Head in the Clouds
Characters: Benjy Bear, Wilma Wind, Chippy Chipmunk, Gus Cumulus, Stanley Stratus, Siri Cirrus
Props: Cumulonimbus, water spray bottle
Benjy Bear Brr! It’s windy and cold today. I thought spring was here, but it feels like winter’s back. Hey, Wilma Wind, why are you so cold today?
Wilma Wind Because I’m blowing from the north where it’s still freezing. I thought I’d bring you a refreshing blast of polar air.
Bear Uh…thanks, but I’m ready for some nice warm weather.
Wind Oh, you want the south wind then. But it might bring along some rain. Now if it’s sunny, dry weather you want, then wait for the west wind. When the wind is in the west, then the weather’s at its best.
Bear Huh! So north wind’s cold, south wind’s warm, west wind’s sunny. What about an east wind?
Wind Ooooooooo, when the wind is in the east, neither fit for man nor beast!
Bear Wow, guess I don’t want an east wind! I just want some warm weather so plants can start growing and I can get something fresh to eat.
Wind Well, you might have to wait a day or two, but when I’m a-blowing, there’s sure to be a change in the weather.
Bear What kind of a change?
Wind You’ll have to ask the clouds. I can’t stay around to shoot the breeze. So loooong! (exits)
Bear Ask the clouds? Who talks to clouds? And anyway, what can clouds tell me?
Chipmunk Oh, you can learn a lot from the clouds, Benjy. I should know. I’m a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
Bear The Cloud Appreciation Society? What’s that?
Chipmunk Well, all the members think everyone should pay more attention to clouds. They’re beautiful and all so different, and they can give you clues about the weather.
Bear About the weather?
Chipmunk Sure! You should get to know some clouds, Benjy Bear… Yikes! I’m late for our meeting. Gotta go!
Bear Bye, Chippy. Get to know clouds? I guess it can’t hurt to try. There’s a big puffy cloud there. Pssst. Hello, Cloud! What’s your name?
Cumulus Why, Sonny, I thought everyone knew me. I’m Gus the Cumulus!
Bear Hello, Gus. Um, what does cumulus mean?
Cumulus It means heaped up. You know – like the word accumulate, which means “pile up.” We start small and grow taller and taller. I’m an accumulating cumulus – a heaped-up cloud!
Bear You look like a big puffy pillow. I bet you’d make a comfortable bed!
Cumulus Well, Sonny, it might look that way, but I’m just a bunch of water droplets floating in the air. I couldn’t hold up a beetle, much less a bear.
Bear Too bad. Are you a rain cloud?
Cumulus Me? No. Most of the time we’re fair weather clouds. But watch out for my cousin, cumulonimbus. He’s a real thunderhead!
Bear Uh oh! How will I know him?
Cumulus He’s much taller and darker than me. Why – he can grow miles high. Look, there he is now! (hold up cumulonimbus) If he comes this way, you better find shelter and wait for him to pass.
Bear Okay, I sure don’t want to be caught in a thunderstorm.
Cumulus That’s for sure! Well, the wind is blowing me along. So good-bye, Benjy. Keep your head in the clouds!
Bear G’bye, Gus. Gee, now the sky is covered with a big gray cloud – it’s like a blanket over the sky. Hello! What kind of cloud are you?
Stratus I’m Stanley Stratus cloud. I block out the sun and make the sky overcast.
Bear A strategy cloud?
Stratus No, a stratus cloud. It means “layer.” I cover the sky in one big layer. You won’t find me getting all puffy and tall like a cumulus. (spray water)
Bear Hey! You must be a rain cloud!
Stratus Naw, just a little drizzle, light rain, or snow. Or a bank of fog. Fog is just a stratus cloud on the ground. Guess I can be kind of a wet blanket.
Bear Shucks, are you going to rain on my picnic?
Stratus Not today. See, the wind is picking up. It’ll blow me away. Off I go. (exits)
Bear Bye, Stanley Stratus. Hey, there’s a different kind of cloud, high up in the sky – just the merest wisp.
Cirrus Neigh, neigh! I’m not the merest! I’m a Cirrus! I’m Siri the Cirrus cloud.
Bear What’s a cirrus cloud?
Cirrus Cirrus means curl. See how I look like curling strands of hair? Sometimes we’re called mare’s tails.
Bear You look different from other clouds.
Cirrus Well, we’re the highest clouds in the sky. It’s so cold up here, we’re made of ice crystals. The wind blows us into long swirls.
Bear Do cirrus clouds mean good weather?
Cirrus Well, you see us when the sky is blue, but there could be bad weather in a day or two. But I don’t want to be a neigh-sayer. Whoa! The wind’s blowing at a gallop! I’m off! (exits)
Bear Boy, clouds really are different – heaped up, spread out in layers, wispy strands. You sure can learn a lot about the weather from clouds and wind. Yup, you sure can.
Chipmunk Hi, Benjy, did you meet any clouds today?
Bear Oh yes – a whole bank of them.
Chipmunk Well, we’d like you to join the
Cloud Appreciation Society!
Bear Why, thanks, Chippy. I’m honored! And to show you what a good member I’ll be, I’m going to lie right down (tilt puppet and lower behind stage so only head and front leg show), look up at the sky (yawn), and get right to work appreciating clouds. (snore)