Why Winter is Long and Summer Short

a Siberian Folktale from Yakutia
adapted and scripted by Alfia Wallace

Performed by the Siberian Tiger Theater 2001

Cast: Narrator, Man, Horse, Bull

[Narrator enters and stands stage right. Helpers props up pictures of the sun, planets and stars in the background. Then helpers lift pictures of trees and a waterfall. Man is one of these helpers and stays on stage when others leave stage left.]

Narrator: Long, long ago people believed that the Universe was created by a God whose name was Yurung-Ian-Toyon. After creating Heaven and the Earth, the God asked the Man: "Which should be longer Ė summer or winter?"

Man: Letís ask my friends, the Horse and the Bull and let them decide.

[Enter Horse stage left, snorting and whinnying.]

Narrator: The Horse was asked first.

Man: What would you like to be longer: summer or winter?

Horse: I would like summer to be longer, because in the winter my hooves feel cold. [Horse shivers.]

Narrator: So they asked the Bull.

[Enter Bull stage left, stomping the ground with a hoof and snorting.]

Man: What would you like to be longer: summer or winter?

Bull: Let winter be longer, because in summer my nose is always wet and it bothers my nosering! [Bull sneezes and his nosering shakes.]

Narrator: It was settled to the Bullís liking. Winter became long and summer short.

[Helper takes sun picture comes down and snowflake pictures go up. Helpers distribute hats and scarves. Horse looks up amazed and says "Huh?!" Horse goes up
to Bull and pretends to kick him with a front foot in the mouth. Bullís nosering and a pair of fake teeth go flying into the audience.

Narrator: The Horse got so angry with the Bull that he kicked his wet nose and knocked his teeth out!

Bull: [tossing nosering and teeth and grabbing his mouth] Arg! My teeeeeep!

[Bull lowers his head, snorts and charges for the Horseís middle. Horse whinnying, rears up.]

Narrator: The Bull, in turn, butted the Horse and injured his gall bladder!

Horse: [grabbing his middle] Ouch, my gallbladder!

Narrator: Since then, the old people say, Horses have no gall bladders and Bulls live without fangs. The End.

[All actors and helpers come out and stand in a line, hold hands and bow twice. Exit stage right.]


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