BEAR: Hooray, they've gone!
RABBIT: We've got the shop to ourselves again!
BEAR: Robot, wake up, the humans have gone.
ROBOT: (sitting up) So they have. ((S)he pats his/her shoulder) No one has dusted me today.
RABBIT: Never mind that now, we've got more important things to discuss. Who's left the shop today?
(They get up and look around the shop.)
BEAR: Mary-Lou’s gone.
RABBIT: So have two of the Wild Things.
BEAR: And I can't see the bigger of the Barneys
ROBOT: (pointing to his/her empty seat) Where has the robot gone?
(The others stare at him/her, but (s)he's serious.)
RABBIT: Don't be silly, Robot, you're right there!
ROBOT: Oh! So I am! Well spotted. How did I get here, I wonder?
BEAR: The humans put you there one day, of course, just like the rest of us.
ROBOT: Oh yes, now I remember.
(BEAR and ROBOT sit down again.)
BEAR: I wonder who's going to replace the one's who've been sold today?
RABBIT: (leaping onto form with a flourish) Ah now, that's the question!
BEAR: Do you know the answer?
RABBIT: Yes - and no. I don't know exactly who's going to arrive here, but I do know something about them (Pause, looks around) They're going to be better than us. (Sits down)
BEAR: Better than us?
ROBOT: How could anything be better?
BEAR: Cuddlier than a bear?
ROBOT: More intlellilglent than a robot?
RABBIT: Well it could be argued that some here are already more cuddly and intlellil - intelligent than either of you. And it's because of my intelligence that I've been able to notice certain developments in the toys living in the shop here. Then last night I was able to confirm my theory when I read a book in the humans' office about the history of toys.
BEAR: What is history?
ROBOT: What are toys?
RABBIT: Let me finish! What I've learned is that we've changed over time, (stands up) getting better and better (jumping backward onto form) and more and more popular. Huge numbers of toys are sold today compared to what used to happen. (Jumping behind form) That's evidence that we're changing, that we're adapting ourselves to the demands of the world we live in. Do you know what used to be the most popular toys? (Jump on form) Hoops! Spinning tops! (Mime) From there we've moved through (large jump to front of stage and jump from side to side backwards as say each toy) Pink Panthers to purple dinosaurs, from Barbie to Cabbage Patch Kids to Teletubbies to Pokemon. You see? We've changed so that we’ve become more popular. (Jump backward onto form) I call it - evolution. (Holds out hands)
BEAR: So that's why prices go up - humans have to pay extra for all that evolution!
RABBIT: And the more evolved you are, the more likely you are to get an advertising contract or a Disney tie-in. (jumps to sitting position)
BEAR: You're right, Rabbit! Toys are changing! (Pause) Except for bears. There've been teddy bears for hundreds of years. How about that?
(RABBIT assumes threatened position)
ROBOT: I've heard of this. It's called survival of the fattest.
RABBIT: (recovering) Fittest, I think you mean. That's all part of evolution. How else can we explain the (jumps up) progress of our species from the simplicity of the hoop (mime) to the genius of, say, (leap backward onto form) the Rabbit? (Bows)
ROBOT: But I thought we were created by humans.
RABBIT: That old myth! If we were created, why can none of us remember being created? (Leaps backward to behind form) Why can none of us remember a Creator?
BEAR: Maybe we're not bright enough.
RABBIT: (leaping to elevated position on form) You’re talking to the pinnacle of our race! If I can't remember, it can't have happened!
BEAR: (thoughtfully) How come there's been lots of toys made since you came here if you're the pinnacle of our race?
RABBIT: (Assuming threatened position on form) Naturally, I'm ahead of my time. But that's enough about me, for now anyway. (To sitting position) Can any of you give any proof that we were created by humans?
ROBOT: Humans bring us to the shop and take us away.
RABBIT: Coincidence. Perhaps they're just doing their job.
BEAR: Some of us come in boxes that only humans can open.
RABBIT: That's simply the way they've evolved.
(Silence. RABBIT slides down to floor with legs crossed, to enable ROBOT to read label) No, if we'd been created there would have been some sign about us to make it clear.
ROBOT: (reading the label on the back of RABBIT’S neck, without RABBIT
being aware for a while): Like ‘Made in China'?
RABBIT: Yes, like that.
ROBOT: (as Rabbit realises, looks threatened) 'Surface Washable. All New Materials Conform to Safety Regulations.'
RABBIT: Except it really means 'Evolved in China' by all that. Yes, I've evolved with all that information to err, make me more popular with humans.
BEAR: So what should we do now that we know this?
RABBIT: (leaping to feet and in this speech taking jumps along floor to end of beam and round to the back of the beam) We must tell everyone about our origins. We must walk (BEAR struggles to his feet and ambles after RABBIT) the aisles of the shop and tell all the toys that we're not created... (ROBOT struggles to feet and awkwardly joins the procession)
BEAR: Despite our washing instructions...
RABBIT: ... that we've evolved into these shapes...
ROBOT: I can't walk the aisles very fast.
RABBIT: (leaping onto centre of form)... and evolution is going to make us better and better. (Raise paws higher with each better)
BEAR: (climbing onto form) And more and more expensive.
RABBIT: (pointing at audience) Evolution! Now at a toy store near you!
ROBOT: (raising one hand) Batteries not included!
© Greg Brook (Dunedin City Baptist) October 2000
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. Our drama group can be contacted at the following address: Caradii@xtra.co.nz