Operation: Destroy the Earth
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Print Operation: Destroy the Earth Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 4
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||assistant, biodegradable, brackish, clutching, cowpie, crud, dimension, disbelief, dismissal, fiendish, foiled, hacking, hyper, leans, measly, narrator
||Sworn Enemy, Operation Destroy, Will Operation Destroy, To LITTERUM, Tell Nasta, To FRIGGLE, But Nasta, Giving FRIGGLE
Operation: Destroy the Earth
By Brenda B. Covert
Cast of Characters
(all parts can be played by either boys or girls)
NARRATOR: this part may be read by a student or a teacher
NASTA: Sworn Enemy of Earth, dressed in black
FRIGGLE: Nasta's assistant
AIRAMESS: villain of air pollution, coughs a lot
AQUARIOT: (rhymes with chariot) villain of water pollution, hyper
LITTERUM: villain of land pollution, known for being lazy
Setting: a conference room featuring posters that promote pollution. NASTA, Sworn Enemy of Earth, is seated at the head of the table, prepared to conduct a meeting of his (or her) fellow villains.
NARRATOR. In the distant past, it was just another day on planet Earth. Ordinary people went about their ordinary business. However, in an unseen dimension, evil forces were at work. Nasta, the Sworn Enemy of Earth, hoped to destroy the planet and wipe out all living creatures. Nasta called all the important villains to a meeting to discuss an evil plot.
(FRIGGLE hands a file folder to NASTA)
NASTA. (Looking over papers in the file folder) Friggle, tell the others to get in here before I kick their --
FRIGGLE. (Interrupting) Here's Airamess now!
(AIRAMESS enters the room with a hacking cough)
AIRAMESS. Nasta, sorry I'm late. (dropping into a chair) I was setting off a volcano. (heaving a sigh) Billowing smoke and ash put a smile on my face! (Coughs. FRIGGLE places a file in Airamess' hands.)
(AQUARIOT runs in with damp hair)
AQUARIOT. (Breathless) Am I late? Did I miss anything? I was right in the middle of polluting a well in a small village!
NASTA. Just one measly well? (watches AQUARIOT take a seat opposite AIRAMESS. FRIGGLE drops a file in front of AQUARIOT)
(LITTERUM swaggers in covered in smudges and trailing rags)
AIRAMESS. Hey there, Litterum! How's it going?
LITTERUM. (shrugging) I can't complain. (Slides into a seat beside AIRAMESS and accepts file from FRIGGLE)
NASTA. (Standing up with hands on the table) Enough of the small talk. Let's get down to business. I called you here to talk about Operation Destroy the Earth.
(NASTA, AIRAMESS, AQUARIOT, and LITTERUM put their heads close and appear to have an animated conversation. FRIGGLE hovers in the background with a pitcher of liquid)
NARRATOR. Nasta's plot to pollute Earth with the help of his/her vile cronies hasn't been moving along fast enough. What can they do to speed up the process? During their brainstorming session, Litterum comes up with a delightfully fiendish scheme.
LITTERUM. Let's get the humans to do our dirty work for us. We can convince them to pollute their own environment!
FRIGGLE. (Setting out cups and pouring brackish water into each one) Why would they do that?
LITTERUM. (takes a sip) We'll lie to them, of course. We'll tell them a little trash never amounted to much.
AIRAMESS. (Leaning forward) Yes! We'll tell them that there will still be plenty of clean air to breathe -- (coughs)
AQUARIOT. (peering into cup) What's this floating in my drink? (Shows it to Friggle)
FRIGGLE. Pond scum. Or maybe a bit of cowpie. I collected this water from a cow pond. (AQUARIOT nods looking pleased, and takes a sip)
AQUARIOT. (Wiping mouth on sleeve) The Earth has so much water. We'll tell people that dumping crud into it won't hurt them.
NASTA. (Rubbing both hands gleefully) Yes. Yes! We will convince humans that there is no need to worry about pollution. (Slaps hands on the table) How's this for an idea? We invent machines that make disposable goods. We make sure everyone has more than enough stuff.
AIRAMESS. (Coughing) Why?
NASTA. (Grinning widely) The more they have, the more they will throw away! They will have city dumps and landfills. They will pollute the soil, the water, and the air with their discarded stuff.
LITTERUM. (Nodding and leaning back) Great plan! Why should we do all the work when we can convince people to do it for us?
(ALL laugh and nod. Pantomime more animated conversation and note taking)
NARRATOR: What a wicked scheme -- tricking humans into polluting their own environment! Will this be the end of the Earth and all creatures that live there? Will Operation Destroy the Earth be a success? Nasta believes so. The meeting draws to a close.
NASTA. Then we're all in agreement. (Raises hand in a gesture of dismissal) It's time to put our plan into action. Sworn enemies of the Earth, unite! (AIRAMESS, AQUARIOT, and LITTERUM stand and raise their fists) Report back here in a few hundred years -- if it takes that long.
(The THREE bow and leave. FRIGGLE clears the table of cups and pitcher as NASTA leans back and gives an evil laugh. Then both NASTA and FRIGGLE freeze in place.)
NARRATOR. Several hundred years have passed. Huge cities have been built up. Huge factories have been built. Humans have more possessions than ever. The city dumps and landfills are full of junk. Cars, trucks, trains, and planes are everywhere, and the fumes can be overwhelming. Nasta's evil plot seems to be working. A meeting has been called to check the progress.
(AIRAMESS, AQUARIOT, and LITTERUM enter together.AIRAMESS looks smoky and wears a filter mask over his/her nose and mouth.AQUARIOT is streaked with oil. LITTERUM's clothes are stuffed with crumpledpaper and crushed soda cans. A necklace made from plastic six-pack soda can holderscompletes the outfit.)
NASTA. (Standing and waving them to the table) Welcome, my friends! Come in! Have a seat! It's been a long time. How's it going?
(FRIGGLE supplies drinks in the form of soda cans. These should be empty. Characters will pantomime drinking from them.)
AIRAMESS. (Removing filter mask. The skin under the mask is still clean) It's going great! The air is full of smoke and smog! Car exhaust is everywhere. People are getting allergies left and right! And don't get me started on acid rain. It's more than I could have hoped for! (Coughs. AQUARIOT pats his/her back)
LITTERUM. Your idea about disposable goods was right on target. The invention of paper opened up a whole new world! People drop it everywhere! (Pulls out some paper trash to show his/her friends) They read newspapers and magazines, and then they throw them away. They even make plates and cups of paper - use them once, and then they're garbage! (Laughs)
AQUARIOT. (To LITTERUM) Tell Nasta about plastics!
LITTERUM. (Standing up to pace) Humans invented plastic. They make everything out of it! They use plastic forks and spoons with their paper plates. One use, then throw it away! Most of their plastic stuff isn't biodegradable, so when it breaks or they get tired of it, it just lies wherever they pitched it. Dumps are full of the stuff!
AQUARIOT. (Nodding) They even throw this stuff in streams and rivers. It's wild! Fish get caught in it and can die.
LITTERUM. Animals sometimes get tangled up in plastic loops and cords. They may lick the cut parts of aluminum cans and hurt their tongues. Trash is very harmful to wildlife. (Sinks into chair as if very tired)
NASTA. (Wiping away a fake tear) Oh, that is so sad -- NOT!
AQUARIOT. Man discovered oil and began pumping it out of the ground. But they aren't always careful with it. Oops! Suddenly an oil spill pollutes oceans, rivers, and other water sources. Birds and fish die from it. It does an incredible amount of damage. I never thought humans could do so much to destroy their own environment! (Smashes soda can and tosses it on the floor)
FRIGGLE. That's too funny!
(Suddenly a knock sounds at the door. FRIGGLE goes to answer it.ZOOBIE, a messenger, enters.)
ZOOBIE. (To FRIGGLE) I have to talk to Nasta!
FRIGGLE. (blocking ZOOBIE's way) He's in a conference right now.
Paragraphs 99 to 158:
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