Scene Detail

"If we do not find a way to hold off the cold of winter each year, soon we will have no past. We will have no future. There will be nothing left of us."

From: How The Coyote Stole Fire
11 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Either Young Girl or Boy FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)
Either Young Girl or Boy FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)
Female Young Girl or Boy WOMAN
Male Young Girl or Boy MAN
Either Young Girl or Boy FIRE
Either Young Girl or Boy WOOD
Either Young Girl or Boy FROG
Either Young Girl or Boy CHIPMUNK
Either Young Girl or Boy SQUIRREL
Either Young Girl or Boy COYOTE
 
Setup:
This is a chunk of the play, starting from the beginning. Read on...

(The scene actually includes all eleven characters in the play, but currently, due to some reprogramming that needs to be done on the site, I can only list 10 characters. Fire Being #3 - Sparky is still a part of the action)

*********************************************

The full script of "How The Coyote Stole Fire" is available for purchase as part of "Short Plays for Young Actors and Audiences, Volume 1" (in hard copy or download form) at

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/plays-for-young-actors-and-audiences/4941401

Part of Matthew's online script store

http://stores.lulu.com/matthewaeverett
 

Scene

copyright 2006 by Matthew A. Everett


COYOTE

How the Coyote - that's me - Stole Fire

FIRE

That's me.

MAN

There was a time before this time.

WOMAN

A time when humans hadn't been long on the earth.

COYOTE

A time when the tip of a coyote's tail wasn't white.

SQUIRREL

A time when a squirrel's tail wasn't curled

CHIPMUNK

A time when chipmunks didn't have three stripes down their backs.

FROG

A time when a frog still had a tail.

FIRE BEING #1

And Fire Beings like me...

FIRE BEING #2

And me...

FIRE BEING #3

And me, held the secret to fire.

FIRE BEING #1

And guarded it closely.

FIRE BEING #2

So no one else could have it.

COYOTE

But this story changes all that.

WOOD

Hi, I'm wood. I'll be very important later.

COYOTE

Later.

WOOD

Oh. Right. Sorry.

COYOTE

You don't think much about winter if you have fur.

SQUIRREL

Well, you think about it.

CHIPMUNK

It's still cold.

FROG

But it doesn't bother you as much. Not that I have fur.

CHIPMUNK

But you're built for the cold, too.

WOMAN

But human beings weren't.

COYOTE

I heard your cries from over the hill. What's wrong?

MAN

Our children --

WOMAN

Our old people --

MAN

They can't survive the cold of the winter.

WOMAN

We do everything we can, but we can't save them all.

MAN

Some of them always die.

WOMAN

More every year.

MAN

Now in the spring when the warmth returns, we spend our time digging graves.

WOMAN

When a child dies, we lose part of our future.

MAN

When an old one dies, we lose the stories of our people. We lose part of our past.

WOMAN

If we do not find a way to hold off the cold of winter each year, soon we will have no past.

MAN

We will have no future.

WOMAN

There will be nothing left of us.

COYOTE

It's too bad you don't have any fur.

MAN

The sun in the spring is so warm. The snow cannot hold out against it. If we could harness that spring sun for when the winter sun forgets and turns cold, we would have a way to hold back the winter.

COYOTE

I have an idea that might help.

MAN

Any help you can give, we will happily receive.

WOMAN

For now, we must go and bury our dead. Our past and our future.

COYOTE

And so I gathered my friends and formed a plan.

WOOD

Hi, I'm Wood.

COYOTE

Not yet.

WOOD

Oh. Sorry.

COYOTE

So, Squirrel, Chipmunk, Frog, that's the story.

SQUIRREL

I feel bad for them, too, but what can we do?

CHIPMUNK

You can't harness the spring or summer sun for the winter.

FROG

The sun just goes cold for part of the year. It needs to rest. We all need to rest.

COYOTE

We don't need to force the sun to do anything. Remember the Fire Beings?

SQUIRREL

Oh no you don't.

CHIPMUNK

See ya.

FROG

Have fun on your suicide mission.

COYOTE

Wait, guys! We can do this.

SQUIRREL

Do what?

COYOTE

Steal fire and give it to the humans. Then they can gather together and stay warm in the winter. No one would have to die that way anymore.

CHIPMUNK

And all we have to do is die in the process. Great plan, Coyote.

COYOTE

I actually do have a plan. You just haven't heard it yet.

The FIRE appears, surrounded by the three FIRE BEINGS, as the COYOTE lays out its plan.


COYOTE (cont'd)

The Fire Beings never go anywhere, right?

FROG

Right. Which is why no one can steal the fire.

SQUIRREL

They never leave it. They guard it, day and night.

CHIPMUNK

So the fire doesn't go out, and it doesn't get away.

COYOTE

But they don't *all* guard it day and night. I checked.

FROG

You went there?!

COYOTE

How can you steal something if you don't scope out the territory first?

SQUIRREL

Did they see you?

FIRE BEING #1

Hey! Look over there!

FIRE BEING #2

A coyote!

COYOTE

Oh, they saw me.

FIRE BEING #3

Let's growl and bare our teeth and claws and scare it off.

THEY do.

But the COYOTE stands its ground.


FIRE BEING #1

All right then.

FIRE BEING #2

You've been warned.

FIRE BEING #3

Don't come any closer.

The FIRE dances and waves.


FIRE

Hi, Coyote! Thanks for coming to visit.

FIRE BEING #1

Don't get any ideas.

FROG

We're still waiting for the "plan" part of the plan.

COYOTE

I'm getting to that.
So, they don't *all* guard the fire day and night. They take shifts. One Fire Being takes the afternoon shift. We'll call him Fred.

FIRE BEING #1

Fred?

SQUIRREL

Fred?

COYOTE

Fred. Then another Fire Being takes the night shift. We'll call her Gladys.

FIRE BEING #2 and CHIPMUNK

Gladys?

COYOTE

Gladys. Then the last Fire Being takes the morning shift. We'll call him Sparky.

FIRE BEING #3

Hey. I kinda like that name.

COYOTE

So, everything runs pretty smoothly on the afternoon and night shifts.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

Sparky hands off to Fred.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) leaves.


FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

Fred hands off to Gladys.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred) leaves.


COYOTE

The changeover in the morning is where we take our shot.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Gladys hands off to Sparky.

No one appears. FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys) remains alone by the FIRE.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Gladys hands off to Sparky!

Still nothing.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys) (cont'd)

Sparky!

FIRE

You can leave me alone for a minute if you want. I'll be OK.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Not on your life.
Sparky!

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(still offstage)

OK, OK, I'm coming!

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

No, really, take your time! It's not like we're guarding anything important! Just the fire! Just a part of our name and our whole reason for being, that's all!

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(still offstage)

I said I'm coming!

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Not awake yet?

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(still offstage)

Dang, it's early.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Don't worry. I think I've got something here that'll wake you up.

(to FIRE)

You. Stay put.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys) exits to slap FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) awake.

FIRE dances a bit, enjoying the solitude.


COYOTE

And *that's* when we make our move.

CHIPMUNK

Why we?

FROG

Only one of us can carry the fire at a time.

SQUIRREL

If we all go in, won't we just draw more attention and screw the whole thing up?

COYOTE

I'm not asking you guys to go with me.

CHIPMUNK

Oh.

COYOTE

I'll make the grab.

FROG

Oh.

COYOTE

But I need you down here. As backup.

SQUIRREL

Oh.

WOOD

And me?!

COYOTE

Yes, you, too. Between the five of us, we should be able to pull it off.

CHIPMUNK

You hope.

COYOTE

I hope.

FROG

And so the Coyote headed back out to the place on the mountain where the Fire Beings lived.

SQUIRREL

And we waited.

CHIPMUNK

And took up our positions.

WOOD

And waited.

FROG

Remind me again why we're doing this?

MAN

Just then they heard the man crying aloud as he buried his daughter.

WOMAN

And the woman singing a funeral song for her father, lost to the cold.

FROG

And the Frog didn't wonder anymore.

SQUIRREL

He's right to ask, though.

CHIPMUNK

We're risking our necks.

FROG

It's not really our problem.

SQUIRREL

We're fine in the winter.

CHIPMUNK

And people do die all the time.

FROG

We die all the time, too.

SQUIRREL

Cold's just another way to go.

CHIPMUNK

Not a good way.

FROG

Is there a good way?

SQUIRREL

In your sleep.

CHIPMUNK

Of old age.

FROG

After a happy life.

SQUIRREL

You think they'll let us come close to the fire, share a little warmth?

CHIPMUNK

Maybe.

FROG

Not too close, though. Squirrel meat looks pretty good in the middle of winter.

SQUIRREL

Frog's legs.

FROG

Squirrel pelts make nice mittens.

CHIPMUNK

Guys.

SQUIRREL

At least people think I'm cute.

FROG

You're a rat with a fancy tail.

CHIPMUNK

Technically, I'm cuter.

FROG

You're a snack.

CHIPMUNK

Frog's legs.

SQUIRREL

I said that already.

FROG

Women kiss me, you know. All the time.

CHIPMUNK

Why?

FROG

I have no idea.
They kiss me.
Then they wait. And stare. Expectantly.
Then they get disappointed. Shrug. Walk away.

SQUIRREL

You lead a rich full life.

FROG

But they keep coming back. New ones. All the time.

CHIPMUNK

Some people never learn.

FROG

You could say the same about us.

SQUIRREL

No. What we're doing has a point to it.

CHIPMUNK

So it's not like kissing a frog.

FROG

Hey.

SQUIRREL

Not at all like kissing a frog.

FROG

Rodents.

CHIPMUNK

Kiss me, and I *will* bite you.

WOOD

That's my gang!

FIRE

Meanwhile, over by me...

The FIRE BEINGS switch shifts watching the fire as they speak.


FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

Morning turned into afternoon.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) exits yawning.


FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

Afternoon turned to night.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred) lingers.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

And night turned into morning.

COYOTE

They saw me.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

We saw it.

COYOTE

Waiting.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Lurking.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

We could have chased the Coyote off.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

We should have chased the Coyote off.

FIRE

They didn't chase the Coyote off.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

It wasn't coming any closer.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

As long as the Coyote knew its place, I didn't mind.

FIRE

I didn't mind.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

I was asleep.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred) walks off.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Unfortunately, so was Sparky.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(offstage)

I'm entitled to sleep! It's your shift!

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

But come morning, my shift is over.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(offstage)

I know, I know.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

Well, if you know, why do I always have to come over there and smack you before I get a chance to sleep?

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(offstage)

Because you like smacking me?

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

This is true.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(offstage)

Well, come on and smack me then.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

We're not supposed to leave the fire unattended.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

(offstage)

It's not going anywhere.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys) walks off, getting ready to smack FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) awake again.


FIRE

That's what you think.

COYOTE

I saw my opening.

FIRE

Come and get me, baby!

COYOTE

Here goes nothing.

COYOTE grabs the FIRE and makes a run for it.


FIRE

Take me away from all this!

COYOTE

I got a head start.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred) suddenly appears.


FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

But not much of one!

FIRE

Run!

COYOTE

I'm running.

FIRE BEINGS #2 & #3 (Gladys and Sparky) reappear and join the chase.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

This is why I don't have time to smack you, Sparky.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

Well, I'm awake now.

COYOTE

They were right on my tail. Literally. Right on my tail.

WOOD

Here comes Coyote!

SQUIRREL, CHIPMUNK and FROG all get ready.


COYOTE

One of them got ahold of my tail.

FIRE BEING #1 (Fred) grabs.


FIRE BEING #1 (Fred)

Me.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) grabs.


FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

No, me.

FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys) smacks FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky) and grabs for the COYOTE.


FIRE BEING #2 (Gladys)

No, me.

FIRE BEING #3 (Sparky)

Ow! You do like smacking me.

COYOTE

I tried to shake them off but I couldn't do that and carry the fire at the same time. And they knew it.





(there's more, but the conclusion of the story isn't available for viewing on this website)

copyright 2006 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com