Pond Life – Puppet Show

Once Upon a Pond

Characters: Tadpole, Frog, Whirligig Beetle, Lily Pad, Damselfly Nymph, Dragonfly Nymph.

Props: water lilies, crown, loop on back of stage to hold up lily prop.


Tadpole  Tell me a story, Daddy!

Father Frog  Once upon a time there was a fierce dragon who lived at the bottom of a pond.

Tadpole  Ooooh, a scary fairy tale.

 Frog  The dragon was a nymph, a young dragonfly, and it needed to eat a lot so it could grow up and become a flying dragonfly. It was the terror of the pond kingdom.

Tadpole  Did it eat tadpoles?

 Frog  Yes, it especially liked tadpoles!

Tadpole  How did it catch them?

Frog  That’s the trouble. No one knew how the dragonfly caught its prey. But there was one young and daring tadpole…

Tadpole Like me?

Frog Yes, he was a lot like you, only he was a tadpole prince. One day he decided to go and see the dragonfly for himself. He said goodbye to the Frog King and then…(both exit; put up water lilies prop)

Tadpole Prince  (wearing crown) Now how to find the dragon in this big pond… Maybe those beetles on the surface can help me.

Whirligig  One two spin two one two…stop! Who goes there?

Tadpole  It is I, the Tadpole Prince. What’s all this spinning and whirling about? I’m on a quest to see the dragon. You’re making me dizzy!

Whirligig  Oh, pardon your honor! We’re whirligig beetles, the royal guards. We’re patrolling the pond.

Tadpole  With that suit of armor, you’re well-suited to your job.

Whirligig  Yes, our hard wing covers are good protection, our antennae sense the slightest vibration, and we always keep our double eyes out for intruders.

Tadpole  Double eyes?

Whirligig Yes, we can see above the water with these upper eyes, and below with these lower ones.

Tadpole  Then have you seen the dragon, and can you tell me where he lives?

Whirligig  Oh yes. He lives below those lily pads. But we steer clear of him, and you should too, Master Tadpole, or your gig will be up! Gotta whirl! One two spin two one two. (exits)

Tadpole  Then I’ll follow this lily stem downwards. Mmm, it’s covered with algae. I’ll just take a nibble.

Lily Pad  Who’s that nibbling on my stem?

Tadpole  It is I, the Tadpole Prince. I’m not nibbling on your stem. I’m eating the algae that’s growing on it.

Lily Pad  Well, just don’t chew into my stem, for then I might die, and that would be bad for us both.

Tadpole  Why is that?

Lily Pad  Because plants like me, and tiny floating ones too small to see, make the oxygen in the water that you animals need to breathe.

Tadpole  You’re right. My gills help me get air out of the water, but I never realized where it came from. I won’t hurt your stem, but I must follow it down for I am going to see the dragonfly!

Lily Pad  Beware, young tadpole! That dragonfly’s an ogre! If you have any trouble, you must hide among the lily stems.

Tadpole  Thanks. I’ll remember that. (tips downward) Wait, what’s that I hear?

Damselfly Nymph  Oh boo hoo. I’m so distressed!

Tadpole  Oh dear, a damselfly in distress. What’s the matter?

Damselfly  It’s just that I can’t fly with these short little wing buds so I’m stuck down here underwater. I want to fly on delicate wings and wear a coat of blue!

Tadpole  I see what you mean. You don’t have real wings, and you are kind of an icky green.

Damselfly  At least my color helps me hide on these green plant stems.

Tadpole  You are hard to see. You know, I think you’re like me – still a youngster. When you grow up, I’m sure you’ll be a flying insect.

Damselfly  You think so?

Tadpole  Yes, I do. I think you’re a damselfly nymph, and someday you’ll become a beautiful winged damselfly.

Damselfly  Oh, goody! Now I just need to eat a lot so I can grow up fast. Hey, you’d make a huge meal for me.

Tadpole  Uh oh! Time for this prince to gallop away! (both exit; tadpole returns) Here I am at the bottom of the pond. It’s muddy and dark, and hard to breathe. I’ll just rest on this rock…

Dragonfly Nymph  Roarrr!

 Tadpole  Yikes! (jumps away) The dragon!

Dragonfly Fee fi fo fog, I smell the blood of a pollywog!

Tadpole  You were hiding in the mud!

Dragonfly  Of course! That’s how I surprise my prey! And you’re going to be my next meal, you tasty tadpole!

Tadpole  You aren’t going to taste me! You can’t reach me way over here.

Dragonfly  That’s where you’re wrong! (hops around) I can reach you with my bottom jaw because it works like – THIS! (extend jaw)

Tadpole  Yikes, I’d better swim for it! Up the lily stem I go!

Dragonfly  Roarrr, I’m right behind you! (both exit; remove tadpole’s crown)

Tadpole  Did he get away?

Frog  Yes, he hid among the water lilies, and the dragonfly went back to the bottom to wait for easier prey.

Tadpole  That was a close call!

Frog  Yes. After that, the tadpole always stayed far, far away from the murky bottom where the dragonfly lurked. And he warned the other tadpoles, and told them how they must keep out of reach of those terrible long jaws!

Tadpole  Is that all of the story? Didn’t the tadpole ever turn into a real prince?

Frog  Even better. He turned into a big green frog. And can you guess his favorite food?

Tadpole  I’m not sure. Something with wings…wait, I know! Dragonflies!

 Frog  That’s right. And when the dragonfly became an adult with wings, he had to steer clear of that fierce, dragonfly-eating frog prince!



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