The Magic Rubber Tree Plant
Marilyn A. Kinsella
PUPPETS: Wizard, Old Man, Elephant, Boa Constrictor, Alligator, Ant (N) and Ant (NN)
PROPS: Rubber tree plant; sign Ė Rubber Tree Plant removal contest
ACT 1 In the middle of the Jungle
W. Gadzooks! Look what I have discovered Ė a rubber tree plant! Sylvester, my good man, come here and have a look at this.
O. (Old man enters) Yes, Willoughby, what is it?
W. What is it? Why look. Itís as plain as the nose on your face.
O. (looks at the plant) Is this what you are talking about? A plant?
W. Not just any plant, my good fellowÖ a rubber tree plant. Oh, I must have it to add to my collection of rare and exotic plants.
O. A rubber tree plant? Rare? Exotic? Itís just a rubber tree plant.
W. You donít understand. A rubber tree plant is central to magic.
O. Magic, you say. Now, how do you figure that a rubber tree plant is magic?
W. Abracadabra! Jibberty jant: here are some uses of the magic rubber tree plant:
From a red rubber ball to a pink trampoline
Nike shoes or a baby buggy bumper
Why youíd need a rubber tree plant, if you were a bungee jumper.
Wet suit, balloon and an elastic waist band
Why youíd need a rubber tree plant, if you were the Michelin Man.
Basketball, tennis and foosball, too
Why a rubber tree plant is magic for me and for you.
O. But how do you plan to move this plant without harming it?
W. Right you are Ė how will I move this plant? Say, Iíve got it! They donít call me the Wily wizard for nothing, you know. We will hold a contest. And whoever can move this plant next to my castle without harming it will be rewarded with a song that I will personally compose.
O. Everyone loves a song written about him or herself. Iíll post the contest on the rubber tree plant so all the animals can see it.
W. Good show, my good man, good show. (exit)
Act 2 (sign on rubber tree) Elephant, Boa constrictor, alligator, 2 ants
N. Oh, Ellie, did you see the sign about the contest?
- Yep, I sure did. Iím a cinch to win.
N. Well, I was kind of hoping to win.
- What? You Ė an ant? You can carry an itty-bitty, teeny weeny morsel of food. But a rubber tree plant? No way. You better leave this contest to someone who is used to moving whole forests. (walks away laughing) ho, ho an ant trying to move a rubber tree plant. The only kind of ant that will move this tree is an eleph-ant! (exit)
N. The contest says that the wizard will meet with the animals next Saturday. I just have to win this contest. I better go to the gym and do some leg crunches to buff me up (exit)
(Snake and Alligator)
S. (looks at plant) Ssssomething sssspecial about this rubber tree plant. Iíll have to wrap myself around this project.
A. Hah, what a ďcrocĒ! Iíll win this contest in a snap!
S. Ssssay, did, Ellie, tell you about that pessssky ant that thinks it can move the rubber tree plant.
A. Yes, what a hoot that is. Somebody should just put his foot down. Ha-ha-ha
S. Ssssee you on Ssssaturday! (exit)
N. I donít know why there isnít a single animal who believes I can do it. I may be small but I know I can do it. Just a little imagination and whole lot of elbow grease, and I'm sure I'll win!
(enter Ant #2)
NN Hi, Antonio, why so glum?
N. Oh, Aunt Annie, itís good to see you. Iíve been reading about this contest that the Wily wizard form Willoughby Wallow posted on this rubber tree plant.
The animal that can move it without harming it will get a song written about him Ė pretty cool, huh?
NN. A song, you say? That sounds great. But you have an uphill battle. Iím sure youíll think of something. Well, I have to run, the family is meeting at a picnic at our great aunt annieís ant farm Ė lots of good stuff.
N. Wait a minute. Do you mean all my brothers and sister, cousins, ďantsĒ and uncles, in-laws, step-ants and uncles, grandmas and grampasÖthe whole enchilada will be there?
NN. Oh, yes we are ant-icpating a couple thousands, at least.
N. Hmmm, I just had an ideaÖ.(whispers in her ear)
NN. No problem. (exits)
N. Now, I have hopes. I just know I can move that rubber tree plant! (exit)
ACT 3 The Day of the Contest
W. Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to the first, one-of-a-kind contest. You know Ė the animal that can move this highly prized rubber tree plant without hurting the plant will have a song written about him. According to my faithful servant, we have 4 animals that have signed up. The first is Ellie, the Elephant.
E. (enters) Yup, here I am. Ready to pull that tree out of the ground with my trunk. Do you want to see?
W. Your trunk? No, no, no. That will never do. Iím afraid you are just too big for this project. (elephant exits and snake enters) Next! Here come Bobo, the Boa constrictor.
B. Yesss. I am ready to wrap myself around this tree, squeeze with all my might and slither on over to your castle.
W. Squeeze? But you might just squeeze the precious magic from its leaves. Iím afraid you just wonít do. (snake exits) Dear me only two contestant left. But hereís Albert the Alligator, perhaps he has a novel idea
A. (alligator enters) Yes, Iím your man with the plan. Just let my jaws snap and 1, 2, 3, Iím at your castle Ė home free.
W. Snap? As ďin two?Ē But that would ruin this tree. Iím sorry Albert, you're just tad long in the tooth for this project. (alligator exits) Just one more animal to go. A rather small one by jungle animal standards, but Iím always willing to let anyone with a will have their way. Come on up her Antonio.
N. (ant enters) Here I am. Ready and willing to move that rubber tree plant.
W. Bully, for you. Now, just how do you plan on moving this plant without harming it.
N. Oh, with just a little help from my family and friends. We will each do a part Ė a very little, itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny part. Each one of us will move the dirt aside bit by bit. Then we will all get under the plant and glide it over to your castle. By working together we will have this rubber tree plant moved in no time.
W. Bravo, Antonio! You are a clever. You realize that sometimes we need others to get the job done right. And because you are the winner, I have composed this little song. All of you out there in the audience can help on the chorus.
Just what makes that little old ant
Think heíll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an antÖcanít
Move a rubber tree plant
But heís got high hopes, heís got high hopes
Heís got high, apple pie, in the sky, hope
So anytime youíre feeliní low
Instead of lettiní go
Just remember that ant
Ooops there goes another rubber tree
Ooops there goes another rubber tree
Ooops there goes another rubber tree plant.