Brief Play # 38: The Bluebird

The play is set in a public park.  There are trees and benches and a wading pool.  There are three characters—or at least personages—in the play: a little girl of six, her nanny, and a gigantic bluebird, as big as a pterodactyl.

NANNY:  Come along, Ethiopia, we must head home now for tea.

GIRL:  We cannot leave yet.  I haven’t seen a Bluebird!

NANNY:  May lightning strike you, child, there ARE no bluebirds anymore!  And even if there were, what would you do with one?

GIRL:  I’d close it up in a bottle—like a firefly!  And keep it with me always.

NANNY:  Wicked child!  Dangerous child!  Bluebirds are too big for bottles.

All at once there is a great roaring of wings.  The trees bend in the new wind, a wind which tints the park a strange shade of pale blue.  All the leaves swirl away through the cyclonic air, making way for the descent of a gigantic bluebird—as big as a helicopter.

BLUEBIRD (in a thundering voice the size of a building): What’s this talk of bottles?

NANNY: This is my charge, Ethiopia (Ethiopia smiles and curtseys).  She wants to take you home in one!!

BLUEBIRD:  Do you, you little molecule?  And what would you do with me there?

GIRL: Watch you, day and night.

BLUEBIRD (somewhat mollified):  Would you indeed?

GIRL:  Yes.  Until I got tired of you.

BLUEBIRD (thunderstruck):  Tired of me?

NANNY (wearily): She gets tired of things.

BLUEBIRD: Here’s what I suggest.  Forget this ridiculous bottle business, and both of you can come for a ride on my back instead.

NANNY:  Not I, thank you, but Ethiopia would probably enjoy it.

GIRL (excitedly):  Oh yes! Yes!

(She climbs onto the bird’s back)


GIRL:  Yes.

NANNY (to Bluebird):  She has to be back for tea!

The Bluebird lifts heavily into the air, Ethiopia clinging for dear life to its neck.

NANNY (watching them go):  I wonder if I shall ever see her again?