THE HORSE RHYMER
Comedy, by Ken Bradbury, 2006
In the Olde West, two of the greatest rhymers meet in a show-down.The number and gender of characters can be changed to accommodate available participants. Price is for a master script. Make as many copies as is required for your ensemble.
Duration8 - 10 minutes
- 5 Males
Product Id: #803
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An excerpt …
(looking for a showdown)
SLIM: (as Pecos “rides” onto the stage, mean and rotten)
He rode into town on a horse named Sam, the meanest, orneriest, man in the land
He was quiet and cool with a dangerous eye and it made you shake just to see him ride by.
… That was Pecos.
PECOS: (pulling his horse to a halt) Whoa, boy! This must be the place. Anybody seen Billy the Rhymer?
DOGBREATH: (a crusty old timer who seems to be speaking without his teeth … he’s highly excitable and scratches himself a great deal due to lack of soap) (entering quickly, scratching) I seen him! I seen him! He’s over there! He’s over there!
SLIM: That would be Dogbreath, an excitable cus, Who don’t take baths … quite a problem to us.
DOGBREATH: I seen him, Pecos! He’s right over there in the Short Branch Saloon!
SLIM: Pecos was lookin’ for Billy the Rhymer, a dangerous poet and social climber.
(the fight begins)
BILLY: When shall we three meet again, In thunder, lightning, or in rain?When the hurlyburly’s done, When the battle’s lost and won.CHESTER: MacBeth! Billy got him with a MacBeth in the shoulder!
PECOS: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
DOGBREATH: Oh no! Pecos tried to get him off balance with a Robert Frost!
BILLY: But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
CHESTER: Got him in the shoulder with Romeo and Juliet! Get ‘im Billy!
PECOS: Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land! Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
(it went on for days)
And sometimes, they say, when the weather’s just right
And the wind’s in the West in the middle of night
You’ll still hear the rhymers a-spoutin’ their rhymes
And strainin’ to think of their poetic lines …
BILLY: (his back turned, as if in the distance in a ghostly voice
One if by land and two if by sea …!
PECOS: Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Listen to me!
SLIM: A finely turned rhyme has a bite and a sting.
And a well-shot verse … is a dangerous thing.
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