When Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen set out to race for the South Pole--the last "undiscovered" spot on earth--the Englishman chose ponies for his beasts of burden, while the Norwegian used dogs. Those were the days of grand, knightly enterprises, when how you went about exploring was almost as important as what you found. In Scott's mind, employing canines was a form of cheating, especially when his ponies dropped from exhaustion and his men had to pull the ice-sledges themselves. Furthermore, he refused to indulge in the horsemeat readily offered by the ponies' deaths. "Our final victory over Norway will be all the sweeter, all the nobler," he says in Ted Tally's dramatic depiction of the race, Terra Nova, "because we will know that we've taken the prize by playing the game as it ought to be played." As we all know, Scott never made it back to accept his noble victory and Terra Nova tells his story of hubris and ultimate demise in the frigid Antarctic. A native of Winston-Salem, Tally has won national acclaim for his drama, which will open at Raleigh Little Theatre's Main Stage this week. Haskell Fitz-Simons directs. Show dates are Feb. 9-10, 14-17 and 20-24 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 11, 18 and 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $13 and $18; call 821-3111.