How Spot and Stripe Made Peace
By Alfred Wallace, adapted by Karen and Ron Flowers
This story illustrates in a striking way how human beings are connected together through their Creator. You will need a number of small blocks of wood or cardboard for the wall, a small mirror, two small sticks, and two simple mitten-style hand puppets, one with a spotted face and the other with stripes.
Spot: (He comes in singing.) I’m like you, you’re like me. We’re like each other and it’s fun to be! Wheeeeee! (Spot and Stripe laugh). Well, what shall we do today? Would you like to build something with my building blocks?
Stripe: Oh, I don’t know. You build something with my blocks.
Spot: (Laughter) Well, it really doesn’t matter who builds with what, as we are both alike.
Spot: Isn’t it nice we have the same kind of head!
Stripe: Yes, and the same kind of hands.
Spot: Yes, and the same kind of shirt.
Stripe: Yes, and the same kind of spots!
Spot: What did you say?
Stripe: I said it’s nice we both have spots!
Spot: Who has spots?
Stripe: We do!
Spot: (Laughter) You mean stripes. We have stripes!
Stripe: Well, I know the difference between spots and stripes!
Spot: All I know is that we have stripes!
Spot: Spots! I mean stripes!
Stripe: Don’t be silly. Look at yourself!
Spot: How can I look at myself?
Stripe: In a mirror! Here!
Spot: (He looks.) Hey! I do have spots!
Stripe: That’s what I told you. We have spots!
Spot: No! No! Just me! You have stripes. (He shows him the mirror.) Look!
Stripe: (Looking in the mirror) Hey, I do have stripes!
Spot: That’s what I told you.
Stripe: Yeaaah! And they’re very handsome too! (He whispers to himself.) He doesn’t have stripes. Only I have stripes. There must be something special about me. I don’t know that I ought to have any more to do with him. (Admiring himself in the mirror again) Mm . . .mmm! Oh, you handsome fellow!
(Looking again at Spot, he mutters to himself.) He’s different from me. I’d better watch him. You can’t trust people who are different! They might take advantage of you. I’ll just not have any more to do with him. Instead, I’ll play with my own blocks. (Stripe begins to build a wall with his blocks.)
(Spot begins to build also. A common wall goes up between them with each adding a block when the other isn’t looking.)
Stripe: There now! And you stay on your side of the wall! I don’t allow anybody over here unless he has stripes like mine!
Spot: Well, who cares! I wouldn’t come over there if you begged me to! Stripes! Stripes are nothing. Anybody can have stripes. Chipmunks have stripes. (He shouts over the wall.) Skunks have stripes!
Stripe: (Stripe, upset with Spot’s remarks, peers around the wall and jeers.) Nah, nah, ni, nah, nah. Blaaaaaaaaaah! (He retreats behind the wall and then calls out.) So what are you going to do about it? (No answer) What’s the matter? Are you jealous or something?
Spot: (Spot creeps close to the wall and makes a loud noise like a gun firing.) Bang! Bang! Bang! (He chuckles to himself.)
Stripe: Sounds like a gun! I’ll bet it is a gun! He’s getting ready to fight me! (Sounds frightened). I don’t want to fight him. What am I going to do?
Spot: Now what do you think, Stripe? (Silence) It’s too quiet over there. He’s up to something. He’s probably getting ready to hurt me! I don’t want to fight him! I don’t want to fight anybody! If I could just scare him enough, then he wouldn’t dare hurt me!
Stripe: (Stripe pretends he is a big snake and practices making loud hissing sounds and snake-biting gestures.) I’m a big snake! (Laughter) When old Spot meets me, he will run like a sissy! Yeaaah!
Spot: (Spot pretends he is a lion and growls fiercely.) I am a lion. (He laughs) When Stripe meets the king of beasts he’ll fall in a faint. (More laughter). I guess I’d better practice my roar.
(Each one dances around on his side of the wall, getting ready to look over it to scare the other.)
Both: (They suddenly look over the wall, making their fierce noises and gestures at each other. Both then scream in fear and retreat.)
Spot: (Crying) He’s too big for me to fight! I’m too little! (He wails) I need help!! There’s nothing to me but my little head (touching each part) and my little hands and my little shirt and . . . (He discovers a large arm and then sees the Toymaker). Oooooh! Who are you?
Toymaker: I am the Toymaker!
Spot: What do you make?
Toymaker: I made you.
Spot: You did?
Spot: Well then, do you like me?
Toymaker: Yes, very much.
Spot: Well, if you like me, you must be on my side! And you’re so big, too! Much bigger than my friend, Stripe, I mean my enemy, Stripe. Wait till I go get my club and I’ll show old Stripe who’s more important around here. (He leaves to get his club.)
Stripe: (Stripe moans and cries.) What am I going to do? I can’t fight him. He’s too fierce. I know what I’ll do, I’ll hide. Here’s a hill. (The Toymaker’s biceps and shoulder.) I’ll climb up in the hills and hide. (He climbs up the Toymaker’s arm and snuggles behind his neck).
Toymaker: What are you doing?
Stripe: I’m climbing this hill . . . . Wait a minute! . . . Hills can’t talk! See here! You’re no hill!
Toymaker: No, I’m the one who made you!
Stripe: Well, when did you get here?
Toymaker: I’ve been here all the time.
Stripe: Well, I never saw you before!
Toymaker: You never looked. But I’m right with you every minute.
Stripe: Is that so?!! Well, then I can beat the spots off Spot! You will be right behind me?
Toymaker: Oh, I’ll be closer than that!
Stripe: Good! (To himself) I wonder what he meant by that? Oh, well, with him behind me, what can I lose! (He leaves to get his weapon.)
(Spot returns with a club, humming a military song behind his wall. Stripe comes with a stick.)
Stripe: (Taunting from behind his wall) All right you over there, get ready to fight like a man! (He beats the air with his stick.) I defy you! (The swinging of his stick breaks parts of the wall and they grimace at each other.)
Spot: (Challenging) You’d better not hit anybody with that stick, boy!
(Spot cries out as the blows fall on him.) Ow! Ow! Ow!
(They exchange blows, with shouts and cries of pain. Finally they butt heads and knock each other unconscious.)
(As Spot regains consciousness, the Toymaker is sitting in the background.)
Spot: What happened! Something went wrong. What became of the Toymaker?
Toymaker: I’m still right here.
Spot: Well, I thought you were on my side!
Toymaker: I am.
Spot: Then why didn’t you help me beat Stripe?
Toymaker: Because I’m on his side too. (Stripe regains consciousness.)
Spot: You are?
Toymaker: Of course. I made you both, and I love you both. And I couldn’t take sides against either of you. After all, you are both the same thing.
Spot: Oh no we’re not. We’re very different! I have nothing in common with him!
Toymaker: Well, lets see if that’s so. Stripe, go over and hit Spot.
Spot: Now wait a minute!
Toymaker: Be still, Spot. I just want to show you something. Go ahead, Stripe.
Stripe: (Stripe hits Spot with his fist. Spot howls with pain. Stripe laughs at first, then sadly drops his head.) Ooooh!
Toymaker: What’s the matter, Stripe?
Stripe: I don’t know . . . I don’t feel so good. I guess I don’t really want to hit him.
Toymaker: That’s what I want you both to understand. Do you know what you are?
Stripe: Sure! Here’s my little head and my little hand and my little shirt and my . . . a . . .a . . .and your arm, and your shoulder and you! And I’m part me and I’m part you!
Toymaker: Yes, but there’s more than that. Keep going.
Stripe: Well, then there’s your other shoulder and your other arm and then, there’s . . . Spot! Hey, Spot! We’re all one thing! You, me and the Toymaker!
Spot: (To Stripe)
Then, when you hit me it hurts you, because . . .
Stripe: Because I’m really hurting part of myself.
Toymaker: That’s right.
Spot: But wait! I have spots and he has stripes. If we are both the same thing, why don’t we look alike?
Toymaker: I never make any two things look exactly alike. Else how could anyone tell them apart? But you are really both the same. You are really part of me.
Stripe: Hey, Spot?
Stripe: If the Toymaker is always with us, then we don’t need to be afraid! Or angry or lonely.
Spot: You can play with my blocks any time you want to!
Stripe: Thank you. That makes me very happy.
Spot: And that makes me very happy! (He laughs in a deep giggle.)
Both: (They sing.) I am you, you are me. We are each other and it’s fun to be.
* Adapted from the film script The Toymaker (1959). Copyright by Alfred Wallace. Used by permission of Adelaide Wallace.