Boys rattlesnake leaping rat scorpion



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Around One Cactus


Owls, Bats and Leaping Rats

By Anthony D. Fredericks

Adapted for Readers’ Theater by Jenny Brandon
PARTS:

ALL OWL


GIRLS BAT

BOYS RATTLESNAKE

LEAPING RAT SCORPION

CACTUS FOX

GILA MONSTER

ALL: This is the desert, wild and free,

A place of sun-baked majesty,



GIRLS: With shifting dunes and rocky edges

BOYS: And bushes gripping ancient ledges.

CACTUS: Here stands a cactus, tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for Creatures in a waterless land.
This is the cactus.
GIRLS: The prickly cactus with arms raised high

Was watched by a boy with a curious eye.



BOYS: “Who could be living on this arid ground?”

He asked as the breeze tumbled all around.


GIRLS: He observed the giant in the fading light,

But the critters were resting far from sight.

So he turned and slowly walked away.

ALL: Then the creatures woke to play and prey.
LEAPING RAT: A leaping rat builds a cozy nest

(A sheltered place for her young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land.


OWL: A tiny owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,



RAT: Lives high above her neighbor’s nest

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land.
BAT: A long-nose bat flies to this tower

And spreads the pollen from flower to flower,


OWL: Above the owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,


RAT: Who lives above her neighbor’s nest,

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land.
RATTLESNAKE: A rattlesnake with deadly teeth

Slips-slides across the ground beneath



BAT: The long-nose bat upon the tower,

Who spreads the pollen from flower to flower,



OWL: Above the owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,



RAT: Who lives above her neighbor’s nest

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land.
SCORPION: Some scorpions with stinging tails

Dance along on unseen trails,



RATTLESNAKE: Past rattlesnakes with deadly teeth

Slip-sliding on the ground beneath



BAT: The long-nose bat upon the tower,

Who spreads the pollen from flower to flower,



OWL: Above the owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,



RAT: Who lives above her neighbor’s nest

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land
FOX: A den of foxes starts to stir.

They clean and groom their light brown fur,



SCORPION: While eyeing scorpions with stinging tails

Who dance along on unseen trails,


RATTLESNAKE: Past rattlesnakes with deadly teeth

Slip-sliding on the ground beneath


BAT: The long-nose bat upon the tower,

Who spreads the pollen from flower to flower,



OWL: Above the owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,



RAT: Who lives above her neighbor’s nest

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land
GILA MONSTER: A gila monster with painted back

Crawls from a hole in search of a snack,



FOX: Near foxes who begin to stir

And clean and groom their light brown fur,



SCORPION: While eyeing scorpions with stinging tails

Who dance along on unseen trails,



RATTLESNAKE: Past rattlesnakes with deadly teeth

Slip-sliding on the ground beneath



BAT: The long-nose bat upon the tower,

Who spreads the pollen from flower to flower,



OWL: Above the owl with perfect sight,

Who sleeps by day and hunts by night,



RAT: Who lives above her neighbor’s nest

(A special place for young to rest)



CACTUS: Beside the cactus tall and grand,

ALL: A haven for creatures in a waterless land
GIRLS: A world of survivors in a sun-baked land

BOYS: Are sheltered and harbored by a cactus grand.

ALL: The spiny plant with its weather face

Is a noble guard in this busy place.

Teacher Tips: Teacher should read aloud first, then assign parts and let students mark their parts with highlighters for subsequent readings. Assign more than one student to each part, pairing strong with struggling.
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