And she’s old…I mean, really old…practically ancient.

GRANNY

(offstage)  Elwood!

RABBIT

(Calling offstage)  Sorry Granny.  (Back to the TORTOISE)  Come on, slow poke…Geez.  (And the RABBIT pushes the TORTOISE aside grabbing up his own lettuce)

Like that’s so hard.

TORTOISE

You don’t have to be so mean.

RABBIT

(Mocking the TORTOISE) You don’t have to be so mean.  You sound like some whiney old lady…

GRANNY

 (Offstage)  Elwood!

RABBIT

 (Calls off)  I’m not talking about you, Granny. (Back to the TORTOISE) I’m talking to Mr. Speedy McGee here.  So slow poke, you ever get in any foot races.  After all, you have four feet and every single one moves with such lightning speed.  (RABBIT laughs at his own witticisms.)

ALL

No! Bad Bunny!

TORTOISE

 I could beat you in a race.

(The RABBIT starts laughing…until he can laugh no more.)

RABBIT

 You would race me…? 

TORTOISE

Yes, and beat you too. With a little training.  

RABBIT

Okay, a week from Saturday…12 noon, I’ll be here and we’ll race all the way around the town and end up back here.  How’s that sound?

TORTOISE

I’ll be here.

RABBIT

(Laughing)  Racing a tortoise…oh, I’m sooo scared.  (He exits)

NARRATOR

(To TORTOISE):  Why did you challenge the rabbit to a race.  That’s just silly.

TORTOISE

I  know, but he just got me so mad.  Will you train me to be a quick runner?

NARRATOR

I don’t think that’s possible.  Nothing against you, but you are a tortoise after all.  It’s not in your nature.

TORTOISE

But trying and striving no matter the odds…that’s in my nature.  Will you train me?

NARRATOR

I’ll try.  (Reaches in his back pocket, pulls out a sweat band and puts it on)

TORTOISE

How do we get started?

NARRATOR

Calisthenics! Jumping Jacks! (NARRATOR goes through ten as he counts them out, long enough for the Tortoise to…well, read on) One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! (to Ten!)

TORTOISE

One.

NARRATOR

Really? Only one.  Boy, do we have a long way to go. Come on, let’s run. (NARRATOR runs offstage…TORTOISE follows.  From offstage) Come on!  

TORTOISE

I’m coming, I’m coming. 

(He heads off stage. Then with the “Theme from Rocky” playing [or some kind of inspirational music].  We see the NARRATOR come in wearing a track suit and running backwards, trying to inspire the TORTOISE to move faster. The TORTOISE comes back in, head band on and a towel around his shoulders.)

NARRATOR

Think of the little engine that could….I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

TORTOISE

This is ancient Greece, what’s a little engine?

NARRATOR

I have no idea, but the “I think I can” part is pretty darn good.  See you’ve almost caught up with me.

TORTOISE

That’s because you haven’t moved.  This race is going to be a disaster.

NARRATOR

No!  You’ve got to think positive,  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. (To the audience so TORTOISE doesn’t hear) This race IS going to be a disaster. Even if he does say, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

TORTOISE

What was that from?  The Little pigeon that could?

NARRATOR

Sure, let’s go with that. I’m worn out.  Starbucks?  On me?

TORTOISE

I’ll race right there, but before I arrive, if you could order me a Grande double latte, non-fat, no foam, caffeine free with a pump of chocolate sauce and a dash of whipped cream with a long straw, I’d sure appreciate it.

NARRATOR

Okay, but then I’ve got to get back to my day job…narrator.  

(The NARRATOR exits followed slowly by the TORTOISE.  The RABBIT shows up)

RABBIT

Hey where is everybody?  Did that Tortoise come to his senses.  A tortoise doesn’t challenge “Da King”.  It’s good to be the king. (NARRATOR comes back in san sportswear, Starbuck’s cup in hand. As he returns to his seat)  Well, it’s about time.  Can’t have a story without a story teller.  Where’s Mr. I’m moving as fast as I can? 

NARRATOR

He’ll be along shortly.  

(At this point the TORTOISE comes in holding up his Starbucks cup. He is not moving any faster)

TORTOISE

Starbucks gave me caffeine by accident, so watch out Rabbit, I’m on fire.

RABBIT

Yeah, I can see that.  I’m aquakin’ in my boots. Shall we get this thing over with?

TORTOISE

I’m ready when you are…you just have to wait a minute until I can get over to the starting line.

NARRATOR

Okay, these are the official rules as laid out by the Aesop Racing Society. You must run all the way around the town and get back to tag me to win the race.  Is that clear?

RABBIT

Yeah, yeah, can we get on with this?

NARRATOR

Okay, (To the audience) I could really use your help here, we’re going to have to say on your mark, get set, go!! Can we pratice this?

RABBIT

Come on, come on, enough already.  We have a race to run, you’re a slow story teller!

ALL

No! Bad Bunny!

NARRATOR

Okay, let’s practice.  On your mark…(Let the audience finish it)  Okay, let’s do it for real and start the race.  On your mark, get set, go.

(The TORTOISE takes off…very slowly.  He continues.  The RABBIT taunts him, running backwards in front of him, running around him in circles, laughing at his own taunts)

RABBIT

Oh, look at the terrifying tortoise…he is going to just mow that poor rabbit down…he’s already headed for the finish line and should be there…by two o’clock tomorrow.  

ALL

No! Bad Bunny!

(The RABBIT sees MARY JANE as she enters…she is a gum chewing rabbit quite enamored with our RABBIT. He leaves the TORTOISE to continue.) 

RABBIT

Hey, Mary Jane.

MARY JANE

Hi Johnnie.  (She giggles)

RABBIT

So you came to see the big race.  You gonna cheer for the hardback on the racetrack?

MARY JANE

Oh Johnnie, you’re a scream. (She giggles some more)

RABBIT

Yep, that turtle actually challenged me, the swiftest of the swift to come and race him.  He’s ridic-o-lous .  I just made up that word.

MARY JANE

Johnnie, you’re so smart. (She, of course, giggles)

RABBIT

So, you wanna go grab some breakfast? I hear Farmer McGregor has some great cabbage. 

MARY JANE

But Johnnie, don’t you gotta finish the race?

RABBIT

Look at him, he ‘s not even a third of the way around the town.  He’ll be taking hours to get there and in the end, I’ll run up behind him and win the race, because after all I am the fastest rabbit in the west.  

MARY JANE

Oh Johnnie, you’re so cute.  (giggle)

RABBIT

Let’s go check out that cabbage patch.  

(RABBIT and MARY JANE exit)

NARRATOR

Go tortoise, go!

TORTOISE

I really picking up speed now. 

NARRATOR

You sure are! (to the audience) He doesn’t have a chance.  Even though Rabbit hasn’t actually started racing yet, it will only take him a minute to catch up and overtake that old tortoise. 

(RABBIT and MARY JANE, both of whom had been chased by Farmer McGregor, come back after breakfast to see how the race was progressing.  RABBIT yawns.)

RABBIT

After a meal like that, and a chase like that, I need to take a nap.

MARY JANE

 Johnnie, I was pretty scared, that Farmer looked really mad.

RABBIT

Old McGregor, he never had a chance; we’re too swift.  Good thing for old tortoise that HE wasn’t being chased.  But now, I think I’ll take a nap.  Good food and a fun chase always makes me feel like a little snooze.

MARY JANE

But Johnnie, the race…

RABBIT

I’ve already won it…just a little rest and I will whip around there and grab the prize out of Mr. Tortoise’s grasp. Wait until you see it, Mary Jane.  

(RABBIT lays down to take nap)

NARRATOR

And with that, Rabbit lay down to take a nap…

RABBIT

What?  You think they can’t see that for themselves? You have to announce that?  You think they’re all blind. I mean, just cause you’re sitting here doesn’t mean you have to talk…

NARRATOR

(Over RABBIT’s railings) …and he promptly fell asleep.  (RABBIT stops talking and falls down asleep) And snored disgustingly.  (RABBIT does)

MARY JANE

Eww Johnnie, gross!

ALL

No! Bad Bunny!

NARRATOR

And through all of this, the tortoise was slow and steady. 

TORTOISE

I’m almost there.  

(And in fact, he is in the home stretch)

MARY JANE

(Shaking RABBIT): Johnnie, Johnnie, wake up!  You gotta finish the race!

RABBIT

(Sitting up, a little dazed) Huh?

MARY JANE

The tortoise is about to beat you in the race.

RABBIT

No way….that’s not going to happen.  

(He takes off running, but as he dashes, when he is about 3/4ths of the way around, the TORTOISE high fives (slowly) with the NARRATOR.)

NARRATOR

And the winner of this race (RABBIT runs up to the NARRATOR too late) is Tortoise.

MARY JANE

Oh Johnnie, you’re such a loser.  

(She rushes off in tears)  

RABBIT

How could this happen.

NARRATOR

Would you like to know the moral of the story?

RABBIT

Not particularly.

NARRATOR

Slow and steady wins the race.

RABBIT

Yeah, that was the moral I didn’t want to hear. 

TORTOISE

So, who runs like an old lady now?

GRANNY

(Offstage)  Elwood!

RABBIT

It wasn’t me, Granny!

TORTOISE

(To the NARRATOR) I thought his name was Johnnie.

NARRATOR

 Just for that story. (confidentially) But that’s his real granny.

TORTOISE

Oh, I see. 

(And the TORTOISE slowly exits)

NARRATOR

What do you call an operation on a rabbit?

RABBIT

A hare cut…these are all old jokes.  

NARRATOR

Not this one…what do you call a rabbit who is really cool.

RABBIT

Me.

NARRATOR

No silly, a hip hopper.  (Cracks himself up)

RABBIT

Can we get on with the next story now, Mr. Slowpoke?

ALL

 No! Bad Bunny!

NARRATOR

Okay, this one is called The Hedgehog and the Hare.

RABBIT

 What’s a Hedgehog? 

(The NARRATOR goes off and comes back with two pictures)

NARRATOR

(Holding up the first picture {photo or drawing}) This is a hedgehog. (Holds up the second) And here is a second one.

RABBIT

They look exactly the same, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

NARRATOR

Precisely the point. Now, this story comes from the Brother’s Grimm.  Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born just over a year apart in the 1780s in Hanau, Germany. They started collecting folk stories from all over Europe in the early 1800s.  They didn’t make up the stories, but merely collected them and were the first to write them all down.  Now, Once upon a time there was a kindly and clever Hedgehog named Ludwig who loved to take walks.

RABBIT

Ludwig, what kind of a silly name is that?

NARRATOR

It’s a German name, German men wrote down these stories.  Do you have a problem with that?

RABBIT

Hey, don’t get all bent out of shape, it was nothing personal. (Quietly to the audience) I’m just glad my name isn’t Ludwig.

NARRATOR

I’m sitting right here, I can still hear you.

RABBIT

Sorry, okay, a hedgehog named Ludwig who loved to take walks…go.

NARRATOR

Okay. Ludwig used these walks to check on his turnips…Ludwig loved turnips.  These were the turnips grown in the garden of Farmer McGregor.  Boy, that guy grows everything.  It so happened that a rabbit named Abelard was….

RABBIT

No, no, no, I’m not going by the name of Abelard.

NARRATOR

Who’s telling this story, Abelard, you or me?

RABBIT

But it worse than Ludwig.  How about you just call me Abe?

NARRATOR

German story, German name.  A rabbit named Abelard was checking out his cabbages at the same time…the cabbages grown in the garden of Farmer McGregor.

RABBIT

What’s he doing in Germany?

NARRATOR

McGregor, oh, he really got around.  Anyway….

LUDWIG

Hey Abelard.

RABBIT

Hey yourself.  Which hedgehog are you?  You all look alike to me.

LUDWIG

I’m Ludwig.

RABBIT

I see, so tell me Ludwig, how come you guys won’t share the hedges.  (laughs) Get it hedgehog.

ALL

 No! Bad Bunny!

LUDWIG

Oh yeah, there’s a new one, like I never heard that before.

RABBIT

You’re checking on your turnips, I see. 

LUDWIG

Yes, they’re doing quite well.  And how are your cabbages coming. 

RABBIT

I can’t complain. (They stand there, not sure what to say to each other) I never noticed what bandy legs you have.

LUDWIG

I beg your pardon?

RABBIT

Your legs, not being mean or anything, but they’re pretty bent and spindly. I guess you don’t get around anywhere very fast. 

LUDWIG

We hedgehogs move at a respectable clip, nothing we need to be ashamed of.

RABBIT

Oh yeah, I’m sure that considering how spindly, and thin and bandy your legs are, you probably get around surprisingly fast.

LUDWIG

Are you always so condescending or only to hedgehogs?


To read the rest, please purchase the script.

Harebrained Tales From Around The World

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