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Characters

  • Blue-orange centipede
  • Tarantula
  • Grasshopper mouse
  • Horned toad lizard
  • Coyote
  • Vine snake
  • Frog
  • Pack rat
  • Ring-tailed cat
  • Blue gill
  • Tree lizard
  • Black widow spider
  • Humming bird
  • Rattlesnake
  • Scorpion
  • Gila monster
  • Kissing bug
  • Osprey
  • Owl
  • Dragonfly

 

THE PRIMARY ECOLOGY CLUB PLAYS

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Ghost Town : The Play

by the students of the Primary Ecology Club (1993-1994)

   

Scene opens, Humming bird, Frog, Tree lizard and Blue gill on set. Humming bird is drinking nectar from cactus

Humming bird

It's great to be able to drink nectar in peace. Those human children used to chase me away all the time.

Tree lizard

Yes, you're right - the children often threw stones at me and tried to catch me.

Frog

I liked the humans being around; they made the lake, you know.

Blue gill

I completely agree. I couldn't even be here without the lake.

Gila monster walks in slowly from left
Horned toad lizard walks in slowly from right

Gila monster

Oh, I'm really hungry! Has anyone seen any birds' nests around, full of delicious eggs?

Horned toad lizard

Eggs! Who wants to eat eggs? Give me lots of juicy ants any day.

Humming bird

Your lucky that now the humans have gone you can come into town to to find eggs and ants.

Horned toad lizard

Yes and there's a harvester ants nest right next to the old grocery store. I know exactly where to find my lunch.

Humming bird moves off right
Dragonfly moves in from left

Frog (quietly - stage whisper to audience)

Ah, a dragonfly! Here's my lunch.

Tree lizard (quietly - stage whisper to audience)

Not if I can help it! I like to eat dragonflies too.

Both start to move towards dragonfly who has not seen them yet.

Dragonfly

What good luck to have a lake in the middle of the desert. (Short pause) Is that a frog? Oh no, and this looks very much like a tree lizard. Why is there never any rest?

Dragonfly flies off to left (high)
Frog jumps but misses, then moves back to position under cactus.
Tree lizard starts to follow but then stops under cactus
Enter Coyote from right with Kissing bug behind
Enter Rattlesnake from right , behind cactus
Tree lizard stays onstage but hides on other side of the cactus
Frog moves offstage

Coyote

I am so fed up with these parasites!

Kissing bug (moving up, so as to be seen)

Since the humans have gone, I'm forced to feed on coyotes. It's a shame really because I prefer human blood.

Coyote

Why me? Go and find another coyote

Rattlesnake

I can't believe you miss the humans, bug. Rattlesnakes almost became extinct when they lived around here.

Coyote

I know. The humans used to shoot coyotes, too.

Kissing bug

I'm glad they aren't around to shoot you. I like it in your fur and I am very difficult to get rid of, unless I decide to change my host. But for the moment I am quite happy with you.

Coyote (moving off right)

Grrrrrrrrr!

Rattlesnake moves to left and Tree lizard moves to the other side of the cactus (left)
Meanwhile Vine snake appears from cactus and sees tree lizard

Vine snake

What good luck! Lunch is sitting right under my nose.

Vine snake moves slowly down towards tree lizard. Tree lizard sees vine snake just in time, gives out a screech, and moves quickly left

Tree lizard

Oh my - that was too close for comfort!

Tree lizard moves offstage to left

Vine snake

That is very disappointing - another day perhaps, my dear lizard.

Centipede enters from right
Grasshopper mouse enters from left

Grasshopper mouse

Get out of my way, centipede!

Centipede

Hey, why should I get out of your way? Move aside, grasshopper mouse.

Grasshopper mouse

OK, so we fight it out, invertebrate but I warn you I am faster than you and I like the taste of your poisoned fangs.

Centipede

But you won't like it when I squirt my poison into your eyes.

Both fight and move off to left
At the same time the black widow spider enters from the right

Black widow spider

Wow, did you see that fight!

Rattlesnake

That could not have happened when the humans were around. They would have chased them both away.

Black widow spider

I'm pleased the humans are gone. I can make my webs in the dark corners of their houses now and wait for my food to come to me.

Vine snake

You had better get back to those dark corners, black widow. Night is falling and your food will be waiting for you.

Osprey enters (high)
Vine snake and Black widow goes offstage
Rattlesnake remains onstage

Osprey

I can't see very much. I have left it very late in the day to hunt for fish.

 

(pause - hovers around)

Meanwhile Owl enters and rests on cactus, Tarantula and Packrat enter from right

Osprey

Ah! I think I see one (makes a dive on Blue Gill) Missed! Guess I'll have to wait until its light.

Osprey moves off to left

Blue Gill

Wow! I wish it was always as dark as this! I'll go down deeper in the lake now that the night creatures are out looking for food.

Lights go down. Tarantula and Owl join rattlesnake on stage. Owl on the top of the cactus.

Owl

It's a beautiful night. Now what is there to eat?

Tarantula

I wouldn't try to eat me, owl. I have poison in my fangs.

Rattlesnake

Yes, and me too.

Pack rat enters unaware of the other animals

Packrat

Oh great! Now that the humans have gone I can clean up Ruby. I can eat practically anything! - or at least try to.

Tarantula

Be careful, packrat - there are a few predators around.

Packrat

Where?
(looks around)
A rattlesnake - and an owl
(bounces off as rattlesnake and owl try to catch it.)

Rattlesnake

Oh too bad! Stupid tarantula - you always manage to spoil my dinner.

Owl

That could have been my dinner too.

Tarantula

Tough luck! I'm off into a house to see if any young birds or bats have fallen out of their cozy nests.

Tarantula moves off

Owl

I'll look elsewhere too. (moves off)

Rattlesnake

There must be something to eat somewhere.
(moves off)

Packrat bounces back onstage

Packrat

Good - now that they have all gone I can look for my food in peace.

Enter ring tailed cat

Ring-tailed cat

Am I dreaming? A tasty packrat and it's just for me.

Packrat

You'll never catch me, ring tail.

Ring-tailed cat

Don't be so sure about that - I am a champion pack rat catcher.

Fight starts and animals move off stage.
Scorpion moves on stage

Scorpion

What - nothing to eat!

Tarantula moves onstage

Scorpion

(stage whisper to audience) I spoke too soon - here comes my supper.

Tarantula

No little bats! No little birds! No food for a poor tarantula.

Scorpion

Oh, poor tarantula! It doesn't seem to be your night, does it? After I have finished with you, you will not have to worry about finding something to eat.

Fight starts and animals move off stage - more light as dawn breaks
All day animals come back onstage and feed

Tree lizard

It is easier for all of us now that the humans have left Ruby.

Blue Gill

Yes, but I have to thank the humans for the lake.

Osprey

And I could not exist in the desert without the lake.

Humming bird

Some of the animals are busy re-cycling Ruby.

Kissing bug

The packrats, termites and ants are all re-cyclers.

All together

Between us we are returning Ruby to Nature.

   

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