made some great points above. I think he likely hit it on the head with respect to the ExecCGI option in your httpd.conf file. Go to www.apache.org to read up on documentation on this config file.
Your other temporary fix (assuming your current httpd.conf allows it) is to override the global access directives with your own .htaccess file in the same dir as your script with a single line that says
But this will only fix it for that directory, like I said. You'll also want to make sure your httpd.conf contains a handler for the .cgi and .pl scripts. :-)