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A Lowdown Snake-in-the-Grass


Narrator: Laura
Cowgirl Sierra: Corrine
Miss Desert Rose: Bethany
Sheriff Liz King: Harmony
Texas Rocco: CR
Rancher Cody: Megan
California Bill: Philip
Rodeo Ann: Talitha
Miss Priscilla White: Tera
John: Chris

Opening scene. On the street of Dusty Gulch are a drugstore, a jail, and a large open doorway bearing the name of the A+W Ranch. Also a piano.

Narrator: One dry day in the town of Dusty Gulch, a group of cowboys came down from the A+W Ranch for a night on the town. ,(Sounds of fighting in the drugstore.) As usual, there was a brawl between Cowgirl Sierra and Miss Desert Rose….

(Yells in the drugstore.)

Sheriff Liz comes out holding Sierra by the arm.

Liz: Now, listen here, Sierra. I've had enough of you fightin' with that little lady. What do you fight over all the time, anyway?

Sierra: Mom, she's a prissy, air-headed, little ball of feathers.

Miss Desert Rose(from drugstore): Oh, yeah? Well, same to you, and it's not very lady-like, either!

Sierra: I really don't give a care.

Liz: Shut-up and go home. I'll talk to you later.

Sierra: Fine! But I still think she's a prissy little air head!
(stomps off)

Miss Desert Rose walks out of drugstore behind Texas Rocco, trying to get his attention. He turns around

Texas Rocco: Leave me alone, woman!

Miss Desert Rose (turns around): Yeah, leave him alone!

Texas Rocco: No, yah air head, YOU!

Miss Desert Rose (crushed): Awwwwwwww…. (sniffs walks away)

Texas Rocco (wipes brow): Thank goodness she's gone!

Liz King watches, thinks 'I don't think I like this guy.'

Rocco walks off. Rancher Cody appears from direction of A+W Ranch.

Rancher Cody: Howdy, sheriff! How's it going?

Liz: Not s'good, Cody. My daughter's still dukin' it out with Miss DR over that Rocco fellow, and she still won't listen to me about just stayin' away from that snake in the grass, and she still won't listen t'me about getting a different job where she won't run around with them cowboys.

Cody: I beg to differ with ya, Sheriff, cause she's a mighty good rider. The best to ride MY ranch, that's for certain. And that Rocco fellow strikes me as an all-right guy.

Liz: Well, let's not argee about it. Ya still wanna go ridin' this afternoon?

Cody: You bet, Sheriff. I'm looking forward to it.

They both exit in the direction of the A+W Ranch, and California Bill and Rodeo Ann come from drugstore, and squirt crowd with squirt guns.



Curtain is closed, and Cody and Liz are riding on the plains.

Liz: Mighty fine herd of cattle ya got here, neighbor.

Cody: Yep. I'm mighty proud of 'em.

Liz: How many ya got?

Cody: Oh, five hundred fifty head all together. That herd you see down there should be about sixty.

Liz: Uh, sorry to break it to ya, but I only see about twenty down there!

Cody: WHAT? (looks hard) That cain't be! We've got a rustler around here again!

Liz: Let's get back to town.

Narrator: When they arrived back in town, Miss Desert Rose was going towards the sheriff office, a wickedly purposeful gleam in her lovely hazel eyes.

Miss DR (enters office): 'Scuse me, Miss Sierra, you're in for another fight!

Sierra: I'm busy right now. Maybe later, ya snob.

DR: OOH, you're asking for it now. (Slaps Sierra)

Sierra: I don't think so. (Slaps back, DR falls to ground.)

Liz comes running in

Liz: Hey! Cut it out!

DR carries on and on. Crying and sobbing and acting like she's half-killed

Liz looks worried

Liz: Look what you did to her!

Sierra: But, Mom-

Liz: Don't matter-you're grounded for the next two weeks.

Sierra looks at DR

Sierra: I'll be back, ya little snot-booger.

She leaves

DR (sniffles some more): You have a rotten little daughter.

Liz: Hey, I know she ain't perfect, but she's my daughter, and I don't want you to insult her. Just cause you like Rocco and she don't is no reason for you to get all uppity.

Rose: I'm so sorry, sheriff.

Liz: that's okay, ma'am. Just don't do it again.

Texas Rocco: Howdy, Miss White.

Miss White: Hello, sir. So, what do you want today? (GOING TO THE COUNTER).

Rocco: Just a root beer.

(Rocco leaves.)

Rose enters, but seeing Rocco, follows him out. Liz shakes her head.

Liz: Hmm. I wonder why she likes him.

Cody: Well, everyone likes him, Sheriff, 'cept you and your daughter.

Liz: Huh? She don't? But then why does she fight with me over him?

Cody (shrugs): Don't rightly know, Liz, but all those fight with Miss Desert Rose are over him, too. Miss DR thinks he's the best thing since the rifle, and Sierra just plain ol' disagrees.

Liz: Hmmm. Don't make much sense, does it?

Cody: Guess not, Sheriff. Not that it matters.

Liz (grunts): Yep.

California Bill and Rodeo Ann appear, squirting fit to bust.



Scene is the home of Sierra and Liz King.

Liz is upset that her daughter would fight, but curious about her dislike of Texas Rocco.

Liz: Sierra, you know I don't like you to fight, so how come you keep on doin' it?

Sierra: Desert Rose said she was gonna have another fight with me. I didn't want to, but she hit me, so I hit back. Is that so bad?

Liz (thoughtfully): No, I guess not. But why did you two start fightin' in the first place?

Sierra: She likes Rocco cause he's cute, but I don't. He looks like real snake to me.

Liz: Well, I agree with you. (Thinks for a little while.) I think I was wrong about you, Sierra. I thought you were still a little girl who needed my protection. But here you are ridin' the range better than most men, and knowing enough to stay away from a bad man. I'm proud of you.

Sierra (surprised): Really?

Liz: Yeah. I'm sorry I was so prejudiced, honey. But you really need to stop fightin' with Miss Desert Rose. She don't have as much sense as you, always chasing after that snake. I'd rather you protected her than always acted so mad.

Sierra: I guess you're right, Mom. I'll try to be nicer from now on, even if she is a little goose.

Liz: Then you're not grounded any more.

Sierra: Thanks, Mom.


Narrator: But back in town, trouble is brewing. Texas Rocco has shown his true colors and is attempting to rob the A+W Ranch.

Rocco: Stick 'em up!

Miss Priscilla White sticks 'em up.

Rocco: Give me all the money, now! (Throws a bag to Miss White.)

Priscilla (obeys): Okay, here. (Gives him bag full of monopoly money. She decides to stall him if she can) Wait! How about a root beer before you go?

Rocco (hesitates): Well, okay, but just a quick one.

Liz arrives while Priscilla is stalling. Rocco drops bag and runs.

Priscilla: Sheriff! It's about time!

Liz: Well, you got your money now, don't you? I must go; gotta catch that thievin' rascal.

Priscilla: Bye!

Liz goes out into street and meets Miss Desert Rose.

Miss Desert Rose (sweetly): Hi, Sheriff. Where is Sierra? I need to talk to her.

Liz: No, Miss Desert Rose, I know all about the fight in the jail office. I want you to leave Sierra alone, or I'll have to have a talk with your father.

Rose (smiles): You wouldn't do that, now, would you?

John arrives.

John: What's goin' on here?

Liz (smiles): Nothing at all. (Looks menacingly at Rose.) Is there?

Rose (quickly): Nonothing'sgoingonhere.

John: Oh well, then, I hear Texas Rocco is in town. Did you know he's wanted in Washington for rustlin' the president's cattle?

Liz: Really! Hmmm. Cody has some cattle missing. I think I'll have a look into this. Thank ya kindly, sir.

John: Why, you're sure welcome, Sheriff. Glad to be of service.


Narrator: That night Sierra and her mother and Miss Desert Rose were eating dinner at the A+W Ranch with Rancher Cody when….

Texas Rocco bursts in with mask over his face and pointed gun. He seizes Rose. Sierra jumps to the rescue, and he grabs her as well.

Rocco: They're comin' with me whether you like it or not. Don't you move, or I'll blow Rose's head off!

Rose is screaming in terror. Sierra joins in, not to be outdone by an airhead.

Liz: What do you want? You know you cain't get away! How will you keep Sierra from stopping you?

Rocco: That's quite simple, really. (He knocks her out with the butt of his squirt gun.)

Liz (really mad now): That's my daughter you hit, and you're gonna pay the piper. (She slowly stands and puts her hand to her gun.)

Rocco: You want poor Sierra to die from a gun-shot to the head? No? I wouldn't move, then.

The cowboys and girls come in squirting everyone and yelling YEEHAA. This gives the Sheriff a chance to leap across the room and take out Rocco.

As she and Cody leave to take the fighting, struggling Rocco to jail, Rose is kneeling by Sierra, sobbing, for real this time.

Sierra wakes up and sees Rose.

Sierra: What's wrong, Rose?

Rose (stops crying): Sierra! Are you all right? I thought you died tryin' to save mah life!

Sierra: Nah, I'm okay.

Rose hugs Sierra and Sierra hugs back as love music plays. Curtain falls. It is the end.

Comments: This is a pretty old one, made in June 1998. The first play I ever wrote. Corrine, my cousin, and I wrote it together. All cast members are family or neighbors. We never performed the play. Corrine thought it sounded too much like a soap opera. When Bethany and I read this the other day, she was absolutely outraged with how horrible her part was. At the time Philip and Talitha were pretty young, 5 and 4, so we were going to dress them in cowboy clothes and give them squirt guns and let them come out between scenes. It would have been pretty adorable. CR was this skinny little ten-year-old, not at ALL the sun-browned cowboy. Bethany was nine, and very cute in a bonnet, with big front teeth. I laughed a lot, reading this play the other day, and Bethany's antics at Miss Desert Rose's embarrassing lines were pretty entertaining, too. Don't you just love the name 'California Bill?' Whoo-hoo!

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