5+ characters; Flexible cast. 3 pages in length. Approximately 1-5 minutes running time. A South American folk tale adapted by Janea Dahl.

Jaguar and Deer is a South American legend that explains the icy relationship between jaguars and deer. Deer finds himself a nice place to live but soon, Jaguar finds the exact same location for his new home. When they realize they have both been helping each other to build the same home, they decide to live together. All is well until Jaguar kills a deer and brings it home for supper. Deer is terrified and devises a plan to help Jaguar understand his feelings. This short play is a wonderful way to teach students about legends from around the world. Add it to our many other folk tales for a show featuring legends from different lands!

Janea Dahl is the creator and author of Drama Notebook. She has a BA in theatre and spent twelve years working in professional theatre. She was the founder of The Young Players, the largest drama outreach program in her state. For nearly a decade, The Young Players served over a hundred schools, and employed over thirty teaching artists each year. Thousands of public school children and teens participated in her award-winning workshops. In 2012, Janea sold Young Players to Northwest Children’s Theatre and School to serve teachers full-time on Drama Notebook. Janea originally created the material in Drama Notebook to support The Young Players teaching artists. She was aware that most drama teachers could easily teach children’s theater workshops without any additional curriculum, but that having access to a vast amount of new material could greatly improve the quality of the classes while keeping things exciting and fresh for her teachers. Janea also develops custom curriculum for Kaplan Early Learning and for Destination Imagination.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Narrator One
Narrator Two
Jaguar
Deer
Bull
Dead Deer (optional)
Dead Jaguar (optional)

Setting
A little meadow on the edge of the rainforest.

Narrator One
One day a deer went to look for a place to build himself a house.

(Deer enters.)

Deer
This looks like a great place to build a house!

(Deer wanders off to get some supplies.)

Narrator Two
There was also a jaguar who was out looking for a place to set up a house.
(Jaguar enters.)

He came to the same place the deer had chosen.

Jaguar
This looks like the perfect spot!

(He brushes away some branches and dirt, then leaves.)

Narrator One
The next day the deer came and thoroughly cleared the ground with his antlers.

Deer
It seems somebody is helping me.

Narrator One
Then he stuck some big poles in the ground and set up the framework.

Narrator Two
The next day the jaguar came back.

Jaguar
It seems somebody is helping me.

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