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An action against man
One-act play on nature
Nunzio Cocivera

Characters:

1) The Angel 15) The Sheep
2) The White Man 16) The Camel
3) The Woman 17) The Fish
4) The Arab 18) The Whale
5) The Black 19) The Seal
6) The Canary 20) The Penguin
7) The Goldfinch 21) The Shark
8) The Parrot 22) The Elephant
9) The Cat 23) The Tiger
10) The Dog 24) The Bear
11) The Wolf 25) The Tuna
12) The Pig 26) The Rhinoceros
13) The Angora Rabbit 27) The Cow
14) The Goat 28) The Tree
29) The Earth (an exterior voice)


Then there is the coming on stage of animals and vegetables.
The characters beside a dress, may have a notice with the name above.

A play for primary and secondary school children. Then all the actors join the chorus.

The exterior voice: In 1996 an Angel with a beautiful white dress and golden wings, came on earth and called the man and the woman.

The Angel: (Cried out) Man come out!

Man: (Frightened) I am here, who are you? What do you want from me?

The Angel: I am the Divine Angel.

Man: What do you want? What are you doing here?

The Angel: I am here to see what you and the woman are doing.

Woman: Me? (coming forward).

The Angel: Yes you, you should have been his companion, his advisor, his friend.

Woman: I am.

The Angel: Not always, and you have almost never been his good advisor, indeed part of his faults, are also yours.

Man: Faults? What faults?

Woman: What are we accused of?

Man: Who does accuse us…. and why?

The Angel: Heavy accusations against you by your brothers. I am here to hear and to consider them.

Man: Brothers? What brothers?

Woman: Right, what brothers?

The Angel: Your Black, Arab brothers.

Woman: The Black, the Arab! What do they want?

The Angel: Listen to them.

The Black: I am a survivor of various diseases and of a shortage of food.

Man: I have nothing to do with your diseases.

The Black: I asked for help, but in vain. In African countries there are several diseases that for you are not so serious, but a lot of men die there.

Woman: What can we do?

The Black: We are hungry, thirsty, on the contrary you stuff yourself and throw your food away.

Man: What can I do?

The Angel: You have been given this hearth on condition that you shared its fruits with your brothers, but you did not.

Woman: They are too much, how can we help all them?!

The Angel: You should have been humble, you should not have squandered your money in luxury and useless things.

Man: Ok, I made some mistakes. What does the Arab want?

The Angel: Black, have you finished?

The Black: No I have not, you throw a lot of fruit, vegetables and other things away.

Woman: And so?

The Black: I have been enslaved, crushed, put in chains because I am black. What about my future?

The Angel: Your sufferings will be rewarded! (the black goes away) Arab come forward.

The Arab: I am here.

The Angel: What do you want to say?

The Arab: I left my country because I could not find a job.

Woman: And you are here to steal ours.

The Arab: I am looking for it, I do not mean to steal it!

Man: Sometimes there is no even a job for us.

The Arab: I would be pleased with the job that you do not want to do, but you have alienated me, you have humiliated and crushed me.

Woman: You could stay in your country!

The Arab: I was hungry, instead you stuff yourself like a pig.

Pig: Who does call me? What do you want?

Man: Nobody wants you pig.

The Arab: Neither do I, I would not like you even if you were roasted!

Pig: But someone spoke about me!

The Arab: It was me, I was making a comparison.

Pig: Make it on yourself! (He draws back)

Woman: Are these our accusers?

The Angel: There are more beginning with your domestic friends. Dog come forward!

Dog: I am speaking on behalf of all my fellows of every race.

Woman: What is the matter with you?

Dog: You shut up! You are guiltier than man. We are an object, you turn us away and you abandon us when you go on vacation.

Woman: What are you talking about?

Dog: You regard us as a trophy, as a toy for your children and then you throw us away as a useless thing, without thinking that we are living beings.

Man: That is enough, you are going too far!

Dog: Am I going too far? I could write several novels as those already written on our endless and never rewarded loyalty and abnegation.

Man: There are different cases, you cannot generalise!

Dog: You have to admit your misdeeds. Years of chase, of cold and hot weather to serve you in the hunting and then when old, how did you reward us? In many cases you killed us or you left us in a wood. You are a pig.

Pig: Who does call me?

Man: Go away pig! The dog mentioned you in vain.

Dog: Sorry pig I made a mistake, he is worse than you.

Pig: Stop this comparisons! (The pig goes out)

Donkey: If you do not mind it is my turn to speak.

The Angel: What do you have to say?

Donkey: Man has exploited us for centuries, then because of the lorry, he excluded us without saying a single thank you…

Woman: (She does not let him go on) You cannot stop progress!

Donkey: Moreover they make bad comparisons with us.

The Angel: What is wrong with it?

Donkey: For example the word "donkey" for them means a person who does not want to study.

Man: Even the donkey… that is all we needed!

The Angel: He has the right to speak!

Donkey: Thank you! (addressing the angel). You have to stop doing these comparisons.

Woman: It is not so serious!

Donkey: And what about the comparison 'he is as stubborn as a mule'?

Wolf: Do not make such a fuss donkey!

The Angel: What is the problem wolf?

Wolf: I am tired of being exploited in the tales, in the comic-strip…

Woman: You have got nothing to complain, you are famous.

Wolf: Yes I am famous, but I have a bad reputation. I am the bad wolf.

Woman: But this is true!

Wolf: No it is not true! I hunt to eat instead people regard me as the symbol of fear. I am mentioned even in the song!

Man: But it is funny!

Wolf: Funny? Do you think is it funny being the terror of children?

The Angel: It is time to stop doing these bad comparisons between men and animals.

Pig: Sorry… but I have something to say.

Woman: Let is hear it!

Pig: You for example, you make an improper use of our name.

Woman: Me? What do you mean by that?

Pig: The first word you say against man when something is wrong is 'you are a pig'! You cannot deny it.

Woman: It is a way of speaking.

Pig: I do not want you to make comparisons with man ever again!

Cat: I have something to say too!

Woman: Oh you…! What do you want?

Cat: We are an object for you… then when you like, you throw us away.

Woman: I found out that we were allergic to you.

Cat: After living together for several years?

Woman: Of course! Your cleaning made us allergic.

Cat: What?

Woman: Yes… the doctor told us that when you lick yourself it is not only cleaning.

Cat: And… what is that?

Woman: Some animals and you too do not sweat… so in order to keep your temperature uniform, you have to humidify your fur with the spit which evaporating makes it cold…

Cat: Go on!

Woman: And so that spit cause me itching, asthma and allergy.

Cat: Are there any cures?

Woman: Sure… but they are too expensive.

Cat: It is less expensive to throw us away… is not it? Moreover you make comparisons with us and I do not like that.

Man: What comparisons?

Cat: Comparisons between me and the woman, for example… 'cat's eyes' or 'she purrs like a cat'…

Parrot: And so? What should I say…?! (coming) They want me to talk like them, they teach me their swearwords.

Woman: Not only those though.

Parrot: You take us away from our natural habitat and you oblige us to stay in a cage and to live in different climates.

Man: But you keep us company!

Parrot: Moreover you compare us to a person who often repeats the same words telling him 'you repeat parrot-fashion'.

Woman: It is not so bad!

Parrot: No… it is very serious! You catch us, you separate us from our natural habitat and you deprive us of our partner and of the flight in which we live.

Man: You are talking like a man!

Parrot: The imprisonment and the solitude make us nervous, scourged, unhappy. Every year more than a million of parrots are taken away from their natural habitat and a lot of them die.

Man: You are exaggerating!

Parrot: Not at all! Of the three-hundred eighty known species, at least fifty of them are dying out and a lot of birds of different species have already died out.

The Angel: These are just a part of your accusers.

Man: What about the others?

The goldfinch: I have been captured, imprisoned and used as a toy.

Woman: But you have been nourished, nursed!

The goldfinch: But I was free, I looked after me… and I was happy, I sang happy.

Man: But you had the company of the canary.

The canary: Yes… putting us together, creating new races, making me loose my original colours, my identity.

The goldfinch: Our identity!

The canary: Living in dirty, small cages. Living and dying there. What a beautiful life! You are a selfish person.

Woman: So far you have made some accuses of little account, paltry and useless things.

The Angel: There are still other accusers and more serious and terrible accuses. Sheep come forward!

The sheep: I have been exploited and deprived of my fleece which protected me from the cold and hot weather.

Man: But we have sheared you for ages!

The sheep: The only thing I know is that I am always naked at mercy of flies, rain cold…

Man: But I have to dress myself.

The goat: You have gone too far!

Woman: Even the goat complains about this.

The goat: Yes of course! I am deprived of my wool because of your vanity woman.

Woman: What has that got to do with it?

The goat: It certainly has. The sheep would be enough if it was only to dress yourself

Man: Dear goat… your cashmere is finer, softer than the common wool.

Rabbit: You undress me too!

Man: Oh… even the rabbit took the courage and speaks!

Rabbit: I have the right to do it! You undress the sheep, the goat… but you feed and nurse them.

Woman: We also feed the rabbits.

Rabbit: Of course you do, but you rear and then you kill us because of our Angora coat.

Camel: You know what… they undress me too!

Man: Listen camel we need your coat, moreover you was created to serve us.

Camel: I have to walk on red-hot sands with a stifling heat, I think this is enough.

Woman: No it is not enough.

Camel: But I do not eat and drink for several days!

Man: In others words… all the animals must serve us.

Bear: (Shouting) I would like to eat you!

Woman: Oh… even the bear!

Bear: Yes I am a victim too! You use me for my fur, as bedside carpet…

Tiger: (Shouting) I was the queen of the wood!

Man: What do you want?

Tiger: You hunt and you kill us for our skin, you consider our teeth a trophy.

Woman: But why are the animals complaining?!

Tiger: We were millions, now we are dying out!

Man: Oh come on… it is not true!

Tiger: If you do not stop hunting we shall die out, we are already less than five million.

The Angel: You are depriving the earth of its fur animals and not only those. Millions of other animals are killed.

Tiger: Not only us but our habitat, our food and our flourishing woods.

Man: It is the price of progress!

The Angel: Look how many protest against you.

Chorus: (Several fur animals appear on the scene repeating) 'Man, man be careful because your progress will destroy you'!

Elephant: We are killed in millions for our skin, for the ivory.

Man: You are trying me… it is ridiculous!

Elephant: Ridiculous?! Now we are less than 50.000 on earth.

The Angel: There are other animals which are victims of your foolishness.

Man: Who are they?

Rhinoceros: I am the black rhinoceros. I lived in the central and austral Africa.

Woman: You still live there!

Rhinoceros: Let is say I survive there… but till when? We are only 2.000!

Woman: But what has the foolishness got to do with that?

Rhinoceros: While you kill the other animals for their skin and other things, you kill me because you think my horn has some powers that on the contrary it has not, and it is sold at 60.000 per kilo in America and in Japan.

Man: Ok, ok Angel tell me… nothing else?

The Angel: Yes… there are the living beings of the vegetable kingdom.

The tree: I am an African cherry tree and I am at risk.

Woman: Risk? What kind of risk? And what do you risk?

The tree: I am talking about extinction. We were billions, we were high, then we were cut down and never planted again. I am also here on behalf of the Brazilian mahogany, it is dying out too as the population who lived in its woods: the Indios.

Man: This is the progress!

Chorus: (Several vegetables, flowers, plants, together with the fur animals say) 'Man, man be careful because your progress will destroy you'!

Woman: (Sarcastic) The chorus has increased!

The Angel: Shut up woman! Anything else?

Fish: I have to say something.

Woman: Who are you? What do you want?

Fish: I am the bream and I am here to tell the angel to have a quick look at the sea.

Man: Why? What is the matter?

Fish: Everything goes wrong! Ask my friend tuna… the sea is a dustbin!

Tuna: I am tired of this!

Woman: Of What?

Tuna: Of being tinned!

Man: But you are food!

Woman: And with the progress you are tinned food.

Tuna: You are getting up my nose!

The Angel: Tuna control yourself!

Tuna: Sorry but it is impossible to live in the sea.

The Angel: Are there other sea creatures?

Whale: I am the whale, in the past years they hunted me for my oil then with the coming of petroleum I lived in peace…

The Angel: And now?

Whale: They have started again, they kill us because of our by-products, we are dying out!

The Angel: Someone else?

Shark: Me!

Man: What do you want?

Shark: You have demonised me with the horror films.

Woman: But you are a dangerous fish!

Shark: It is not true! I am a little eel, and now there are fools who haunt me for my fins and my teeth.

Woman: Your teeth are the dream of dentists!

The Angel: Man… things are looking bad!

Chorus: (Everybody) 'Man, man….'

The Angel: Someone else?

Seal: Me!

Woman: A seal….!

Seal: Yes I am a victim of man and his cupidity. Millions of pups killed for their skin.

Man: Ok… I am guilty, but stop this it is ridiculous!

Penguin: We have not finished yet and you are ridiculous! You deny the evidence of facts.

Woman: What do you want? You are not dying out!

Penguin: I come from the Arctic I am the emperor penguin. I am here on behalf of my brothers penguins as for example the king penguin etc..

Woman: Why are you accusing us?

Penguin: In the Antarctic the first flowers have appeared and so the ice has decreased.

Man: So what?

Penguin: The biological cycle is changing, the greenhouse effect is melting the glaciers. If this happens, many living beings like me will die.

Woman: It is not so serious!

Penguin: Stupid… ignorant, if the glaciers melted the sea level would be over 200 metres in the world submerging all the cities. This is not only a problem for us but also for you.

Cow: Just a moment please, it is my turn now!

Man: What do you want mad cow? Are you complaining too?!

Cow: You are mad! You turned me into a carnivorous animal. Now that you have poisoned me I will poison you. If you do not change your mind you will kill yourself!

Man: Oh… please forgive me!

Chorus: 'Man… man…'

The Angel: As you can see your selfishness, your thoughtlessness are destroying our earth.

Earth: Did someone call me? (An exterior voice)

The Angel: Yes it was me… would you like to say something?

Earth: Sure! I am choking, my ecosystem is at the end. I cannot recycle the billions of poisons, of waste products of which man has overloaded me!

Man: But…

The Angel: Listen!

Earth: You have to make a change, a reversal of trend both for your and our survival.

Woman: Are you crazy?

Earth: No I am not crazy. Millions of chemical biological by-products, pesticides and several poisons have changed my rivers, my seas, my atmosphere and also the biological cycle of different animals and insects.

The Angel: You see… you have changed your planet. His life and yours are in danger!

Woman: What can we do?

The Angel: You have to stop the progress, you have to recreate the biological and environmental conditions necessary to your survival. If you do not mend your ways nature will be your executioner. The reversed climate… seasons will be your executioners. They will cause the sun in the winter and the snow in the summer. The worst is yet to come! Look I am warning you!

Earth: The nuclear explosions in my atmosphere, into my seas are choking me. They are choking the life of all the living beings: vegetables, animals and minerals.

The Angel: I am warning you, mend your ways. (The man and the woman fall on their back) Save your planet!(He goes away)

Chorus: (Everybody) 'Man, man be careful because your progress will destroy you!

 

The end