Featuring the Mockingbird of Falderal
(The lights dim, the mockingbird takes his seat on a perch in front of the microphone. The crowd is silent.)
Mockingbird: Hey, is this an audience or an oil painting? Y’know, I just flew in here from the desert of Eldritch, and boy, are my wings tired. There was an old guy out there, just wanderin’ around and scratching himself like crazy. I stop and ask him why he’s scratching, and he says, ‘I don’t now, maybe it’s just Elder-Itch!’” (drum roll. Audience groans and laughs.)
Mockingbird: C’mon, animals, I’ve seen more life in Ooga Booga! By the way, is anyone from Ooga Booga here tonight? (no response.) Well, I guess all the boys and ghouls from that place are feeling a bit rotten tonight, eh? (drum roll. Audience laughs.)
Mockingbird: Y’know, I was there just last week. That old gravedigger was pushing a coffin into one of his latest graves and muttering to himself that it seemed lighter than he remembered. I suggested that he open it, and he did, and guess what? The body was gone! I asked the old guy how it got out, and he said, “Oh, I guess it just wormed its way out.” (drum roll. Audience grimaces and makes noises of disgust.)
Mockingbird: Didn’t swallow that one easily, did you? Okay, I’ll change the subject. I was talking to this badger and his sister in Falderal the other day. I’d never met the guy before, so I asked him what his sister was named. He says, “She doesn’t like her full name, so we call her Jo.” I say, “What is Jo short for?” and the badger replies, “I don’t know. She’s just got little legs, I guess.” (Audience laughs)
Mockingbird: Yeah, and he said she was so ugly that he couldn’t put a bag over her head for fear that it might be unfair to the bag! (more laughter.)
Mockingbird: And what about that Mathilde? I mean, is that her face or is a troll head stuck in her collar? (a rotten tomato flies through the air and splatters against the lower part of the mockingbird’s perch. He snaps his head towards the source of the fruit.)
Mockingbird: All right! Who threw that?
Audience Member: I did! (the mockingbird cranes his neck towards the speaker. It’s Rosella! She’s sitting at a table with Edgar and Valanice, glaring at the mockingbird tenaciously.)
Mockingbird: What was that for, ya crazy human?
Rosella: Nothing personal, but I say you hold back on the troll jokes! I mean, I actually WAS one for a brief time, and it was not funny, believe me!
Edgar: So was I! So watch it, you bird!
Mockingbird: All right! All right! Geez, princess, what big ears you’ve got! You humans are so touchy sometimes! But what about that tomato, eh?
Rosella: A tip from my brother. He’s an experienced adventurer, and he didn’t want to let me out on his discoveries.
Mockingbird: Okay, now with that safely, behind us, let’s talk about another place for a change, shall we? (A chorus of yeahs and yesses comes from the crowd.) Y’know, I heard that someone in the Land of the Green Isles raised a filly up to be a racing horse. When he raced her in the evening, she always won but when he raced her in the morning, she always lost. She was a fine horse, but she was a real night mare. (laughter.)
Mockingbird: You know how much the pirates that come to the dock in Llewdor pay for their earrings? (pause.) A buccaneer! (groans and applause.)
Mockingbird: And that minstrel from Tamir? Frankie of Avalon? He’s just a few nuts short of a pack, I think. He caught a fish the other day and was trying to drown it! (laughter) And that lute of his…anyone know the difference between that lute and an onion? No one cries when you cut the lute up!
(A large shoe whizzes through the air, over the mockingbird’s head, landing on the stage behind him.)
Mockingbird: Not again! Who threw that shoe?
Audience member: I did.
Mockingbird: I just wanted to let you know that the sole is wearing down. Take it to a cobbler. (mild laughter) Well, anyone here tonight from out of town…besides the human with the tomato? (Rosella smirks. A wolf in the back of the room raises a paw.)
Wolf: I just came in from Kolyma. I seemed to be having an identity crisis there, I thought that coming here would help me relax.
Mockingbird: Oh yes, the canine cross-dresser. Nice to meet you. By the way, did anyone hear about the ship carrying a load of brown and red paint that went down by Kolyma? The survivors were marooned! (the audience laughs, but the wolf rolls his eyes and growls.) Anyone else from out of town? (an eagle perched on the back of a nearby chair raises a wing.)
Eagle: I came here from the mountains of Serinia, where once prowled the vicious yeti. Before he was pied off a cliff with great skill by the husband of Valanice over there. (he gestures with a wing towards Valanice and her companions. Valanice smiles and straightens her dress.)
Mockingbird: Nice, very nice. By the way, eagle, do you know why yetis have such large nostrils? (pause) Because they have huge fingers! (noises of disgust, the eagle covers his face with a wing and shakes his head.) Sorry ‘bout that, folks. It’s snot my fault! (more disgusted noises and laughter.) But seriously folks, it’s nice to have so many different people, creatures and mythical beasts here tonight. I’ve never been so soaked with attention since the moon fell into the pool in the downtown square. I will be ending my show now, please join us again tomorrow night for the “Fairy Tale” skits, featuring Queen Titania and her charming little sister, Malicia, whose fourth birthday should be coming up soon. These two females are superb actresses, as well as experienced magic-workers. Don’t miss it. And by the way, don’t mind Chicken Petite as you exit, ladies and gentlemen. She’s recently been obsessed with these “visions” from the Other World about another apocalyptic happening she calls the Y2K Bug. Don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t be nearly as bad as the sky falling. Thank you and good night.
(Applause. The mockingbird flaps off his perch and goes backstage. The audience gets up and starts to file out as the lights come on again.)