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Play - Forest Drums III

By Prema Sastri

Sheela - I wanted to see the butterflies, but I now feel sorry for them.I too am thoughtless. When I go home I will water the tree in front of our house. It has almost dried up.

Ramu - I will feed the street dog in front of our gate. It is starving.

Rinoo - I will keep water for the birds and squirrels. I see them thirsty in the summer

Tree - It is high time you thought of the nature around you. You don`t have to go to a forest to find it..

Sheela - Ramu wanted adventure.

Ramu All of you said you were bored.

Sheela - We didn’t say we want to get lost.

Nithin - You said you had a map. You said you knew the way.

Ramu I thought I did.

Tree - Disobedient children. You should have listened to your teachers. No wonder you are in a mess. Now you will never get out.

Jani - What will we do?

Sheela - What will we eat?

Tree - (Kindly) Don’t worry. We are not human beings. We won’t cut you down or eat you up. You are not the first children to come here. See for yourselves(calls outyodels. Four children come running in. They are dressed in barks and leaves)

Shyam- You called us!

Tree - We have company(children look in wonder. They rush to greet the newcomers).

Shyam- When did you come?

Rinoo - Are you going to stay with us forever?

Tree - Yes, they are.

Children - (cry out) No.No.

Tree - You have no choice. You landed in the magic forestbecause you disobeyed orders.

Ramu- Magic Forest! That explains it. No wonder we got lost. We should be near a Lotus Pond.

Tree - There is no Lotus Pond here. Only forest pools where the animals come to drink.

Sheela - (shrieks) Animals! Tigers, Lions. They will eat us up.

Tree -I told you this is a magic forest. No one eats any one.

Nithin - Then how do they eat?

Tree - We don’t eat. We survive on the rain and the air.

Jani I’m hungry. I want hot buttered toast.I don`t want just rain and air.

Shyam- (Takes her hand) You won’t feel hungry here.

Ramu - How did you come here?

Harvey - Rose and I ran away from home. She is my sister.

Rose- Both our parents were working. We had to do the chores. We hated it.

Dhyan- We are their neighbours. We too ran away.

Rinoo - Our parents were always after us to do our home work. We had no time to play.

Tree - There’s no home work here. No chores, and all theadventure you want.

Ramu - (to children) You must be enjoying yourselves.

Shyam At first we did, then we got bored. Luckily we had the Minnies to keep us company.

Sheela - Minnies? What are they?

Rose It is time for them to come. See for yourself.

Tree - At last – creatures who are useful.

Play - Forest Drums - IV- continued here...