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President Teddy Bear
Cast of Characters:
Nora Parkington: 14, American, eldest daughter, spunky, ladylike, currently grumpy.
Pearl “Pea” Parkington: 6 ½, American, kid sister, bratty, whiny, attention seeking.
Alfred “Alfie” Parkington: 11, American, middle child and brother, know-it-all but has heart.
Nursery in upper-class mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City, 1902, late morning, summer.
PRESIDENT TEDDY BEAR
Pea! Give that back to me it’s my birthday present!
You didn’t want it, so it’s mine now! It’s so soft and cuddly…
Do you even know what it is?
It’s… it’s…it’s a bear!
Not just any bear Pea, that’s a Teddy Bear! Named after our President, Teddy Roosevelt! Remember last week Nora, when he refused to kill a black bear on his hunting trip? Well now they’re making little stuffed bears in his honor! You should be happy to get one for your birthday.
Well Alfie, excuse me for not being thrilled to get yet another doll-
-to drag around the Nursery! That’s all I do is sit around the house in these frilly dresses and-
PEARL (sing-songy) NORA (mockingly)
Learn how to be a lady!
Bleh! ‘Fold your napkin in your lap; chew like you have a secret; sit with your legs crossed; drink your tea with your pinky extended’…on and on!
Well I can’t wait to be a lady! I’ll wear fancy dresses and go dancing and be the prettiest deb… deb…
Debutante? I can’t imagine something more terrible! Pea you’re being brainwashed into becoming some sort of snotty princess! If President Roosevelt really wanted to make a difference he would let women vote or something, instead of babying us with toy bears!
Nora, watch it or mum’ll wash your mouth out with soap again. Besides you should just be happy that the three of us aren’t in a workhouse right now. That mum and dad are rich enough to let us play instead!
Play? Maybe you can blow bubbles and have fun but I can’t. I’m just as unhappy at dopey tea parties as those ‘poor kids’ are in factories.
Now you’re just being ridiculous.
There are kids that have to work?
Yes Pea, there are many poor kids that have to slave away in workhouses.
Dad said about half the kids in New York.
Well not us! Not the better half!
You don’t know what you’re talking about Pea, just be quiet.
Leave her alone she doesn’t know any better!
Exactly! All she knows is stupid housewife skills that fill her head with hot air.
It’s just sad.
Well, its noon I have to go, enjoy you’re birthday Miss Sassafras.
Where are you going?
The Wild West Traveling Show is in town and Dad said I could go with him, Mr. Hartley and Georgie.
Is that the show with cowboys and sharpshooters? Ooooooh, do you think Annie Oakley will be there? Could I come?
Mum says Annie Oakley isn’t a lady!
Why do you think I like her so much? Alfie, do you think Daddy will let me come? After all it is my birthday!
Dad said it’s for men’s eyes only. He said there are floozy women there and daredevils! ‘No girls allowed’ he said, ‘just for the men of the house!’ he said. So I don’t think you can go Nora.
Floozy! Floozy! Floozy! Hahaha!
That’s not fair! I’m the oldest and I won’t be left behind! Annie Oakley isn’t floozy! She rides horses and does tricks! She’s not a harlot!
Be quiet Nora! Stop being such a louse! I’m a boy and you’re a girl and your place is here in the Nursery! Be an example for Pearl will you? I’m going to the Wild West Show with the men now. Happy Birthday! (Leaves)
No need for him to get his knickers in a twist! I hate etiquette. Just because we’re loaded and live on “Millionaire’s Row” in New York, doesn’t make us better than anyone else Pea, remember that.
Can I still have the Teddy bear?
Be my guest, but you just wait Pea. It’s a new century! Girls won’t have to hide behind President Teddy Bear for long.