Brer Rabbit and the Day of Learning is an original story by Malcolm Henty. The animals in the Wildwood don’t go to school like most children. Instead, once a year the very wise Owl calls them together in the clearing for The Day of Learning. While there they learn about the ways of the world and of any new political and environmental issues that may affect them. All the animals look forward to gaining new knowledge, all that is except for Brer Rabbit. He declares that “School is for Fools” and prefers to sleep instead. The animals decide to teach him a lesson that he will not forget.
Malcolm Henty is retired and living in East Devon in the United Kingdom. His theatre experience comes from writing and directing plays and pantomimes for the local children’s theatre group of which he is chairman. He also has the great fortune of working alongside his granddaughter Beth who is a primary school teacher. In addition to staging productions, the group also runs a very successful Drama Club for which he has written various plays. Happiness Stan and A Man for All Seasons, are about a raggedy old scarecrow and are both available on Drama Notebook. Hairgel and Hairgel 2 (Karma Chameleon) are full-length musicals. Hitler’s Ear is a play based on a true story of a boy who was evacuated three times in WW2, and All Hell at Allhallows is a murder mystery. Malcom is also the co-author along with Kent playwright Paul Sherman, of a new play based on Cornish folklore which is awaiting its premiere.
More Brer Rabbit plays:
Brer Rabbit Tricks Brer Fox
Brer Rabbit Meets Brer Lion
Mr. Man and the Candy Store, a Brer Rabbit Tale
Brer Rabbit and Sister Swan’s Daughter
Brer Rabbit’s Christmas
Excerpt from the Play:
*Brer means brother or an informal title before someone’s name.
(Settings: In the wildwood, outside of Brer Rabbit’s burrow, and at Brer Owl’s school)
Not everybody is aware that the animals in the wild wood, just like the children in the towns, must go to school. Once a year, wise old Brer Owl rings his bell heartily to summon them to the woodland classroom. They meet in the clearing by Brer Turtle’s pool for the annual learning day. Attendance is always good, and the friends look forward to being educated in the ways of the world from one so wise as Brer Owl. Everyone loves going to the school, well everyone that is, except for Brer Rabbit. He loves to lie in his snug burrow in the mornings. He figures that all he needs to know is that 2 carrots plus 2 carrots equals four. On this warm, sunny, autumn morning, the day of learning, Brer Rabbit is woken by the sound of the school bell ringing.
(Peeping out from under his blanket)
What is that noise? Don’t they know a rabbit needs his beauty sleep?
(He turns over and goes back to sleep. There is a loud banging on the door.)
Who is it?
It’s Brer Turtle. Come on Brer Rabbit rise and shine it’s time for school.
School is for fools. Go away Brer Turtle and leave me in peace.
If you say so, but Brer Owl will not be pleased. It’s the day of learning.
(Brer Rabbit snuggles back down. There is another knock at the door.)
Who is it now? What do you want?
It’s Brer Fox. Come on sleepy head it’s time for school. Hurry up or you will be late.
School is for fools. Go away, Brer Fox. Leave me in peace.
If you say so, but Brer Owl will not be pleased.
(Brer rabbit snuggles back down. There’s another louder knock at the door.)
Please, please just go away I want to want to sleep.
Come on lazy bones it’s a lovely day. Everyone is off to school. You are going to be late again.
School is for fools. Now go away Brer Bear I need to rest a while.
Brer Owl will not be pleased, you know that he likes a full classroom for the day of learning.
As all the woodland creatures made their way to school for the day of learning, they each tried to get Brer Rabbit to get out of his bed, but they all failed miserably. Brer Racoon, Brer Lion, Brer Badger, and finally Brer Otter all tried their luck but still, Brer Rabbit lay snuggled up in his burrow. Soon it would be time for Brer Owl to call the class registration, so they all hurried to school so they would not be late, leaving Brer Rabbit fast asleep.