Characters: Benjy Bear, Delia Digger Wasp, Sally Salmon, Vinny Vireo
Props: rock, pinecone, sign saying: “Next Morning”
(rock and pinecone on or in front of stage)
Vinny Vireo (singing) Tweedle dee, tweedle doo, tweedle dee, tweedle doo.
Benjy Bear Oh, fiddleheads!
Vireo Sorry, Benjy. Am I singing too loud?
Bear Hi, Vinny Vireo. No, it’s not you. I’m just tired of eating grasses and fiddleheads, but it’s too early in spring for berries to be ripe.
Vireo Gee, I’ve just come back from my winter home in the south. There are lots of ripe fruits down there.
Bear Really? Maybe I should take a trip to the south! How do you find your way?
Vireo Well, we songbirds use the sun to start out. We leave at sunset and fly at night. The sun always sets in the west, so, when the sun is on my right wing, I know I’m going south.
Bear But what about after it gets dark?
Vireo Then we use the stars to find our way. We can tell the direction from the patterns of the stars in the sky.
Bear Thank your lucky stars!
Vireo For sure! Sometimes we can hear the waves along the shore and that helps us follow the coastline.
Bear Coast is clear!
Vireo And we can always depend on our trusty compass.
Bear You have a compass?
Vireo No, but I have something inside me that’s like a compass. You know the earth has a magnetic field like a big bar magnet?
Bear Um, right. I knew that…I think.
Vireo Well, lots of animals can tell the direction because we can sense the earth’s magnetic field.
Bear Makes a lot of sense! But I don’t need a compass. I just take a bearing and off I go!
Vireo Very funny, Benjy Bear. Well, Mrs. Vireo will be arriving any day now, so I’ve got to go defend my territory. Safe travels! (exits)
Bear So long, Vinny Vireo, and thanks!
I guess I’ll just sit here and wait for sunset so I’ll know which way to go.
Delia Digger Wasp Hey, watch where you’re sitting, Benjy Bear! That’s my nest!
Bear Oh, sorry, Delia Digger Wasp. Gee, there are hundreds of nest holes in this sand bank. Are they all yours?
Digger Wasp Oh no, lots of digger wasps have nests here, but I can always find mine by the landmarks.
Bear Landmarks? What does that mean?
Digger Wasp Landmarks are things that are easy to spot. See, my nest is right between this rock (pointing) and that pinecone. I have a picture in my mind, a mental map, of the landmarks near my nest.
Bear Gee, guess I’d better make a mental map too, so I can find my way back home.
Digger Wasp Why, where are you going?
Bear I’m going south to find some berries.
Digger Wasp Must be very far away. No berries around here this early. Have a good trip! (exits)
Bear Bye, Delia. Now for that mental map. Let’s see…I can remember this sandy bank, that tall pine tree over there, and the stream.
Sally Salmon Hi, Benjy Bear.
Bear Why hello there, Sally Salmon. I haven’t seen you in a long time.
Salmon Yes, I was out in the ocean for two years, but I came back to my stream to lay my eggs.
Bear Out in the ocean?! How did you find your way all the way back here?
Salmon Well, I used my magnetic sense to find the mouth of my river. It’s like a map of the coast. And then I followed my nose.
Bear Your nose?
Salmon Well, I’m the nosy sort, you know! My nose tells me when I’m in the right stream. Home smells great, doesn’t it?
Bear Salmon smells great too – makes me hungry.
Salmon Uh oh! I better head upstream – to keep this nose out of trouble. So long, Benjy. (exits)
Bear Sally’s right. Home does have a special smell, but now the sun is setting. It’s on my right shoulder, so I must be heading south. I’m off for a berry good trip! (exits)
(hold up sign saying: “Next Morning”)
Vireo (singing) Tweedle dee, tweedle doo, tweedle dee, tweedle doo.
Bear What’s all the racket? Why, Vinny Vireo, is that you?
Vireo Sure it’s me. It’s morning and I’m advertising my territory.
Bear Your territory? Wait a minute. (sniffs) Hey, this place smells like home! And here’s a sandbank, a tall pine tree, and a stream. It’s just like my mental map.
Vireo You are home, Benjy.
Bear But I walked south for hours. I left with the sun on my right shoulder and then when it got dark, I followed the stars.
Vireo Hmm. Which stars did you follow?
Bear I followed the Big Dipper. It’s nice and bright and easy to recognize.
Vireo But Benjy, the Big Dipper is in the north sky. You must have gotten turned around and walked back home.
Bear Oh fiddlesticks! I think you’re right. Guess maybe I need a compass after all.
Vireo I’m sorry you won’t have any fresh berries to eat today.
Bear Me too! Oh well, I think I can bear the disappointment – because I just happen to know my way to a fine patch of tender grasses and fiddleheads. Mm-mm! (exits)