(or Nyame’s Well)
Ashanti folktale adaptation by Susanna Holstein
Puppets needed: frog, lion, monkey, elephant. We made a tail from felt and used tape to attach it to the frog. When it was time to be pulled off the tail, it came off easily. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Backdrop can be just black, or solid blue or green, or could be a savanna scene. We used no other props, but props could be added. Other animals can be added to the script as we,, depending on how long you need the play to be.
Narrator: One upon a time, long, long ago, when the animals talked and people could understand them, the frog had a long, beautiful tail.
Frog: Oh my! Just look at my long, beautiful tail! Isn’t it wonderful? Have you ever seen a tail as lovely as mine? Elephant! Oh, Elephant!!
(Elephant comes onstage)
Elephant: What do you want, Frog? You’re not going to brag about your tail again, are you?
Frog: Brag? Of course not! But honestly, have you ever seen a tail as marvelous as mine? I mean, have you really?
Elephant: I knew it! You’re bragging, Frog!
Frog: I am not! I’m just stating a fact. Mine is without a doubt the finest tail in the world.
Elephant: Hummphhh! (he walks offstage) Frog: Well, really! He’s just embarrassed because all he has is that skinny rope-looking tail. Oh, hello, Monkey!
Monkey: Hi there, frog, I said hi, hi, hi there, Frog! How-I said how-how-how are you?
Frog: Oh, I’m just fine, Monkey. I was just admiring my tail. Elephant got upset because my tail is so much finer than his. Frankly, it’s finer than yours too, Monkey.
Monkey: I beg your pardon—I beg—I beg—I BEG your pardon! My tail is perfect for me! (and he swings away)
Frog: Well, apparently no one wants to admit how fine my tail is. Ah, well…. (frog leaves the stage, curtains close)
Narrator: That summer it did not rain. It did not rain for a week, for a month, for two months. All the water holes, except one, dried up and turned into dust holes. To be sure that each animal got enough water, the Creator of the World put Frog in charge of the last water hole. Frog’s job was to see that each animal got a fair amount of water to drink each day. Frog sure felt important in his new job. At first he did very well.
Frog: Elephant! It’s your turn to drink now. (Pause as Elephant enters, goes to water hole and drinks) 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10—okay, that’s enough, Elephant. Your turn, Monkey.
(Elephant leaves and Monkey enters)
Frog: 1-2-3-4-5-6. That’s enough for you Monkey. You don’t need as much as Elephant.
Narrator: But as time passed, Frog got more and more proud of his job, and then he wasn’t so fair.
(Elephant enters again)
Frog: No, Elephant, you don’t get any water today. I heard you were angry with me because I have such a beautiful tail.
Elephant: But Frog! I’m thirsty! You were supposed to make sure we all get enough to drink!
Frog: Well, too bad! I’m the boss of this water hole!
(Elephant leaves as Monkey enters)
Monkey: Hey-hey-hey, Frog! How about a good ole drink of water for me?
Frog: Not today, Monkey. You can do without it today.
Monkey: Do without it? Do without it? Hey man, I’m thirsty!
Frog: (yawns) Well, I’m off duty now, so the water hole is CLOSED!
Monkey: (leaves angrily, muttering) Thinks a lot of himself, that frog.
Narrator: Now the Creator heard what Frog was doing ,and decided to check it out.Creator turned himself into an animal, and….
Lion: Frog, I have traveled a long way. I am told that you are in charge of this water hole and see to it that all animals get a drink each day.
Frog: Yeah? Well, I don’t know you! Pay me enough money and you can drink all you want!
Lion: PAY you? Why should I pay you? You don’t own this water hole, you are only in charge of it to be sure everyone gets enough to drink!
Frog: Well, the Creator himself put me in charge, so you have to do what I say! And I say, you pay or you stay thirsty!
Lion: Well, I AM the Creator, you foolish little frog! And because you have been so rude and unfair to the animals, I am taking away your beautiful tail!
(Lion bites Frog’s tail, and it comes off and disappears below the stage)
Frog: AAAGGGHHHH! MY tail! Oh, how embarrassing!
(Frog jumps off the stage and disappears too)
Narrator: Frog was so embarrassed over the loss of his tail that he hid in the weeds at the edge of the pond. And to this day, frogs still have short tails, and they still live in the weeds at the edges of ponds, trying to keep all of from seeing that now they have no tails at all.