The Wizard that Said Ribbit

Rachel … A single mother about 30 who enjoys collecting frogs

Brooke… Rachel's older sister

Tyler… Rachel's 10-year-old son

The Prince… He has a first name but no one is allowed to use it. He is the very spoiled heir to the throne of Mendar.

Keldar… 60-year-old grouchy High Wizard who is accidentally turned into a ceramic frog.

Rodric… His faithful yet clumsy apprentice

Megdan… Rodric's betrothed

Our play is in a small suburb where Rachel and Brooke are enjoying the last days of summer by spending the day at garage sales before her son's little league baseball game. Unfortunately Tyler has been forced to come along.

RACHEL: Hey Brooke, look at what I found. (Holding up a large green ceramic frog)

BROOKE: Another one? How many frogs do you have now?

RACHEL: Hmm 56 (pause) I think.

TYLER: (Impatiently) Mom can we go now? I'm gonna be late for my game.

RACHEL: (Looks at her watch and sighs) Tyler, we have an hour before your game. Come here, I want to see if this fits. (Puts the frog down on the table and picks up a shirt.)

TYLER: (Walks over to his mother with an attitude) Do I have to? I just wanna go.

BROOKE: (Exchanges glances with her sister and offers a consoling smile) I've got everything I want, (She holds a green lamp) so I'm ready when you are.

RACHEL: (She looks down at the table and picks through a couple more pieces of clothes, leaving them on the table.) I'll pay for the frog and then we're done.

TYLER: (Under his breath) It's about time.

NARRATOR: The three arrive at Rachel's house a few minutes later. Tyler takes the keys from his mother and unlocks the front door, hurrying to get to his room and change. Rachel and Brooke walk through the front door discussing their plans for later that night.

BROOKE: Do you want to ride over to the restaurant with Will and me?

RACHEL: I don't want to go at all. Blind dates aren't my idea of fun. How in the world did you talk me into this anyway?

BROOKE: Because your ex-husband was rubbing your nose in fact that he was getting married.

RACHEL: Oh yeah! It's not that I'm jealous; it's just (Pause) he acts like I'm single because I'm pining for him.

BROOKE: You're not, and it doesn't matter what he thinks. (Motioning to the collection of frogs along the back wall) Besides, you may have already found your Prince. Do you know which one he's hiding in? (Speaks in a joking manner)

RACHEL: What do you mean? They're all princes. (Grinning) I don't have to clean up after them. They don't talk back and they eat very little.

BROOKE: (Chuckling) Let me see! Princes yeah, (Pause) but I don't see that they've given you either a castle or wealth. And I can guarantee small and green doesn't make them the most gorgeous creatures on the planet either. (Walks over to the door, opens it, steps through it and then pokes her head back in) I'll pick you up here about eight. Don't you dare flake on me or I'll have to hunt you down. By the way, you might want to kiss a few of them and see if you can find your prince. (Laughing her way down the driveway)

RACHEL: (Looks at the empty doorway and then back down at the frog she's still holding) What the hell, you can't be any worse than the guy she's trying to set me up with. And it's not as if it's going to work anyway. (Slowly brings the frog closer and makes faces as she barely touches it to her lips.)

NARRATOR: Suddenly there's a sound like several balloons popping in rapid succession and the room is full of smoke. Rachel starts coughing and waving her hands wildly in front of her face. She hurries to the window and opens it to let the smoke out.

RACHEL: (Turns around and sees the naked man standing in the middle of the floor). Screams

KELDAR: Madam, stop screaming. It hurts my ears. (Imperious tone)

TYLER: What's wrong mom? (Runs into the living room and stops short staring at the naked man in the middle of the floor.) Who's that?

RACHEL: (Places her hand over her mouth and counts to three) That's your Aunt Brooke's idea of a practical joke. (Looks at the man in the middle of the floor and glares) I don't know how you got into my house but you better get your clothes on and get out. Men your age shouldn't be nude where they can be seen. It's an offense to the eyes.

KELDAR: (Derisive tone) Madam, I do not have any clothes. When I was a frog, I did not need them.

RACHEL: Don't go there. There's no way you're the frog. (Looks around wildly for the ceramic frog) Get out of my house. (She pushes him out the door and closes and locks it. Taking a deep breath she walks to the table, picks up the phone, and places a call.)

BROOKE: You're not calling me to cancel are you Rach? I warned you what I'd do.

RACHEL: No, I'm calling to tell you that I don't find your practical joke funny. What on earth are you thinking? If you wanted me to buy into the whole prince from a frog thing, you should've gotten someone younger and more attractive? Especially, (Pause) if he's going to be (Stress) nude.

BROOKE: What are you babbling about, prince into a frog? I wouldn't tell anybody to show-up at your house, and I sure as heck didn't tell him to be nude. I'm just down the block. I'll be there in a minute.

TYLER: (Listening to his mother's side of the conversation, he unlocks the door and looks around outside. He sees the man his mother had just shoved out the door, hovering behind some large bushes.) Are you really a frog?

KELDAR: Yes, and why is that strange? People have been turned into frogs before. Now if we can stop your mother from acting like …(Interrupted)

RACHEL: (Noticing that the front door is open and Tyler is nowhere to be found, she walks out the door and observes her son talking to the man. And interrupts the man) Tyler, get away from him and get in the house.

TYLER: But Mom! What are we going to do with him? We can't just leave him out here with no clothes on.

RACHEL: Tyler, I will not discuss this with you, get in the house, NOW.

KELDAR: Madam, if you will permit me some clothes, I will tell you the story of how I became a frog. Then if you still do not believe me, I will leave without causing further problems. (Other than standing behind the bush he makes no effort to hide his unclothed body.)

TYLER: Mom, we can't leave him out here. Think of the kids that play in the park.

RACHEL: (Hesitates for several minutes frowning, and then nods her head uncertainly). All right, but if you try anything, I'll call 911 so fast it'll make your head spin. Tyler, get him a pair of sweats out of my bottom drawer.

KELDAR: (Walks around the woman and enters the house looking around curiously for the first time and waits patiently for Tyler to get him the promised garments).

RACHEL: (Reaches out and takes her son by the arm and whispers) Be careful! I don't know what's happening here and I don't trust him.

TYLER: Duh Mom! I'm not stupid.

RACHEL: (Sighs) Tyler, please? I don't need the attitude. Just go find him something to wear while I try to figure this out. (Sees Brooke walking up the sidewalk.)

BROOKE: So, where is this prince?

RACHEL: (Follows her son and Brooke into the house and watches as her son leads the man to her room.) Hopefully, getting some clothes on. (Forced whispers) How could you do this? I know you want me to get out and start dating again but he's enough to turn anyone off.

BROOKE: (Loud whispers) What do you mean, (Pause) I DID? I had nothing to do with this. Maybe you should talk to your ex. This is more his style.

TYLER: Mom, I found him some clothes but they don't exactly fit.

BROOKE: Who did he say he was and how did he get here?

TYLER: He told me he was a frog. He also said it wasn't strange to be turned into one.

NARRATOR: Exchanging glances, all three look up to see the man dressed in ill-fitting clothes.

RACHEL: (Walks over and sits down on the couch, and takes a deep breath.) You promised to tell me how you ended up in my living room wearing nothing.

KELDAR: No Madam, I told you I would explain how I became a frog. I have no idea how I came to be in your living room. And as for my state of undress, that is simple. I was a frog. Amphibians do not find it necessary to wear human garments.

BROOKE: Do you honestly believe we're going to accept that you were a frog?

KELDAR: I do not care what you believe. I promised to tell her how I became a frog in exchange for some clothes.

RACHEL: (Clears her throat) Then why don't you get started. First, what do I call you?

BROOKE: (Looks at her sister in confusion and sits down beside her) Don't mind me.

KELDAR: I am Keldar. And before I was a frog, I was the head wizard of six kingdoms.

RACHEL: Wait! First you were a frog and now you're a wizard. Now I know, you're a fraud.

KELDAR: I am not a fraud Madam and if you will stop interrupting me, I will prove it.

RACHEL: I apologize. I'll hold my comments until the end of your story.

KELDAR: I will believe that when I see it. Now where was I? Oh, yes the kingdom of Mendar. My apprentice and I were working on a minor potion and of course that boy was the biggest bungler I have seen in all of my 60 years.

** Lights fade as you hear Keldar begin his story. ** When they come back up the scene changes to a hovel, set in a fairy kingdom, several hundred years ago. There's a huge kettle in the middle of the floor and a table next to it with bottles and powders strewn all over it. There are sounds of horses neighing and a man dismounting.

PRINCE: What is going on here? (Glances around at the mess and then looks pointedly at the wizard)

KELDAR: This bumbling idiot just destroyed two days of work. I told him a touch of dragon's toe and he used a handful.

RODRIC: Your Highness! Ahh I umm I … I mean when the dog came into the room and barked, I lost my concentration.

PRINCE: Good… Good (Holds up his hand and waves off the apprentice.) I am not interested in your petty problems unless of course, they affect MY plans.

RODRIC: (Shrinks away from Prince and Wizard and mutters) Great king material.

PRINCE: Rumor has it, that you can turn people into frogs. (Picks up several things on the table and drops them). I demand a spell or potion to turn my rival for Princess Cirri's hand in marriage into a frog.

KELDAR: You know, Your Highness; you really should try a different way of appealing to the Princess. You could cause many diplomatic and political problems by using this approach.

PRINCE: Are you forgetting, WIZARD, (Stress the word) that you work for my family? That means you do what I say and do not lecture me about the way I handle things. My father and mother agree with my plan. They don't want the kingdom of Hogat to become more powerful than Mendar.

KELDAR: (Teeth clenched for a moment) Very well, Your Highness; I will make you a potion, but it will take the rest of the day to finish. Return at dawn tomorrow.

PRINCE: DAWN? I never get up before midday.

KELDAR: Yes, (Smirking) dawn, that is unless you want to try to win the hand of the fair Cirri on personality. The potion must be kept cool or it will simply cause the skin to have a green tinge.

PRINCE: Very well, he must become a frog. I will be here at dawn. (Turns around and petulantly, stomps out of the room.)

RODRIC: (Waits until the hoof beats fade completely away before reminding the wizard that he is still in the room.) Master, I do not want you to think I am being impertinent, but why did you tell his Highness it would take all day to make the potion when it takes only one turn of the hour glass? (Looks at the wizard in confusion)

KELDAR: (Chuckling) I thought the boy was in need of a lesson or two; One in patience and another on how to treat people. Our kingdom is in real trouble if he takes the throne the way he is. Now, my apprentice, clean this mess up and start the potion. That is if you can do it without becoming distracted.

RODRIC: Yes Master, (enthusiastically starts cleaning off the table) is that why you did not tell him about the spell, just to get him out of bed before the sun?

KELDAR: (Flipping through pages in a huge book) I knew you were a fast learner. Now if you just become less distracted. (Motions the young man over) This is the potion. There are not many ways you can botch it. Do this one with no errors. Take two jars and place half the potion in each and seal them with wax.

NARRATOR: After giving the apprentice his orders, the wizard walks into the back room to clean up. As soon as the wizard leaves, a woman pokes her head through the window.

MEGAND: Is the grouch gone yet? Each year he gets more long winded. (Rolls her eyes)

RODRIC: Do not say that. He is a good master. I could have been the butcher's apprentice. Every time Seldon does something wrong, the butcher cuts off a toe.

MEGAND: (Cringes) Don't remind me. (Pause) Did you ask him?

RODRIC: No, I did not think that after destroying two days of work, this would be a good time to ask for permission to marry you. (Places the cover on the one jar and moves on to the other one)

MEGAND: I am beginning to think marrying you is not such a good idea. You always have excuses. (Watches as he seals the last container) Oh, well I guess I am stuck, so I will marry you.

RODRIC: (Frowns and carries the potions to a shelf) Megand, do not say that. I do my best. I (pauses) I will ask him tonight.

MEGAND: (Bounces up and down trying to control her excitement.) I knew I loved you. I cannot wait to see the other girls' faces when they find out that I am going to be the bride of the High Wizard's apprentice. I will get to go to the castle when you do.

RODRIC: If I did not know you better Megand, I would think you are marrying me for my position. Now run on home. I will not be ready to return to town until the sun has passed below the earth.

NARRATOR: Rodric watches Megand as she follows the road back toward town before refocusing on his tasks. The apprentice manages to get through the rest of the day without making any mistakes. The wizard, proud of the boy's accomplishments, gives him permission to marry and tells him to return tomorrow before the cockcrows. And that is exactly what Rodric does. The next morning he rushes into the house just as the Prince dismounts.

PRINCE: I am here for that potion Wizard.

KELDAR: (Turns to Rodric) Bring him the potion. (Then turning to face the prince) Your Highness, a word of warning; the green slime must come in direct contact with the skin and under no circumstances can it be drunk. There is only one cure, a kiss from a princess.

PRINCE: That will never happen. What woman in her right mind would kiss a slimy frog? (Moves closer to the wizard to speak in hushed tones.) Besides you cannot kiss what you cannot find.

RODRIC: Here, Your Highness! (Rushes through the room with the unsealed jar and stumbles over a small footstool. He watches in horror as the green slime flies through the air and covers his master.)

KELDAR: (Begins to shrink out of his clothes and turn into a frog)

PRINCE: (Laughing very hard *gasping for breath*) Well, now I know it works. Where is the second batch? I know he always makes an extra one.

RODRIC: (Eyes transfixed on his former master as the frog hops around in the clothes) Yes, Your Highness. (Leaves the room for a second to get the potion. He puts the jar into the Prince's hand and shoves him out of the door and turns back to the frog.)

** Lights go down and we are back in Rachel's living room. Keldar is now sitting on the chase lounge telling the rest of the story.

KELDAR: I was aware of everything even though I was a frog. I found that if I concentrated, I could still speak as a human. Although I thought twice about talking since it distracted Rodric. Things became even more complicated when his betrothed took control. That boy sure needed a backbone.

RACHEL: How did she make things more complicated? And how did you go from a living frog to a ceramic one?

KELDAR: I was getting to that if you will quit interrupting.

BROOKE: Can anyone say bad mood?

KELDAR: Megand read in the spell book that only a kiss from a princess would free me from the curse. So she started a rumor that I was a prince and that an evil wizard had turned me to a frog. We had women or I should say many females of royal birth putting their lips on me. By this time I was beginning to be happy living as a frog. But my poor apprentice felt so guilty he stayed up for several days trying to fix his mistake.

TYLER: He's the one that turned you into a mantle piece, right?

KELDAR: (Raises eyebrows) Mantle piece?

TYLER: (Points to several of his mother frogs along the mantle) How did you get to be a ceramic frog?

KELDAR: Yes, well unfortunately, he misread the incantation on a reversal spell. I knew nothing more until I stood in this room.

TYLER: Mom can we keep him?

RACHEL: No, Tyler. He's not a puppy.

TYLER: Awe mom! He was a frog. Doesn't that count? Bradley's mom lets him have tadpoles.

RACHEL: (Exasperated) I'm not Bradley's mom so what she lets him do doesn't matter in this house. Besides, Tyler what would we do with him?

TYLER: (under his breath) Dad'd let me keep him. (Aloud) You could marry him and I could have Harry Potter as a stepfather.

BROOKE: You know the kid has a point. Think of the power you could have knowing Harry Potter here.

KELDAR: Quit talking about me as if I am not here and my name is not Harry Potter. It is Keldar of Mendar.

BROOKE: No offense. It's the name of a powerful wizard of our time. Wait, by the way, what's my sister's reward for freeing you?

RACHEL: (Admonishing tone) Brooke, it isn't necessary.

KELDAR: Oh but it is. (Raises his hands and mutters a strange incantation in Latin and watches as three frogs start hopping around him. Each frog is wearing a piece something that belongs to one of the sisters or the son. He turns and starts for the door.) Maybe I can talk to this Harry Potter and see what he can do for me.

The room goes pitch black. After the count of five an alarm goes off and all the lights come on to see Rachel bolting upright in bed.

RACHEL: (Touches herself in several places to make sure she is real and sighs in relief) Thank god! It was just a dream. (Throws off the blanket and slides out of bed.)