Characters: Benjy Bear, Mitch Milkweed Seed, Clara Cranberry, Bertie Burdock, Sally Squirrel.
Props: Brown pompom for burdock burr, basket of acorns prop
Benjy Bear Gee, it’s a breezy fall morning.
Look at all this fluffy stuff in the air. Here’s a bit of fluff caught on a branch.
Mitch Milkweed I’m not just a bit of fluff. I’m a traveling seed.
Bear Oh, I seed what you mean. But what’s all that fluffy white hair for?
Milkweed It’s my parachute. The wind catches it and carries me along. Today’s a great day for seed dispersal.
Bear Seed dispersal? What does that mean?
Milkweed It means traveling. It’s an important part of our life cycle. Plants can’t travel, but we seeds sure can.
Bear But why do you seeds need to travel?
Milkweed Why? Because inside a seed is the beginning of a tiny new plant. I need to get to someplace where I can grow.
Bear But don’t you need to be on the ground to grow?
Milkweed Well, sure – but not here in the shade. I need a sunny place. Only now I’m stuck.
Bear Um, not for long. All that fluff’s making my nose itch. I think I’m going to…ah, ah, ah choooooo!
Milkweed (flying off) Thanks, Benjy Bear! I’m on my way! You’re a great travel agent!
Bear Travel agent? Me? Well, I guess I did give that seed a lift.
Clara Cranberry Did you say travel agent? I need a travel agent for my seeds too. I wonder if you could give them a ride.
Bear Hi there, Clara Cranberry. How do your seeds usually travel?
Cranberry Oh, sometimes by air if we get picked up by a bird, or by water if we drop into the bog.
Bear Wow, you just float away?
Cranberry Yes, unless we end up in sauce! We are well made for floating.
Bear I don’t see your seeds, but I’d be happy to give your berries a ride, right down the gullet!
Cranberry Go right ahead, Benjy Bear.
My seeds are inside my berries. You can eat as many as you like!
Bear Great! Only I thought you wanted me to help your seeds travel.
Cranberry Well, that is just what you will do! Everybody has to ‘go,’ if you know what I mean.
Bear Everybody has to go? Oh, I get it! Heh, heh. You mean your little seeds will go right through me – in one end and out the other. But will they still be able to grow?
Cranberry Of course! They have tough seed coats – so bon appétit! (exits)
Bear Glad to help out, Clara Cranberry. Mm-mm. I like being the forest travel agent, all right.
Bertie Burdock I say, Benjy Bear, I need to travel too. Could I hitch a ride?
Bear Oh, sorry, Bertie Burdock. I really don’t care for burdock seeds. Too prickly!
Burdock These aren’t my seeds – they’re my seed pods. The seeds are inside.
Bear Then what are all the prickles for? You must not want your seeds to get eaten.
Burdock Quite right, I just want a ride. These prickles are really hooks. Come over here and I’ll show you how they work.
Bear Sure. (burdock sticks to bear) Hey! Now your seed pod’s caught in my fur.
Burdock Righto! That’s the point, you see.
Bear But how will the seeds get out of these pods?
Burdock Easy as one, two, three. When you brush against something, the pod breaks open and the seeds fall out. Thanks for the lift, old fella. Cheerio! (exits)
Bear I don’t mind carrying around some extra baggage, but now I’ve got itchy burdock burrs in my fur! Guess I’ll go scratch them off on the big oak tree. I can get an acorn snack while I’m there. (walks)
Sally Squirrel Oh, uh, hi, Benjy Bear. Gee, too bad there are so few acorns today! Well, I gotta go.
Bear Wait! Sally Squirrel, there were lots of acorns on the ground this morning. What could have happened to them?
Squirrel Oh well, you know how acorns travel – drop and roll. They just fall right off the tree and roll away.
Bear They do drop off the tree, but they can’t roll very far. Especially here, where the ground is flat! I think there’s another travel agent at work in the forest. Is it you?
Squirrel Well, I did bury a few acorns. I’ll need lots of them for food this winter.
Bear Well, I need them for food right now! I need to put on weight so I can hibernate through the winter.
Squirrel I guess we both need seeds. But you know, Benjy Bear, seeds need us, too. Some seeds travel by air or water, but lots of seeds depend on animals for traveling.
Bear Yup. They’d be nowhere without us.
Squirrel We’re planting seeds for the future! And we eat a lot of them, too.
Bear Yup, we do, Sally Squirrel. And that gives me the seed of an idea. There are lots of acorns on this oak tree. I wonder if they might be ready to travel.
Squirrel Maybe they just need a little help from a couple of travel agents! How about you shake and I gather!
Bear Okay! Here come some traveling seeds! (both exit)
Squirrel (returns with basket of acorns) Yum! Keep ’em coming, Benjy!
Bear We aim to please!