The following is a scene from the HTY play. Read it aloud with student volunteer readers, or have students read it together in groups of 5 (There are five characters).
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Why the Sea is Salty
JUAN 1: Many, many years ago, the sea tasted like ordinary rainwater. It was bland and tasteless.
JUAN 2: Fortunately, the people living in our islands knew of a friendly Giant who kept vast mounds of salt in his cave.
JUAN 3: The people would cross the ocean on boats to reach the gentle Giant’s island, and that is how they were able to bring salt back to their villages, in order to prepare tastier meals.
The four Juans sail. The Giant hands them a bag of salt.
JUAN 4: (tastes the salt) Delicious! Thanks!
GIANT: No problem, Juan, Juan, Juan and Juan!
The four sail back.
JUAN 3: One time, however, the sea was quite rough and they could not set sail to the Giant’s island. The villagers waited but the sea would not calm down. Eventually the sea smashed their boats to bits, they ran out of salt and could no longer enjoy their tasteless meals.
JUAN 2: No!
JUAN 1: This is bad. How can we ever get salt again?
JUAN 2: Why don’t we ask the Giant to stretch his giant leg out over the sea so we can walk over to his island?
JUAN 4: That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard, Juan. Wait! I know…why don’t we ask the Giant to stretch his giant leg out over the sea so we can walk over to his island?
JUAN 3: That’s a great idea, Juan!
JUAN 2: How are you, mister Giant! If it’s not too troublesome, do you think you could help us get some salt by stretching your leg over to us so that we can walk over to your island and get some?
Juan 1 grabs three empty sacks from offstage.
GIANT: Come on over, Juan!
JUAN 2: Thank you mister Giant! Let’s get some salt!
The four Juans walk across the Giant’s leg. The four Juans fill their bags with salt.
GIANT: OW! Something’s biting my leg. Oh no, I must have landed on an anthill. Ow! Red ants! I hate red ants. Ow ow ow! Hey, Juan! Juan! Juan! Juan! Are you all finished grabbing salt?
JUAN 1: All finished mister Giant!
JUAN 2: We’ll have salt for months!
JUAN 3: These bags are heavy!
JUAN 4: Just one more!
GIANT: No! You must hurry back to your island. Ow! My leg landed on an anthill and is starting to itch from all the bites. Ow! Hurry back now!
ALL JUANS: Yes!
JUAN 3: It’s hard to hurry with these heavy salt sacks.
JUAN 1: And how could some tiny ants hurt a Giant?
AN 2: Maybe he’s allergic?
JUAN 4: Such a sensitive one this Giant.
GIANT: Ow! Juan! Are you back on your island yet?
JUAN 1: Wait, which Juan are you talking to? I’m almost there.
GIANT: Ow! Hurry Juan!
JUAN 2: Which Juan are you talking to?
JUAN 3: This Juan?
JUAN 4: Or that Juan?
GIANT: Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow…OWEEEEEEEE!!!!
The Giant pulls this leg out from under the Juans. They fall into the sea.
JUAN 1: Juan! I can’t swim!
JUAN 3: Help Juan! Juan!
JUAN 2: Which Juan can’t swim?
JUAN 4: This Juan!
ALL JUANS: All the salt sacks fell into the plain-water-sea and melted.
GIANT: The Giant saved Juan, Juan, Juan, and Juan from drowning.
JUAN 1: But they were not able to recover any of the spilt salt.
JUAN 2: From that day on,
ALL JUANS: The sea has always been salty.
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