Why Ants Are Everywhere

Puppets needed: 2 ants (one with crown), bird or any other animal puppet, king (could be a lion or a man), Stick puppet worm,          Stick puppet “crowd”

 Narrator: Did you know that once ants only lived in a certain area? This is the story of why ants now live all over the world.

 Ant: A feast! A feast to honor the King! And all creatures are invited! Oh, I want to go! I must hurry! (Ant crosses stage slowly)

 Narrator: And so Ant hurried off to go to the feast. But try as he might, he could not keep up with the other animals becuase he was so small. Soon he was left far behind.

Bird: Ant, come ON! You are so slow! I’m not waiting for you, becuase if I do there won’t be any food left for me by the time we get there.

(Animal goes off stage)

 Ant: I’m going as fast as I can. Save some of the cake for me–please?

Narrator: But Bird was gone, and didn’t hear ant’s plea. Ant plodded on, and at last he came to the Palace, and knocked on the door.

 (King and “crowd” enter the stage)

 King:  Well, look who finally arrived! About time! What did you do, take a nap on the way? Everyone is just about ready to leave, and here you are just arriving!

 Ant: I can’t help it if I’m small. I came as fast as I could…..Is there any cake left?

Crowd: Cake? Why, the cake was eaten up ages ago. You are far too late for cake! You might find a few oickles, or look in the trash for some cake crumbs–good enough for the likes of you!

 Narrator: Ant sighed and dropped his head.

 Ant:  It was a very long trip for me. I’d better just start back right now.

 Narrator: and Ant turned and began the long journey home.

(Ant travels across the stage, and exits)

 (Queen and Ant enter stage as if in conversation)

 When he got home Ant told the Queen Ant what had happened to him, and how the King and all the others had laughed at him.

 Queen: Laughed at you, did he? Well, we’ll see about that. I have a plan. Here is what we must do. First, call Inchworm to me. He can help us with this.

 ( Inchworm enters stage)

 Inchworm: You called, Your Majesty?

 Queen: Yes Inchworm, we need your help. Ant was made fun of very unfairly, and I have a plan to set the matter straight.

 Narrator: And she whispered in Inchworm’s ear.

 Inchworm: Ah, yes! Very good, Your Majesty. I’ll get right on it.

 Narrator: Inchworm hurried away to the King’s palace.

(Inchworm moves across the stage and exits)

 (King enters stage)

(Inchworm enter stage and moves up the King’s arm)

 The King was sitting on his throne and did not notice the little worm crawling up his sleeve and …INTO HIS EAR!

 King: YOWWWW! Something is tickling me in my ear!!! Help!!! Royal Doctor!! Help!!!

 (Crowd enters stage as Inchworm vanishes behind the King)

 Narrator: But Inchworm stayed put. The Royal doctor and all the King’s wise men could not get the tickle out of the King’s ear. Word of the King’s great problem made its way back to the Queen Ant.

 King and Crowd exit, Queen and Ant enter stage.

 Queen: Now, Ant, you must go to the King’s palace once again. Tell the King that you can solve his problem. Then crawl onto the King’s shoulder and whisper to Inchworm to come out.

 Ant: Oh, yes, Your Majesty, and thank you for helping me!

 (Queen leaves stage, and ant hurries away)

 (Enter king, crowd and Ant)

 King: (giggling tiredly) So, you think you can help me? How can a little ant do anything to help a great King such as I?

 Ant: Please let me try. I am small, but I am mighty. I think I can get rid of your tickle.

 King: (still giggling): Oh very well! ANYTHING to end this DREADFUL tickle!

 (Ant begins climbing King’s arm)

 Narrator: Ant hurriedly climbed up the King’s arm, and then whispered:

 Ant: Inchworm! Can you hear me? It’s time to come out now. The Queen sent me to tell you.

 Inchworm: Very well, Ant. Out I come!

 (Inchworm appears behind King’s shoulder, and disappears offstage. Ant moves back down King’s arm)

 King: It’s gone! It’s gone! Oh Ant, how can I ever thank you! This is a miracle!

 Ant: It was nothing, Your Majesty. But sometimes we little creatures see what the large and mighty do not.

 King: How right you are, Ant. I know, I will issue a proclamation. TADA!!

Listen, everyone (facing audience) From this day forward, ants will live not only in this small country but all over the world. This is because the ants have shown me what very useful and wise creatures they are. Now all countries will benefit from the presence of ants!

 Narrator: And that is how it has been from that day on. So if you see an ant at your next picnic, remember that although they are small, ants are mighty indeed!

The End.

I believe this story is African in origin. It was the first puppet show I wrote and I did not document where I found it, unfortunately. If anyone has any information about the story, I would appreciate your input.  Susanna

cSusanna Holstein 1997


About wvstoryteller

Storyteller and retired librarian with over 10 years experience in children's programming and 15 years experience as professional storyteller. Created a successful puppetry troupe for teens that continues today, and wrote many scripts for the group.
This entry was posted in Folktale, Folktale-Africa, Puppet Scripts. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why Ants Are Everywhere

  1. Karen Chace says:

    Hi Susanna,

    There is a version of this story in How and Why Stories by Hamilton and Weiss. They state it is from Burma. I hope this helps a bit.


  2. Thanks, Karen. I appreciate it! I should check the Storyteller’s Sourcebook too because I am sure there may be other versions out there. When I thought about it, I seem to recall that I developed this puppet show from the little tag on my Folkmanis ant puppet. That would have been when I first started venturing into telling a story or two, many moons ago 🙂

  3. Vicky Dworkin says:

    Hi, Granny Sue! I just got a reference call from a balloon artist friend working on becoming a balloon storyteller, asking for a story he remembered about an ant crawling in a lion’s ear. I think this may be the one he meant. In addition to being in the Hamilton & Weiss book, it is also in How the People Sang the Mountain Up by Maria Leach (Burma). Nice to come across old friends on the Internet. I hope all is well with you. I missed you at PLA last spring.
    Vicky Dworkin
    Hawaii State Library, Edna Allyn Room for Children

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