An African tale adapted for puppets by

                                                                             Marilyn Kinsella


        PUPPETS: Spider, Lion, Monkey,  3 other jungle animals –giraffe, elephant, deer


PROPS: green rock – in middle of stage, basket of yams, some bananas and other fruits that are attached to clear acetate strips are attached to the back of the stage to flip over onto web, CD player and sound system. (put deer up on top of stage as if she is looking down)


Announcer: It is the middle of the jungle and Anansi the spider is hungry. You might think if he were hungry he would go out and get a job. But, no, not Anansi! You see, if he wants food, all he thinks he has to do is go out and cheat some animals out of their hard-earned food. One day Anansi woke up and he was very hungry.

Stage with lighted spider web and green leaves off to one side.


ACT 1 (at Anansi’s hut)

AN:  (Anansi enters) Ho-hum, I’m tired of hanging around this old house. Besides, there is nothing to eat. I’m so hungry. Perhaps, if I go for a walk, I’ll find some food. (starts to walk across the stage and exits the other side – put up green rock)

AN:  (from other side of stage) I have not been down this path before. Hmmm, I wonder where it goes. (go across stage to the rock). What’s this?….. My, my, my, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock.  Ka-boom! Anansi falls over) 

AN: (Wakes up) Oh, dear…the trees are going around and around. What happened here? I came down this hill, I saw this rock, and I said…”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”   Ka-Boom! Anansi falls over and eventually gets up again) Wait a minute! I know what this is! This is a magic rock, and anytime, anyone says,  “Mm,mm,mmm…kaboom!” I will use this magic to get me some food.                             (exit and remove rock) 


ACT 2 (later in the jungle)

LI: (Lion on stage with yams) Oh me, oh my…Just look at all these delicious yams. It feels so good to have planted the seeds, watered them, pulled the weeds…and now look! Delicious yams for supper tonight! (Anansi enters other side of stage) Anansi, my good friend, look what I have… delicious yams.

AN: Yes, I see you have yams (to audience) soon to my yams! Lion, I’ve been meaning to take you to a secret place. You won’t believe what is there. But, since you are my good friend, I have decided to take you there. 

LI: What shall I do with these yams?  

AN: Oh, just leave them there hidden under that tree. No one will find them.  

(Put rock back up) (Anansi is on stage) 

AN:  Lion, Lion, come down here and look at this! (lion enters and crossed stage)

LI:  …”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”  Ka-Boom!

AN: Now I will run back and get those yams! (exits) (flip yams onto web)

LI:  Oh, dear I have a lion-sized headache. I wonder where Anansi went? Oh well, I guess I’ll go back and get my basket of yams. (exits)  ( take off rock)

LI: (walks across stage to where the yams were) Oh, no! Look at this! Some one has stolen my yams. Thief! Thief! (runs across and exits)


ACT 3  

AN: (walking along -talking to audience) That was as easy as taking candy from a baby. But I don’t just want yams, I want something sweet…I want  …. bananas! And who better to give me his supply of banana than my good buddy, Monkey. (Monkey enters) And here he is! Monkey, my good man, good to see you.

MO: Anansi, it’s good to see you too. Sorry, I haven’t had much time these days. You see I have been busy collecting bananas. Me and my brothers and sisters and aunt and uncles and cousins…we have been swinging from tree to tree collecting big bunches of bananas. My treehouse is filled to the brim with sweet, delicious bunches of bananas.

AN:  (to audience) Bananas, eh. Just what I want for my supper!

MO:  So, what have you been up to these days? Are you getting on the Web? I bet you’re a real web-master. Get it…spider… web?

AN: Yes, Monkey, I got it. I wish I had a nickel for everytime I got it. I’d be rich. I just don’t have time for computers. You see, I have been very busy protecting…the secret place. 

MO: Secret place? I don’t think I know about a secret place.  

AN: Of course, you haven’t. It wouldn’t be a secret place then would it. But, I think I can trust you. If you like, I will you show you the secret place, but you must not tell anyone. If they ask, just tell them it’s none of their monkey business! 

MO: I promise!

(both exit)    (put up rock)

AN: (Anansi enters stage near the rock) Oh, Monkey, come down here. You won’t believe what you will see. (monkey enters and crosses stage)

MO…”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”  Ka-Boom!  (monkey falls down)

AN: Works like a charm. Now for those bananas!

 (exits) (flip bananas onto web)

MO: (finally wakes up an looks around) Oh my poor head! My eyes are going around and around. Anansi! Anansi!  Hmmph! Anansi must have gone home. I must go back to my treehouse. (exits) (take off rock)

MO: I think I’ll have a banana. Ah-oh, what? Yes, we have no bananas. Some thief must have been here while I was away and split with the bananas. This makes me so sad, so sad….so sad. (exit)


ACT 4 (rock back on stage) 

AN: This is better than the home shopping network and so much more fun. Look, here comes some more animals. I will have more and more food. (exits) as other animals come forth – elephant, zebra, and giraffe) 

EL: …”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”  Ka-Boom! (and falls down) (put fruit on web) 

GI:  …”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”  Ka-Boom! (and falls down) (put fruit on web)

AN: This is great. No one can stop me! (exits)

(take deer off top of stage)

DE: (deer enters) I have been watching Anansi as he has tricked my friends out of their hard-earned food. I think Anansi needs to learn a lesson! (exit)


ACT 5 (Anansi and Deer meet each other on stage)

AN: Little Deer, where are you going with that silly grin on your face? 

DE:  Oh Anansi, I didn’t even see you. I am so happy these days, because I have berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries. Berries, berries, berries…I don’t know what to do with them all.

AN: (to audience) Oh, I think I know what will happen to her berries. (to deer) Say, little deer, since you are such a fine friend, I want to show you something.  Come follow me. (both exit)  (put up rock)

AN: Okay, Little Deer, you can come down now. Just look at this!

DE: (looks around) Yes, Anansi, what do want to show me?

AN: What do I want to show you? Why, I want to show you this rock.

DE: (still looking around) Yes, Anansi, and which rock would that be? 

AN: Now, Little Deer, I know you are trying to trick me, because you know you are supposed to look at this rock. You are suppose to look at this rock and you are supposed to say….…”My, My, My, my, my what a strange moss-covered rock…”  Ka-Boom! (falls down) 

DE:  Well, my, my, my…looks like the trickster got tricked. Now I can tell all the animals where they can find their food. (exit)  (TAKE OFF THE ITEMS ON THE WEB)

AN: (finally wakes up) Oh, dear, do I have an Excedrin headache, or what? Hmm, Little deer is not here. I may as well go home where a big mountain of food is waiting for me. (exit)  (remove rock)



AN: (walks across stage like he is looking for something) What? Where? It must be here? Where is all the food? Wait a minute…do you think Little Deer tricked me? I don’t like to be a fool with everyone laughing at me.  But, come to think of it, I guess that’s what I did to all my animal friends. Now I know how it feels and it doesn’t feel very good. From now on I will work for my food. Besides, all this lying and cheating…it’s just one big headache after another!  From now on it’s a life of hard work and clean living for me! (exit)

Narrator I am happy to tell you that, after that day, Anansi learned his lesson. He knows, if you want food, you have to go out and work for it. And, I am also happy to tell you that Anansi’s friends were good friends, because they forgave Anansi. And, now, whenever anyone in the jungle is hungry, they have a party and everyone brings food. They party, party, party. The sing and they dance! They dance and they sing! …   Dance, Anansi, dance Anansi dance. Dance, Anansi, dance Anansi dance……(sing 5X)