Ninth-grade puppeteers from Bright Star High School perform the play "The Return of Scrascal" for elementary children, using puppets of local wildlife which they made themselves.
The Return of the Scrascal, or A Native Species Joins the Red River Partnership
(Four residents of the Red River, Tom the Snapping Turtle, Al the Alligator, and flowers Flora and Dora are lounging in the shallow water at the river bank.)
Tom: Wake up, Al, wake up! It's getting late in the morning!!
Al: Tom, why won't you let me sleep? You know we reptiles like to stay cool and asleep since if we get out in the hot sun, our temperature will rise drastically. I'm a poikelatherm, you know, and so are you.
Flora: Will you two get quiet?! We flowers like as much as can we can get. We need and love to photosynthesize. Ooh, ooh, feel that sun!
Tom: Hush, Flora. I have exciting news for Al.
Al: Well, what is it, Tom?
Tom: A scrascal has returned!
Flora & Dora: What's a scrascal?
Tom: You flowers don't live as long as we reptiles, particularly turtles, but my father and grandfather used to talk about scrascals.
Al: Tell us what you know, Tom.
Tom: Well, the scrascal is a strange lookin' critter. Ever see one and you'll never forget it. They were numerous here back before man came. They are so colorful and have friendly personalities.
(Scrascal swims up.)
Al: Look, what's that coming? I've never seen anything like it.
Tom: That is the scrascal! My, my, what a sight! Hello, scrascal. I'm Tom Turtle, this is Al Alligator, and our two flower friends are Flora and Dora.
(Al, Flora, and Dora speak and nod.)
Tom: What brings you back to these parts? I would never have known you had I not heard my kinfolks talk about your kind of critter. You're a beautiful sight!
Scrascal: I'm glad to return to these parts. I've not been here for several hundred years. My family left back in the early 1700s when critters known as men began to come in and clear the land and later clear-cut it with no regard for others.
Al: What has brought you back? Why, today the woods are being cut faster than ever, we have air and water and land pollution and many more men living here.
Scrascal: I heard from some possum relatives of mine that four schools in this area have formed a partnership to record, interpret, and preserve the area's economic, social, and environmental history. The group calls itself the Red River Rural Schools Partnership. I want to join them! It's a worthy cause from which we'll all benefit.
Dora: Well, Flora has already joined the partnership. She has been hired by them to promote the group with a tv commercial. Get her to sing the song she does on the commercial.
Al, Tom, and Scrascal: Sing it for us, Flora!
Flora: Well, if you insist.
In this valley, there are many resources:
People, wildlife, trees, water, soil, and air.
We must conserve, wisely use, and protect them
To show that we really do care.
Come and join us, come be our partners
Help us find who we are, why we do as we do,
For this great land, the Red River Valley
Holds the past and the future for you.
Scrascal: That was great, Flora! You have more talent than just your beautiful petals. Does anyone know where I can go to get more information and volunteer to work in the Partnership?
Tom: I heard the nosy blue jay say you can go to any of the four school districts-Bright Star, Genoa, or Fouke-and offer your services.
Scrascal: I'm off, then, to do that. It's been pleasant visiting with you and I hope we meet again soon.
Tom, Al, Flora, & Dora: Goodbye, Scrascal! See ya!