The Tales of Beatrix Potter Part III
This is the third of a four-part series of plays including:
The Tales of :
- Mrs. Tittlemouse (cast of 6)
- Timmy Tiptoes (cast of 6)
- Johnny Town-Mouse (cast of 3)
- Mr. Tod (cast of 7)
- Pigling Bland (cast of 8)
These five scripts are of varying lengths but take approximately five minutes each to read, with the total number of speakers at 30. The exception is The Tale of Mr. Tod which is around 15 minutes reading time – this the longest script in the collection.
These plays are simple adaptations/conversation pieces based on Beatrix Potter’s tales, for use within the classroom. They can either be used as group readers or combined to create a whole class play/assembly.
They can be used as PSHE/Citizenship and/or Literacy resources – there are many tips on behaviour both within the scripts and afterwards, in the Q & A/Discussion sections. In the case of the latter, these offer a very simple line of questioning – they are intended as a starting point for further discussion and can, of course, be expanded beyond this simple format.
Tale II: The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse
Cast of 6
Mrs. Tittlemouse (Thomasina)
Ladybird (Mother Ladybird)
Bumble Bee (Babbitty Bumble)
Toad (Mr. Jackson)
How can you feel anything but total sympathy for Mrs Tittlemouse – so house-proud and having her spotless house invaded by so many uninvited (and extremely messy) guests? Especially Mr. Jackson – who definitely needs familiarising with the expression ‘outstaying your welcome’!
Mrs. Tittlemouse: (Indignantly) But none of you were invited! You all just let yourselves in!
Beetle: Are you calling us trespassers?
Ladybird: You who told me my house was on fire?
Mrs. Tittlemouse: Well, I had to get rid of you somehow!
Spider: And there I was, just looking for Little Miss Muffet!
Mrs. Tittlemouse: And leaving trails of cobwebs behind, wherever you went!
Bumble Bee: (Tutting) Zizz, Bizz, Bizzz!
Mrs. Tittlemouse: (Impatiently) Meaning?
Bumble Bee: Zizz, Bizz, Bizzz!
Mrs. Tittlemouse: (Sarcastically) Very helpful!
Toad: I think what she is trying to say is
Bumble Bee: (Interrupting angrily) Hey, I can speak for myself, thank you very much!
Mrs. Tittlemouse: So, perhaps you can explain all that moss I found in my store cupboard?
Bumble Bee: (Hesitantly) Well, it was, er,
Mrs. Tittlemouse: Home to your family of bees! The cheek of it!
Beetle: (Gasping) Ooh! You mean, she’d set up house (pausing) inside your house?
Mrs. Tittlemouse: Exactly! Without so much as a please or a thank you!
Ladybird: You mean, Babbitty Bumble just (pauses) moved in?
Mrs. Tittlemouse: Quite so! (Pauses) So now can you see why I was less than accommodating to the rest of you?
Beetle: Well, if you’re going to be taken advantage of like that, of course we understand. Oh dear! And there I was worrying about my dirty feet!
Tale 12 The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
Cast of 6:
Mrs. Chippy Hackee – Chipmunk
Mr. Chippy Hackee – Chipmunk
If only that little bird had realised what consequences there would be to her singing that line ‘Who’s been digging up my nuts?’ Interesting to reflect on how one random, unintentional action can have such far-reaching effects.
Goody: So, how about we start at the beginning, with my husband and I collecting nuts for winter.
Timmy: Very good, Goody! Like all sensible woodland creatures, we knew we had to get plenty of nuts into storage
Goody: To get us through those long winter months.
Silvertail Squirrel: We squirrels may not sleep all the way through winter but food can get very scarce especially when the ground is frozen solid.
Little Bird: So how come you buried those nuts that you had collected (pauses) in the ground?
Mrs. Chippy Hackee: Hmm. Doesn’t seem very smart.
Mr. Chippy Hackee: Didn’t you have trouble finding them again?
Silvertail Squirrel: Well, as it so happens
Little Bird: (Interrupting) That’s exactly what happened! I remember flying over you, searching in vain!
Silvertail Squirrel: So annoying!
Timmy: Oh dear! You should have had a system like us!
Goody: Ours worked really well!
Timmy: Until a certain little bird went and spoilt it all!
Little Bird: (Singing nervously) Who’s been digging up my nuts? Who’s been digging up my nuts?
SIlvertail Squirrel: Didn’t I tell you to shhh?
Little Bird: But I’m just singing as I always do! Where’s the harm in that? That’s what birds do!
Tale 13 The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse
Cast of 3
And here we have the ‘country versus town’ debate. Who’s to say which is the better home environment? Anyone got any views? Enter Johnny and Timmy – two mice who’ve sampled both!
Johnny: Ah that super-comfortable sofa pillow! What a shame you decided against it
Timmy: Only because I felt safer hiding behind the fireplace fender!
Johnny: (Sighing) Ah well! At least you had an excellent breakfast to wake up to! Even if you chose not to eat any of it!
Timmy: I’m sorry! You see, weird as this may sound, I’m a veggie mouse and don’t eat bacon! I like roots and salad.
Johnny: Ugh! No accounting for taste!
Timmy: And then there’s all that noise in towns. I do like my peace and quiet!
Johny: And you weren’t over-keen on the cat, right?
Timmy: Right! But no doubt there were things you weren’t so keen on when you visited me in the country?
Johnny: You can say that again! I mean, no offence but, all that damp and mud!
Timmy: But you must have liked the quiet
Johnny: Once I’d got over the awful noise of the animals.
Timmy: You mean, cows mooing?
Johnny: Ugh! Huge beasts! And then that dreadful lawnmower noise! But then it did somewhat break up what I can only describe as being very dull quietness.
Tale 14: The Tale of Mr. Tod
Cast of 7
Old Mr Bouncer
This is the longest script of the collection and one of my favourites because of the frankly pretty awful ‘short-comings’ of the characters. Not just mischievous/annoying as in the case of those squirrels, but out and out bad!
Narrator: (Wryly) Quite the jury here today! I’ll be lucky if I can get a word in edgeways! Could we perhaps move on to what actually happened in this tale?
Benjamin: Well, yes, but you do need a little background. Don’t be fooled by all the Charm School stuff that will undoubtedly be coming your way!
Mr. Tod: Well, at least that ‘Charm School’ stuff gave me manners and at least a decent front to face the world. Now, you take Mr. Brock here
Tommy Brock: Hey! You leave me out of it! Just coz some of us haven’t had a public school education!
Mr. Tod: (Sniffily) That much is abundantly clear. Every time you open your mouth! And as for your personal habits
Peter: Ugh! Let’s not go there!
Mr. Tod: Oh, come on, let’s! How was it you filled that bulging belly of yours? (Pauses) Ah yes! With wasp nests, frogs and worms. Delightful!
Narrator: Hmm, different, I suppose
Mr. Tod: Oh, but you haven’t heard the half of it! I believe there was a certain (pauses) rabbit-pie on the menu?
(All rabbits gasp in horror)
Tommy Brock: Oh, only young ‘uns when food was in short supply!
Flopsy: Young rabbits?
Mr. Tod: Oh yes! Believe me, madam, your bunnies had a lucky escape!
Narrator: Shocking! I would never have put badgers down as bunny killers!
Mr. Tod: Oh, this one would stoop to anything! Including moving into my homes – uninvited!
Tommy Brock: But never when you were there! I always waited until you had moved out!
Mr. Tod: (Sarcastically) Oh how very thoughtful of you! Remind me to put you at the top of my Best Tenants List!
Tale 15: The Tale of Pigling Bland
Cast of 8
Farmer, Mr. Piperson
.. and so they lived happily ever after. But our happy couple, Pigling Bland and Pig-wig, had to escape more than just those terrible names they’d been given from birth!
Narrator: And so to the Tale of Pigling Bland
Aunt Pettitoes: I’m his proud mum, Aunt Pettitoes!
Narrator: Hmm, I think I can see where the interesting choice of names comes from.
Alexander: You mean, with regard to the rest of us?
Aunt Pettitoes: Ah, wee Alexander!
Alexander: But I was the only one with a normal name!
Narrator: Let’s look at the others!
Aunt Pettitoes: Four little girls – Spot, Cross-patch, Suck-suck and Yock-yock
Policeman: I’m surprised you weren’t arrested for giving your off-spring names like that!
Farmer: What kind of mother imposes names like those on her little ones?
Aunt Pettitoes: Sweet Pig-Wig!
Grocer: Talk about giving them a life-long ‘sentence’! Just imagine the bullying they’d get?
Narrator: You wait til you hear the others’ – the boys’
Aunt Pettitoes: (Sniffily) Alexander, Pigling Bland, Chin-chin and Stumpy
Narrator: Hm. Not quite so bad as the girls’.
Aunt Pettitoes: Oh dear! Maybe that’s why they behaved so badly! I just couldn’t cope!