The Cat in the Hat by William Shakespeare

The Cat in the Hat by William Shakespeare

By Jordan McQuiston
CHORUS: ‘Twas little light upon that wretched morn The sun did not shine.
For yon celestial sovereign orb shone not It was too wet to play.
Two young children sat motionless, forlorn So we sat in the house
As battle raged, and rain and sunshine fought All that cold, cold, wet day.
The frolicking that aforementioned youth I sat there with Sally.
Didst long to have could hardly be obtained We sat there, we two.
For that oppressive wetness fell in truth And I said, “How I wish
And in their house were they forced to remain We had something to do!”
The wat’ry storm beyond forced them to stay Too wet to go out
They could not even romp with sphere’cal toy And too cold to play ball
So sat they in their dwelling, ne’er to play So we sat in the house.
No activity came for girl and boy We did nothing at all.
Those poor lost souls had naught to do at all
Until one clothèd feline came to call
SAMUEL: The sleeping of our fish within his bowl So all we could do was to
Doth mirror all the boredom that I feel. Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!
This storm of cruel Saturn’s cruelty gave And we did not like it.
Me little choice but to cancel all plans. Not one little bit.
My longing for some well-deservèd sport
Hath been replaced by this tempest with grief.
So shall we do naught but sit. Lethargy
And inactivity be master here.
SALLY: O foul tormenting clouds! O wicked drops
Of perspiration from our Lord’s fair breast!
How can anything from so great a God
Be such a Devil when it hits the ground?
Is it merely its ent’rance to our world
That doth corrupt the gift from Heaven’s host?
For is its purpose not to nurture life
And not to take away all of its joys?
SAMUEL: Sweet sister mine, do not be so distraught!
This rain that breaks our spirits soon will end
For didst not that same Lord you speak of vow
That ne’er wouldst rain fall so long as to kill
All life? Dear Sally, have hope; soon this storm
Shalt cease, and with it our hope shalt return.
SALLY: I know that what thou sayest must hold truth
But still I wish that peace wouldst come more swift
This storm has ragèd far too long and I
Grow ever tired of sitting with no noise.
SAMUEL: Hark! Didst thou hear that? I surely heard And then
A kind of bump, thither, behind the door. Something went BUMP!
It seems thy yearning for a sound’s been met How that bump made us jump!
What else could merely asking to us bring?
SALLY: Ay me! How startling was that bump to me!
For jumping from my chair I couldst not help.
Lo, brother, lo! What figure which hath stepped We looked!
Upon our mat couldst be entering here? Then we saw him step in SAMUEL: I know not what manner of man this is, On the mat!
For as a man, this creature looketh not. We looked!
It seems to be a sort of beastly cat And we saw him!
But ne’er before hath such a cat been seen. The Cat in the Hat!
And what an odd garment doth it now wear,
A coxcomb of a most peculiar sort
With stripes of white and red–
SALLY: Hush, brother, mine
I do believe our visitor can speak
And soon shall he with speech address us both.
Forsooth, as he doth step upon the mat,
I wonder what shall come from this strange cat.
Enter CAT
CAT: Wherefore dost thou sit there in such a way And he said to us
With not a trace of merriment about? “Why do you sit there like that?
I am aware that the sun shineth not I know it is wet
And that spirits can be dampened by wet. And the sun is not sunny
SALLY: [Aside] But we can have
This cat doth see himself possessing wit Lots of good fun that is funny!”
But such a jest as that doth make me groan. “I know some good games
CAT Yet though such foul liquid as doth fall We can play,” said the cat.
On yonder windowpane can make ye dull, “I know some new tricks,”
Still may humor be found and fun be had Said the Cat in the Hat.
If ye do merely look where it be found. “A lot of good tricks.
I possess knowledge of many a sport I will show them to you.
That we could utilize to cure thine ails, Your mother
And many tricks can I convey to thee Will not mind if I do.”
Of natures that I know thy mum shan’t mind.
SAMUEL [Aside] Then Sally and I
How did this stranger know that from this house Did not know what to say.
Our mother left and hath not yet return’d? Our mother was out of the house
I sense foul play ahead, and I foresee For the day.
That good wilt not come from this puss today.
Enter FISH
FISH: Nay, my masters, nay! A thousand times But our fish said, “No! No!”
Must I object to what this beast hath planned! Make that cat go away!
Naught but regret wilt come if ye allow Tell that Cat in the Hat
Him to play out that mischief in his brain! You do NOT want to play.
If I were not confined within this bowl He should not be here.
And I could thrive without water and such He should not be about.
I swear I would banish this feline foe He should not be here
And make him leave without further adieu. When your mother is out!”
But since infernal gills do keep me trapped
I must beseech ye both, if ye are wise
To tell this devil to go forth at once
And ne’er return to this our dwelling, for
Such a creature should not be present, when
Thy mother be not also present here.
So, prithee, masters, drive him from this place!
Inform him that ye wish him to depart!
CAT: Come, come, my dear aquatic friend, fear not! “Now! Now! Have no fear.
I mean no foul play in these tricks of mine! Have no fear!” said the cat.
For I declare that, if thou didst desire “My tricks are not bad,”
To have much fun, much fun could thence be had. Said the Cat in the Hat.
I know a diversion which has a name “Why we can have
And by this name shalt I tell ye of it. Lots of good fun, if you wish,
The name I speak of be “up, up and up”. With a game that I call
And now that “up” hath been utterèd thrice “Up-Up-Up with a fish!”
Then up thou goest into realm of breath
For with our breaths, we take from where thou shalt
Be taken by the game of which I spoke.
So with this game, I think we must commence.
FISH: Ay me! Enough of this lifting, I beg! “Put me down!” said the fish
I feel no merriment with this, thy sport! “This is no fun at all!
I have no desire for lift to fail “Put me down!” said the fish
And to the floor below be plummetèd! “I do NOT wish to fall!”
CAT: Come now, good friend, and prithee, have no fear! “Have no fear!” said the cat.
For with great confidence, I promise I “I will not let you fall.
Wilt see that thou art always kept aloft. I will hold you up high
And very much aloft wilt thou soon be! As I stand on a ball.
And while I have thee in so fine a state With a book on one hand!
I hope that thou wilt not mind much if I And a cup on my hat!
Stand here upon this ball, nor mind if I But that is not ALL I can do!
Do balance lit’rature beside thine self. Said the cat…
But if thou think that I can do no more,
I prithee, watch, for much more can I do.
[CAT adds more objects to his trick.] “Look at me!
Lo, children, lo! Do witness all that I Look at me now!’ said the cat.
Can balance at one time. For I shall hold “With a cup and a cake
A goblet here, and pastries on mine head! On the top of my hat!
Another book to join the one before! I can hold up TWO books!
A sailing vessel would look nice beside I can hold up the fish!
Our worrisome oceanic comrade here! And a little toy ship!
Now see a platter topped with milk that joins And some milk on a dish!
The other objects that I pile on! Now And look!
I jump into the air, but ’tis not all! I can hop up and down on the ball!
By God in Heaven, nay, that is not all! But that is not all!
[CAT adds still more objects.] Oh, no. That is not all…
Once more, my friends, lo! Thou can surely be “Look at me!
Of a joc’lar nature, if thou dost know Look at me! Look at me NOW!
Of the way it is done. But first, come see! It is fun to have fun
I possess every capability But you have to know how.
To steady aforementioned items in I can hold up the cup
A position which holdeth them above. And the milk and the cake!
And also can I send t’wards Heaven’s gates I can hold up these books!
A third book to be poised atop the two And the fish on a rake!
Which already lie in my digit here! I can hold the toy ship
But if ye think that such a cat as I And a little toy man!
Could forget our companion from the sea And look! With my tail
I fear, good friends, that such thoughts would be erred I can hold a red fan!
For no longer upon my parasol I can fan with the fan
Is this our piscine comrade held aloft. As I hop on the ball!
Nay, younglings, nay! For now, see! This our fish But that is not all.
Upon a garden tool hangeth above. Oh, no.
For that which once did naught but sweep the leaves That is not all…”
Up from the ground, after from trees they fell
Has now been used to take thy humble fish
From wat’ry home into the realm of birds.
But ships still sail where fish do swim, for lo!
This boat will fly as well, though truth be told
A ship of this mold ‘twould not favor well
If in the fierce embrace of waves ’twere placed.
Nay, children. Even with talents as mine
No full-sized boat could I keep up for long
And so this sailing vessel that you see
Is nothing more than a child’s plaything.
And so is the man who upon the ship
Appeareth to be staring o’er the waves.
But O alas! No sights could this man see
For plastic are his eyes, as is he all.
But hark again! What is this thing of red
That maketh its home thither at my tail?
Could this be yet another item? By
The gods above, will wonders never cease?
For in my tail is grasped a fan! A fan
Which holds the color of the setting sun.
And with this fan I fan–for ’tis a fan,
And with a fan, what can one do but fan?
So fan I shall, and as I fan, I feel
The urge to jump! So jump I shall as well!
But can more still be done? I think it can!
So’ tis not all! Nay, nay! ‘Tis still not all!
CHORUS: ‘Twas what the cat said, but it was not so That is what the cat said…
For as these words exited from his mouth Then he fell on his head!
He fell upon his skull, and as such, O! He came down with a bump
The items from his grasp did plummet south! From up there on the ball.
SCENE III And Sally and I,
SAMUEL: Ay me! Hark, sister mine! Another bump We saw ALL the things fall!
Dost sound, as one did whence this cat arrived.
But now it signals that the trick doth fail
For no longer dost cat reside on ball.
SALLY: Watch, brother, as the items from the sky
Where once they flew now drop to fly no more.
O nothing can be done by us but watch
As gravity doth take its awful turn.
FISH: O children! Gravity be not alone And our fish came down, too.
In taking awful turns, for so hath I! He fell into a pot!
For look ye! In a pot do I now rest! He said, “Do I like this?”
Where tea once boiled, now here boil I Oh no, I do not.
For anger filleth me from tail to head. This is not a good game.”
I ask ye, pray, do I like this my state? Said our fish as he lit.
But answer not! For I know ’tis not so! “No, I do not like it,
Nay, children, I could not enjoy it less! Not one little bit!”
The game–though could this be called “game” in truth? “Now look what you did!”
For games be fun, and this lacketh all sport, Said the fish to the cat.
So call it chore–this chore which hath been done Now look at this house!
Holdeth no trace of any goodness known. Look at this! Look at that!
This chore is not likèd by me at all. You sank our toy ship,
Not in the tiniest smidgen is this liked, Sank it deep in the cake.
And none here are to blame, but thou, foul cat, You shook up our house
The wretched beast whose litter should be damned! And you bent our new rake.
Dost thou–or canst thou–comprehend thine wrongs? You SHOULD NOT be here
If not, then look three ’round at this, our room! When our mother is not.
The whole house reeketh of thy misch’vous ways! You get out of this house!”
Look hither and look thither! Canst thou see Said the fish in the pot.
All of the trouble that thy play hath caused?
The ship now seteth sail within the cake
As if its icing were the ocean waves.
The garden tool shall tend gardens no more
For in unnat’ral angles is it bent!
And furthermore, the house to which thou came–
Hopefully with many an ache to feel–
Hath shook as if by earthquake. Foolish puss!
Hither be not the place for fools as thou!
Especially when that woman who long
Ago by many years begot the youth
Whom thy folly no doubt corrupteth much!
Prithee, sirrah, be gone, and ne’er return!
CAT: Be gone? Be gone, you say? Be gone, I shan’t! “But I like to be here.
For I adore the place where now I stand! Oh, I like it a lot!”
Thus from this place I shall not flee, and so Said the Cat in the Hat
And with a thousand “so”s, I start anew. To the fish in the pot.
Another game within my cappèd skull “I will NOT go away.
I shall demonstrate. Let me fetch mine tools! I do NOT wish to go!
[Exit CAT] And so,” said the Cat in the Hat,
SALLY: He left! But did he not say he would not? So so so…
Or did I hear him wrong? I will show you
FISH: He shall return, Another good game that I know!”


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