The Bedtime Story
Characters: Father mouse, young mouse, Great Horned Owl
Mouse Daddy, will you tell me a bedtime story?
Father Mouse Okay, how about a story about an owl?
Mouse Oooh, a scary story. I like scary stories.
Father Mouse Once upon a time there was a little mouse, and in the woods nearby there lived a great horned owl. The owl slept all day long, but as soon as it got dark out, it would wake up and sing out into the darkness…(Father exits, owl enters)
Owl Hoo hoo-hoo, hoo, hoo! I’m hungry. I wonder if there’s anything like a little mouse around here?
Mouse Well, there is a mouse, but it’s dark outside so you can’t see the mouse to catch it!
Owl Hoo hoo-hoo, not true! With my great big eyes, I can see perfectly, even on the darkest night.
Mouse But you can’t see the mouse if it’s hiding under the leaves on the forest floor…
Owl Well then, I’ll just listen for it. I have very sharp ears.
Mouse Your ears are sharp and pointy like cats’ ears!
Owl Hoo hoo-hoo! Those aren’t my ears! Those are just feathers. I make them stand up when I want to look big and scary.
Mouse Then maybe you don’t really have ears at all!
Owl Oh, yes I do. My real ears are on the sides of my head, behind my feathers. I can hear even the smallest noise, even a noise made by a little mouse.
Mouse And if you hear one?
Owl Then I spread my wings and lift off. (owl flies back and forth)
Mouse But you can’t hear the mouse when you’re flying because of the wind whistling in your wings!
Owl Oh, but I can! My feathers have soft fringes on them so my wings are completely silent. The mouse won’t even know I’m there.
Mouse But you can’t catch the little mouse because your beak is too short!
Owl No, but I can catch it with my feet. I’ll spread my toes and grab it with my long, sharp talons.
Mouse And then will you eat the mouse?
Owl Yes! I like to swallow the mouse in one gulp, head first, and then I suck in the tail like spaghetti!
Mouse Owl, now you are just being silly!
Owl No, it’s true. I’ll go catch one and show you! (flies off)
Mouse No! No! Wait! (Father enters)
Father Mouse Don’t you want to hear the rest of the story?
Mouse I’m not sure. Does he eat the mouse?
Father Mouse Well, he lands on a branch, and then he looks down at his feet. There in his talons is a small, round, brown…
Father Mouse No! A pinecone! This was a very young owl, and he’d never gone hunting by himself before…
Mouse And he thought that pinecone was a mouse, so he swooped down and grabbed it.
Father Mouse But it wasn’t a mouse at all. And so the owlet had to eat a few moths and some June beetles that night!
Mouse And the mouse lived happily ever after.
Father Mouse That he did. Good night, little mouse. Sleep tight.
Mouse Good night, Dad. That was a good story – especially the ending.