Birds on the Wing – Puppet Show

Orville’s First Flight

Characters: Orville Oriole, Chelsea Chickadee, Wilbur Wood Thrush, Storm Cloud.

Props: suitcase prop, sign saying “That Evening.”

Orville Oriole Mmm, there’s a bug, yum! I know I’m putting on weight, but this cold weather’s making me ravenous. I wonder when it’s going to warm up.

Chelsea Chickadee  Warm up? Orville Oriole, you mean cool down, don’t you? Another month and there’ll be snow on the ground and ice in the ponds.

Oriole  Well, I won’t have to worry about that! I’ll be far away when winter comes.

Chickadee  Really? Where will you be?

Oriole  I’ll be on migration. We orioles fly to a warm place where there’s lots of food to eat, and then we come back in the spring.

Chickadee  That sounds good, but how do you get there?

Oriole  Well, I don’t know actually. This is my first migration flight. I’m sure it’ll be loads of fun. Want to come along?

Chickadee  No thanks, Orville. Traveling’s really not my bag.

Oriole  But how are you going to stay warm here when everything’s frozen?

Chickadee  I’ll just fluff up my feathers, and I can sleep in a hollow tree.

Oriole  Well, what about finding food?

Chickadee  Oh, finding food’s easy if you join a flock. We know all the bird feeders around. And don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been hiding seeds all over the forest!

Oriole  Really? How will you remember where they are?

Chickadee  Easy! I’ve been growing extra brain cells. I’m getting smarter every day.

Oriole  That’s using your brain! But seeds aren’t really my kind of food. I like insects, and there’ll be lots of them where I’m going. Sure you don’t want to come?

Chickadee  No thanks, Orville. Too risky for me, but you have a good trip! (exits)

Oriole  Too bad. Here comes Wilbur Wood Thrush. I wonder if he’s migrating.

Wilbur Wood Thrush  Hi, Orville. Ready for the big trip? We’re all going to Mexico for the winter.

Oriole  Mexico! Yay! When do we leave?

Wood Thrush  Tonight at sunset. This north wind will help us on our way.

Oriole  Great. Wait, did you say tonight? You mean fly in the dark? How will we find our way?

Wood Thrush Oh, lots of ways. The sun sets in the west, so if we have the sun on our right wings, we’ll know we’re going south.

Oriole  Okay, I can see that. But after it sets, it’ll be dark. Then what?

Wood Thrush  We can listen for the waves on the shore when we follow the coastline, and we can use the stars to find our way.

Oriole  Okay. Sun, waves, stars. Wait, what if it’s cloudy?

Wood Thrush  Well, we can always tell where we are by sensing the earth’s magnetic field.

Oriole  Oh. That makes sense. I’ll just use my animal magnetism!

Wood Thrush  And there’ll be other birds flying too, so we’ll listen for their calls.

Oriole  Okay! I can’t wait to get to Mexico tomorrow!

Wood Thrush  Very funny, Orville! It’s a long way to Mexico. It’ll take many days.

Oriole  Oh. Right! Well, I better go pack. See you tonight. (both exit; put up sign saying “That Evening”)

Oriole (with suitcase) I’m ready to migrate! Got my suitcase of energy food here.

Wood Thrush  Orville, you can’t carry that! Besides, our fuel is body fat.

Oriole  Oh! Well, I’ll be fine then. I’ve been eating so much I’ve doubled my weight!

Wood Thrush  And remember to fly by night and rest by day when you can see to find food.

Oriole  Okay. Night flight, day rest. I’m ready. Bye! See you in Mexico!

Wood Thrush  Wait, Orville. Be careful! There are lots of dangers out there! (exits)

Oriole  Dangers? This is a piece of cake. Well, I’m off! (move puppet up and down) It’s easy with the wind behind me. Wheee!

Storm Cloud  If it’s too easy, maybe I could help. How about a storm?

Oriole  Gee, I’m not sure…

Storm Cloud  With thunder, lightning and high winds? That’ll liven things up! (exits)

Oriole  Now I’m in for it! It’s hard to fly in this storm, and that lightning is scary!

Wood Thrush  (enters flying behind Oriole)

Orville! Look out for those tall buildings ahead! You’ll crash into them! (tilts up)

Oriole  (tilts up) Yikes, that was close! Is that you, Wilbur? I can’t see you in this fog.

Wood Thrush  Yes, I’m here too. We’re about to head out over the sea now.

Oriole  Gee, Wilbur – storms, buildings, fog, and now a sea to cross?

Wood Thrush  Just listen for my flight call, breet-breet! It’ll help you stay on course.

Oriole  Thanks, Wilbur. This is really hard!

Wood Thrush Well, don’t get discouraged. We’ll be there soon! (both exit; re-enter) Here we are at last. So, Orville, how was your first migration flight?

Oriole  Phew! It was a pretty rough trip!

Wood Thrush  Aren’t you glad we can just relax and enjoy the warm sun here before we have to go back in the spring?

Oriole  Are you kidding? I can’t wait to migrate again! Flying through dangers of all kinds, testing my skills and endurance? It was a great adventure! Wait till Chelsea Chickadee hears about it. Next year she’ll want to come too!

The End

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