Half Full or Half Empty?
Characters: Freddy Frog, Teddy Toad, Wilma Worm, Frieda Fish, Water Lily, Davy Dragonfly
Props: Two tea cups attached to stage, one on stick so it can tip.
Freddy Frog Look, Teddy Toad. My cup is half full.
Teddy Toad My cup is half empty. I always get less.
Frog Well, then come over here, Teddy Toad. You can have some of mine.
Toad Gee, thanks Freddy. I’ll just hop over…(takes a hop and tips cup). Oh no! Now my cup is completely empty!
Frog Teddy, your cup’s not empty at all. It’s full to the brim!
Toad Freddy, I spilled it. There’s nothing in my cup but air. It’s completely empty.
Frog But Teddy, don’t you realize? Air isn’t “nothing.” It’s something. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Toad Well, you can’t taste it either, or smell it, or drink it. Air is nothing. My cup is empty.
Frog Air is something. We need it to breathe. That’s why we have lungs. Air gives us energy to hop, like this. (hops)
Toad Well, there are lots of animals that don’t have lungs.
Frog True, true. But they still need air to live – and plants do too. I’m going to drink up my air and hop into the pond. See you later, Teddy.
Toad That’s nonsense. There are lots of animals that don’t need air. Like worms. They live in the ground where there’s no air to breathe.
Wilma Worm What air you talking about? Dirt is full of air!
Toad How can there be air in the ground?
Worm Oh, there’s a wee bit of air between every grain of soil, and there’s lots of air in the tunnels we dig. And of course, there’s air inside us worms too.
Toad How does air get inside a worm?
Worm Why, we get it through our skin, just like you toads do in winter. Now I’d better air on the side of caution, before you get ideas about worms for lunch! So long, Toad.
Toad Well, maybe there’s air in the soil, but there’s no air in water.
Frieda Fish No air in water? That’s an air-brained idea! Of course there’s air in water. How else could a fish breathe?
Toad Frieda Fish, your lungs must be very different from mine. I’d drown if I breathed in water.
Fish Who needs lungs, if you have gills? Our gills take oxygen right out of the water.
Toad Oxygen? What’s that?
Fish It’s the part of the air that we need for energy, to fan our fins and wiggle our tails. (fans) Without oxygen, we’d be fried!
Toad Does all air have oxygen in it?
Fish Sure it does. There’s no de-bait about it! Now it’s time for me to take a dive. Good bye! (exits)
Toad Well, maybe fish and worms need air, but plants are living things too, and I’m sure they don’t need air.
Water Lily Do my leaves deceive me? Did you say plants don’t need air?
Toad Hi, Water Lily. You don’t have lungs or skin or gills to breathe with, do you?
Water Lily No, but we plants get air through tiny holes in our leaves. We use air and water and sunlight to make stems, flowers – and lily pads.
Toad Gee, I like sitting on lily pads.
Water Lily And what’s more, we plants put oxygen into the air – oxygen that animals need to live. Without us you’d be sunk!
Toad You mean plants need air to live too?
Water Lily Oh yes, for sure. Without air, why, we’d simply wither. (falls over, exits)
Toad Gosh, maybe Freddy’s right. I can’t find one plant or animal that doesn’t need air.
Davy Dragonfly Hi there, Teddy. Why so glum?
Toad Everyone I meet has lungs, or gills or skin, or leaves to breathe with!
Dragonfly I don’t have any of those things.
Toad Really, Davy? You don’t need air?
Dragonfly Wait a minute. I don’t have lungs or gills or leaves, but I do need air. I get it through little holes in my sides, and little tubes that carry it all through my body.
Toad Lungs, gills, leaves – and now tubes? The whole world needs air!
Dragonfly Sure. All living things need air.
Toad Well, I don’t need air. I need food! And a nice dragonfly would taste very good.
Dragonfly Not this dragonfly!
Toad (lunges, misses) Got you!
Dragonfly No you don’t!
Toad (lunges, misses) Hold still now!
Dragonfly I won’t! I’ll push my wings against the air and buzz out of here. So long, Teddy Toad. (exits)
Toad Oh drat! Now I’m hungry and thirsty and (pants) out of breath. Why, look at that. (looks down) Here’s my cup – and it’s full!
Frog Hi, Teddy. I thought it was empty.
Toad No, it’s full to the brim. Yours is too. Would you like a nice cup of air, Freddy?
Frog Why yes, that would be lovely. Thank you, Teddy.
Toad It’s my pleasure. And there’s plenty more. There’s air in the water and in the soil, and all around us.
Frog Then we’ll never run out!
Toad Good thing too, because you know Freddy, air is something.
Frog Yes, Teddy, air really is something! Bottoms up! (both tip forward over cups)