LEXY: An ambitious lemming—sometimes sarcastic, sometimes sincere.
OWEN: An innocent hamster.
BLIZZARD: An adventuresome gerbil.
ARRATOI/VINNY: A rat and a weasel! Male. Funny voices a plus.
KRYSA/ORION/BALL: A rat, a falcon, and a religious symbol. Female.
CRESSIDA: A lemming poetess.
Scene 1: The bedroom of Mr. Fluff.
OWEN: The great thing about speciation—oh, I guess you might say the same thing about cultures in general, or about nations, communities, shared oral traditions, and all that—but the especially great thing about speciation is the way it makes it possible for the same stuff, the same bits and pieces of solid matter, to be perceived in so many different ways. If you think a buttercup is pretty, just imagine what it’s like to a bumblebee. You may feel the juices rush when you see a new Unreal expansion pack, but can you imagine an ibex getting excited about it the same way? And if you’ve ever seen a plastic hamster ball—the sort your pets can push around from the inside—you probably think it’s not much to get excited about. It just goes to show how much there is that you’re not seeing.
OWEN lies down. Enter LEXY, who stands and addresses the audience.
LEXY: I was asleep. Lying on a tousled blanket on the floor of a cabin that belonged to a man I didn’t know…listening to the rats scrabbling in the lattices. Dreaming of that hamster ball Owen kept talking about. It didn’t mean a thing to me while I was awake. But while I slept…it became what mattered to me. My goals as a migrating lemming, as a navigator, as point and trailblazer…were all rolled up and made round and clear for me. My dreams tucked them all away into a big plastic ball, and I was there staring at it, from across a valley that I couldn’t measure with my eyes. I realized I’d been wiser than I knew, when I asked Owen whether maybe the Midwinter Hamster Ball is everywhere at once, watching over all its progeny. I realized that the valley wasn’t just any stretch of unknowable distance—it was an immediate barrier. And that’s when I woke up and realized—
Enter BLIZZARD. Offstage, CRESSIDA makes a hissing noise—softly at first, and gradually growing louder, until the end of the scene.
BLIZZARD: We’re locked in!
LEXY: I thought so! Owen, you fluffball, wake up!
LEXY shakes OWEN and he sits up in surprise.
OWEN: What is it?
LEXY: We’re trapped! We can’t stay inside these walls! We’re creatures of the open range!
BLIZZARD runs downstage and pretends to feel a wall. He continues to scope out the room wildly during the next few lines.
BLIZZARD: It’s solid! No windows, only the one locked door.
OWEN: So? Why are you so scared, Blizzard? It just means Mr. Fluff locked the door to keep us safe for the night.
BLIZZARD: Don’t you smell that gas, man? That’s carbon monoxide! Those humans are trying to kill us! If Lexy hadn’t woken me up we’d probably be stiff in our sleep!
OWEN: But Mr. Fluff seemed like such a nice man!
LEXY: Owen, we’re crossing dangerous trails here! You have to learn to be less trusting! I’d bet my cheeks Fluff isn’t a delivery man like he said. He didn’t get his nickname by falling in a vat of cotton—he’s in the taxidermy business!
BLIZZARD: Yeah, and Darcy’s got to be his accomplice!
OWEN: What makes you so susp—Ook! Now I smell it!
OWEN stands up. LEXY starts knocking on the floor. KRYSA joins in the hissing.
BLIZZARD: Yeah. And don’t eat that candy on your pillow, it’s probably rat poison.
BLIZZARD: Lexy, what are you doing?
LEXY: Trying to get in contact with the rats! It’s out best chance!
OWEN: What? Lexy, I was just joking about that last night! We don’t deal with rats! They’re dirty… they live in filth, steal their food, bite everything, and eat their own dying brothers when they’re hungry!
LEXY: Well, that’s what nature chose for them. Let’s try not to get too judgmental.
BLIZZARD: I’ve got to agree with Owen here, Lexy. You can’t trust rats!
LEXY: Have we got a choice?! We’re going to be stiffed and stuffed if we don’t get out of here fast! Besides, didn’t you ever see the Secret of NIMH?
OWEN: I hope you know what you’re doing, Lexy.
The lights blink out for a second.
BLIZZARD: Yikes! What happened to the lights?
LEXY: Beats me.
OWEN: Maybe the rats are gnawing on the electrical cords.
LEXY: That’s it! Quick, where do the cords go from the light?
OWEN and BLIZZARD hurry to trace the cord.
OWEN: Um… over here, along this wall.
BLIZZARD: There’s a parallel cable in here. Should I give it a gnaw?
LEXY: Go ahead!
OWEN: Don’t, Blizzard! That’s dangerous!
BLIZZARD: A gerbil lives for danger, my friend. Gnawing away!
BLIZZARD gnaws on the cord. The lights blink off and on again several times.
LEXY: It’s working! Do either of you know Mouse Code?
OWEN: Mouse Code? Give me a break!
BLIZZARD: Don’t knock it. It’s good to have a universal rodential form of remote communication. Mice are neutral in the rodent world—everyone likes them!
OWEN: And ironically, we have Disney to thank.
LEXY: Blizzard, tell them we need help escaping the cabin.
BLIZZARD: Will do.
BLIZZARD gnaws some more, and the lights flash some more.
OWEN: What are they saying?
BLIZZARD: Apparently there’s a rotten spot on the back floorboard. I bet we can gnaw through it and into the rats’ tunnels!
OWEN: That’s a horrible idea!
LEXY (headed for the back wall): Best one I can see. Scamper already, Owen!
OWEN: Oh, all right, fine!
THE THREE hurry for the back wall and start gnawing while the lights flash.
BLIZZARD: I got it! Let’s go!
THE THREE run hurriedly offstage.
Scene 2: The Catacombs of the Rats.
Enter ARRATOI, who lounges on the lower stage.
ARRATOI: Dungheaps. Now they expec’ us to let ‘em into our dwellin’s, the poor soft victims. Hairy-tailed weaklings, that’s what they are.
KRYSA: Did you tell them the way into our tunnel?
ARRATOI: Guilty, Krysa. More fair than lettin’ them breathe their poor selves to death, I figured. No good letting the big ‘uns think us rodents are fair game, I say.
KRYSA: You’re truly letting a lemming, a gerbil and a hamster into our home. On my ears, Arratoi, they’ll start filling the place with foreign poop soon as their tails stop shaking. What’s next, a cockroach?
ARRATOI: Hush up, Krysa.
Enter LEXY, OWEN and BLIZZARD, cautiously.
LEXY: Where are we?
OWEN: Why is it so dark?
ARRATOI: Oh, by the dustbunnies of Carlsbad—you come into our own precious tunnels and you complain about the lights? After we save your lives? You mis’rable seein’-eye bandicoots, we’re rats! We don’t need no lights!
LEXY: We don’t mean to seem ungrateful.
KRYSA: Lots of creatures don’t do what they mean, lass, all the time. They end up squished in snap-traps more than not. ‘Oh, I didn’t mean to take the last crumb of apple strudel!’ But in our times, the last piece is always the bait.
OWEN: We’re sorry! We just want a way out, that’s all.
KRYSA: That’s all, then? Straight-thinking creatures spend their lives looking for a way in, you fathom I hope. If I were looking for a mate, which I’m not since I’ve got old Arratoi here, but if I was, I’d be looking for someone capable of getting themselves into any situation. Boring holes in the walls, settling down, burrowing in—did you never hear of what these are good for? Rotta-sakes, it’s all about getting a bigger piece of the pie.
ARRATOI: Or any piece at all.
KRYSA: Or any piece at all, truly. So why do you want a way out?
BLIZZARD: Are you crazy, comrats? The gas, didn’t you get it? The taxidermist! The cold, cold death! We don’t want to get entombed here—we’re headed for Cape Breton! We’ve got things to do!
ARRATOI: And what’ll yeh do for us, then? What’s our portion, yeh gibbering gerbil?
LEXY: Your portion? We haven’t got anything to share!
KRYSA: Oh, there’s always something to share, my lemming lassie. I don’t like the way you talk, if I may—
BLIZZARD: Wait! We can do something for you! Is there anything you want shredded?
ARRATOI: Shredded? Always, yeh pied critter. The more shreddin’, the more beddin’, so we like to say!
KRYSA: And the more room for our stores and our nests…
ARRATOI: If you ever give me another litter, that is.
KRYSA: I told you—it’s too crowded! The neighbors are nosing in, we need more space to raise pups! A mother has a blooming instinct, Arratoi!
OWEN: Well, we can help! Blizzard here can chew like nothing you’ve ever seen! You should see the size of his front teeth!
LEXY: You’ve got to be kidding.
OWEN: This was your idea, Lexy. I can help, too.
ARRATOI: Eh, well if yer serious about the shreddin’, you can start with the plaster in these old walls. A ver’table waste of six cubic feet o’ space, that is.
OWEN (going to a wall): You mean this lode of plaster?
KRYSA: Nothing else! Let’s see what that stubby tail of yours can screw up, then!
BLIZZARD: Sure thing! Never miss out on a good chew, I say.
BLIZZARD starts chewing and scraping madly at the plaster.
LEXY: I guess… if you’re both doing it.
OWEN and LEXY join BLIZZARD. They all dig, scape, and generally behave like rodents while the rats speak their lines…
KRYSA: Well soil me haunches, these clean creatures are eatin’ it up like they never pared down their teeth before!
ARRATOI: Who ever would’ve guessed? What do tha’ serve up for meals on the outside, rock candy?
KRYSA: These guests have earned a little chant, I think! Burn up plaster!
ARRATOI: Burn it up! Faster, faster!
KRYSA & ARRATOI: Be the master of the plaster! Carve it up like alabaster!
KRYSA: Scratch it faster!
ARRATOI: Like a blaster!
KRYSA & ARRATOI: Lead this house to its disaster! (They laugh.)
BLIZZARD: I think the walls are creaking.
LEXY: I hear digging on the other side!
ARRATOI: Well twist my tail into a whip, we were closer than I thought! The neighbors are joinin’ in!
KRYSA: I expect these old walls won’t stand much longer. Crash positions!
OWEN: Crash positions? Can’t we just run away?
ARRATOI: Run away, eh? Well, I guess that’s the sort o’ thin’ hamsters do, now ain’t it? I wouldn’t stan’ in the way of your nature, not when you’re a chum, now would I?
KRYSA: You mean you want to show them to the fairway?
ARRATOI: Fairway or foulway, it’s all the same to a rat. And the Chinese use the same wor’ for all of us, don’t they! Come on, bushies, there’s a way out down thataway.
LEXY: A way out?
KRYSA: A way waaaay out.
KRYSA goes to an exit and pretends to open a door.
BLIZZARD: Does my nose deceive me? Is that sewer air?
ARRATOI: Not quite, whiskers. It’s the pipeline! Humans built it, we use it for our travels! Jump on in, it’s the mother of all rat races!
LEXY: The great rat racetrack! Amazing!
OWEN: Thank you!
ARRATOI: Yeh, you’ve earned it for all that dus’ you’ve settled. Which way are you headed?
LEXY: East, to Nova Scotia.
ARRATOI: That there track’ll take you all the way east to New Brunswick. Tell them you put in a few good bites against Mr. Fluff, won’tcha?
LEXY: I promise!
KRYSA: So long then!
OWEN: So long!
OWEN, LEXY and BLIZZARD run through the door offstage. Exit ARRATOI and KRYSA the other way.
Scene 3: The Fredericton Botanic Garden.
Enter CRESSIDA, muttering to herself.
CRESSIDA: And who says rodents can’t write poetry, anyway? What about the great Marmee? She was a marmot, wasn’t she? And I think Fredericton was named for Frederick Vole. And you can’t forget about Hamsterdance.
OWEN: Oh! Salutations, miss! Miss Lemming?
CRESSIDA: Huh? Gracious! You startled me! Who might you be?
OWEN: I’m Owen the Hamster. Is this… the Lemming Trail?
CRESSIDA: No, this is the city park. But what is a hamster doing looking for the Lemming Trail? And why do you smell like… (CRESSIDA sniffs OWEN carefully) …like wild and foreign lands?!
OWEN: Oh, I thought you were going to say something less pleasant. I’ve just come through the rat racetrack, from the Great Plains of America. Is this New Brunswick?
CRESSIDA: Yes, this is the capital! My name’s Cressida. But that doesn’t tell me why you’re looking for the Lemming Trail of all things! A mythical pathway far from home!
OWEN: What? Mythical? You mean it doesn’t exist?
CRESSIDA: Why, no! I’m afraid not. It’s an invention of poets and lemming philosophers! In reality, each lemming finds her own trail… and treads it alone. We’re really very conflicted creatures… we live in an overcrowded world, but we each yearn for nothing but solitude! Would you like to discuss it over seed grass?
OWEN: Er… well, I’m actually here with a couple of friends. We’re researching for an article on lemming culture. But Cressida, here you say there isn’t any such thing?
CRESSIDA: Oh, of course there is… it just isn’t in accordance with our will. But then, that’s the most interesting kind of culture, isn’t it? You must introduce me to your friends, Owen!
OWEN: Sure thing. I hope you won’t mind traveling with another lemming. She’s not hard to get along with once you know her. We’re headed for Cape Breton!
CRESSIDA: The launching point! Of course! I was thinking of going that way myself, if I didn’t hear from my publisher soon. But I guess time’s running out, then!
OWEN: It sure is. Do you have any kind of transportation?
CRESSIDA: I’ve got a skateboard! It should be able to seat four easily!
OWEN: Excellent! Let’s see if my friends are around. (Starts to search.)
Enter BLIZZARD, reading a brochure, and LEXY. They are unseen by the others.
BLIZZARD: Oh my god, Lexy! We have to go to the Hartland bridge! It’s the longest covered bridge in the world—or in other words, the longest open-air tunnel!!
LEXY: What is it with gerbils and tunnels?
BLIZZARD: Well, it’s the mystery of it, Lexy! It makes us feel like action archaeologists! You know… what’s around the bend? What are we in for next, in this great tunnel called life?
LEXY: Riiight. And a womb-like feeling of being protected has nothing to do with it.
BLIZZARD: Well, hey, don’t tell me lemmings don’t have to worry about birds of prey or other predators.
LEXY: No, we’ve got plenty of predators, but we take a reasonable attitude toward them. If you don’t hear them coming, and can’t run fast, clear off the planet and make way for the rest of us.
BLIZZARD: Sounds heartless.
LEXY: It’s a heartless world, Blizzard. So, does Fredericton have any good museums?
OWEN spots LEXY and BLIZZARD.
OWEN: Ah, you’re here! Friends, I’ve found us a ride. Meet Cressida Lemming. Cressida, these are Lexy Lemming and Blizzard Gerbil.
Introductions are exchanged.
LEXY: So, Cressida—where’s this ride of yours?
CRESSIDA: I’ve got it parked by the new Lemmings Paintball center. Good for a quick get-away, you know?
LEXY: I know. So, are you planning to go all the way, Cressida? Out to the sea and wherever our strength and fortune takes us?
BLIZZARD (to OWEN): Ooh, write this down, it’s good stuff.
CRESSIDA: Gosh… but it’s so risky, Lexy. I could die. The ocean is wide, and cold…
LEXY: And the continent is packed. It’s the end of the cycle, Cressida, so many of us lemmings we’re at breaking point. Haven’t you felt it?
CRESSIDA: Not really, since I tend to keep to myself. But it’s true…I’ve been finding it harder and harder to write original poetry. Too much being done, you know, it’s so hard to keep up…
LEXY: So you’re a poet. I always appreciated good poetry, at the right times in my life. And as a poet you should realize that there comes a time for dramatic action. For lemmings in the Americas, that time is now. Tell me you’ll join the jumping, Cressida.
CRESSIDA: I’m just so scared of dying, Lexy. I don’t know if I can do it.
LEXY: You’re beginning to sound like my ex-girlfriend back home. I had to leave her behind. The world doesn’t cast favor on cowards, Cressida!
CRESSIDA: Your girlfriend? You mean… you’re…?
LEXY: Sure. Why, want to make something of it?
CRESSIDA: Come on, I’ll show you my skateboard!
CRESSIDA prances offstage, followed by the others.
Scene 4: The Bay of Fundy.
VINNY: Hey, Orion! Get your fat beak out of the ocean! There’s tastier victims than fish on the road, let me tell you!
ORION enters, flying, and lands beside VINNY.
ORION: I hope you’re not making some sort of sexual euphemism, Vinny.
VINNY: No no, I got a bead on a rodent thoroughfare. A branch of the Lemming Trail, I think. Man, I told you the lemmings were doing something big around these parts! I told you, Orion!
ORION: You can smell them from here?
VINNY: Yeah, we weasels can do that. That and my acute tracking skills allowed me to find a receipt on the ground! Look it’s for Alvin Klein cologne. “Fatalism—a fragrance just for lemmings.” We’re on the trail!!
ORION: All right, the rumors were true. How do we snap them up?
VINNY: We could pose as tollbooth attendants.
ORION: That is the stupidest—oh well, whatever. A hungry falcon balks at nothing.
VINNY: Come on, let’s hide.
VINNY and ORION withdraw upstage.
Enter CRESSIDA and BLIZZARD, followed by LEXY and OWEN, moving slowly.
OWEN: Are we there yet?
BLIZZARD: Dammit, Owen—!
OWEN: It’s just a simple question. You don’t need to get angry.
BLIZZARD: Yes I do, because you just cost me five sunflower seeds! I was guessing you’d only say that eight times before we got to the bay.
LEXY: He said it nine times, Blizz. Pay up.
OWEN: I can’t believe this. You had a betting pool?
CRESSIDA: All right, hush up, buddies. There’s a tollbooth up ahead. Anyone have any hard seed smaller than sunflower?
OWEN: I’ve got a little bulgar…
VINNY and ORION step forward and obstruct the path. They are disguised in hoods.
VINNY: Rodent Toll stop! Park the skateboard, please!
CRESSIDA (stopping a medium distance from VINNY): How much is it?
ORION: Well, normally it’s three kernels, but we have a special today on root rates.
CRESSIDA: Got any roots, Lexy?
LEXY: I don’t think so.
ORION: Let’s see, what’s the fourth root of three?
VINNY: That’s okay, you can pay in corn. Just walk over here and drop them in the slot.
CRESSIDA: Okay… darn, I don’t want to leave this skateboard in neutral on a hill. Blizzard dear, could you hop out and pay the toll?
BLIZZARD: Sure thing.
BLIZZARD grabs some grains and goes over to VINNY to pay the toll.
BLIZZARD: Here you… gosh, you’re wearing an awful lot over your heads for this time of year. I can barely see your faces at all. Um… just what kind of rodents are you?
ORION: Um… chip-monks!
VINNY: That’s right! Chip-monks of the order of… um… St. Lays!
LEXY: St. Lays??
VINNY: That’s right—we’re Lays potato chip-monks! We can’t eat just one!
ORION: We may never eat just one of anything; it’s one of our monastic duties.
CRESSIDA: That sounds… more than a little strange.
BLIZZARD: No kidding. I don’t think I feel comfortable about this…
ORION (stepping forward): Oh no? I think I may have to raise the toll…
BLIZZARD: All right, I’ve had enough of this forced suspense. Let’s see who’s under the hood!
BLIZZARD pulls the hoods off of VINNY and ORION. He gasps.
BLIZZARD: A weasel and a falcon! Shove it, Cressida! Get on out of here!
CRESSIDA: Hurry, get in!
BLIZZARD: I’ll hold them off! Go! Get going!
VINNY: Time to collect the toll! Hhrrraauaugh!
VINNY leaps upon BLIZZARD, as CRESSIDA revs up the skateboard and hurries offstage, LEXY and OWEN following in the back seat. BLIZZARD struggles against VINNY, but ORION flaps his wings and knocks BLIZZARD to the ground.
BLIZZARD: Wait, wait! You said you couldn’t eat just one, right? So if you eat me now, you’ll be violating the laws of your order!
ORION: Then I guess we’ll just have to rip you in half first.
BLIZZARD: No!!! Have mercy!!
But predators in the wild are not trained in the ways of mercy. They fall upon Blizzard the gerbil and tear him to pieces, leaving his corpse motionless.
ORION: Now that was some meal! Shall we go after the others?
VINNY: Nah, let’s stay here and wait for the next bunch. If they’re all as suicidal as these were, we’ll be stuffed before sunset!
Vinny doesn’t know how true his words are. In fact, soon after the demise of brave Blizzard, Darcy McMann and the infamous Mr. Fluff arrive at the Bay of Fundy, having followed the trail of their escaped houseguests. When they encounter Vinny the weasel and Orion the falcon, they quickly decide to diversify their enterprise. Two shots are fired and two more works of taxidermy soon are released to the public. The toll of Fundy Bay disappears as quickly as it was conceived. And ahead, on the windy and rugged mountains of Cape Breton…
Exit VINNY and ORION.
Scene 5: The Launching Point.
BLIZZARD and ARRATOI make windy sound effects from offstage until
Enter LEXY and CRESSIDA. They sit center stage and are quiet for a few seconds.
LEXY: Well, doll, it’s time to decide.
CRESSIDA: So soon? I’ve only just gotten to know you, Lexy.
LEXY: I know. Life’s like that, isn’t it? Throws you curveballs. And mothballs, and dustballs…
CRESSIDA: Just when I finally meet the right she-lemming…just when we’re starting to get close…
LEXY: There’s nothing closer than striving for the ultimate happiness together, love.
CRESSIDA: And nothing closer than dying together, I suppose.
LEXY (putting her arm around CRESSIDA): No, don’t think of it like that! It’s only the ocean, Cress. It’s nothing to us. Nothing. We’re lemmings, Cressida! We’ve got to go for it. Swim to Iceland, colonize Greenland. Cling to a log and thrive on it, or learn to float forever. Find new land for lemmingkind or die trying. No use getting upset about it, Cressida. It’s what we do.
CRESSIDA: Yeah… but were you watching this morning? Half the week’s crowds went in a bunch… I don’t think a single one of them even weathered the cold. In twenty minutes, the ocean was empty again. Tens of thousand of our kind already gone… hundreds of thousands more to come. And us, two of them? Lexy, why? Why us?
LEXY: Calm down, Cress. It’s almost over now, and I love you. Just listen to the wind… you’ll know what you have to do before too long.
Enter OWEN, miserable.
OWEN: Hi, guys.
LEXY: Owen! How’s it going? You must be getting the story of a lifetime, huh?
OWEN: No, I… I can’t even… how can I interview anyone now? I can’t even bring myself to care. Lexy, Blizzard and I were school buddies! We’d been friends so long… now I can’t even start to think of this trip as anything but a… a total failure.
CRESSIDA: Ohhh… I wish there was something I could do to help, Owen! I don’t suppose you feel like reading poetry?
OWEN (sitting down): Already tried, thanks. It almost squashed me inside. I’m sensitive, you know? Like all hamsters. I don’t know what to do now.
CRESSIDA: Join the club.
OWEN: Join the club? You think I should toss myself off the cliff, like the lemmings?
CRESSIDA: No, I didn’t mean it that way. I don’t know.
LEXY: Owen… I can only guess at this, but… I bet Blizzard would have wanted you to get that story. He’d have been happiest knowing the trip wasn’t for nothing.
OWEN: You think so?
LEXY: It’s my honest impression, Owen. If you feel up to it…I’d say you should pull together and write your article.
OWEN: All right, Lexy. I’ll try. But not now… for now all I can do is sit. It’s like I’m seeing so little… but I’m sensing so much. Things I never sensed before…
Enter BALL with arms held wide. Pause.
CRESSIDA: All right, Lexy. Sweet, sweet, Lexy. I’ll do it.
LEXY: I knew you would.
OWEN: That’s it, then? You’re jumping off together?
LEXY: That’s what we came for.
OWEN: Well… but… I guess I just want to say good-bye.
CRESSIDA: Good-bye, Owen. And good luck.
OWEN (looking at BALL): Thanks, Cressida. And you know… you know…
BALL comes up to OWEN and puts her hand on his head. He is struck speechless.
OWEN: My goodness. Lexy! Cress! It’s the Ball! The Midwinter Hamster Ball!
LEXY: What are you… oh, wow. I see it.
CRESSIDA: I see it too.
OWEN: Where did I put my camera! Oh grits! Heehee!!
BALL removes her hand from OWEN and heads slowly toward the exit.
OWEN: No! It’s going! It’s leaving me! I’m not the chosen one!
CRESSIDA: But you never thought you were.
OWEN: I know, but… but the Ball is here! It’s here! Oh, please don’t go!
LEXY: Owen, if it means that much to you, don’t just yell about it! Go after it!
OWEN: Oh, but I… I can’t. That wouldn’t be respectful. Hamsters must be respectful… or we are nothing, Lexy. We’re nothing.
LEXY: Well then… are you thinking what I’m thinking, Cress?
CRESSIDA: I think so, Lexy… but ...
LEXY: You know that’s not what I’m thinking.
LEXY stands up, then CRESSIDA stands up. They look at each other, and at the ball.
LEXY: To you, Owen, that ball is a symbol of the highest kind of religious experience. But it’s here, Owen, where we all can see it… as far as I can tell, we might as well have been inside that transparent hamster ball all this time, bumping our paws against its eternal plastic sheen like birds running into windows. But to us, Owen… it’s a toy! It’s may just be what we lemmings have been missing.
CRESSIDA: You know, I think there may be a poem in that.
LEXY: We’ll have time for that if we survive!
OWEN: I don’t understand. What are you doing?
LEXY: We’re just about to annex the great hamster ball, Owen. Who knows, maybe a couple of lemmings are the chosen ones for once! Or maybe the best way to be chosen is to make yourself seen!
CRESSIDA and LEXY run after the BALL, grab it, and drag it to the edge of the stage. It does not resist, but puts a hand on each of them lovingly.
OWEN: But it’s not a toy! It steers the fate of all hamsterkind!
LEXY: It may do that, but more importantly, Owen—it floats!
CRESSIDA: Wish us luck, Owen!
As OWEN watches, LEXY and CRESSIDA jump off of the stage, holding the BALL between them. They float off into the audience and return to their seats. The windy sound effects stop.
OWEN: Um… good luck, you two. Good luck!
OWEN stands up.
OWEN: Well, now you’ve seen what a road trip for rodents is like. And if you think the real world isn’t as hard as this… well, it is. Believe me, I’ve seen it up and down. I wrote that article… after a year or so of recovering. I put Blizzard’s name on it along with mine… he deserved every bit as much fame as me. And I still miss him. But most of all, I miss the sight of that beautiful hamster ball… and I can’t help but remember the sight of two lemmings clinging to it, one on each side, floating off into the darkening sky…to tell the truth, as strange as that sight was…to my mind it looks better that way than in the stories. Maybe they’ll change the storybooks.
Exit OWEN. The End.