Readers Theater for the Whole Class

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
by Kimberly Willis Holt

All: (bored)  Nothing ever happens in Antler, Texas.

Voice 1: (sighing) Nothing much at all.

Voice 2: (brightly) Until this afternoon.

All:  (enthusiastically)  Yeah!

Voices 3 & 4: We were astonished!

Voices 5 & 6: We’d never seen anything like it!

Voice 7: What happened?

Voice 3: An old blue Thunderbird pulling a trailer pulled up in the Dairy Maid parking lot.

Voice 7: What’s odd about that?

Voice 1: It was decorated with Christmas lights!

Voice 2: And, there were big red words written on the trailer!

Voice 7: What words?

Voices 2 & 3:    THE WORLD’S FATTEST BOY!

All:  We all ran over to see it!

Voice 4: It cost $2 for a peek.

Voice 5: But it was worth it!

Toby: Cal and I got in in the back of the line behind Miss Myrtie Mae and the First Baptist Quilting Bee.

Cal: Yeah, it was hot, so we tried to stay in the shade of Miss Myrtie Mae’s wide brimmed straw hat.

Toby: Miss Myrtie Mae’s our town historian and librarian.  She wears a camera around her neck.

Cal: She’s always asking questions, huh, Toby?

All: What’d she ask YOU, Toby?

Toby: The same thing you all always do!  “How’s your Mom?”

Voice 7: Well, what did you say?

Toby: Fine.

All: It’d really be something if she won.

Toby: (unconvincingly)  Yes, it would.

Voice 7: Won what?

Toby: She went to Nashville’s National Amateur's Country  Music Competition at the Grand Ole Opry.  The winner gets to cut a record album.

Voice 7: Wait!  What about the World’s Fattest Boy?

Voice 6: Well, we saw some skinny guy wearing a  tuxedo, smoking a pipe, taking money.

Voice 1:  He was giving out green tickets.

Cal: I was so curious I told Toby I could stand in line forever--if that’s how long it would take!

Toby: I had better things to do.  My stomach was growling…I hadn’t had a decent meal since Mom left a few days before….not that she cooked much while she was getting ready for that stupid contest.

Cal: Yeah, I had to beg him.  I was afraid he would pull out before we’d get a chance to see!

Toby: Then, I saw Scarlett Stalling walking toward us in line.  She looked SO cool!

All: Was she by herself?

Toby: No, she was holding her bratty sister’s hand, but she walked right over to me.  To ME!  She said:

Scarlett:  (sweetly) Hey, Toby, would ya’ll do me a favor?

Toby: (squeaking)   “Sure.” I said.  She smiled and sang:

Scarlett: (sweetly)  Take Tara in for me.

Toby: She handed me two crumpled dollar bills and Tara’s hand as she said:

Scarlett:  (sweetly)  I’ve got to get back home and get ready.  Juan’s dropping by soon.

Toby: That’s when my mom’s words came back to me:

Mom: Toby, you better stay a spittin’ distance from that girl.  Her mother had a bad reputation when I went to school, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Toby: About that time, Cal punched my shoulder and said:

Cal:  Great going , ladies’ man!  Cute date you got there!

All: We couldn’t believe what Tara said next!

Voice 7: What did she say?

Voice 2: Fatty, fatty, two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door.

Voice 7: Did he hear her?

Cal: We hoped not.  Hey, Toby, remember what you said to Tara?

Toby: Yeah.  “Shut up, Squirt.”  Tara yanked my arm and started yelling.

Tara: Uuuummmmmm!  You said shut up!  Scarlett!  Toby said shut up to me!

All: But, it was too late.

Voice 3: Scarlett had already disappeared across the street.

Voice 4: Poor Toby.

Voice 5: Scarlett was probably home smearing lip gloss on her pouty lips…

Voice 6: ...while poor Toby had to stand there holding her whiny sister’s lollipopped fingers…

Voice 1:  waiting to see The Fattest Boy in the World.

Voice 2: You won’t believe what happened next!

All: Finally!   Things were about to start popping in Antler, Texas!


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