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It’s Nuts

A ten minute play by John Lindsey

Category: Funny Short Plays

 

CHARACTERS

 

SIR PUFFYTAIL, about 20 in “squirrel years.”  He is called “Puffytail” for his extremely large and puffy tail (even in squirrel standards).  He is a red squirrel and has a large acorn painted on his shield (surrounded in a halo of yellow paint/light).  Costume should be badly done, so that it looks intentionally like a man dressed as a squirrel.

 

SIR SCRAGGLES, middle aged grey squirrel. 45 “squirrel years.”  He looks very scraggly (of course).  Ridiculously scraggly; bad enough that people should want to laugh just looking at him.  Again, “terrible” squirrel costume.

 

HAWK 1, looks like a man with cardboard “wings” duct taped to his arms, and an orange construction paper “beak” attached to his face.

 

HAWK 2, identical to hawk 1.

 

 

TIME

 

1450, early afternoon

 

 

 

PLACE

 

The middle of a lightly wooded meadow.  A castle can be seen in the background; the castle being badly drawn to heighten the absurd “mood” of the play. A bird’s nest can be seen in one of the few trees, and there is a rather large stone on the ground.  There are lots of happy flowers to increase the joy of all who watch the play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Scene opens on SIR SCRAGGLES digging merrily in the ground and “chittering” happily.  SIR PUFFYTAIL struts in from stage right, making a show of waving his tail around)

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

You there!  Ugly squirrel knight!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                       

(Looking around to see if any other squirrel is being addressed)

 

Me?  Ugly!?  I won the Mr. Squirreliverse beauty pageant three years in a row in my youth!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

They let males in beauty pageants…?  I’ve never heard of such a thing.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

They do!  It’s just not… very publicized.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Or very masculine.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

That… doesn’t matter, and it’s irrelevant to this situation!  I’m trying to make the point that I am as beautiful as an autumn sunset, as glorious as a spring shower, as picturesque as--

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

--A sickly kitten’s hairball!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Gasps)

How dare you? 

                        (Pauses)

How dare you!?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

And you also smell funny!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

What have I done to make you ridicule me so?

 

                                                SIT PUFFYTAIL

Well…  I couldn’t help but notice that you had an ugly walnut painted on your shield, and all squirrels know that walnuts are inferior to acorns…

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

What?  Acorns better than walnuts!?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Well, don’t get me wrong, I mean, walnuts are all right… if you are starving, or you need something to throw at an enemy.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

 

(Reaching into his armor to pull out a walnut, which he then throws at SIR PUFFYTAIL, hitting him in the head and knocking him to the ground)

 

Take that, stupid acorn lover with the ridiculously oversized tail!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

 

(Shakes his head to get his bearings back and then gets up off of the ground, brushes himself off, and begins to glare at SIR SCRAGGLES)

 

That hurt you fiend!  And you only managed to prove my point…  Walnuts are a lousy source of food and should only be used as crude projectile weapons.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

I’ll make you eat those words!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

I’ll eat nothing but acorns, and contemplate how much better they taste than walnuts.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

I’m going to lop off your head with my silly squirrel sword and you’ll never be able to “contemplate” anything ever again!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

All right then, we shall have an epic duel!  The winner, which will be me, will name the better food!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Laughs spitefully)

 

You, win?  I’m surprised you can even stay balanced with a tail like that.  It probably weighs you down as you leap from tree to tree, and you end up falling and smashing your face on the ground.

 

                                               

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Oh please!  A face this perfect and you think I’ve fallen on it?

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Either you’ve fallen on that face, or some rabid creature has gnawed on it for a while.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Okay that’s it, en garde!

 

(Both squirrels draw their swords, which are obviously just “sharp” pieces of cardboard painted silver, and then start circling each other)

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Should we really fight out here in the open like this?  There could be hawks around.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Yeah, I knew you’d chicken out of our duel.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

I’m not chickening out, I’m just saying…

                                               

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Quit stalling and fight me!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Okay, but you aren’t ready for this you acorn lover; I used to train in the art of swordplay for many hours each and every day.  That is, when I didn’t have beauty pageants to attend.

 

(Thrusts with his sword, SIR PUFFYTAIL parries)

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

It is you who is “not ready!”  My father was that immortal highlander guy from T.V.  He taught me everything he knew, and then some!

 

(Brings his sword into the air and then swipes downward at SIR SCRAGGLES, who blocks it with apparent ease and then steps back a few paces)

 

SIR SGRAGGLES

That highlander guy was a human being, it is physically impossible for him to be your father…

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

He was my father because… He adopted me!

 

                                               

SIR SCRAGGLES

You mean you were his pet?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Pet, son, what’s the difference?

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Oh, just shut up already!

 

(The two squirrels resume their “swordplay.” The battle rages back and forth with no squirrel gaining the upper hand until SIR PUFFYTAIL swings his tail around in a circle taking SIR SGRAGGLES’S legs out from under him)

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Dazed and confused)

                        Ouchie!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

(Begins jumping around excitedly)

 

La la la la la!  Acorns are better than walnuts; acorns are best nut in the world!  I have proved it once again!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Sitting up and regaining his composure)

 

All that you have proved is that your grotesque tail can bring nothing but harm to other squirrels…

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

You’re just jealous that I have the better tail and the better food!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Yeah, and I’m sure that tail of yours will be comforting on those cold lonely nights when you have no squirrel friends to be with, because you’ve taken them all out accidentally or purposely with that same tail.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Oh please…  I have thousands of squirrel friends!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Then where are they now?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

They are… um… on vacation!

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Yes of course, “vacation.”  That’s the place all of your imaginary friends go and never return from.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Whatever!  Who needs friends anyway?  I have my acorns to comfort me, I have my special special tail to comfort me, I have… the warm sunshine to comfort me!  What do you have!?  Nothing but a big lump on your head from your embarrassing loss to my superior powers!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Embarrassing?  I only lost to you because you have a tail mutated for purposes of battle; not to mention you’re a little puffy ball of hate that is driven to attack all who are different than yourself.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

That’s the way nature works…  Those who don’t have appendages that are evolved into weapons get left behind.  They end up scrounging for the foods no one else will eat.  Foods like… walnuts.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Now we’re back to that…  Tell me then, why is it your despise walnuts so very much?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

                        (Jumps as though taken aback by the question)

 

Well, all right, I’ll tell you why…  If it will in some way help keep you away from those evil walnuts.  “The Incident” happened when I was very young.  It had been a really good day for me: the weather was nice, my mother had somehow managed to make me an acorn pie—which I’m sure was hard for her, beings as she has tiny little squirrel paws and no access to fire— and my triplet little sisters had just learned how to forage for their own food.  Yes, things were great, too great now that I look back on it.  Later in that same seemingly wonderful day, the weather began to change, ominous storm clouds swept across the sky, and I stubbed my toe on a rock.  I could feel this change in the air, I knew something fateful was about to happen.  That’s when the rain started…

 

                        (Starts to sniffle)

 

A deluge from the heavens that got in my eyes and made me sad.  My family—that is my mother, my three sisters, and I—all decided to escape from the downpour and we hid under the “shelter” of a nearby walnut tree. 

 

                        (Vainly tries to stifle more sniffles)

 

I curse that decision with every curse word I’ve ever learned!  For after only minutes of hiding, lightning bolted down from the sky and hit a branch on that walnut tree.  We all tried to run when we saw the branch coming towards us…  I was a little faster than the rest of my family. 

 

                        (Cries heavily)

 

I can still see the flaming walnuts where the eyes of my mother should have been!  Their light seared into my very squirrel soul!  I… I can’t talk about this any longer.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Empathically lends SIR PUFFYTAIL his own squirrel tail to cry into)

 

There there my friend, there there.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

                        (Drying his tears and composing himself)

 

Now you have seen me in my moment of weakness…

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

It is all right to cry sometimes…

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

No, you don’t understand…  Everyone will laugh at me if they find out about this.  They’ll say things like “There goes the loser squirrel who cries tears of anguish into his puffy tail every single night” and “I wonder what kind of conditioner that squirrel uses?  His tail is magnificently puffy and full of a luster that casts light where previously only shadows lie.”  It will be a shameful ordeal for me…

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Nonsense!  I am certain all who hear your tail of woe will be driven to tears themselves.  It was a tragically tragic tragedy that happened to you that fateful day, and I’m sure everyone will respect that.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

…Really?

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Well, probably not, but if it makes you feel better to believe it…

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

It kind of does actually…

 

 

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

That’s it!  Let that false hope shine!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

They’ll probably be so moved by my story that they will want to compensate me for my losses by giving me gifts of cash, and various baked goods made from acorns!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Yes… of course!  I can’t see why they’d do otherwise.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

I should get started right away!  I’ll tell my story to all who will listen, and then demand they pity me and give me money.  It’s brilliant!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Yes, you should get started!  And I know the best place to begin, a place where half the forest will hear you.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Sounds great, but I kind of want to hear your story first.

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

What story?

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

The story of why you prefer walnuts over acorns!  And it better be a good story too…  Epic and full of danger, like mine!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

Right…  My story.  Hmmm, well, let’s see…  “The Occurrence” happened when I was very young.  It had been a really good day for me: the weather was nice, my father had somehow managed to make me a walnut pie—which I’m sure was hard for him, beings as he has tiny little squirrel paws and no access to fire— and my triplet little brothers had just learned how to forage for their own food—

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

--Wait wait wait!  You’re stealing my story and just rearranging minor details!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

No I’m not!

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Oh come on, it’s obvious!

                       

 

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGELS

Well, I couldn’t help it…  Your story was so good, and I think it could get me quite a bit of “pity cash” and walnut pies if I tell it to empathic forest dwellers.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Well, I’m faster than you, and I’ll tell my story first and get all the prizes!

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

You may be faster, but I have a strong voice.  I am going to go out to the center of that forest meadow yonder and shout my story to all the forest.  Then, animals will come from miles around to bring me consolation prizes for “my” loss.

 

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

Not if I get their first you won’t!

 

                        (Runs towards meadow)

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Under his breath)

Sucker!

                                               

                                                SIR PUFFYTAIL

                        (Now in meadow shouting)

 

Fellow forest creatures, hearken my tragic story—

 

(SIR PUFFYTAIL’s voice is cut of by the piercing shriek of a hawk.  SIR PUFFYTAIL looks around in horror only to be drug off stage by a hawk that enters from the meadow side of the stage flapping its cardboard wings ridiculously)

 

                                                SIR SCRAGGLES

                        (Laughing mischievously)

 

That will teach him to knock me over with his tail and talk down on my beloved walnuts!  Now it is time… for me to dance!

 

(Dances obnoxiously off the stage in the opposite direction of hawk’s entry)

 

 

                                                 

 

                                               

                                                            Fin
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