5 characters; 2M, 2F, 1 Either; 6 pages in length. Approximately 5 minutes running time. A drama for children written by Barry M. Putt, Jr.

In A Nutty Tale, three mischievous squirrels, Hazel, Pistachio, and Hickory, set out to gather food despite their mother’s warning not to go without her. As they gather a huge harvest of nuts, they are threatened by a mean old rattlesnake. They must think quickly if they want to return to the safety of their mother. A great play with an important lesson for younger performers!

Barry M. Putt, Jr.’s plays have been performed throughout the U.S. and in Canada including productions with the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, The Northeast Theatre, and Turtle Shell Productions. His comedy, A DIFFERENT BLEND OF FRIENDSHIP won the NJ Wordsmiths Award. Mr. Putt is a member of the Witherspoon Circle, American Renaissance Theater Company, and the Dramatists Guild. Find out more by visiting his website at www.barrymputtjr.com

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

HAZEL – An obedient, bushy-tailed, gray squirrel. The middle child.

HICKORY – A playful, bushy-tailed, gray squirrel. The youngest brother.

PISTACHIO – A roughhouse, bushy-tailed, gray squirrel. The oldest brother.

MOTHER – mother of squirrels Hazel, Hickory, and Pistachio.

RATTLESNAKE – a snaggletoothed, beady-eyed predator.

SETTING/PLACE:

SCENE 1 – Hazel’s Family’s nest, deep in the woods of America. Present Day.
SCENE 2 – Another section of the woods, near a stream. Shortly after.
SCENE 3 – Hazel’s Family’s nest, moments later.

SCENE 1

(Lights up as HAZEL, a bushy- tailed, gray squirrel, sleeps nestled beside her two rascally brothers, HICKORY and PISTACHIO, and her MOTHER in the family’s nest. Hazel’s eyes flitter open. She tiptoes over and peeks out of the large, leaf-woven nest.)

HAZEL
What a beautiful day.

(Hickory and Pistachio pop up from a sound sleep. Pistachio dances a jig.)

PISTACHIO
It’s nut-hunting day. Nut-hunting day.

(Hickory playfully scratches Pistachio’s nose.)

HICKORY
I’m gonna gather more nuts than you, ya little toadstool.

PISTACHIO
No. No.

(Pistachio laughs and tackles Hickory. Hickory squirms from Pistachio’s hold then twirls him around.)

HICKORY
I’ll always be better than you.

PISTACHIO
We’ll just see.

(Pistachio chuckles as they wrestle joyfully, almost knocking into their sound-sleeping Mother.)

HAZEL
Shh. You’ll wake Mommy. Then we’ll miss the hunt. You know she doesn’t like you boys fighting.

HICKORY
Sis, you’re such a worry-wart.

(Hickory pins Pistachio against the wall.)

PISTACHIO
Let’s get started. I’m cuckoo for autumn nuts.

(Pistachio wiggles from Hickory’s hold and leaps out of the nest. Hickory dashes behind him.)

HAZEL
Wait!  Mommy forbids us to go without her. There are ferocious creatures out there.

(Hazel darts out of the nest as, Hickory and Pistachio start off.)

HAZEL (cont.) Don’t you dare go or I’ll tell Mommy.

(Hickory and Pistachio turn back.)

HICKORY
Cool down, Sis. We’ll be fine. Besides, we’re doing Mom a favor.

PISTACHIO
Yeah, you know how over-worked she is with Papa off visiting relatives.

HICKORY
You don’t want to stand in the way of us helping, do you?

HAZEL
Of course not, but–

HICKORY
Our head start on the hunt will give Mom a chance to rest. She deserves that after everything she does for us.

HAZEL
I agree, however–

HICKORY
Fine, if easing Mom’s burden doesn’t mean anything to you, then make her work to the bone. But I’ll have no part in that.

(Hickory raises his eyebrow.)

PISTACHIO 
(crossing his arms)
Me neither.

HAZEL  
(flashes a worried glance)
I don’t want to do that. I love her.

HICKORY 
(pleading)
Then let us go. We’ll collect so many acorns; Mom won’t even need to search. It’s all up to you.

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