A Russian Tale of Piracy, Cannibalism and Redemption

By Cornelius Chukovsky

Translated, adapted and scripted by Alfia Wallace

Performed by the Siberian Tiger Players of San Rafael



Narrator/Dr. Owithurtz: Alfred Wallace
Daddy: Dylan Bondy

Mommy: Eva Dedier

Tanya: Jenifer Katz

Ivan: Andrew Wallace

Ticklish Hippo: Eva Dedier

Gorilla1/Crocodile: Dylan Bondy

Mark the Shark: Jerry Katz

Barmaley: Nicholas Whitehead

Barmaley’s Dragoons: Eva Dedier & Jerry Katz


Sets pieces:

Rhino for riding (small table), pool of water, Palm trees, cardboard pyramids, Dr. Owithurtz’s airplane, campfire



Shells, rocks, figs, pineapple, rope, cauldron, large wooden soupspoon






[Set: Living room with parets snoozing on the couch.]



Listen kids, now listen up!  You don’t want to get eaten up! 

So watch out if you travel far - and don’t run off to Zanzibar! 

Zanzibar is full of sharks, Leopards prowling after dark,

Hippos, apes and crocodiles, full of sharp and hungry smiles

They would love to nibble you, bite your toes and munch your shoes.

So listen up kids, listen hard – and don’t run off to Zanzibar!


Narrator 1:

            Away in far-off Zanzibar, there lives a scoundrel knave

            His favorite snack is CHILDREN!  His name is BARMALYEY!

            He runs around in Zanzibar with greedy, drooling jaws

            That pirate wants to GET YOU – he lives by his own laws.


            And Daddy-dear and Mommy-dear are lounging in the den

            And Daddy-dear and Mommy-dear will tell you yet again.



            Zanzibar is scary. Oh yes, yes, yes.



Zanzibar could be hairy.  Oh yes, yes, yes.



You might want to choose another location for your junior year abroad, dear.



            But Daddy-dear and Mommy-dear snoozed off one evening dark

            And Tanya and Ivan ran off – to far-off Zanzibar!


Tanya and Ivan:

            Zanzibar!  Zanzibar!  We’re going to Zanzibar! We’re going to Zanzibar!



            So they arrived in Zanzibar and explored all around.



            Oh, yum – wild figs! Excellent! Try these…  Yum…



            Oh yeah, well I just found wild pineapples!  And coconuts!  Excellent! 



            Zanzibar rocks…



            Zanzibar is wicked awesome.



            They saddled up a rhino and took a ride around



            ZANZIBAR RULES!!!!



            Let’s play ring toss on his horn.


[Gorilla enters.  Pool of water, seas shells indicating the beach.]






            Hey kids! 



            Oh wow, a gorilla.  Hey, gorilla-man, what’s happening?



            A talking gorilla – only in Zanzibar…


[Shark jumps out of the water next to Gorilla.  Tanya and Ivan jump back.  Gorilla chuckles.]



            Meet Mark the Shark from Zanzi-Beach

            See Mark the Shark’s big, shiny teeth?

            See Mark the Shark open up wide.

            Don’t you want to jump inside?


[Shark open jaws, nods yes.  Tanya and Ivan start picking up shells and rocks and lobbing them at Mark the Shark.  Gorilla runs away in terror.]



            No way!  No way! Now go away!

            See this rock, Mark the Shark?



            See these shells, Mark the Shark?



            Eat this bark, Mark the Shark!



            We’re not stupid, Mark the Shark!


[The Shark shakes and dives back down and goes away, head down.  Tanya and Ivan do a little victory dance and then look at each other and shake their heads.]



            That was close. 





[Hippo comes out emerges behind pyramids.  Tanya and Ivan look around and fix their clothes.]



            So Mark the Shark dove back down and as the kids were looking round

            They heard a moaning, groaning sound; a huge, loud hippo came around.


[Hippo approaches Tanya and Ivan, holding his tummy and moaning. Tanya runs up to him and starts rubbing and tickling his belly.  Ivan runs behind him and follows suit.]



            Who’s got a big, juicy belly?  Who needs a good tickle?


Ivan: [tickling from behind]




            The hippo had a bellyache and couldn’t stand the kids’ mistake.

            He ran behind the pyramids and listen up to what he did.


Hippo: [yelling, with pyramid backdrop]

            Barmaley! Barmaley! Barmaley!

            Come on out, Barmaley! Make them pay!

            These horrible kids, Barmaley!

            Make them pay, Barmaley! Make them pay!


[Tanya and Ivan look at the Hippo like he's nuts and laugh.]




[Set: Tree, campfire.  A thunderclap and terrible, rhythmic stomping. Barmaley jumps out with a sword in his teeth and growls.  Tanya and Ivan jump back and clutch each other trembling in fear.]




            I’m Eeeeeeevil and I’m Greeedy and I Vant to Suck your Blood!

            I’m a pirate with a parrot with a problem (his name is Judd)

            And I don’t need no marmalade, no chunky chocolate chips.

            What I want to eat is different - little, juicy, pesky KIDS!


[Tanya and Ivan squeak and crouch lower behind the tree, quaking with fear.]


Narrator 2:

            His terrible eyes  - flashed!

            His terrible teeth – they gnashed!

            Then he lit a terrible fire!

            And formed this fateful phrase.



            KARABAS! KARABAS!

            I will have a feast at last!


[Barmaley ambushes Tanya and Ivan behind the tree and they shriek as he ties a large rope around them, tying them to the palm tree.  They beg him.]



            Oh sweet, darling Barmaley – please don’t eat us up today!



            I want my Mommy!



            Please have mercy, Barmaley!  We’ll never EVER disobey

            Our Mommy-dear ever again!  Please let us go and be our friend.

            We’ll give you tea and cookies then!


Barmaley: [laughing]

            NO WAY!!!!


[the sound of a small aircraft overhead and Dr. Owithurtz comes in his airplane]


Tanya: [looking up and pointing at Dr. Owithurtz]

            Ivan, look!  Up in the sky!  Who’s that flying way up high?

            Oh!  It’s Doctor Owithurtz!  Good old Dr. Owithurtz!


[Dr. Owithurtz lands behind the tree and runs up to Tanya and Ivan, giving them a hug.  Barmaley is meanwhile stirring the cauldron over the fire. Smiling, he walks over to Barmaley and gives him a friendly pat on the back.]


Dr. Owithurtz:

            Now come on, old boy.  You’re a good guy, Barmaley.

            Untie these kids, you joker.  Let’s have a drink.  What do you say?


[Barmaley looks at him like he’s nuts and tosses him into the fire.]





Dr. Owithurtz: [jumping in the campfire]

            Ow, it hurts! Ow, it hurts!  Ow, it hurts!


[Tanya and Ivan cry bitter tears as Dr. Owithurtz hops in the fire and Barmaley laughs.]




[As scene opens Barmaley (or one of his dragoons) is tying Dr. Owithurtz to the tree with Tanya and Ivan.  Gorilla and Crocodile enter.]



            And from beyond the sandy dunes, sinking mile after mile

            Came a repentant ape with an enormous crocodile.


[Barmaley is not paying attention.  He is cutting up fruits and vegetables and throwing them in the cauldron and sharpening his knives.]


Dr. Owithurtz:

            Hey Croc man!  Over here!      Come on!  Hurry up!

            Swallow up that Barmaley before he gobbles up these kids!

            Don’t let him get them!  Come on!


[Crocodile sneaks behind Barmaley and gestures to the audience to be quiet.]



            The Crocodile sneaked on up and gave a toothy smile.

            And then he swallowed Barmaley – just like a pesky fly!


[Gorilla unties Dr. Owithurtz, Tanya and Ivan and they jump up and down and dance and rejoice.]



            You saved us! You saved us – from that monster vile!

            You’re such a good, sweet, darling, and cutie crocodile!


[Tanya hugs and kisses the crocodile.  Ivan gives the Gorilla a high five.]



            But deep inside the crock’s big belly – it is dark and damp.

            Barmaley was groaning there – and trying to get out!


Barmaley: [under Crock’s costume]

            Let me out!  I’ll be good!

            Don’t digest my hams!

            Spit me out and I’ll become

            As gentle as a lamb.     



            Aw, poor guy.  [To the audience]

            Should we give him another chance?  Maybe he’ll be swell!

            And if he really mends his ways, we can bring him back to San Rafael!


[Crocodile rears his head and Barmaley emerges from his costume.]


Barmaley: [jolly]

            I’m so happy – I feel swell!

            I am going to San Rafael!


[Does a little dance with Tanya and Ivan.]


            I’ll change my ways because I’m no fool -

            I’ll bake some brownies for Dixie School!

            I’ll give them away to everyone

and put on pirate shows for fun!


And for Tanya and for Ivan

I’ll make a special treat. 

I’ll become a vegetarian

And train Guide Dogs on the street.


My parrot Judd will learn to sing

For old folks in a sling.

And then we’ll tutor children

In swordplay and sailing.


Because I’m a rehabilitated cannibaaaaaal!


All: [sing, in a chorus line]

Yes, he’s a rehabilitated cannibaaaaaaaal!        

Copyright 2002, Alfia Vecchio Wallace

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