If Manassas resident Ann Stuart Berry has her way, homespun fairy tales about the magical Goody Pie children will sweep America's streets, schools and homes of drug abuse.

Sound like fantasy?

Not to Berry and her daughter, Sarah, 24, who, with the help of handcrafted dolls and painted cardboard props, have performed their "Goody Pie" program free for hundreds of preschool and elementary grade children in private and public schools throughout the metropolitan area in the past year and a half.

According to the elder Berry, the Goody Pie program is one of only a very few substance abuse programs in the nation that is targeted at very young children.

"We need to get into every school in the United States of America," said Ann Berry, whose missionary-like zeal seems to defy the debilitating arthritis she's lived with for 23 years. "Right now there is nothing for these children."

On Saturday, the Berrys will be performing the Goody Pie story at 1:30 and 3 p.m. at Haymarket Day near the Haymarket Medical Center. Enter at Washington and Jefferson streets.

According to the Rockville-based National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, there is plenty of classroom material on substance abuse prevention aimed at preschool children in first through third grades, but not programs that address the problem through live performances, such as the Berrys'.

"I know from seeing the kids' reaction to it {the Goody Pie program}, as opposed to a book . . . they seem to like it a lot more," said Kristan Allen, who coordinates the clearinghouse's data base for prevention materials. "They seem to digest it easily. And the message is really clear."

"Say no to drugs," Michael Austin, 5, his brow deeply furrowed, said after a rousing Goody Pie performance at Curtis Memorial Park in Stafford County several weeks ago.

The story starts in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Goody Pie, despondent because they have no children. Still fanning their hopes, they fill a room with clothes and toys. Yet the room remains empty.

But one day out of the sky tumbles a bright light that is transformed into a glass ball, from which spills eight jewels. When cleaned, they miraculously turn into the tiny Goody Pie children.

On stage, Ann Berry plays the mystical Goody Pie Lady, whom the children meet on the road. She tells the Goody Pie children their fate, which is to seek out and "melt the coldest, meanest, cruelest heart in the whole wide world." Sarah, dressed in a short skirt with flaxen hair in pony tails, is one of the Goody Pie girls.

The young audience learns that if they thaw the meanest heart they will eradicate evils such as child abuse and hunger and "drugs and alcohol for kids." Future stories planned by Berry will reveal who holds the meanest heart.

Most engaging to young children such as Michael Austin are the calls for audience participation woven into the show.

"Do you know what drugs can look like?" the Berrys asked at a recent performance.

The hands shot up like wildfire. "Pills, powder, candy . . . . Some people put them on the back of stickers and lick them . . . . Can be in apples . . . little white rocks . . . like ice."

And what do they do to you? "Make you feel weird like you're floating in the air . . . . Committing suicide . . . . Make your heart black . . . . Make you do things you don't want to do . . . . Kill other people."

And the final chant: "Goody Pie children say no to drugs. Goody Pie children say no to drugs. Goody Pie children say no to drugs."

The Goody Pie program has partial roots in Ann Berry's former addiction to a prescription drug. To dull the arthritic pain that has hobbled her step and reduced her fingers to soft balls of flesh, Berry took prescription drugs but in early 1980s, she decided to let her natural painkillers take over.

Today, "Goody Pie gets me up and going," said Berry, who began forming the story three years ago while recuperating from a hip fracture.

The Berrys' first enactment of the Goody Pie story took place at a private day-care center near Manassas, and since has been in every public school system in the metropolitan area as well as in Baltimore and Fauquier and Culpeper counties -- seen by about 30,000 children.

Last year, the Goody Pie venture was incorporated as a nonprofit organization called Drug Prevention and Education for Young Children Inc. and since has raised $17,000 in private contributions, according to Sarah Berry.

"It's a pretty cheap program," she said. But, she added, if it is effective in the long run, it could save millions of dollars that otherwise would be spent on substance abuse rehabilitation.

Last week, her mother was completing illustrations for the "Original Goody Pie Kids Story Book." Expected to go to print soon, it has already drawn the interest of one of the major bookstore chains, Ann Berry said.

Eventually, Ann Berry said, they would like to complete three sequels to the first story and produce a Goody Pie package, complete with story and color books, games and even videos, for schools throughout the nation.