Introduction to the lesson


The Book that Saved the Earth

Introduction to the lesson

The storey revolves around a book of nursery rhymes titled 'the Mother Goose,' which has been depicted as the book that saved the earth from an alien attack. The storey begins with a historian telling the audience how Martians planned to attack Earth one day in the twentieth century. A crew of theirs lands in a library on Earth and attempts to decipher the meaning of the books that they mistook for a sandwich. There, they come across a rhyme about Humpty Dumpty that reminds them of their master Think tank. They are all terrified at the prospect of their masters losing control of Mars due to humans, and they abandon their plan to invade Earth.                

The Book that Saved the Earth Summary

The storey begins with a stage show from the twenty-fifth century in which a historian sits in a museum and explains the truth about the twentieth-century Martian invasion. To back up her claim, she asks the audience to look into the historiscope, a device that can display historical events. In the following scene, two characters are shown, one of whom has a balloon brain and is identified as the master. Think Tank is his name, and Noodle is his assistant. They're both talking about how they're going to invade Earth.

They believe that Earth is a ridiculous plan and that they should invade the planet to establish their kind rule over it. As a result, the master think tank dispatches one of his crew to inspect Earth. The crew lands in a library and appears perplexed because they know nothing about the library's contents (books). As a result, they consult with their master Think Tank, which they believe is very intelligent. He asks them to show him the item and informs them that it is sandwiches, which are a staple of the earthlings' diet. He orders his crew to consume it, which they then dismiss as a tasteless eatable.

Noodle, his assistant, corrects him and informs him that they are the communication devices. When he hears this, he orders his crew to listen to the data from the devices. They try to hear it, but they don't hear anything from them. Noodle reminds his master Think Tank that they are to be read, not heard. So, with the help of vitamins provided by Mars' chemical department, the crew attempts to read the book. It was a rhyme book.

The Book that Saved the Earth Lesson  and Explanation

TIME: The twenty-fifth century
PLACE: The Museum of Ancient History: Department of the Twentieth
Century on the Planet Earth
BEFORE RISE: Spotlight shines on Historian, who is sitting at a table down right, on which is a movie projector. A sign on an easel beside her reads: Museum of Ancient History: Department of the Twentieth Century. She stands and bows to audience.

  • Museum: A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.
  • Spotlight: A lamp projecting a beam of light on a particular place or person.
  • Historian: An expert in or student in history.
  • Easel: a wooden frame for holding an artist’s work while it is being painted or drawn act.

As a result, the act starts with a setup in which the time is shown to be the twenty-fifth century. The setting is the Museum of Ancient History Department of the Twentieth Century on the planet Earth, and a lamp is shining light on a historian. She is seated at a table to the right, which has a projector on it. Behind her is a wooden frame with the words Museum of Ancient History: Department of the Twentieth Century written on it. She rises and bows to the audience before beginning her performance.

HISTORIAN: Good afternoon. Welcome to our Museum of Ancient History, and to my department — curiosities of the good old, far-off twentieth century. The twentieth century was often called the Era of the Book. In those days, there were books about everything, from anteaters to Zulus. Books taught people how to, and when to, and where to, and why to. They illustrated, educated, punctuated, and even decorated. But the Mother Goose is a well-known book of nursery rhymes in English. Do you think such a book can save Planet Earth from a Martian invasion? Read this play, set four centuries in the future, and find out. The Book That Saved the Earth strangest thing a book ever did was to save the Earth. You haven’t heard about the Martian invasion of 2040? Tsk, tsk. What do they teach children nowadays? Well, you know, the invasion never really happened, because a single book stopped it. What was the book, you ask? A noble encyclopedia? A tome about rockets and missiles? A secret file from outer space? No, it was none of those. It was — but here, let me turn on the historiscope and show you what happened many centuries ago, in 2040. (She turns on projector, and points it left. Spotlight on Historian goes out, and comes up down left on Think-Tank, who is seated on a raised box, arms folded. He has a huge, egg-shaped head, and he wears a long robe decorated with stars and circles. Apprentice Noodle stands beside him at an elaborate switchboard. A sign on an

  • easel reads: MARS SPACE CONTROL
  • Zulus:
  • Illustrated: adjective of a book, newspaper
  • Martian: related to mars
  • Invasion: capture, annex
  • Encyclopedia: book which gives information on many subjects
  • Historiscope: Here, it means a bioscope that shows history of something.
  • Apprentice: trainee, leaner
  • Elaborate: detailed, complicated

The historian welcomes everyone to the ancient history museum. She introduces her department's curiosities from the distant twentieth century. Then she begins to explain the twentieth century, which was known as the "Book Era." It was because there were a variety of books available on various topics such as Zulus and ant eaters. The books answered the questions of when, where, and how to do a variety of things. They discussed a variety of other topics, but the most incredible thing that a book did was to save the Earth from an attack by Mars residents. This was accomplished by a rhyme book called 'Mother Goose,' not an informational book. The historian then claims that the attack was planned in the year 2040. When people talk about it now, they tell their children that nothing like this has ever happened because the book that inspired it was not based on rockets, missiles, or anything else. Then, to back up her claim, she turns on the projector, which she refers to as a historiscope, and invites the audience to look into it to learn more about that particular day.

The spotlight then moves towards Think Tank (Martian, alien) who is seated on a box with his arms folded. He is described as a creature with huge egg shaped head and he wears clothes that are decorated with stars and circles. There is a wooden frame behind his head which reads Mars Space Control Great and Mighty Think-Tank, Commander in Chief.

Noodle: (bowing) O Great and Mighty Think-Tank, most powerful and intelligent creature in the whole universe, what are your orders?
THINK-TANK: (peevishly) You left out part of my salutation, Apprentice Noodle. Go over the whole thing again.
NOODLE: It shall be done, sir. (In a singsong) O Great and Mighty Think-Tank, Ruler of Mars and her two moons, most powerful and intelligent creature in the whole universe — (out of breath) what-are-your-orders?
THINK-TANK: That’s better, Noodle. I wish to be placed in communication with our manned space probe to that ridiculous little planet we are going to put under our generous rulership. What do they call it, again?
NOODLE: Earth, your Intelligence.
THINK-TANK: Earth — of course. You see how insignificant the place is? But first, something important. My mirror. I wish to consult my mirror.

  • Mighty: fearsome
  • Peevishly: irritable
  • Space probe: research, exploration
  • Ridiculous: funny, hilarious
  • Generous: liberal
  • Consult: seek advice from

So now the conversation begins between Think Tank, the egg-shaped head creature, and his assistant Noodle.

Noodle enters and respectfully bows in front of Think Tank. He then refers to him as the most intelligent and powerful being in the universe. Think tank is irritated by this and calls him out for not doing it correctly. Noodle reiterates his claim that he is not only the most intelligent and powerful creature in the universe, but also the ruler of Planet Mars and its two moons.

Think Tank approves his greeting and also orders him to establish communication with space exploration to a funny planet so that their liberal ruler ship can be stationed on it. Noodle then informs him of the name of that planet, which is Earth. Think Tank responds by saying that it is a less important location, and then he requests a mirror from which to seek advice.

NOODLE: It shall be done, sir. (He hands Think-Tank a mirror.)
THINK-TANK: Mirror, mirror, in my hand. Who is the most fantastically intellectually gifted being in the land?
OFFSTAGE VOICE: (after a pause) You, sir.
THINK-TANK: (smacking mirror) Quicker. Answer quicker next time. I hate a slow mirror. (He admires himself in the mirror.)
Ah, there I am. Are we Martians not a handsome race? So much more attractive than those ugly Earthlings with their tiny heads. Noodle, you keep on exercising your mind, and someday you’ll have a balloon brain just like mine.
NOODLE: Oh, I hope so, Mighty Think-Tank. I hope so.
THINK-TANK: Now, contact the space probe. I want to invade that primitive ball of mud called Earth before lunch.
NOODLE: It shall be done, sir. (He adjusts levers on switchboard. Electronic buzzes and beeps are heard as the curtains open.)

  • Earthlings: here, human beings
  • Primitive ball: ancient ball
  • Smacking: to hit

Noodle immediately obeys his command and brings him the mirror. Think Tank requests that his mirror tell him about the most fantastic and wise creature. The mirror responds to him by saying you, and because the mirror took some time to respond, Think Tank hits it and orders the mirror to respond sooner the next time. He then investigates and concludes that Martians are very attractive and not ugly like humans with small heads. He also instructs Noodle to exercise his brain in order for him to have a large balloon-like brain. Noodle expresses gratitude to his boss. Following that, the think tank instructs him to contact the space probe in order to attack the ancient ball known as Earth before lunch. Noodle obeys his command and pulls the switchboard's levers. It begins to emit electronic buzzes and beeps.

TIME: A few seconds later
PLACE: Mars Space Control and the Centerville Public Library
AT RISE: Captain Omega stands at centre, opening and closing card catalogue drawers in a confused fashion. Lieutenant Iota is up left, counting books in a bookcase. Sergeant Oop is at right, opening and closing a book, turning it upside down, shaking it and then riffling the pages and shaking his head.
NOODLE: (adjusting knobs) I have a close sighting of the space Crew, sir.
(Think-Tank puts on a pair of enormous goggles and turns towards the stage to watch.) They seem to have entered some sort of Earth structure.

THINK-TANK: Excellent. Make voice contact

  • Catalogue: list, category
  • Lieutenant: deputy, an army rank
  • Sergeant: officer ranking below a lieutenant
  • Riffling: shuffling

Now scene 2 begins, and the locations shown are the Mars control room and the Centerville Public Library. As the curtain rises, new characters emerge, such as Captain Omega, who opens and closes list drawers containing lists of various books from the library. He is perplexed as to what these drawers contain. Lieutenant Lota, a deputy officer, is busy counting books in the bookshelf on the left side. Sergeant Oop is on the right side, opening, closing, and shuffling a book. Noodle adjusts himself and says he'll take a closer look at the location. Think tank puts on his large goggles and looks around. He claims that their crew appears to have entered the earth's surface. He is delighted to arrive on Earth and greets it with his best wishes, as well as an order to make voice contact.

NOODLE: (speaking into a microphone) Mars Space Control calling the crew of Probe One. Mars Space Control calling the crew of Probe One. Come in, Captain Omega, and give us your location.
OMEGA: (speaking into a disk which is on a chain around her neck) Captain Omega to Mars Space Control.
Lieutenant Iota, Sergeant Oop, and I have arrived on Earth without incident. We have taken shelter in this (indicates room) — this square place. Have you any idea where we are, Lieutenant Iota?
IOTA: I can’t figure it out, Captain. (holding up a book) I’ve counted two thousand of these peculiar items. This place must be some sort of storage barn. What do you think, Sergeant Oop?
OOP: I haven’t a clue. I’ve been to seven galaxies, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Maybe they’re hats.
(He opens a book and puts it on his head.) Say, maybe this is a haberdashery!
OMEGA: (bowing low) Perhaps the Great and Mighty Think- Tank will give us the benefit of his thought on the matter.

  • Crew: team
  • Incident: happening
  • Barn: shelter, outhouse
  • Clue: idea
  • Peculiar: strange
  • Galaxies: solar system
  • Haberdashery: sewing items such as buttons, needles etc

Noodle attempts to make contact with the crew. He also asks Omega about their landing spot. So Captain Omega responds that all three of them have arrived safely on Earth, but they are unsure of their location because it is only a square place. Lieutenant Iota claims he has no idea where he is, but he has already counted two thousand of the strange items (books) in this room. Despite being in the seven galaxies (solar system), Oop says he has no idea what the items are, but he assumed they were hats. He opens the book and places it on his head, speculating that it may contain some sewing supplies. Finally, Omega bowed his head and suggested that the think tank could assist them in determining the location and the item present there.

THINK-TANK: Elementary, my dear Omega. Hold one of the items up so that I may view it closely. (Omega holds a book on the palm of her hand.) Yes, yes, I understand now. Since Earth creatures are always eating, the place in which you find yourselves is undoubtedly a crude refreshment stand.
OMEGA: (to Iota and Oop) He says we’re in a refreshment stand.
OOP: Well, the Earthlings certainly have a strange diet.
THINK-TANK: That item in your hand is called a sandwich.
OMEGA: (nodding) A sandwich.
IOTA: (nodding) A sandwich.
OOP: (taking book from his head) A sandwich?
THINK-TANK: Sandwiches are the main staple of Earth diet. Look at it closely.(Omega squints at book.) There are two slices of what is called bread, and between them is some sort of filling.
OMEGA: That is correct, sir.
THINK-TANK: To confirm my opinion, I order you to eat it.
OMEGA: (gulping) Eat it?
THINK-TANK: Do you doubt the Mighty Think-Tank

  • Elementary: easy, basic
  • Staple food: a routine food
  • Squints: look with/through narrowed eyes
  • Gulping; to swallow

Think Tank claims that it is very simple to figure out, and he requests that Omega hold the items in his hand so that he can see them. Omega accomplishes this by holding it in her palm. He then informs them that because the earthlings are always busy eating, they have all landed at some sort of refreshment area (eating place). He even informed them that the strange object in their hands is a sandwich, a common human food. Surprisingly, all three of them look at the books and murmur the word sandwich. Think Tank also describes the appearance of a sandwich. He claims that there are two slices of bread with some sort of filling between them. Omega confirms that, indeed, he is correct. The think tank then instructs her to consume the sandwich for final confirmation. Omega swallows, unsure whether to eat the strange thing or not. Think Tank is irritated by this and questions her decision to not rely on him.

OMEGA: Oh, no, no. But poor Lieutenant Iota has not had her breakfast. Lieutenant Iota, I order you to eat this —this sandwich.
IOTA: (dubiously) Eat it? Oh, Captain! It’s a very great honour to be the first Martian to eat a sandwich, I’m sure, but — but how can I be so impolite as to eat before my Sergeant? (handing Oop the book and saying brightly) Sergeant Oop, I order you to eat the sandwich immediately.
OOP: (making a face) Who, Lieutenant? Me, Lieutenant?
IOTA and OMEGA: (saluting) For the glory of Mars, Oop!
OOP: Yes, of course! (unhappily) Immediately. (He opens his mouth wide. Omega and Iota watch him breathlessly. He bites down on a corner of the book, and pantomimes chewing and swallowing, while making terrible faces.)
OMEGA: Well, Oop?
IOTA: Well, Oop? (Oop coughs. Omega and Iota pound him on the back.)
THINK-TANK: Was it not delicious, Sergeant Oop?
OOP: (saluting) That is correct, sir. It was not delicious. I don’t know how the Earthlings can get those sandwiches down without water. They’re dry as Martian dust.
NOODLE: Sir, sir. Great and Mighty Think-Tank. I beg your pardon, but an insignificant bit of data floated into my mind about those sandwiches.
THINK-TANK: It can’t be worth much, but go ahead. Give us your trifling bit of data.
NOODLE: Well, sir, I have seen surveyor films of those sandwiches. I noticed that the Earthlings did not eat them. They used them as some sort of communication device.
THINK-TANK: (haughtily) Naturally. That was my next point. These are actually communication sandwiches. Think-Tank is never wrong. Who is never wrong?
ALL: (saluting) Great and Mighty Think-Tank is never wrong.
THINK-TANK: Therefore, I order you to listen to them.

  • Dubiously: with hesitation or doubt
  • Breathlessly: Not able to breathe easily
  • Pantomimes: comedy based on nursery story/rhyme. Here, it means comic expression on face
  • Insignificant: less important
  • Surveyor: an official inspector
  • Trifling: unimportant

Omega tries to pass it on to Lieutenant Iota because she hasn't had her breakfast yet. Iota appeared hesitant to eat it, so she explained that she couldn't eat anything unless her sergeant did, as it would be impolite. Sergeant Oop does not want to eat it, but she does so because she is required to do so by her superior. The other two looked at her breathlessly while she ate because they couldn't breathe easily in such a difficult situation. Oop was making amusing faces while chewing that tasteless, difficult-to-swallow food. She does, however, eventually swallow it. Think Tank tries to determine whether the food was tasty or not. Oop responds that it was tasteless and reminded him of mars dust. Meanwhile, Noodle attempts to intervene and informs them that he has received information about the sandwich. Think Tank regards it as irrelevant information, but requests that he share it with them. He informs them that it was not an edible, but rather an earthling communication device. So, in order to cover up his error, think tank claims that he was about to inform everyone that these were communication sandwiches. He also instructs them to listen to see if they receive any information from these devices.

OMEGA: Listen to them?
IOTA AND OOP: (to each other, puzzled) Listen to them?
THINK-TANK: Do you have marbles in your ears? I said, listen to them. (Martians bow very low.)
OMEGA: It shall be done, sir. (They each take two books from the case, and hold them to their ears, listening intently.)
IOTA: (whispering to Omega) Do you hear anything?
OMEGA: (whispering back) Nothing. Do you hear anything, Oop?
OOP: (loudly) Not a thing! (Omega and Iota jump in fright.)
OMEGA AND IOTA: Sh-h-h! (They listen intently again.)
THINK-TANK: Well? Well? Report to me. What do you hear?
OMEGA: Nothing, sir. Perhaps we are not on the correct frequency.
IOTA: Nothing, sir. Perhaps the Earthlings have sharper ears than we do.
OOP: I don’t hear a thing. Maybe these sandwiches don’t make sounds.
THINK-TANK: What? Does somebody suggest the Mighty Think-Tank has made a mistake?
OMEGA: Oh, no, sir; no, sir. We’ll keep listening.
NOODLE: Please excuse me, your Brilliance, but a cloudy piece of information is twirling around in my head.
THINK-TANK: Well, twirl it out, Noodle, and I will clarify it for you.
NOODLE: I seem to recall that the Earthlings did not listen to the sandwiches; they opened them and watched them.
THINK-TANK: Yes, that is quite correct, I will clarify that for you, Captain Omega. Those sandwiches are not for ear communication, they are for eye communication. Now, Captain Omega, take that large, colorful sandwich over there. It appears to be important. Tell me what you observe.
(Omega picks up a very large volume of Mother Goose, holding it so that the audience can see the title. Iota looks over her left shoulder, and Oop peers over her right shoulder.)

  • Intently: keenly
  • Twirl: turn round
  • Observe: notice

So now all three are perplexed because their master has ordered them to listen to the communication sandwiches. All three obey his command and attempt to hear the device, but none of them do. They interrogate each other about what they heard. The think tank requests that they report on what they have heard. They tell him that they hear nothing, and Omega suspects that they are not on the right frequency, that is, they are not at the right rate when something happens over a specific period of time.

Iota believed that humans had better hearing abilities than Martians. Oop, on the other hand, believes they make no sound. Noodle seeks permission from Think Tank at this point because he has some vague (unclear) information in his mind that is tuning up and down in his head. ThinkTank requests that Noodle share the information with him so that he can clarify it. Noodle recalls that these devices don't make any noises. After hearing this, Omega informs Think Tank that they were the eye communication devices. He also requests that he open the largest device in order to obtain some pertinent information from this sandwich. Omega then takes up a large book titled Mother Goose and begins reading it. He is joined by the other two.

OMEGA: It appears to contain pictures of Earthlings.
IOTA: There seems to be some sort of code.
THINK-TANK: (sharply interested) Code? I told you this was important. Describe the code.
OOP: its little lines and squiggles and dots — thousands of them alongside the pictures.
THINK-TANK: Perhaps the Earthlings are not as primitive as we have thought. We must break the code.
NOODLE: Forgive me, your Cleverness, but did not the chemical department give our space people vitamins to increase their intelligence?
THINK-TANK: Stop! A thought of magnificent brilliance has come to me. Space people, our chemical department has given you vitamins to increase your intelligence. Take them immediately and then watch the sandwich. The meaning of the code will slowly unfold before you.
OMEGA: It shall be done, sir. Remove vitamins. (Crew takes vitamins from boxes on their belts.) Present vitamins. (They hold vitamins out in front of them, stiffly.) Swallow vitamins. (They pop the vitamins into their mouths and gulp simultaneously. They open their eyes wide, their heads shake, and they put their hands to their foreheads.)

  • Squiggles: a short line that curls and loops in an irregular way
  • Magnificent: glorious, majestic
  • Stiffly: non flexible
  • Gulps: swallow
  • Simultaneously: at the same time

So, Omega reports that there are some images of Earth's living creatures. He claims that there are some codes as well. Think Tank responds that he was already aware of the device's importance and orders them to describe the code. According to Oop, there is a mix of small lines, dots, curls, and loops. Think Tank believes that earthlings were not as ancient as he thought. He requests that they decipher the code. Noodle suggests using the intelligence vitamins provided by the Chemical department. Think tank tries to pass off this suggestion as his own and advises the crew to take the vitamin. The entire crew swallows it all at once. As a result, their eyes widened and their heads began to shake.

THINK-TANK: Excellent. Now, decipher that code.
ALL: It shall be done, sir. (They frown over the book, turning pages.)
OMEGA: (brightly) Aha!
IOTA: (brightly) Oho!
OOP: (bursting into laughter) Ha, ha, ha.
THINK-TANK: What does it say? Tell me this instant. Transcribe, Omega.
OMEGA: Yes, sir. (She reads with great seriousness.) Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow? With cockle shells and silver bells And pretty maids all in a row.
OOP: Ha, ha, ha. Imagine that. Pretty maids growing in a garden.
THINK-TANK: (alarmed) Stop! This is no time for levity. Don’t you realise the seriousness of this discovery? The Earthlings have discovered how to combine agriculture and mining. They can actually grow crops of rare metals such as silver. And cockle shells. They can grow high explosives, too. Noodle, contact our invasion fleet.

  • Decipher: decode
  • Transcribe: put thoughts into written form
  • Cockle shells: shell
  • Levity: care free attitude

Think Tank directs his team to decipher the written material. They all start reading it and then burst out laughing. Think tank becomes excited and asks them to tell them what is written in it. As a result, they recite a poem about a woman who grows cockle shells, silver bells, and pretty maids in her garden. Everyone laughs at the idea of growing maids in the garden. However, the think tank becomes agitated and orders them to stop being careless. He warns them not to lose sight of the fact that this is a significant discovery, one that will lead humans to combine agriculture and mining. Metals were impossible to grow in the garden because they are natural resources that can never be cultivated with such ease. He is concerned about human explosives cultivation and directs Noodle to contact the invasion fleet.

NOODLE: They are ready to go down and take over Earth, sir.
THINK-TANK: Tell them to hold. Tell them new information has come to us about Earth. Iota, transcribe.
IOTA: Yes, sir. (She reads very gravely.) Hey diddle diddle! The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon, The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
OOP: (laughing) The dish ran away with the spoon!
THINK-TANK: Cease laughter. Desist. This is more and more alarming. The Earthlings have reached a high level of civilisation. Didn’t you hear? They have taught their domesticated animals musical culture and space techniques. Even their dogs have a sense of humour. Why, at this very moment, they may be launching an interplanetary attack of millions of cows! Notify the invasion fleet. No invasion today Oop, transcribe the next code.
OOP: Yes, sir. (reading)

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men,
Cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again.
Oh, look, sir. Here’s a picture of Humpty Dumpty.
Why, sir, he looks like — he looks like — (turns large picture of Humpty Dumpty towards Think-Tank and the audience)

  • Gravely: in a serious manner
  • Diddle: cheat
  • Fiddle: fraud, cheat
  • Cease: stop
  • Desist: hold back
  • Civilisations: human development
  • Domesticated: to tame a pet
  • Interplanetary:  between the planets

Noodle responds that the invasion team was about to descend and attack Earth. Think Tank stops him and asks him to inform the invasion team of the most recent information received from Earth. He then requests that Iota read more from the book. Iota read a poem from the book about a cow who jumped a moon and a dog who laughed at the act. Not only that, but there was a reference to a spoon running alongside a dish. They all burst out laughing. Think Tank chastises them for laughing and considers it a serious issue because, according to him, humans had developed themselves and their civilisation to the point where even their pets could express their emotions. The dangerous point was that it mentioned a cow jumping a moon; perhaps the Earthlings were planning to launch an attack on other planets with the help of millions of cows. This feared think tank so much that he reminded Noodle of the importance of not invading Earth. He requested that his team read it further. Now it was Oop's turn to read the next poem about Humpty Dumpty, which described his epic fall. The readers were taken aback when they saw the image of Humpty Dumpty. They were unable to speak a single word. Think Tank inquired as to the nature of the problem. They flipped the book around to show him the image of Humpty Dumpty. He was a Think tank impersonator.

THINK-TANK: (screaming and holding his head) it’s me! It’s my Great and Mighty Balloon Brain. The Earthlings have seen me, and they’re after me. “Had a great fall!” — That means they plan to capture Mars Central Control and me! It’s an invasion of Mars! Noodle, prepare a space capsule for me. I must escape without delay. Space people, you must leave Earth at once, but be sure to remove all traces of your visit. The Earthlings must not know that I know. (Omega, Iota, and Oop rush about, putting books back on the shelves.)
NOODLE: Where shall we go, sir?
THINK-TANK: A hundred million miles away from Mars. Order the invasion fleet to evacuate the entire planet of Mars. We are heading for Alpha Centauri, a hundred million miles away. (Omega, Iota, and Oop run off right as Noodle helps Think-Tank off left and the curtain closes. Spotlight shines on Historian down right.)

  • Capsule: here, it means a space craft
  • Alpha Centauri: A closest star to our solar system

Think Tank was so terrified to see himself in the picture that he screamed. He assumed the earthlings would attack Mars and took over his reign. He assumed this because the rhyme begins, 'Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.' He immediately directed Noodle to build him a spacecraft so he could travel to Alpha Centauri, a star closer to the solar system. He also orders the crew to leave Earth without leaving any trace so that humans will never learn of their expedition (tour). They all stuff the books back into their respective places. The curtain is then drawn back.

HISTORIAN: (chuckling) And that’s how one dusty old book of nursery rhymes saved the world from a Martian invasion. As you all know, in the twenty-fifth century, five hundred years after all this happened, we Earthlings resumed contact with Mars, and we even became very friendly with the Martians. By that time, Great and Mighty Think-Tank had been replaced by a very clever Martian — the wise and wonderful

Noodle! Oh, yes, we taught the Martians the difference between sandwiches and books. We taught them how to read, too, and we established a model library in their capital city of Marsopolis. But as you might expect, there is still one book that the Martians can never bring themselves to read. You’ve guessed it — Mother Goose! (She bows and exits right.)

  • Chuckling: laugh quietly
  • Resumed: restart, begin with

As a result, the Historian is once again in the spotlight. She smiled and said, "Now you all know how a nursery rhyme book saved our planet from the Mars invasion." She then informs the audience that we have friendly relations with the Martians now that we are in the twenty-fifth century. Mars is now led by Noodle, a very intelligent leader. Humans have taught them to read and have also explained the difference between a sandwich and a book. They have also assisted them in establishing a central library in Marsopolis, their capital city. But there is one book in particular that they dislike, and guess which one it is. 'Mother Goose,' of course. The curtain is drawn back.

About the Author

Claire Boiko is a well-known children's book author. She was particularly good at period—plays. Among her most notable works are 'Plays and Programs for Boys and Girls,' 'The Cry Baby Princess,' 'Dramatised Parodies of Familiar Stories,' and 'Children Plays for Creative Actors.'