Monday, August 1, 2011

How the Puppet Got His Mouth

Here we are ("we" being me and the fluffy guys, aka The Mighty Tatterdemalions), performing two of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories a couple weeks ago in Portland, Maine:

This is the beginning of the Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo, which was always my favorite Just So Story as a little kid, because it featured (a) a kangaroo (b) a dingo and (c) little, medium-sized, and big gods respectively named Nqa, Nquing and Nqong.  (These are only their stage names, of course.  Their real names are Bqa, Bquing and Bqong.)  Here is Kangaroo, possibly my favorite puppet ever, deep in conversation with the little god Nqa.

Kangaroo is extremely shocked here, and as visible puppeteer I'm supposed to be matching his expression.  However, I'd begun smiling because my audience (who consisted of 25 or 30 adorable and riveted four-year-olds who I swear were direct from Central Casting) had begun roaring with laughter when I didn't expect it at all.  They caught me off guard.  Couldn't help myself.

Here are the Whale and the Small 'Stute Fish from How the Whale Got His Throat, which, as its title suggests, tells the story of Old Man Kangaroo.  No, only kidding, it tells the story of how the whale learned not to eat people.  We can agree this has been a great boon to humanity except in the case of the cast of Teen Mom.  Anyway, guiding the whale on the way is this little fish, who, yes, is wearing glasses, though I am informed this is not zoologically accurate.

At the risk of destroying the mystique of my co-star here, I will reveal that his insides are made of poly-fill fluff, bits of foam, and bits of other discarded puppets, which actually I guess makes him a cannibal in a sense after all.  Oh, well.


BobP said...

I still prefer The Elephant's Child, but I'm thinking as a reader, not a puppeteer...

Susan Price said...

Loved this post - loved the title! I'm going to post a blog this Saturday about Kipling - it'll be over on 'Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?' I'm putting in a link to yours!