Characters: Matthew Mouse, Matilda Mouse, Dory Doe, Chelsey Chickadee, Rocky Raccoon
Props: small strip of fur, downy feathers, small bag labeled “Nuts”; special stage with tunnel and chamber under the snow.
(Puppets appear on top of the snow)
Matthew Hey Matilda, let’s go out for a walk in the snow.
Matilda Sorry, Matthew. I’ve decided to hibernate like Woody Woodchuck and sleep until spring. So, see you in May!
Matthew Matilda, hibernating is much more than sleeping. Only a few animals can do it, and white-footed mice like us are not hibernators.
Matilda Well, then I’ll just be dormant like Rocky Raccoon. He sleeps for weeks at a time in winter.
Matthew No, Matilda. We’re not dormant animals either. We’d get too hungry.
Matilda Well, gee. I wish I’d migrated, like Martin Monarch. He went to Mexico!
Matthew Sure, lots of animals are dormant or hibernating, or they’ve migrated away, but we mice get to stay active and enjoy the winter!
Matilda Enjoy the winter? With wind and snow and frozen water, and the plants not making any food? Winter’s no fun! I’ve got a nice warm nest, and I plan to stay inside it.
Matthew But aren’t you tired of eating old stale food? Let’s go find some fresh berries. There are still some on the bushes.
Matilda Mmm, fresh berries? That does sound good. Okay, I guess I’ll come. (hops) Brrr, I can see my breath.
Matthew Come on, let’s go over to those berry bushes. (hops off stage)
Matilda Okay, wait for me! Now which way did he go? (Doe enters, wearing fur) Oh hi, Dory Doe! I didn’t hear you coming.
Doe Hello, Matilda Mouse. It’s very quiet when it’s snowing like this.
Matilda Yes, and cold. Brrr, I’m frozen! Gee, you aren’t even shivering.
Doe Oh, no. I’m quite warm. I’ve got my winter coat on.
Matilda You put a coat on?
Doe No, but I grew a special coat of crinkly fur that holds in my warmth. It’s like wearing a cozy blanket.
Matilda You’re lucky to have such a thick coat. I only have a thin coat of fur.
Doe Yes, my coat is very thick. Here, you can have this fur that I shed. (presents fur)
Matilda Why thanks, Dory! It’ll keep my ears warm. (puts on fur)
Doe It’s very dear! Well, I’m going to join my herd now. See you later, Matilda. (exits)
Matilda Mm, this thick fur cap is warm. (chickadee enters, wearing feathers) Why hello, Chelsey Chickadee. You look like you’ve… um…put on some weight.
Chelsey Chickadee Nope. Just fluffed up my feathers.
Matilda You must be very cold with nothing but feathers on.
Chickadee Are you kidding? Feathers are the best kind of insulation there is. I even grow extra feathers in time for winter.
Chickadee Sure! Especially these downy feathers underneath. It’s like wearing long-johns. Here, have a few downy feathers to keep you warm. (presents downy feathers)
Matilda (puts on downy feathers) Why thank you, Chelsey! I feel warmer already.
Chickadee Chicka-dee-dee. Dee-lighted I could help. So long! (exits)
Matilda Bye Chelsey. Mm, I do feel warm in my down jacket and fur hat.
Rocky Raccoon Huh? Is that you, Matilda?
Matilda Hi, Rocky Raccoon. It is me. I’m wearing these extra layers for warmth. But Rocky, I thought you’d be asleep. Aren’t you dormant in winter?
Raccoon Ho ho, yes, I sleep a lot in winter! But I wake up and look for a snack when my belly feels empty.
Matilda Your belly looks pretty full to me.
Raccoon Ho, ho, that’s because I put on a nice layer of fat, to keep my insides warm. You should too, Matilda. Here, have some hickory nuts. They’ll put some fat on your bones. (attach bag labeled “nuts” to stage)
Matilda Mm, yum! Thanks, Rocky.
Raccoon Sure! I’ve eaten my fill (yawns) and now I’m ready for a little snooze. See you in a few weeks. (exits)
Matilda Sleep tight, Rocky. (Matthew enters) There you are, Matthew! I’m ready for the cold now. See – fur, feathers, and some nuts to make me fat!
Matthew You do look warm. I just hope you can run with all that on! Willa Weasel’s coming! We’ve got to get out of here!
Matilda Willa Weasel? Yikes! (both run in place, Matilda ahead) Gee (panting), I’m getting hot with all these clothes on!
Matthew There’s a tunnel ahead. See it?
Matilda Yes! (tries to enter tunnel) But Matthew, it’s too small! I can’t get in!
Matthew Try taking off those layers.
Matilda But I’ll freeze down there!
Matthew No, you won’t. It’s warmer under the snow, and there’s no wind. Hurry!
Matilda Okay… (shakes off clothes) Here we go! (both go down tunnel to chamber)
Matthew That was close, but we got away!
Matilda Yes, and it is warmer down here! I guess we mice don’t really need thick fur since we can go under the snow. Only how are we going to get food? I don’t want to go back outside with that weasel around!
Matthew Wait, let’s see – I’ve got a pile of food stored here somewhere… Here it is! It might be a bit old and stale…
Matilda Old stale food? Yum! My favorite!