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  • WOMAN: ♪ Hey, now... ♪

  • Hey, wow... ♪

  • Here's how

  • Come and read

  • Between the lions

  • CHORUS: ♪ Come on

  • Come in

  • Begin

  • The world awaits

  • WOMAN: ♪ Between the lions

  • Between the covers of a book

  • It's time to look between the lions

  • Behold the tales beyond the tails

  • CHORUS: ♪ Behind the door

  • Become, explore

  • Come in between the lions

  • Begin between the lions

  • Be here between the lions! ♪

  • Whoop, you're going to fall off the shelf there.

  • Oh, thanks very much, Theo.

  • Oh, that would've hurt-- huh, my pride anyway.

  • ( both laugh )

  • Hi, Frank.

  • Here, let me lend you a paw, huh.

  • Oh, and service, too, huh?

  • ( chuckles )

  • So, uh, what is all this?

  • Oh, the usual.

  • History books, books of poetry, folk tales

  • books about our great heroes.

  • Preparing another lecture, Frank?

  • Oh, that I am.

  • Ha, and to think I became a teacher

  • so I wouldn't have to do heavy lifting.

  • ( both laugh )

  • Hey, Gus, you'll love this book.

  • ( Leona screaming )

  • ( crying )

  • Oh-hoh, sweetie.

  • ( sobbing ): Daddy, it was terrible!

  • It was so terrible!

  • It was so terrible!

  • What... what is it, Leona?

  • Yeah, what's the matter, Leona?

  • We were at the playground

  • and Leona's friend Tammy called her a nasty name.

  • Oh, look, I'm sure she didn't mean it, honey.

  • Yes, she did, she did!

  • She... she really hurt my feelings!

  • She meant it, and I'm never going back there again!

  • But... hmm.

  • Watch how a big brother solves

  • his little sister's problems.

  • Go for it.

  • ( Leona sobbing )

  • Aw, Leona, its okay--

  • sticks and stones will break your bones

  • but words will never hurt you.

  • ( sobbing )

  • That's easy for you to say.

  • You're not the one that's hysterical!

  • ( bawls )

  • Ohh.

  • Well, that went well.

  • Yeah, um, I... I got to go.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • Little girls crying overwhelms me.

  • I'll see you later, huh?

  • I've always thought that "names can never hurt you" stuff

  • was a lot of rubbish.

  • Words can be very powerful things.

  • I was just looking into a book about the very subject

  • and... I'm not interfering, I hope?

  • ( sniffs )

  • Oh, no, no, Frank, go right ahead.

  • Ah, it's a lovely old book.

  • Hey, it's just right here... whoa!

  • THEO: Oh, goodness, Frank.

  • Easy does it.

  • FRANK: Not to worry.

  • Happens all the time.

  • Oh, is that right?

  • There you go.

  • Now, then, "Tales of the Irish Rats, Volume One:

  • How the Rats Were Rhymed Out of Ireland" by Shannon Shamley--

  • a rat of my own acquaintance--

  • and illustrated by John R. Friedman.

  • Lovely artist.

  • Lovely man.

  • Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  • Let's see, now.

  • Ah...

  • FRANK: Long ago in the land of Ireland...

  • there were a hundred kings

  • and every king had his poet.

  • These royal poets were called "bards."

  • The bards composed two kinds of poems:

  • first, eulogies-- poems of praise to flatter the king.

  • BARD: Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter.

  • ( crowd cheers )

  • BARD: Flatter.

  • ( crowd cheers )

  • Flatter.

  • These made the king feel really good.

  • And there were poems that said very bad things

  • about the king's enemies.

  • BARD: Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

  • ( imitating donkey's hee-haw )

  • BARD: Bad, Bad.

  • ( imitating donkey's hee-haw )

  • These made the king feel really good, too.

  • ( chuckles )

  • The greatest king in all Ireland was named King Conor.

  • Now, one morning, when King Conor came down to breakfast

  • he discovered that his usual egg wasn't there on the table.

  • King Conor made up his mind that a rat had stolen his egg

  • and it made him very angry.

  • He called for his bard Lavarcham.

  • Bard, rhyme me a rhyme

  • that will drive those dratted rats

  • out of Ireland!

  • And Lavarcham began to speak.

  • LAVARCHAM: Rats, nasty, putrid, hideous.

  • Rats, loathsome, vile, invidious.

  • Rats, from your holes-- begone!

  • Ow! That hurts.

  • Pack your bags, Siobhan!

  • We don't have to stay here

  • and be called hurtful names!

  • Rats squalid and sneaking

  • eating garbage and reeking.

  • Rats, from your holes-- begone!

  • ( rats squeaking )

  • ( rats grumbling )

  • Come on, kids, we're never coming back here again!

  • ( rats squeaking )

  • Wretches more noxious than gnats

  • I exile and rout, from Ireland cast out.

  • From your garbage-filled holes-- rats, begone!

  • ( crowd murmuring, rats squeaking )

  • FRANK: They sailed away, swearing never to return.

  • So, Leona, you're not the first to feel very hurt by insults.

  • See, Lionel?

  • Yeah, I... I see.

  • Yeah, and like the rats

  • I'm never going back

  • to that playground again.

  • Never, never, never!

  • ALL: Leona!

  • No, no, wait, Leona--

  • that's not the end of the story.

  • Listen... ( stammers )

  • It's not here.

  • It's in Volume Two.

  • I'll go get it.

  • Hmm, if words can hurt...

  • Yeah! That's it!

  • "Rats."

  • Hey! It's standing room only for Martha Reader and the Vowelles

  • singing that fabulous short "a"-- "aah"-- sound

  • in the word "hat"!

  • ( Martha singing repeated short "a" sound to rock tune )

  • ( Vowelles respond rhythmically with short "a" sound )

  • ( applause )

  • "Hat."

  • ( making "s" sound )

  • "Sat."

  • ( making "c" sound )

  • "Cat."

  • Pigeon Theater Works presents Walter and Clay Pigeon in Cats!

  • with a special appearance by Barnaby B. Busterfield III.

  • It's a small part, but crucial to the plot.

  • Um, uh...

  • Meow?

  • Uh, yeah, meow.

  • ( both repeating "meow" )