”The Big Show” Sample!
 

The Big Show Introduction - Hit play
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Yes, Archie has a big green face
And his garden is a beautiful place
When it feels hot as the sun shines bright
On go the sprinklers, it’s quite a sight!

This Artichoke has many friends, that’s a fact for sure
When one feels sad or lonely, he has just the cure
He may act understanding or he may be silly indeed,
To see his friends happy again, he’ll give them what they need.
It may be they’re just tired from playing in the weeds.

Archie Artichoke’s garden sits on top of a small hill next to an apple orchard full of large apple trees.  The garden and apple orchard are surrounded by giant fields of clover in every direction.  Standing on the hill you can look out over the fields and it seems as though you can see forever.  The apple orchard is home to a very friendly family of robins and a nice family of squirrels.

Archie has made friends with everyone on his hill.  His best friend is Carly Carrot, but his other friends include Paul Pepper, Betty Broccoli, Larry Lettuce, and Tommy Tomato, along with Zach Zucchini, Rhonda Radish, Simon Squash and Cindy Celery.

Just outside the garden is a large family of weeds and Archie has made friends with many of them, but especially one in particular named Wally.

Just down the hill from the garden is a small pond where Fred the Frog lives.

Surrounding the pond are large weeping willow trees and many, many flowers.  The clover is bordered on one side by a forest of big trees but the clover looks as though it goes forever in other directions.

Archie and all of his friends have been very busy growing and playing all summer long, but a problem has arisen.

Sammy and Sally Squirrel have had to spend a lot of time caring for their youngest child, Stevie, who has been sick all summer.


Sammy and Sally love to spend time with their children for any reason, but because of the time spent at home this summer, Sammy hasn’t been able to collect enough acorns to get the family through winter and Sammy is starting to get worried.


“I don’t know what I’ll do” says Sammy to Archie one day.  “Caring for Stevie doesn’t allow enough time to gather acorns this year.  I don’t want to tell Sally, but I’m really getting worried now.”

Archie doesn’t like to hear his friends worry so he said to Sammy “I’ll think of a way to help you collect enough acorns so don’t you worry; you and Sally take care of Stevie and leave the acorns to me.”  Although Sammy realized Archie couldn’t climb trees and gather acorns like squirrels can, hearing Archie’s words made Sammy feel much better as Archie was known to be someone that always keeps his word and could make almost anything happen.

As Sammy scurried off to tell Sally the good news, Archie stood there wondering “how in the world am I going to collect acorns; I can’t climb a tree; no one in the garden can climb trees.”  Archie walked towards the center of the garden in deep thought as he realized collecting acorns is not something he and his friends are prepared to do.

Archie said to himself “I better start on this right away; I’m not sure how I’m going to make this happen but I’m sure I’ll think of something” and he looked all around the garden for his friends.  But Archie didn’t see anyone and so he walked to the edge of the garden and looked down the hill towards the pond.  There he saw all his friends down at the pond swimming.  It was a hot day and they looked like they were having a great time.

Archie ran down the hill to the pond and said to his friends “I need your help.”  This surprised everyone since it was they who often asked Archie for help and as they gathered around Archie they could see his worried look and they all wondered how big of a problem he could have on such a beautiful day.

Archie explained to everyone that he had told Sammy he would help collect acorns knowing he had no idea how he was actually going to do that.  Archie went on to tell them about the squirrel family dilemma and how Stevie has been sick all summer long.

“How can we help Sammy and Sally collect acorns when the acorns are so high in trees and we can’t climb very well; actually, we can’t climb at all” asked Carly Carrot?

“That’s exactly my problem” said Archie.  “That’s why I’m here.”  Everyone sat down and thought and thought for a long time and eventually they noticed Archie begin to smile.  Most of his friends had seen that smile before when other problems had come up in the past and they knew Archie had thought of something –

“I know” he said excitedly “We can put on a show and charge everyone two acorns apiece to watch.  We’ll invite all the other squirrels and birds and everyone else to come and they can climb and fly to the acorns and bring them to the show.”

 

 

“That’s a great idea, Archie” said Tommy Tomato “But what will we do in the show?  None of us has ever put on a show before.”

“Well, said Archie, “Maybe some of us could sing a song and maybe others could dance.”

Yes, that sounded like a good idea to everyone and after a short pause, Carly Carrot said “Maybe I could sing a song” and Paul Pepper and Betty Broccoli and Larry Lettuce immediately said “Yes, I’d like to sing too.”
 

Zach Zucchini said “I suppose I could try to dance” and Rhonda Radish and Simon Squash and Cindy Celery said “Yes, I’d like to dance too.”

Tommy Tomato said “I really can’t sing or dance, but maybe I could learn to juggle; I’ve always wanted to learn to juggle anyway.”

“Wonderful” said everyone.

Wally Weed said “I don’t know what to do either and I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but I’ve always wanted to try to teach worms to do tricks so that might be good for a show too.”  Everyone looked at Wally with a confused look on their faces since no one had ever been able to teach worms to do anything, let alone tricks.

“Sure, Wally” said Larry, you give that a try and be sure to get back to us when you teach worms to do tricks.”  There were quite a few smiles and a little laughter as Wally realized no one believed he could really teach worms to do tricks; but he didn’t care, he’d give it a good try.

Then everyone looked at Archie who was just standing there watching his friends and grinning a wide smile as he heard them describe what they would do for the show.  He was so proud of them for volunteering to help.

“I’ll be the master of ceremonies and introduce all of you” said Archie.  “Let’s practice for 12 days and then put on the Show; that should give us plenty of time to get ready.”

“All Right” everyone cheered.

Everyone was excited because it sounded like they could really put on a show, and if they could put on a show, they could collect a lot of acorns, and if they could collect a lot of acorns, they could help the squirrel family get through winter.

“Hooray, Hooray” everyone yelled and Archie’s friends sat down to figure out just how to put on a show while Archie went to tell Sammy and Sally the good news that they had thought of a way to gather acorns to help them through the winter.

Carly Carrot told Paul Pepper and Betty Broccoli and Larry Lettuce “We know Archie loves to sing too; let’s write a song about Archie since the show was his idea and everyone likes Archie so much.”

“Great idea, Carly” said Paul, and Betty said “Yes, we can do this.”

Then Larry said “Let’s keep our song a secret until the show and we’ll surprise Archie and everyone at the same time.”
 
“Great idea” everyone said.

Hearing what Carly had just said, Zach Zucchini said to Rhonda Radish and Simon Squash and Cindy Celery “We know Archie loves to dance too; let’s make up a dance about Archie and keep it a secret until the show and we’ll surprise everyone at the same time too.”

“We can practice in the apple orchard so Archie can’t see us” said Cindy.

“Great idea” everyone said again.

And so everyone, except Tommy Tomato and Wally Weed, left the pond to practice for the show.  Tommy began to walk around the pond looking for pebbles to juggle.  He found many and he decided to paint them to make them look special.

“Brightly colored pebbles should do it” he thought and Tommy proceeded to throw some of the pebbles up in the air to start practicing.  All the pebbles immediately fell to the ground and Tommy thought to himself “I think I’ll paint them first and start practicing tomorrow.  Maybe juggling will be easier if the pebbles are brightly colored.”  

So Tommy took the pebbles home and proceeded to paint them bright colors.  

Wally sat down next to the pond to figure out how in the world to teach worms tricks.  Worms were notorious for not following directions very well, so this was going to be a real challenge.

“First I have to find some worms” Wally thought, “and then I have to figure out what kind of tricks they can do.  I’ve never seen worms jump in the air so maybe that would be a good trick to try.  Once I get them jumping anything is possible.”  And so Wally went off to find some worms.

It seemed the whole garden was excited about putting on a show.  Let’s follow Archie and his friends as they prepare day by day for the Big Show.

"Count On Me" - Bruno Mars from the Doo-Wops & Hooligans Album (2010)
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Archie's Dance Tune - Archie and Friends
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