The 3 Little Dassies

By Jan Brett


Shortcut to Coloring Character Masks

Reader's Theater Adaptation
 by Judy Freeman. (For grades 1-3)


ROLES: Narrator 1, Narrator 2, Narrator 3, Narrator 4, Narrator 5, Mimbi, Pimbi, Timbi, Agama Man, Eagle

NOTE: If you want everyone in your class to have a role, expand the number of narrators. One child can be Narrator 1 on pages 1 and 2, and another can be Narrator 1 on pages 3 and 4, and so on. You could have 20 narrators this way, if you need to.

NARRATORS 1-5: Hot, hot, hot!

NARRATOR 1: The three little dassies were almost grown up and it was time for them to find their own place.

NARRATOR 2: Mimbi, Pimbi, and Timbi waved good-bye to Mommy, Daddy, aunties, uncles, and all their cousins and set out for the distant mountain.

3 DASSIES: Good-bye! Come and visit us!

MIMBI: A place cooler!

PIMBI: A place less crowded!

TIMBI: A place safe from big eagles!

NARRATOR 3: The sisters traveled all day and all night across the Namib Desert, arriving at the foot of the mountain the next morning.

3 DASSIES: This is where we will live!

NARRATOR 4: Out from the scree came a handsome smiling lizard with a squeaky voice.

AGAMA MAN: Welcome! No one has lived here for a long time. Just me and a family of eagles up on the mountain.

3 DASSIES: Eagles?

NARRATOR 5: The three little dassies shivered in the hot, hot sun.

NARRATORS 1-2: Where would they build their houses?

NARRATOR 1: Mimbi eyed the long grasses that grew there.

MIMBI: Look at these long grasses. They will make a lovely cool house.

NARRATOR 2: Mimbi set to work cutting, twisting, braiding, and bundling. She finished in no time.

MIMBI: Be near and dear sisters.

NARRATORS 3-5: She crawled into her grass house for a nap.

NARRATOR 3: Pimbi spotted pieces of driftwood, silver from the sun, lying in the sand of the dry riverbed.

PIMBI: These will make a fine wooden house.

NARRATOR 4: She set about collecting as many pieces as she could find.

NARRATOR 5: When it was finished, Pimbi hung up a hammock.

PIMBI: Be near and dear, sisters, while I rest my eyes.

NARRATOR 1: Timbi looked at the rocks around their mountain.

TIMBI: I will make a stone house, but it wonít be as easy to build as one made of grasses or sticks.

NARRATORS 1-5 And it wasnít.

NARRATOR 2: She had to work all day in the hot sun to get it finished in time to sleep in it that night.

NARRATOR 3: Agama Man had been watching them.

AGAMA MAN: I am so happy the three dassie sisters are staying on. I have missed having company.

NARRATOR 4: The three little dassies slept late into the morning as the sun rose higher and higher in the sky.

NARRATOR 5: The big old eagle who lived up on the mountain stretched his wings and flew down.

EAGLE: I need to find a meal for my hungry chicks.

NARRATOR 1: Mimbi woke up hungry and went outside.

NARRATOR 2: Suddenly a long-winged shadow passed over her.

MIMBI: Oh, no! Itís the eagle!

NARRATOR 3: Mimbi hurried back into her grass house.

EAGLE: I see you, dassie! Iíll flap and Iíll clap and Iíll blow your house in.

NARRATOR 4: The eagle beat the air with his wings until the grass roof sailed off.

NARRATORS 1-5: The eagle grabbed Mimbi and lifted her up, up, up to his nest.

AGAMA MAN: Oh, no! The eagle has Mimbi!

NARRATOR 1: But the eagle was greedy.

NARRATOR 2: No sooner had he dropped Mimbi into the nest than he spotted Pimbi in front of her stick house far below.

EAGLE: Two dassies would be double delicious!

NARRATORS 1-5: Down he went, feathers flying.

NARRATOR 3: Pimbi looked up and saw him coming.

PIMBI: Oh, no! Itís the eagle!

NARRATOR 4: She turned and ran back inside.

EAGLE: I see you, dassie! Iíll flap and Iíll clap and Iíll blow your house in.

NARRATORS 1-2: Twigs flew, sticks rattled, until Pimbiís stick house fell apart.

NARRATOR 5: Then, just like Mimbi, Pimbi felt herself being lifted high in the sky and plunked down in the eagleís nest.

AGAMA MAN: Oh, no! Now the eagle has Pimbi, too! I have to help them!

NARRATOR 1: Agama Man started climbing the rocks to reach the eagleís nest at the top of the mountain.

NARRATOR 2: Down below, at the bottom of the mountain, Timbi looked out of her stone house.

TIMBI: Sisters! Where are you? Iím making tasty seed porridge for your breakfast!

NARRATOR 3: Instead of a grass house and a stick house, she saw a long shadow streaking across the rocks.

TIMBI: Oh, help! Itís the eagle!

NARRATOR 4: Timbi darted her head back inside.

EAGLE: I see you, dassie! Iíll flap and Iíll clap and Iíll blow your house in.

NARRATORS 1-5: He flapped and clapped and beat his wings.

NARRATOR 5: Dust and sand blew everywhere.

NARRATORS 1-5: But the stone house didnít move.

EAGLE: Iíll try harder this time.

NARRATORS 1-5: He flapped and clapped and beat his wings even harder.

NARRATOR 1: Dust and sand got in his eyes.

NARRATORS 1-5: But the stone house didnít budge.

NARRATOR 2: In the meantime, Agama Man climbed up the rocks of the mountain, higher and higher until he reached the eagleís nest.

NARRATOR 3: There he found the sisters, Mimbi and Pimbi, in between the eagleís two chicks.

AGAMA MAN: Sisters, you are safe! Thank goodness!

MIMBI & PIMBI: Brave Agama Man! You found us!

AGAMA MAN: Quick, I know the way down. Let me help you out of here.

MIMBI & PIMBI: We are saved!

NARRATOR 4: The three raced down the rocks.

NARRATOR 5: Meanwhile, down below, when the dust settled, the stone house was still standing.

EAGLE: (coughing and sneezing) Just look at my wing feathers! Theyíre bent. That oneís broken! Oh, no! Iím missing tail feathers, too!

NARRATOR 1: Knowing when to quit, the eagle hopped his way up to his nest.

EAGLE: (still coughing and sneezing) At least I have two dassies waiting for my dinner!

NARRATORS 3-5: When the eagle reached his nest, he could see the dassies were gone.

EAGLE: Where did they go? (peers down the mountain) There they are, heading for the stone house. This is my last chance, but Iíll catch them now!

NARRATOR 2: The eagle streaked down toward the open chimney of Timbiís stone house as the three dassies raced inside.

NARRATOR 3: Inside the house, the three dassies hugged each other.

3 DASSIES: Thereís nothing like a stone house when there are eagles abundant!

NARRATOR 4: Just then, the eagle tumbled down the chimney.

EAGLE: Iíll flap and Iíll clap and Iíll . . .


NARRATOR 5: A hot blast from the fire hit him.

EAGLE: Iíll fly home for a nap!

NARRATOR 1: As fast as he could, he squeezed back up the chimney and flew home, all black and singed from the smoky fire.

3 DASSIES: Hooray! Heís gone!

NARRATORS 1-5: And Mimbi, Pimbi, and Timbi never saw so much as a tail feather of that eagle ever again.

NARRATOR 2: Mommy, Daddy, aunties, uncles, and all their cousins ó

AGAMA MAN: And Agama Man, too!

NARRATOR 3: . . . came to celebrate.

3 DASSIES: Welcome!

MIMBI: To a place cooler!

PIMBI: To a place less crowded!

TIMBI: To a place safe from big eagles!

NARRATOR 1: And if you travel to Namibia today, you will see dassies living in stone houses with handsome agama men looking out for them.

NARRATORS 1-5: As for those pesky eagles, they are easily spotted, for their feathers are as black as soot.


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