A Tree Party
Characters: Rocky Raccoon, Grady Gray Squirrel, Rita Red Squirrel, Floyd Flying Squirrel (two-sided).
Props: several conifer cones and one stripped cone.
Rocky Raccoon Oh boy, this is going to be fun. I love block parties. All the neighbors get together and everyone brings along some food to share.
Grady Gray Squirrel Hi, Rocky! I don’t usually see you in the daytime, especially in winter. You’re usually asleep in your den.
Raccoon I would be asleep, but my stomach woke me up. I haven’t eaten in two weeks. Tonight’s potluck supper should be a feast!
Gray Squirrel What did you bring for the supper?
Raccoon Wait’ll you see. I found some rotten meat scraps in a compost heap, yum…oh, wait a minute. You’re a vegetarian, aren’t you, Grady? I forgot.
Gray Squirrel That’s OK, Rocky. I am mostly vegetarian, but sometimes I’ll eat meat if I can get it, like bird’s eggs or insect grubs.
Raccoon Yum, grubs are great! So what did you bring along? Beechnuts? Hickory nuts? Acorns?
Gray Squirrel Acorns? What makes you think I’d know where to find acorns?
Raccoon Well, don’t you live over in the oak woods?
Gray Squirrel Ye-e-es, I do.
Raccoon And didn’t I see you burying nuts there last fall?
Gray Squirrel Who, me?
Raccoon Yes, you! You dug a hole and put in an acorn, and then you dug another hole and…
Gray Squirrel Gee, Rocky, you must be nuts!
Raccoon Huh? Oh, I get it. That info’s top secret, isn’t it? Well, I think it’s smart to hide each nut separately, so no one will find a big pile and steal your whole winter supply.
Gray Squirrel Yeah, not like whoever stockpiled these cones. (Place 3 or 4 cones on the stage or hang with thread). I found a whole pile of these under the snow when I was digging up my acor…I mean when I was – um – just walking along minding my own business.
Raccoon Ah, I see. Well, pinecones and spruce cones are full of seeds, so someone must have squirreled them away.
Gray Squirrel Sure – but these won’t be missed, and everyone at the party will want to eat some. They make a party good dish! (exits)
Raccoon That’s one nutty squirrel, if you ask me! (Red Squirrel enters, wearing mushroom cap) Make that two. Why, hello there, Rita Red Squirrel. Looks like you’re all dressed up for the party.
Rita Red Squirrel I wouldn’t miss it…why here they are! My cones! How’d these get here?
Raccoon Um, Grady Gray Squirrel brought them. He said he found a whole pile under the snow in the pine woods.
Red Squirrel I bet he did! That’s because I put them there. I gathered a big pile of them last fall. That way, in winter I can tunnel through the snow and have a meal in safety.
Raccoon Boy, it’s hard to make a meal from these woody old cones.
Red Squirrel Yeah, it takes a lot of them! You have to peel off the scales one by one to get the seeds inside. I can do it in a jiffy. Watch! (hold up a whole cone, then hold up a stripped cone) They’re my favorite food.
Raccoon Wow – you’re a fast eater! You must live in the evergreen forest if you like their seeds so much.
Red Squirrel That’s for sure – evergreens are pine with me!
Raccoon Did you bring anything to the potluck supper?
Red Squirrel Sure! What do you think this mushroom’s for? A hat?
Raccoon Silly me!
Red Squirrel I hung it up in the bushes to dry last fall. It’ll be super tasty now.
Raccoon Yummy! Make room for mushrooms!
Red Squirrel We’d better go eat, Rocky. It’s getting late, and the party will be over when it gets dark.
Raccoon You bet. Let’s go. (both exit; raccoon returns) Oh boy, am I full! I ate so much I can barely move – mushrooms and berries, acorns and crayfish. What a meal!
Floyd Flying Squirrel (swoops in) Whoo-ee! Howdy, stranger. Is this the way to the block party?
Raccoon Uh, hello, are you a squirrel? It looked like you just flew here. I must be seeing things!
Flying Squirrel Sure, I’m a flying squirrel – though it’s more like gliding than flying. See, I have these flaps of skin between my front and back paws – kind of like a parachute (flies and lands again).
Raccoon Wow, that’s neat. And you’ve got very big eyes too.
Flying Squirrel Yup – helps me see in the dark and keep an eye out for predators while I fly from tree to tree. When I land, I scurry to the back of the trunk – just in case an owl is on my tail.
Raccoon Good idea. Speaking of tails, yours is kind of flat – not bushy like other squirrels.
Flying Squirrel Yeah, it helps me keep my balance when I glide. But all the squirrels I know are just like me.
Raccoon I meant the daytime squirrels – Grady Gray Squirrel and Rita Red Squirrel. They were here a little while ago.
Flying Squirrel Gee, I’d like to meet them. Did they come to the party?
Raccoon They did, but everyone’s gone now. They’re daytime animals, not night critters like us. They’d be fast asleep by now.
Flying Squirrel Too bad. I couldn’t sleep at this time of day even if I wanted to. I suppose the food’s gone too?
Raccoon Well, that depends. There are still some nuts and seeds and a few mushrooms. How do you feel about leftovers?
Flying Squirrel Leftovers? Mushrooms, seeds and nuts? Hey, whatever’s left sounds just right to me! This way to a feast, everyone!