(Lights up. An open market. The FISHMONGER peddles his wares.)
FISHMONGER (Calling): Fish! Fresh fish!!
(A FANCY LADY enters. She approaches the FISHMONGER.)
FANCY LADY: Do you have any squirrel?
FISHMONGER: I sell fish, madam. A squirrel is not a fish.
FANCY LADY: Tree Squirrel or Ground Squirrel, Red or Gray – it doesn’t matter which.
FISHMONGER: No, madam. Fish. I have fish.
FANCY LADY: But, I’m baking a pie.
FISHMONGER (Calling.): Fish! Fresh fish!!
FANCY LADY: I’m having company and I promised them a palatable squirrel pastry.
FISHMONGER: Fish, madam. I’ve got several nice fish. Halibut. Cod. Mackerel. But no squirrel.
FANCY LADY: No squirrel?
FISHMONGER: No. None.
FANCY LADY: This can’t be! I’ve made plans, I’ve made promises! The embarrassment, the humiliation, the shame! I’ve assured my friends a squirrel pie and now I’ll be a laughingstock. This can not be!
(The FANCY LADY breaks down in the FISHMONGER’s arms.)
FISHMONGER: There, there. It’s all right. I’ll tell you what, I’ve got a Prairie Dog and three nice chipmunks. Will those do?
FANCY LADY: I don’t know. They’re not squirrel.
FISHMONGER: Prairie dog taste almost the same as squirrel, add a little nutmeg and you could fool the Queen of England. The chipmunk flavor is a little closer to a marmalot, in my opinion, but your friends will never know the difference.
FANCY LADY: I’ll take them!
(The FISHMONGER wraps up the Prairie Dog and Chipmunks and gives them to the FANCY LADY.)
FANCY LADY: Thank you! You’ve saved my dinner party.
FISHMONGER: Think nothing of it. Just doing my job.
(The FANCY LADY exits. As soon as she is out of earshot, the FISHMONGER again peddles his wares.)
FISHMONGER (Calling.): Squirrel! Fresh Squirrel!!
(ANOTHER FANCY LADY enters and approaches the FISHMONGER.)
ANOTHER FANCY LADY: Do you have any fish?
FISHMONGER: I sell squirrel, madam. A fish is not a squirrel.
John Weagly has had over 50 plays produced by theaters around the world. He is an ensemble member at Raven Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. His website is http://www.johnweagly.com