Before Dorothy by Winston Sims


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


(A Munchkin farmer, BILQ, is putting the finishing touches on a
newly-built SCARECROW that is perched on a pole in the corner of a
corn field. BILQ stands directly in front of the SCARECROW so that
the audience does not see him. His wife, STREN, enters a little out of

STREN: Are you still working on that scarecrow, Bilq?

BILQ: I'm almost finished, woman. Hold your horses. How do you like
those ears?

STREN: They aren't straight.

BILQ: Bah! Never mind. They are ears just the same.

STREN: You never were much of an artist. That's true enough. Oh, I
need to sit.

BILQ: You alright, dear?

STREN: Stumbled a bit walking down that yellow brick road. Uneven

(SHE sits, rubbing her ankle.)

STREN (cont.): I hope it's nothing serious.

BILQ: It never is. Now I'll make the eyes. Just like that…

STREN: That's a rather pretty eye. A lovely blue. Just like the
sky. Blue is just the color for eyes.

BILQ: The sky can't compare to your eyes, my dear.

STREN: Listen to you, sweet-talking me like we were young and

BILQ: I think I'll make the other a little bigger.

STREN: Hurry up now. It's nearly noon. We have other chores to
tend to. That fence isn't going to mend itself, you know.

BILQ: I'm hurrying, woman. Let me give him a proper nose. And a

(STREN gets up and gives BILQ a handful of straw.)

STREN: Here. Give him a little extra stuffing around the middle.
With enough of that the crows might actually think he's you!

BILQ: Too bad I can't paint your mouth on.

STREN: What do you mean?

BILQ: I'd paint it closed! There now.

(BILQ steps back to admire his work.)

BILQ (cont.): This fellow will scare the crows fast enough. He looks
just like a man.

(STREN places a hat on the SCARECROW'S head.)

STREN: Why, he is a man. Quite a specimen.

BILQ: Now you just stay there and keep those crows away from the corn.

STREN: Because if you don't we'll strike a match to you!

(BILQ and STREN exit. The SCARECROW slowly raises his hand as if to
grab them and pull them back. He tries taking a step, but can not go
anywhere. He tries talking for the first time, to call them back.)

SCARECROW: Wwww… wwwaaiitt. Commme baaaack. Yyyyyoouuuu
diiidn't telllll mmmeee HOWwwww tooo scaaare the crrrowwws awaayy.
Ohh, whaat aam I to do? I don't even know what a crow looks like.
Or what a match is, but it doesn't sound pleasant. I don't want
them to strike me with anything. Hello? I wish they would come back.
I don't think I'm going to like being alone out here. I suppose
it's a good thing that this is a nice spot to be at. It appears
that this will be my home for quite a while.

(The SCARECROW begins to take in the world around him.)

SCARECROW: Oh my! How pretty everything is. And big. I wonder
where that road of yellow bricks goes? This must be the corn
that I am supposed to protect. I wonder what crows would want with
this? Oh my! There is so much sky up there. I wish I could touch it.

(Two CROWS enter, mid-conversation.)

CROW 1: Are you serious?

CROW 2: I swear to Oz, it's the truth. And you don't want to cross them!

CROW 1: Whoever heard of flying monkeys?

(The SCARECROW sees them.)


CROW 2: Aaaahhhh!!! Flap for your life!! It's the farmer!!

(CROWS exit in a great hurry.)

SCARECROW: Oh no! Don't go! I didn't mean to… I was only
trying to be nice!

(CROW 1 slowly enters.)

CROW 1: Nice? Why in the name of all things good and green would you
be nice to us?

SCARECROW: I'm lonely out here. I thought if I said hello then you
might be my friend.

CROW 1: Friend? Is this a trick? Or are you soft in the head?

SCARECROW: I suppose I am. I'm stuffed with straw, you know.

CROW 1: Stuffed with str…. Ohhhh. Well then of course we can be
friends. Why didn't you say that was all you wanted?

SCARECROW: I'm so glad! Thank you!

CROW 1: What's your name?

SCARECROW: Haven't got one. The farmer who made me didn't give me
a name, but maybe you could give me one?

CROW 1: He didn't give you a name? Well we can fix that. Let me
see. I'll call you Dummy. How's that? That's a good name for you.

SCARECROW: Dummy? It sounds alright. Are you sure?

CROW 1: Quite! Just look at you. Yep. I'm sure. You look like a

SCARECROW: Alright then! Thank you. What should I call you, friend?

CROW 1: You can call me that. Friend. How about, Mr. Friend?

SCARECROW: Very well then, Mr. Friend. It's very nice to meet you.
And now that we're officially acquainted, I need to ask another
favor of you.

CROW 1: And what's that, Dummy?

SCARECROW: I need to learn how to scare crows. The farmer left me
here to do just that, but I don't know how. I don't want to
disappoint him.

CROW 1: How to scare crows, huh? I got some bad news, Dummy.

SCARECROW: Bad news?

CROW 1: That's right. You can't scare a crow.

SCARECROW: You can't? Why not?

CROW 1:They're too smart. All on account of all the brains they
have in their heads. See, farmers think the way to scare a crow is to
trick him into thinking that there's always a man out in the corn field.
Guarding the corn, you see?

SCARECROW: That's what I'm here for.

CROW 1: Correct. But since crows are smart, they'll see after one
good look that a dummy such as yourself is just stuffed with straw.

SCARECROW: But there must be something that I can do. The farmer
seemed to believe that I could keep the crows away from the corn, so
there has to be a way.

CROW 1: I don't know… Maybe we can think of something if we put
our heads together.

SCARECROW: Yes! Of course we can. We just have to try.

CROW 1: It sure is hard trying to think on an empty stomach. I sure
could use some sustenance to get my brain going.

(CROW 1 eyes the corn, maybe he fingers a piece as well. The
SCARECROW catches on.)

SCARECROW: Well, I could share some corn with you, if that's what
you'd like to eat.

CROW 1: Don't mind if I do! Thanks, Dummy.

(CROW 1 pulls a few ears of corn for himself, then sits at the
SCARECROWS feet and begins to eat.)

SCARECROW: Could I have some? Maybe it will help me to think of how
to scare away the crows.

CROW 1: You can't eat, Dummy. You're stuffed with straw.
You're not flesh and blood like me, so you don't need things like
food or water. Too bad. This corn is delicious! In fact…

(CROW 1 calls off in the direction that CROW 2 exited earlier.)

CROW 1: Hey, hey! Where did you go? Come on back now!
Everything is just fine. No need to be afraid. Got some good stuff

(CROW 1 sits back down and continues eating. CROW 2 slowly reenters,
taking in what he is seeing.)

CROW 2: Well, I'll be.

CROW 1: Nothing to fret about. This is my new friend. Dummy. Dummy,
meet Mr. Buddy.

SCARECROW: Hello, Mr. Buddy!! It's nice to meet you!

CROW 2: Nice to meet you too, Dummy!

CROW 1: You know, Dummy, I'll bet Mr. Buddy here could help us think
of a solution to your problem. Once he's had a bite to eat, of

SCARECROW: Of course! Mr. Buddy, please sit down and eat some corn.
I can use all the help I can get!

CROW 1: You got that right, Dummy! Quite the conundrum you've got.

CROW 2: No fooling? Thanks, Dummy!

(CROW 2 joins in on the eating. Then, to SCARECROW.)

CROW 2 (cont.): You want some?

SCARECROW: None for me, thank you. Mr. Friend says it's very good,
so I hope you enjoy it. I'm made of straw, so I don't need to eat.

CROW 2: That makes a lot of sense. No use letting it go to waste.
Right, Mr. Friend?

CROW 1: No sir, Mr. Buddy!

CROW 2: Who would've thought? I would never have believed in all of
my days that I would witness a scarecrow just giving out corn! Especially
to two old crows like us! Right, Mr. Friend?

CROW 1: Shut your beak!

SCARECROW: Crows? You mean you two… are crows?

CROW 1: That's right, Dummy! Guilty as charged!

SCARECROW: I don't understand, Mr. Friend. You never told me you
were a crow. You tricked me.

CROW 1: I did. I did. A body will do crazy things when it's hungry.

SCARECROW: But if you're crows, then that means you're not
supposed to be near the corn! Get out of here! Go away. Get!

CROW 1: And who's going to make us leave, Dummy? You? I'd like
to see you try.

(SCARECROW struggles to move or reach them or otherwise drive them
off. Nothing works.)

CROW 2: I'll give you an A for effort, Dummy. But you're going to
have to try harder than that!

CROW 1: I liked you, Dummy. Back before you knew too much. Come on,
Mr. Buddy. I say we leave him alone with his thoughts.

SCARECROW: That's right! Go! Go on!

CROW 1: Don't worry, Dummy. We'll be back.

CROW 2: And we won't be alone neither! We know lots of other
crows. They would just love to meet you!

SCARECROW: No! You have to leave! If the farmer finds out that I
can't scare you away then there's no telling what he will do!

CROW 2: He'll probably strike a match to you. Burn you up real
quick like. You know what to do in case of a fire, don't you Dummy?

SCARECROW: No. I don't.

CROW 2: Kiss your ash goodbye!

SCARECROW: That's not funny! Please! Just leave! I didn't know…

(SCARECROW hangs his head, disappointed.)

CROW 1: Come on. That's enough. Let's get out of here.

(CROW 1 pushes CROW 2 off, then turns to SCARECROW.)

CROW 1: Don't beat yourself up too much, Dummy.

SCARECROW: You fooled me. I… I didn't know….

CROW 1: You might look like a man. But you're not a man. If you
only had brains in your head you would be as good a man as any of
them, and a better man than some of them. Brains are the only things
worth having in this world. Bye-bye, Dummy. See you tomorrow!

(CROW 1 exits.)

SCARECROW: Tomorrow? I've got time to think! When those crows come
back I'll show them! I'll scare them like they've never been
scared before. They won't see it coming. I just have to think….

(He tries. And tries. And tries. Nothing.)

SCARECROW (cont.): Who am I kidding? He's right. I've got to get
some brains. I've just got to. But how? Where? I don't even
know where to start looking… or who to ask…

(He sees someone in the distance.)

SCARECROW (cont.): Wait. There! Someone's coming! It's a little
girl! Maybe she can help me! But what if she tricks me like those
old crows did? I've already been made out to be a fool once today.
I don't think I can take that again. I'll just let her walk right
on by.

(He becomes very still on the pole, but continues to watch the girl
with his eyes as she gets closer.)

SCARECROW (cont.): No. I've changed my mind. I can tell…
Something about her… Yes. I will ask her for help. I think saying
hello to her might be the smartest thing I do today.

(DOROTHY enters, with Toto.)



[end of extract]


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