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Embed code for: The True Side of the Trickster
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ACT I, SCENE I
(Opens up to PUCK perched alone in a forest scape, laughing to himself. He sees the audience, and plays light tricks on them. Enters PEASEBLOSSOM SL)
Unless I’m mistaken, you’re that mischievous and naughty sprite named Robin Goodfellow. Aren’t you the one who goes around scaring the maidens in the village, stealing the cream from the top of the milk, screwing up the flour mills, and frustrating homemakers by keeping their milk from turning into butter? Aren’t you the one who keeps beer from foaming up as it should, and causes people to get lost at night, while you laugh at them? Some people call you “Hobgoblin” and “sweet Puck,” and you’re nice to them. You do their work for them and give them good luck. That’s you, right?
What you say is true. That’s me you’re talking about, the playful wanderer of the night. I tell jokes to Oberon and make him smile. I’ll trick a fat, well-fed horse into thinking that I’m a young female horse. Sometimes I hide at the bottom of an old woman’s drink disguised as an apple. When she takes a sip, I bob up against her lips and make her spill the drink all over her withered old neck. Sometimes a wise old woman with a sad story to tell tries to sit down on me, thinking I’m a three-legged stool. But I slip from underneath her and she falls down, crying, “Ow, my butt!” and starts coughing, and then everyone laughs and has fun.
(PUCK plays a little trick on PEASEBLOSSOM as COBWEB, MOTE and MUSTARDSEED enters from the audience)
You know, some may not appreciate your sense of humour.
Agreed, some might find it down right rude. Are you alright Peaseblossom?
And what is the point of all this trickery, Robin Goodfellow?
Please, call me Puck. And the Trickster plays an important role in the world; the key attributes and purposes of the Trickster is to act as a tester, one who makes sure you are ready before allowing you further along the path.
What does that even mean?
It means, Cobweb, he thinks he’s special, that he offers others something no one else can bring to the world.
Nuh uh ah, not just me dear Mote. The world is full of Tricksters, and they all have something to offer, they all make a difference.
Please, the world would be better off without Tricksters like you.
It would be an awfully dull place, that’s for sure. Don’t you agree? (Gestures to audience to agree with him. Adlibs a line based on how the audience reacts) I’m telling you, history is full of Tricksters who have changed the world.
Who are you talking to?
I’m telling you, he’s lost it.
Far from it, good Mustardseed, the world needs beings like me!
(SONG/DANCE- Opening Number)
(TITANIA enters SR)
Ah, there you are my fairies. Cobweb, Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, Mote, come at once, your Queen needs you. (TITANIA exits SR)
COBWEB, MUSTARDSEED and MOTE
Coming my Queen.
We have no time for your foolishness Goodfellow, come fairies, Titania awaits.
(COBWEB, MUSTARDSEED and MOTE begin to exit SR. PEASEBLOSSOM lags behind)
Are you not coming Peaseblossom?
I’ll be with you in a moment.
(Delighted) Have I sparked your interest little one?
Yes, a little. But I don’t have too much time.
Enough time for a story or two?
I do love a good story.
I don’t know…should I tell her a story? (Gestures to the audience to answer. Ad libs a line based on the audience’s response) Oh, alright I suppose I can tell you a story or two. Now tell me, have you heard of the story about the Rainbow Crow? It is a story told through the Lenni Lenape peoples in North America.
ACT I, SCENE II
(Scene transitions into a winter forest scape as PUCK sets up the scene. OWL, BEAR, TURTLE, COYOTE, and WOODLAND CREATURES enter on stage. The animals are frolicking in the snow as PUCK speaks)
The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. The animals would jump around, throw snow at each other, and enjoyed themselves.
(WOODLAND CREATURE 2 throws a snowball at WOODLAND CREATURE 1)
WOODLAND CREATURE 1
Hey! That was cold!
WOODLAND CREATURE 2
Try to catch me if you can.
(WOODLAND CREATURE 1 chases WOODLAND CREATURE 2, they both crash into a snow bank. The animals begin to slow down in their play and begin to show signs of extreme cold)
The snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The cold increased tenfold, and the animals of the forest began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.
Oh no, that is terrible. What could they possibly do?
The leader of the forest, the Brown Bear, brought the animals together and concocted a plan.
We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka'ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be. We must ask them to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace.
WOODLAND CREATURE 3
But who will go?
WOODLAND CREATURE 4
The trip will surely be a long one!
WOODLAND CREATURE 5
If that’s the case, then I don’t want to go!
WOODLAND CREATURE 6
Turtle, although you are sturdy and stable, you are much too slow to get to the Creator in time.
I will go! I am fast moving, cunning and I can jump high; the Creator would be sure to see me!
This is true Coyote, you are those all those things (COYOTE get distracted, and begins to wander around stage) and your howl will for sure get The Creator’s attention…but you get distracted far too easily, and will lose track of your journey.
As you know, the Creator lives high in the sky; it will have to be a flyer that goes. I will do it; my powerful wings and keen eyesight will allow me to fly through the night’s sky.
Owl, you are so quiet and stealthy that we are barely able to hear you, do you think that the Creator might not hear you as well? (RAINBOW CROW enters gracefully USL singing a song beautifully) Ah, Rainbow Crow you would be perfect for this journey.
Journey? What kind of journey?
A challenging quest that will take you up into the sky, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars.
You are perfect for this task!
Who, me? You think?
Crow, you are the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, the creator would surely notice you.
But…Rainbow Crow…is a…trickster
Yeah, that’s true, he has played tricks on me in the past.
It is that cunning and whit that could play as a huge asset for this long and challenging journey.
I’m not sure, this sounds like an awfully daring journey, do you think I could really do it?
WOODLAND CREATURE 7
WOODLAND CREATURE 8
Please do this!
WOODLAND CREATURE 9
You are our only hope!
WOODLAND CREATURE 10
All of think you are the one for the job. Rainbow Crow, Rainbow Crow (gestures for the audience to join in)
Rainbow Crow, Rainbow Crow, Rainbow Crow…
Okay, I’ll do it!
(Everyone cheers, and celebrates as RAINBOW CROW sets off on his journey. OWL, BEAR, TURTLE, COYOTE, and WOODLAND CREATURES exit SL. Scene changes to a sky scape, a Holy Place in the sky)
ACT I, SCENE III
(SONG-Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go”?)
It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the sky, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached the Holy Place.
(The CREATOR enters SR as RAINBOW CROW approaches SL)
Hello Great Spirit Kijiamuh Ka'ong, Creator Who Creates by Thinking What Will Be. (The CREATOR doesn’t respond and continues on his work) I…I have come a long way to seek your help on behalf of all the animals. (The CREATOR still doesn’t respond. RAINBOW CROW flutters his wings, and does a graceful dance.)
No matter how beautifully Crow looked, or how gracefully he moved in the sky, he couldn’t get The Creator’s attention. He was too busy working on creating what will be.
So, what did Crow do to get the Creator’s attention?
He used the only trick he knew how to do, he sang.
(RAINBOW CROW begins to sing)
Who has made such a beautiful sound?
It was me, Great Spirit. I have come a long way to seek your help on behalf of all the animals. I am here to ask you to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death.
I am sorry for you to come all this way, but the snow and the ice have spirits of their own and cannot be destroyed. But if you wish, you may stay here and sing to me some more while I work.
Please! There must be something you can do!
There probably is, but I am far too busy to think of something.
What if I sang to you some more? Would that inspire you think of something.
Did you find inspiration Great Spirit? For if you didn’t, I fear that myself and the animals will surely freeze.
You will not freeze, for I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times. (The CREATOR sticks a stick into the blazing hot sun, a large flame sits at the end of it) This is Fire. You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up.
Thank you Kijiamuh Ka'ong.
(RAINBOW CROW flies off; CREATOR exits SR.)
ACT I, SCENE IV
(Scene transitions into a winter forest scape as PUCK narrates the journey. OWL, BEAR, TURTLE, COYOTE, and WOODLAND CREATURES enter on stage, looking very cold.)
It was a three-day trip to the Holy Place, and Crow was worried that the fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Crow warm as he descended from the Holy Place down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Crow’s beautiful rainbow feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice. By the time Rainbow Crow has reached the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only caw instead of sing.
Look! I see something coming!
What is it?
I don’t know
Why, it is Rainbow Crow.
What happened to him?
What is he carrying?
I have returned from the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be, and he has thought of a solution.
It is fire. It’ll keep us warm during the cold times.
Crow has saved us!
(EVERYONE takes the fire USL and huddles around it to keep warm. RAINBOW CROW looks at his feathers and sadly walks DSR. CREATOR enters from SR)
Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow, all animals will honour you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke, so that it is no good to eat. Your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him; you will be free.
I was once so beautiful and colourful.
Look carefully at your feathers Crow, I have made your dull feathers shiny and inside each one, you could see all the colours of the rainbow. This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people, and the sacrifice you made that saved them all.
Thank you, Great Spirit.
(RAINBOW CROW joins the others in celebration; CREATOR exits SR)
ACT I, SCENE V
(RAINBOW CROW, OWL, BEAR, TURTLE, COYOTE, and WOODLAND CREATURES exit SL. Scene changes to forest scape. PUCK and PEASEBLOSSOM remain on stage during transition.)
That was a nice story and all, but I don’t think Rainbow Crow was much of a Trickster.
Ah, but a Trickster will use their talents and intellect to sway the minds of others.
I guess so.
Still not convinced? I have another story for you if you want.
I don’t know, my Queen is waiting for me.
Fine, that’s okay, I understand completely (Begins to walk away) but the next one is pretty exciting. I guess I’ll find someone else who would like to listen.
Okay! Fine! I want to hear more. But this has to be the last one.
Very well, if you insist. This story is from Northern Ireland, where giants once roamed.
Ulster is the most Northern of Ireland’s ancient kingdoms. Its landscape is fabulously beautiful – it has towering cliffs and rocky hills, winding rivers and scooped-out lakes that look like they could have been made by the hands of giants.
(SONG Early Stages song about Giants?)
ACT I, SCENE VI
(FINN and IRISH GIANTS enter DSR, BENANDONNER, and SCOTTISH GIANTS enter USL. They begin building the causeway)
(SONG- Irishing Working Song?)
IRISH GIANT 1
I am so sick of those Scottish Giants thinking they are better than we are.
IRISH GIANT 2
Look at them, all smug, building a causeway, just as we are.
IRISH GIANT 3
Yeah, we had the idea first, and they just went and copied us, isn’t that right Finn?
Ay, that we did.
I just wished someone could teach them a lesson.
We have to be better than that, it is best to just stick with building the causeway, and minding our own…(BENANDONNER and SCOTTISH giants big laughing and pointing at FINN and the IRISH GIANTS) that’s it. Oi! Benandonner! If you have something you’d like to share with us, come over here and say it to me, Finn MacCool! I’ll kick your butt from here to next Tuesday!
(IRISH GIANTS exit DSR and SCOTTISH GIANTS exit USL. BENANDONNER slowly walks closer to FINN. FINN runs DS as BENANDONNER walks slowly backwards to USR to make it appear as though he is still far away)
What Finn hadn’t realized when he picked a fight was that Benandonner was much, much bigger than he was.
Well, that’s unfortunate. What did Finn do?
He did what anyone would do in his situation, he ran home to his wife.
ACT I, SCENE VII
(OONAGH enters DSL, FINN approaches her visually terrified. A large round table with two chairs, and a tub are place DS)
Oonagh, I’ve done something very foolish. I’ve picked a fight with Benandonner, The Red Man. He is much bigger than I had realized, so I am thinking better of it now. Please help me get out of this situation I put myself into.
(BENANDONNER appears at the door, and knocks quite loudly)
Who is it?
It is Benandonner, the Red Man. I’m here to settle a fight with Finn MacCool.
Just one moment. (OONAGH grabs a handful of white bed sheets, and pushes FINN towards their tub) Quick, wrap yourself up in these sheets, get in the tub, and pretend you are a baby. (FINN quickly wraps himself up and gets in the tub, as OONAGH answers the door.) Hello, I’m Finn’s wife, Oonagh. Surely it’s a pity, but Finn is away hunting deer in County Kerry. Would you like to come in anyway and wait?
Why, thank you. That is very kind.
You can rest your spear next to my husband’s. (BENANDONNER sets his spear beside a very large tree, he has become noticeably unsettled by the size) Have a seat at this table, we often use my husband’s shield as the dining table when he isn’t using it. Finn’s late for his meal. Will you eat it if I cook his favourite?
Yes, thank you.
Oonagh quickly went to work. She began cooking two loafs griddle-bread, one of them with the iron griddle pressed into the bread. She prepared meat, that was actually just very hard pieces of fat nailed to a block of red timber, and brought over a keg of honey-beer that would normally last her and her husband a month.
This all looks delicious. (BANENDONNER bites into the griddle-bread) Ouch! I think I cracked my front teeth.
Oh, I’m sorry, is it too hard for you? Our baby, just loves them.
(OONAGH places a loaf of griddle-bread that didn’t have a griddle in it to FINN, who is still disguised as a baby. BANEDONNER looks shocked, but he takes a bite of the meat)
Ouch! I think I just crack some of my back teeth.
Oh, I’m sorry, my husband likes his meat a little tough. He would usually wash down his meat by chugging his glass of honey-beer.
(BANENDONNER lifts the keg of honey-beer, but is only able to drink a little bit of it)
Would you like to say ‘hello’ to our baby?
(Looking a little dizzy and a lot scared) No, thank you, I’m not much one for children. I think I need to step outside, will you excuse me.
(BANENDONNER steps outside, and OONAGH follows)
See these boulders? Finn and his friends play catch with them. Finn practises by throwing one over the Fort, then running around to catch it before it falls.
(BANENDONNER attempts to lift the rock, but fails, dropping it on his toe)
Ouch! My toe! Thank you for your hospitality Oonagh, but I will wait no longer for Finn, and will not be bothering him in the future.
(BANENDONNER exits USL. FINN jumps out of tub)
Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you my clever, clever wife!
To ensure that Banendonner wouldn’t return, he scooped up a huge clod of earth out of the ground to fling at the retreating Scot. The hole filled up with water and became the biggest Lough in Ireland – Lough Neagh. The clod he flung missed its target and landed in the middle of the Irish Sea – it became The Isle of Man. Finn was so happy with what his wife had done for him, that he held a huge celebration, and invited every Irish Giant.
(IRISH GIANTS enter through the audience to celebrate)
(DANCE- Traditional Irish?)
(PUCK and PEASEBLOSSOM switch roles at this point)
ACT II, SCENE I
(Scene opens up to a forest scape PUCK and PEASEBLOSSOM have just finished their second story. MOTE, MUSTARDSEED and COBWEB come out from the audience)
Peaseblossom, Peaseblossom, where are you?
You are in so much trouble! Peaseblossom!
I’m here! I’m here!
Where have you been?
You are in so much trouble.
The Queen has been waiting for you.
I’m so sorry, I’ve been listening to wonderful stories about Tricksters.
Not this again.
Tricksters can’t be that great.
Oh, you’d be surprised. I’ve heard stories of Tricksters bringing fire to the world, and saving the life of their loved ones.
And the next story would have been about how a Trickster was able to save nine worlds, including the one we are on now, from eternal darkness.
That can’t be true.
Believe me, it is.
I would like to hear that story.
We have to get back to Titania.
It’ll only take a short while, your Queen can wait a short while, can’t she?
I suppose so. It wouldn’t hurt.
Well, I’m not falling for this. Our Queen needs us. Are you three coming?
We will be there soon.
It will only be a short while.
We will be right behind you.
(MUSTARDSEED exits SL frustrated.)
Very well. The story takes place in a world full of Gods, a place revered by the Norsemen of the Scandinavian countries, called Asgard.
ACT II, SCENE II
(Scene opens to Asgard in Gladsheim, a giant thrown is set on CS, ODIN is sitting on the thrown, FRIGG, LOKI, SIF, BALDER, VALKYRIE, FREYA, GUARDS are on stage. TYR enters through the audience)
Odin, word comes from Heimdall. A mortal approaches Asgard on a horse.
Are you sure Tyr?
A mortal, here? He is either mad or foolish.
Let us see what this mortal wants. But be prepared for a battle if necessary.
Yes, Odin. We shall not let you down. (VALKYIE exits SL)
(MORTAL and SVADILFARI enter on stage through the audience.)
Great Odin, I come to you with a proposition.
I will build a wall to protect Asgard from any intrusion, whether by magic, or by giant. I can have it complete in three seasons.
And what price do you ask of the gods?
The hand of the goddess Freya in marriage, as well as the sun and moon.
(Everyone starts murmuring and talking amongst each other in shock and disgust)
That’s not possible! There will be no bargaining with the hands of our goddesses!
Then I’m afraid we don’t have a deal.
Every idea has its own merit. Don't be so hasty to dismiss it, father. (Everyone goes silent) We must give this plan some thought, we owe our guest no less.
(To the MORTAL) Would you please step outside Gladsheim, so that we may think over your proposition?
(MORTAL and SVADILFARI exits through the audience)
I refuse to be a reward for someone’s labour.
You have nothing to worry about Freya.
What do you have in mind Loki?
We could turn this plan to our own gain. Suppose we give this giant one season to build the wall.
He could never build it in that time!
Exactly (Odin sit on in his thrown and begins to smile.) So, what would we lose by suggesting it? If he won’t agree, we lose nothing more than we would have had if we just dismissed it right from the beginning. If he should agree, he will never finish, and we will have half our wall built at no cost.
Invite the Mortal back into Gladsheim.
(VALKRIE runs through the audience to let the MORTAL and SVADILFARI back in)
Have you made your decision?
One season. We will give you one season. If you build the wall within this time, you can have Freyja as your wife, and take the sun and moon too. Tomorrow is the first
day of winter. You must agree that no one may come to help you, and if any part
of the wall is still unfinished on the first day of summer, you forfeit any
payment. Those are our terms.
Impossible terms, and you know it. Then at least allow me the help of my stallion, Svadilfari.
Those are our terms.
And those are mine.
(Whispers to ODIN) Odin you are too stubborn, what's wrong with allowing
him the use of his horse? How could it possibly effect the outcome? If he
refuses, there will be no bargain and no wall.
Very well, you may have the use of your horse, and my word that you will have the protection of the gods while you are working.
(MORTAL bows, and exits with SVADILFARI through the audience)
The mortal set about constructing the wall, and the gods marveled at how quickly the structure was raised. What was even more perplexing to them was that the mortal’s stallion, seemed to be doing almost twice as much work as the mortal himself, hauling enormous boulders over considerable distances to add to the structure. Three days before the beginning of summer the giant had almost completed the sturdy wall; strong enough and high enough to keep any unwelcome visitor at bay. Only the gateway remained unfinished. And so, the gods grew more and more worried of the possibility of the mortal finishing the wall before the deadline.
You see, Trickster only cause nothing but trouble.
The story isn’t over yet.
We must find a way out of this contract. Who suggested we should strike this bargain? Freya married to this man, the sky deprived of the sun and the moon so that we shall have to fumble about, robbed of light and warmth? (All the gods stop and look at LOKI. ODIN strides across the stage and grabs LOKI by the shirt) LOKI!
How was I to know? We all agreed. (ODIN tights his grip) We all agreed!
Who suggested the mason be allowed the use of his horse? You got us into this, you get us out. Or you shall be banished from Asgard forever.
I swear, no matter what it costs me, I'll see to it that the builder loses the wager.
(ODIN, FRIGG, SIF, BALDER, VALKYRIE, FREYA, and TYR exit the stage through the audience. LOKI exits SR)
So, how does Loki fix this problem?
Loki knew that the Mortal depended on his horse, Svadilfari, to do most of the work, so if he were to distract the horse long enough, on the night before the last day of the wager, the work wouldn’t be completed in time, and the mortal would get nothing.
ACT II, SCENE III
(Scene opens in a forest, just outside the walls of Asgard, at night)
Alright Svadilfari, we will rest here for the rest of the night, and in the morning, you’ll carry these last remains boulders I need to complete the wall around Asgard.
(MORTAL finds a play USC to sleep, while SVADILFARI stood nearby. A mare, LOKI in disguise, enters DSR, prancing around seductively)
(Song- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”?)
(SVADILFARI and LOKI exit the stage together. MORTAL wakes up)
Svadilfari? Svadilfari, where are you? Oh, you foolish horse! Without you I’ll surely loose this wager!
(ODIN, FRIGG, SIF, LOKI, BALDER, VALKYRIE, FREYA and TYR enter SL)
So Mortal, today is the last day of the winter season, and the wall isn’t completed, you have not held up your end of the wager.
(Getting angrier and angrier) This isn’t over!
The Mortal got so angry that the magic spell concealing his true identity wore off, and he turned into a Stone Giant.
The mortal had lied to us; it is a Stone Giant!
Thor, we need you.
I will crush you like the bugs you are, and take from you what I deserve!
(A huge crack of thunder is heard, followed by a flash of lightning. THOR enters USR)
Taste the vengeance of Mjollnir, giant!
(With one blow of Thor’s hammer, the giant is crushed into a thousand pieces)
Thank you, Loki, your quick thinking has saved Asgard and the other worlds from eternal darkness and cold.
ACT II, SCENE IV
(Scene opens up to a forest scape PUCK, PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, AND MOTE have just finished their third story.)
(Off Stage) Where have all my servants gone?
Oh no, Titania is coming!
(TITANIA and MUSTARDSEED enter SR)
There you are my loyal fairies. Peaseblossom, where have you been?
I’m so very sorry my Queen. You see, I was held up listening to some wonderful stories told by Robin Goodfellow.
Is this true Robin Goodfellow?
Please, call me Puck.
I will call you how I wish.
Yes, your majesty. I was telling Peaseblossom stories about the contributions various Tricksters have made to the world, and why we are so important.
We had just heard about Loki, a Trickster that had saved nine words, including this one, from eternal darkness and cold.
I’ve heard about this Loki. Isn’t he also responsible for a lot of sorrow and evil?
Yes, I mean, not all Tricksters are good, but they aren’t all bad either.
Oh? Tricksters are nothing more than selfish, self-serving creatures who have no business on this world.
Please your Majesty, let me tell you a story to convince you otherwise.
Seems like a waste of time to me.
I rather like stories.
Oh, me too.
I would surely like to hear one.
Me too! If it would please your Majesty.
It would please me. Better make it a good one, little sprite, I do not like to be disappointed.
Yes, your Majesty, if you enjoy stories, you’ll appreciate this Trickster. This story comes from West Africa, and how Anansi brought stories to the people. Anansi is a shape shifter, who can take shape as a spider, as well as a human.
ACT II, SCENE V
(SONG- Traditional African Song?)
(Scene changes to an African village in the day time. The VILLAGERS are working in the fields throughout the song, as day turns into night. The VILLAGERS sit around a fire SL. ANANSI enters DSR)
VILLAGER CHILD 1
Mama, I am bored.
VILLAGER MAMA 1
I know child, but it is too dark for you children to play.
VILLAGER CHILD 2
There has to be something fun to do at night.
VILLAGER MAMA 2
If only child, I wish I knew of something.
(Stretching his eight legs) There must be something I can do to help them. I know, stories! They need stories to tell and listen to.
Well, that doesn’t seem too hard.
But, Anansi knew all the stories were kept in a beautiful wooden box by Nyame, the Sky God. He also knew that Nyame kept the box close to him at all times. For this, he would not be able to use trickery and sneak it away from the Sky God.
In the morning, I shall make my way to Nyame, up in the clouds, and beg him for his stories.
ACT II, SCENE VI
(The VILLAGERS exit SL, as ANANSI falls asleep. Morning soon comes, and ANASI wakes up. He spins his web and throws it up to the sky. He begins his climb, as the scene changes to a Sky scape. NYAME enters USL on a tall platform)
(Bowing) Oh, Nyame, great and wise God of the Sky, I wish to have your box of stories to take back to the people. What is your price?
(Laughing a thunderous laugh) Oh, little Anansi. My price is much too high for someone like you. Great princes and rich villages have tried to buy my box, but none has been able to pay the price.
I will pay. I will give you your price. Name it.
Very well little one. My price is Onini, the python who can swallow a goat; Osebo, the leopard with teeth as sharp as spears; Mmoboro, the hornet whose sting is like red hot needles and Mmoatia, the bad-tempered fairy that no one can see. Bring to me all of these and my box with all the stories shall be yours
I…I will bring them. (NYAME laughs a thunderous laugh)
(ANANSI climbs down from the clouds. ASO enters DSR)
What is it my husband, you seem worried.
I have a dangerous mission, given to me by Nayme, the reward for completing the mission will be stories for the people of Africa; the reward for failing may be death.
You are very brave, and I will help you with your mission.
I need to bring to Nyame; Onini, the python who can swallow a goat; Osebo, the leopard with teeth as sharp as spears; Mmoboro, the hornet whose sting is like red hot needles and Mmoatia, the bad-tempered fairy that no one can see.
We will make a plan together to capture each of the creatures you seek.
(ASO and ANASI exit SR.)
So, this creature is willing to risk its own life to give the people stories?
Yes…(gets dirty look from TITANIA) uh, my Queen. (Bows awkwardly)
Sounds pretty noble, I wish to hear how this turns out.
ACT II, SCENE VII
(ANANSI enters SR with a long stick in his hands)
She’s wrong, I know she is. He is much bigger and longer than this stick.
Why does she not give him the respect he deserves? I know I am right and she is wrong. But will she listen? No.
(ONINI appears on DSL, as a puppet, a long python, with its head poking out from the watering hole. Voice can be off stage or voiced by the puppeteer)
What are you muttering about, Anansi? You have disturbed my rest.
Oh, great Onini, it is my wife. She declares that you are shorter than this stick. I say that you are certainly longer, but will she listen? I don’t know how to prove that I am right.
It is easy, you foolish spider, lay your stick on the ground and I will lie beside it. We shall soon see who is right.
(ANANSI grabs the ONINI puppet and lays it down next to the stick.)
Oh, great Onini, it appears you cannot lie straight. Let me use my silk to keep you fastened to the stick, as I am sure that we can then prove how very wrong my wife is, and how great in length and strength you are. (ANANSI begins to wrap ONINI to the stick with his web.)
You have proven to be right, not release me from this stick!
You foolish python, you will now belong to Nyame. (ANANSI takes the stick and ONINI off SR, the lights change from daytime to nighttime. ANANSI enters SR with a shovel and walks over to the same watering hole DSL) This is the same watering hole Osebo, the leopard with teeth as sharp as spears, get its water every night. It is here where I shall set my trap. (ANANSI begins to dig a hole near the watering hole) This should be deep enough, that even Osebo couldn’t climb out. (ANANSI takes his shovel and hides USR. OSEBO enters SR, as a puppet, and walks towards DSL, then falls into the large hole) Good morning Osebo, why are you in this hole?
You foolish spider, can you not see I have fallen into a trap? You must help me to get out.
Oh dear no, I cannot do that. (ANANSI begins to back away from the hole) You would eat me and my wife and children if I helped you out.
Come back, come back. I promise little one, I will do no such thing if only you will help me.
For that promise, I will indeed help you to get out. (ANANSI lowers his web down) Hold this sticky thread in your mouth, then spin around until your body is fully covered. Once you have done that, I will be able to pull you up. (ANANSI begins to pull very hard, until OSEBO comes flying out of the hole and falls hard on the ground, all tied up.)
Thank you, Anansi, now untie me.
You foolish leopard, you will now belong to Nyame. (ANANSI takes the stick with ONINI and the wrapped up OSEBO back up to NYAME who is waiting USR on his thrown.) Great Nyame, I have brought you Onini, the python who can swallow a goat, and Osebo, the leopard with teeth as sharp as spears.
I see what I see. There remains what remains.
And now for Mmoboro, the hornet whose sting is like red hot needles, and I have just the thing to capture him. (Lights turn to daytime as ANANSI climbs back down, and grabs a gourd and large leaf from under a nearby tree and fills it with water from the watering hole. He then approaches a hornet’s nest SR. He pours half the water on his head and throws the rest of the water over the hornet’s nest, then held the plantain leaf over his head as though sheltering from rain. MMOBORO enters SR, as a puppet) Oh dear, oh dear, the rains have come early.
Oh no! Our nest is getting soaked, it is getting my wings too wet, soon I won’t be able to fly!
You poor creatures you have no shelter. Come, take cover in my calabash until the storm is over.
Thank you, thank you, Anansi.
(MMOBORO flies into the gourd, which ANANSI quickly covers with the leaf.)
You foolish Mmboro, you will now belong to Nyame. (ANANSI takes the gourd off SL)
ACT II, SCENE VIII
This Anansi creature is quite a clever little thing, isn’t he? I rather like him.
Yes, my Queen. Shall I continue? (TITANIA gestures for PUCK to continue)
(ANANSI and ASO enter SL. ASO is holding a basket)
You see wife, I only need to capture Mmoatia, the bad tempered fairy whom no one can see. But I don’t know how I am supposed to catch something I cannot see.
This one is simple Anansi. I will pound yams, eggs and oil together to make ano, which fairies love. You can use this as bait. You will then spin a very fine, but strong web around the plate of ano so that he will get stuck if he tries to eat it.
Brilliant, let’s get to work.
(ANANSI and ASO begin to work on their respective tasks. Once it is set up CS, ANANSI and ASO hide DSL. MMOATIA “enters” on stage, as just a voice.)
sniff, sniff I smell delicious ano. Oh, and just my luck it is unattended. I suppose whomever this belongs to, wouldn’t miss a small bite. Ah, my hand is stuck on something. Release me at once or I will slap you with my other hand! Ah! You’ve got my other hand! Let my hands free or I shall kick you! Ah! (Sounds of thuds and thumps) Both my feet are stuck! I can’t get out!
(ANANSI jumps from his hiding place, and wraps up MMOATIA in more web)
You foolish Mmoatia, you will now belong to Nyame. (ANANSI takes the gourd with MMBORO and the wrapped up MMOATIA back up to NYAME who is waiting USR on his thrown. VILLAGERS enter USL) Great Nyame, I have brought you Mmoboro, the hornet whose sting is like red hot needles and Mmoatia, the bad tempered fairy whom no one can see.
You have paid my price. Great princes and rich villages tried and failed, but you, Anansi, have succeeded. (To the audience) Listen to me, all you who can hear. Praise Kwaku Anansi for he has paid the price for the Sky God stories and they shall be given to him. Henceforth they shall be known as “spider stories.”
Yay! Now we have something to do in the evenings around the fire!
Hurray for Anansi! (VILLAGERS follow suit in repeating, and encourage the audience to join in)
(DANCE- Traditional African?)
ACT II, SCENE IX
(Scene opens up to a forest scape PUCK, PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTE, MUSTARDSEED and TITANIA have just finished their fourth story.)
That was a wonderful story.
Yes, well done.
I think that one was my favourite.
I suppose that wasn’t too bad.
Have I changed your mind about Tricksters, your majesty?
I suppose not all Tricksters are so bad.
You’ve heard all the stories Peaseblossom. Which Trickster was the best?
Oh, I don’t know, they were all great.
Yeah, but if you had to choose one.
I couldn’t tell you.
Let’s put it to a vote. (To the audience) Which Trickster do you think was the most successful? Rainbow Crow, (RAINBOW CROW enters USL) who introduced fire to the world. Oonagh, (OONAGH enter USR), who saved her husband’s life. Loki (LOKI enters SL), who saved nine worlds from eternal darkness and cold. Or Anansi (ANANSI enters SR), who is responsible for bringing stories to the world? (PUCK adlibs with the audience to judge by a round of applause, which Trickster was most successful. The winner is announced, ANANSI, LOKI, OONAGH and RAINBOW CROW all exit SL)
Now that is settled, come along my fairies, you are behind in your duties.
(TITANIA, MUSTARDSEED, MOTE and COBWEB all exit SR)
Thank you for the stories. I hope, maybe one day soon, you’d let me hear another one?
Sure thing. (PEASEBLOSSOM exits SR. PUCK is left alone on stage) Well, I suppose that’s it.
Come along, I could use a good story or two.
(PUCK perks up, and runs off SR)
(SONG/DANCE- Closing Number)
(EARLY STAGES come out at fairies)
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
1catch something I cannot see.
You foolish Mmoatia, you will now belong to Nyame. (ANANSI takes the gourd with MMBORO and the wrapped up MMOATIA back up to NYAME who is waiting USR on his thrown. VILLAGERS enter USL) Great Nyame, I have brought you