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Children's Classics in Dramatic Form - Book Two
by Augusta Stevenson
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CHILDREN'S CLASSICS IN DRAMATIC FORM

BOOK TWO

BY AUGUSTA STEVENSON

Formerly a Teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools

1908



FOREWORD

This series of books aims to serve three distinct purposes: first, to arouse a greater interest in oral reading; second, to develop an expressive voice—sadly lacking in the case of most Americans; and third, to give freedom and grace in the bodily attitudes and movements which are involved in reading and speaking. The stories given are for the most part adaptations of favorite tales from folklore,—Andersen, Grimm, AEsop, and the Arabian Nights having been freely drawn upon.

Children are dramatic by nature. They are for the time the kings, the fairies, and the heroes that they picture in their imaginations. They are these characters with such abandon and with such intense pleasure that the on-looker must believe that nature intended that they should give play to this dramatic instinct, not so much formally, with all the trappings of the man-made stage, but spontaneously and naturally, as they talk and read. If this expressive instinct can be utilized in the teaching of reading, we shall be able both to add greatly to the child's enjoyment and to improve the quality of his oral reading. In these days when so many books are hastily read in school, there is a tendency to sacrifice expression to the mechanics and interpretation of reading. Those acquainted with school work know too well the resulting monotonous, indistinct speech and the self-conscious, listless attitude which characterize so much of the reading of pupils in grades above the third. It is believed that these readers will aid in overcoming these serious faults in reading, which all teachers and parents deplore. The dramatic appeal of the stories will cause the child to lose himself in the character he is impersonating and read with a naturalness and expressiveness unknown to him before, and this improvement will be evident in all his oral reading, and even in his speech.

The use of the books permits the whole range of expression, from merely reading the stories effectively, to "acting them out" with as little, or as much, stage-setting or costuming as a parent or teacher may desire. The stories are especially designed to be read as a part of the regular reading work. Many different plans for using the books will suggest themselves to the teacher. After a preliminary reading of a story during the study period, the teacher may assign different parts to various children, she herself reading the stage directions and the other brief descriptions unclosed in brackets. The italicized explanations in parentheses are not intended to be read aloud; they will aid in giving the child the cue as to the way the part should be rendered. After the story has been read in this way, if thought advisable it can be played informally and simply, with no attempt at costuming or theatric effects. It will often add to the interest of the play to have some of the children represent certain of the inanimate objects of the scene, as the forest, the town gate, a door, etc. Occasionally, for the "open day," or as a special exercise, a favorite play may be given by the children with the simplest kind of costuming and stage-setting. These can well be made in the school as a part of the manual training and sewing work. In giving the play, it will generally be better not to have pupils memorize the exact words of the book, but to depend upon the impromptu rendering of their parts. This method will contribute more largely to the training in English.

The best results will usually be obtained by using this book in the third grade. In some schools, however, it may profitably be used in the second grade.

A.S.



CONTENTS

THE CLEVER KID Suggested by AEsop's The Wolf and the Goat.

THE WOLF AND THE HORSE Suggested by AEsop's The Wolf and the Horse.

THE WISE CROW Suggested by AEsop's The Crow and the Pitcher.

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB Suggested by AEsop's The Wolf and the Lamb.

THE SELFISH WOMAN Suggested by the folk-story, The Red-Headed Woodpecker.

THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT From the folk-story, The Blind Men.

THE STAG AND THE FAWN Suggested by AEsop's The Stag at the Pool.

THE SHEPHERD-BOY WHO CALLED WOLF Suggested by AEsop's The Shepherd-Boy and the Wolf.

THE WISH-BIRD Suggested by a German folk-story.

LAZY KATE Suggested by the German folk-story, Lazy Lizette.

THE PROUD RING-FINGER Suggested by the German folk-story, The Proud Ringfinger.

THE TWO MILLERS Suggested by the German folk-story, The Two Millers.

THE VAIN JACKDAW Suggested by AEsop's The Vain Jackdaw.

THE LITTLE JACKAL AND THE CAMEL Suggested by the Oriental legend. The Jackal and the Camel.

THE ENDLESS TALE Suggested by the folk-story, The Endless Tale.

THE HOLE IN THE DIKE Suggested by the legend, The Hole in the Dike.

THE POT OF GOLD Suggested by AEsop's The Farmer and his Sons.

THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG Suggested by Grimm's The Hare and the Hedgehog.

FISHING ON DRY LAND Suggested by Grimm's The Peasant's Clever Daughter.

THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM Suggested by the folk-story, The Wise Men of Gotham.

THE TWO QUESTIONS Suggested by the folk-story, The Two Questions.

POCAHONTAS AND CAPTAIN SMITH

POCAHONTAS SAVES JAMESTOWN

KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES



ILLUSTRATIONS

THE ENDLESS TALE

THE CLEVER KID

"AS I LIVE, YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH!"

THE WISE CROW

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

"WILL YOU GIVE ME A CAKE?"

THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT

THE STAG AND THE FAWN

THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO CALLED WOLF

"I AM TIRED OF MY RABBITS"

"GOOD-MORNING, TEACHER. HERE IS LAZY KATE"

THE PROUD RING-FINGER

THE TWO MILLERS

THE VAIN JACKDAW

THE LITTLE JACKAL AND THE CAMEL

"THERE IS WATER ON THE SAND HERE"

THE POT OF GOLD

THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG

FISHING ON DRY LAND

"QUICK, NOW—BEFORE THE KING COMES"

THE TWO QUESTIONS

"I WILL NOT SHOOT AT DEER"

POCAHONTAS SAVES JAMESTOWN

"NOT ONE OF THEM FIT TO EAT!"



THE CLEVER KID

TIME: this morning. PLACE: a pasture.

* * * * *

GRAY WOLF. WHITE WOLF. KID.

* * * * *

[The GRAY WOLF and the WHITE WOLF are standing at the foot of a hill; at the top of the hill is a KID.][Footnote: The explanations in brackets may be read aloud by the teacher.]

GRAY WOLF. Look, brother, there is a kid!

WHITE WOLF. Where? Where?

GRAY WOLF. On that hill to the south.

WHITE WOLF. I do not see her.

GRAY WOLF. She is on the very top.

WHITE WOLF. Ah, now I see her!

GRAY WOLF. I wish we could get at her.



WHITE WOLF. She would make a fine dinner.

GRAY WOLF. She would, my brother.

WHITE WOLF. She is so young!

GRAY WOLF. She is so tender!

WHITE WOLF. Well, we cannot get her. The hill is too steep.

GRAY WOLF. We must make her come to us.

WHITE WOLF. Yes, yes! That will be fine!

GRAY WOLF. O little Kid! Dear little Kid!

WHITE WOLF. O little Kid! Sweet little Kid!

KID. What is it, sirs?

GRAY WOLF. The grass down here is sweeter!

WHITE WOLF. And greener!

GRAY WOLF. And fresher!

WHITE WOLF. And younger!

GRAY WOLF. Come down and eat your dinner here!

KID. Do you speak of my dinner, sirs?

WOLVES. O yes, yes, yes!

KID. You speak of my dinner, but you think of your own. I will stay where I am, sirs.



THE WOLF AND THE HORSE

TIME: last summer. PLACE: a field of oats.

* * * * *

WOLF. HORSE. MASTER. MAID. BOY. NEIGHBORS.

* * * * *

[The WOLF enters from the forest.]

WOLF. Ah, if I could only eat oats! What a dinner I should have! I would tell no one! No one would know, and the whole field would be mine.

(Enter the HORSE from the forest.)

Ah, good friend, such news as I can tell you!

HORSE. I will not promise to believe you.

WOLF. Well, then, believe your own eyes. There lies a field of ripe oats!

HORSE. As I live, you speak the truth!

WOLF. I have not tasted one! I have kept them all for you.



HORSE (calling) Master! Master!

[Note: The words in parentheses are not intended to be read aloud; they will give the child the cue as to how the part should be rendered and thus stimulate better expression.]

WOLF. Your master knows the oats are there. You do not need to tell him.

HORSE. Maid! Maid!

WOLF. The maid knows the oats are there. You do not need to call her.

HORSE. Boy! Boy!

WOLF. Stop your calling! You will have them all at me with clubs.

HORSE. Neighbors! Neighbors!

[Enter the MASTER, MAID, BOY, and NEIGHBORS with clubs. They surround the Wolf.]

MASTER. Aha! I have caught you at last!

WOLF (to horse). This is the thanks I get for showing you—

HORSE. Something you did not want yourself. I owe you nothing, sir.



THE WISE CROW

TIME: last summer. PLACE: a meadow.

* * * * *

THE CROW. THE SPARROW.

* * * * *

[The CROW and the SPARROW meet at a spring.]

SPARROW. Ah me, the spring is dry!

CROW. All the springs are dry!

SPARROW. There may be water in the brook.

CROW. No, the brook is dry.

SPARROW. What shall we do?

CROW. There may be water in this pitcher. I will see. Aha! Here is water! Come and drink.

SPARROW. I cannot reach it. It is too low.

CROW. Stretch your neck!

SPARROW. I stretch and stretch—I cannot reach it.

CROW. Why, neither can I! Stretch as I will, I cannot reach it.

SPARROW. What shall we do?

CROW. We will break the pitcher. Come, now!

SPARROW. I strike and strike.

CROW. I strike and strike.

SPARROW. We cannot break it.

CROW. No, we cannot break it.

SPARROW. What shall we do?

CROW. Let us try to overturn it. Come, now!

SPARROW. I push and push.

CROW. I push and push.

SPARROW. We cannot overturn it.

CROW. No, we cannot overturn it.

SPARROW. We must have water! What shall we do?

CROW. Ah, I know the way to get the water!

(He drops pebbles in the pitcher.)

SPARROW. Why do you drop pebbles in the pitcher?

(He drops in more pebbles; the water rises.)

Please tell me why you do that.



CROW. Now come and drink, Miss Sparrow!

SPARROW. Why, I can reach the water How queer! How very queer!



THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

TIME: last spring. PLACE: a pasture.

* * * * *

THE LAMB. THE WOLF.

* * * * *

[The LAMB is drinking from the brook. The WOLF enters.]

WOLF. Aha! There is my dinner. Now I'll make it seem that I ought to eat her. Lamb, Lamb, how dare you? How dare you?

LAMB. What do you mean, sir?

WOLF. How dare you muddle the water?

LAMB. The water is clear where you stand, sir.

WOLF. The water is muddled where I stand, miss.

LAMB. How can that be, sir?

WOLF. I say the water here is muddled.

LAMB. But, sir, the water runs from you to me.

WOLF. Oh, well, we will say no more about the water. Now just one year ago you called me names.



LAMB. How could that be, sir?

WOLF. I say you called me names, miss.

LAMB. But, sir, one year ago I was not born.

WOLF. Well, then, it was your father. It is all the same to me. I mean to eat you anyway.



THE SELFISH WOMAN

TIME: yesterday. PLACE: the village.

* * * * *

WOMAN. BEGGAR.

* * * * *

[The SELFISH WOMAN is taking cakes from her oven. There is a knock at the door.]

WOMAN. Enter!

[The BEGGAR enters. She wears a long cloak.]

BEGGAR. I am hungry, good woman. Will you give me a cake?

WOMAN. The cakes are too large to give away. I will make a cake for you.

[She makes a very small cake and puts it in the oven.]

BEGGAR. I thank you, good woman.

[The woman takes the cake from the oven.]

WOMAN. This cake is too large to give away. I will make another cake for you.

[She makes a very, very small cake and puts it in the oven.]

BEGGAR. I thank you, good woman.

[The woman takes the cake from the oven.]

WOMAN. This cake is too large to give away. I will give you a slice of bread.

[She cuts a slice from a loaf of bread.]

BEGGAR. I thank you—

WOMAN. A slice is too much to give away. Here is a crust for you.

[The beggar shakes her head.]

BEGGAR. May you never taste cake again! May the very cake in your mouth seem to be crust! If you will not give, you shall not have!

WOMAN. Go, go!

[The beggar throws off her cloak; a FAIRY is seen.]

WOMAN. A Fairy! You are a Fairy?

FAIRY. I am the Fairy of Good Deeds. You would not give—you shall not have!

[The Fairy goes.]

WOMAN. As if cake could ever taste like bread! 'Tis impossible—impossible!

(She eats a cake.)

What is this? I seem to be eating crust, dry crust. I'll try another cake.



(She eats another cake.)

Why, this too changes to crust! Ah me! The Fairy's words were true. I would not give, I cannot have. Ah me! Ah me!



THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT

TIME: a year ago. PLACE: India.

* * * * *

THE DRIVER. THE SIX BLIND MEN.

* * * * *

[The SIX BLIND MEN stand by the roadside, begging. The DRIVER comes with his elephant.]

BLIND MEN. A penny, sir! A penny!

DRIVER (throwing pennies). There, and there, and there! Now out of the way with you! I must take my elephant by.

FIRST BLIND MAN. I have never seen an elephant, sir.

OTHER BLIND MEN. Nor I! Nor I!

DRIVER. Do you know what he is like?

BLIND MEN. No, sir! No, sir!

DRIVER. Would you like to touch him?

BLIND MEN. Yes! Yes!

DRIVER. Come, then, and stand by him.

FIRST BLIND MAN (placing hand on elephant's side). Well, well! Now I know all about him! He is exactly like a wall!

SECOND BLIND MAN (feeling the tusk). He is not like a wall! He is round and smooth and sharp. He is like a spear.

THIRD BLIND MAN (feeling the trunk). Both of you are wrong. He is like a snake.

FOURTH BLIND MAN (feeling a leg). Oh, how blind you are! He is round and tall like a tree!

FIFTH BLIND MAN (feeling an ear). Why, he is exactly like a great fan!

SIXTH BLIND MAN (feeling the tail). This elephant is not like a wall, or a spear, or a snake, or a tree, or a fan. He is exactly like a rope.

DRIVER. Ha, ha, ha!

[He goes, driving elephant and laughing.]

FIRST BLIND MAN. Ha, ha, ha! Hear how he laughs at you!

SECOND BLIND MAN. He laughs at you and the others.

THIRD BLIND MAN. He does not laugh at me!

FOURTH BLIND MAN. I say he laughs at you and the others.



FIFTH BLIND MAN. You cannot say he laughs at me!

SIXTH BLIND MAN. He laughs at all of you! He knows I spoke the truth.

[He goes.]

OTHER BLIND MEN. Hear him! Hear him!

[They go their different ways, shaking their fingers angrily at each other.]



THE STAG AND THE FAWN

SCENE I

TIME: last autumn. PLACE: the forest.

* * * * *

THE STAG. THE FAWN.

* * * * *

[The STAG and FAWN enter the forest.]

FAWN. Here is a pool!

STAG. We will stop and drink.

FAWN. I see your horns in the water, father.

STAG. Ah, yes!

FAWN. They look like a strong tree down there.

STAG. They are strong! And are they not beautiful, child?

FAWN. They make you very grand, dear father!

STAG. No king with his crown looks grander!

FAWN. I see your feet in the water, father.

STAG. Do not speak of my feet, child!

FAWN. Why not? They are small and slender.



STAG. But they look so weak. I do not like my feet at all. I wish they were different.

(A Hunter's horn is heard.)

Come, child, come!

SCENE II

TIME: an hour later. PLACE: another part of the forest.

* * * * *

THE STAG. THE FAWN. THE HUNTER.

* * * * *

[The STAG is caught in a thicket by his horns. The FAWN looks at him pityingly.]

FAWN. A man is near! I hear him running!

STAG. I cannot free myself!

FAWN. Ah, if you only had no horns!

STAG. Or if they were only not so strong and not so grand!

FAWN. Your feet could save you then, dear father.

STAG. Go, child, and let your feet save you.

FAWN. I cannot bear to leave you, father!

STAG. Go save yourself! Go, go!

[The faun goes. The HUNTER enters.]

HUNTER. Aha! I have you now!



THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO CALLED WOLF

SCENE I

TIME: middle of the afternoon. PLACE: a hillside near the village.

* * * * *

SHEPHERD BOY. MASTER. PASTOR. MERCHANT. BAKER. BUTCHER.

* * * * *

[The SHEPHERD BOY watches a flock of sheep.]

BOY. I am tired of watching sheep! I will play a joke on some one! I will play a joke on every one!

(He calls in a loud voice.)

Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!

[Enter the VILLAGERS with clubs.]

MASTER. Where is the Wolf?

BOY. Ha, ha, ha! There is no wolf!

PASTOR. I do not like to leave my church!



MERCHANT. I do not like to leave my store!

BAKER. I do not like to leave my dough!

BUTCHER. I do not like to leave my ox!

BOY. Ha, ha, ha! There is no wolf! Ha, ha, ha!

MASTER. You must not play that joke again! Do you hear? You must never play that joke again!

SCENE II

TIME: a week later. PLACE: same as in Scene I.

* * * * *

BOY. VILLAGERS.

* * * * *

[The BOY watches his sheep.]

BOY. I will play that joke again. I like to see them come running.

(He calls in a loud voice.)

Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!

[The VILLAGERS come with clubs.]

MASTER. Where is the wolf?

BOY. Ha, ha, ha! There is no wolf!

PASTOR. I do not like to leave my church!

MERCHANT. I do not like to leave my store!

BAKER. I do not like to leave my dough!

BUTCHER. I do not like to leave my ox!

BOY. Ha, ha, ha! There is no wolf! Ha, ha, ha!

MASTER. Boy, boy, you must not joke about a wolf! Do you hear? You must never joke about a wolf!

SCENE III

TIME: a week later. PLACE: same as Scene II.

* * * * *

BOY.

* * * * *

[The BOY watches the sheep. A wolf comes and begins to kill the sheep.]

BOY. Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!

(No one comes or answers.)

Master! Pastor! Merchant! Baker! Butcher! Come! Come! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!

(No one comes or answers.)

What shall I do? They think I am playing a joke again. What shall I do? I cannot save my sheep! I must run to save myself!



THE WISH-BIRD

TIME: a few years ago. PLACE: the palace gardens.

* * * * *

BIRD. PRINCE. NURSE.

* * * * *

[The PRINCE and his NURSE walk in the palace gardens. The WISH-BIRD is flying among the trees.]

PRINCE. I am tired of the gardens, Nurse.

NURSE. Look at your pretty flowers, dear Prince.

PRINCE. I am tired of the flowers.

NURSE. Look at your pretty doves, dear Prince.

PRINCE. I am tired of my doves.

NURSE. Then look at your white, white rabbits, Prince.

PRINCE. I am tired of my rabbits.

NURSE. Dear me! Dear me!

PRINCE. What shall I look at, Nurse?



NURSE. I do not know, dear Prince.

PRINCE. You must tell me what to look at.

NURSE. Dear me! Dear me!

PRINCE. I will send you to the king.

NURSE. Do not send me to the king, dear Prince!

PRINCE. Then tell me what to look at.

BIRD. Look at me, Prince! Look at me!

PRINCE. Where are you?

BIRD. I am in the cedar tree.

NURSE. It is the Wish-Bird, Prince!

BIRD. Make a wish, Prince. I will give you what you ask for. But do not ask too much!

PRINCE. I wish these flowers were feathers!

BIRD. Flowers, flowers, to feathers change!

PRINCE. Look, Nurse, look! The flowers have changed to feathers! Let me wish again, Wish-Bird!

BIRD. Make a wish. I will give you what you ask for. But do not ask too much!

PRINCE. I wish my rabbits with wings could fly!

BIRD. Rabbits, rabbits, fly with wings!

PRINCE. Ha, ha! My rabbits now have wings! Let me wish again, Wish-Bird!

BIRD. Make a wish. I will give you what you ask for. But do not ask too much!

PRINCE. I wish to have the moon, I do!

BIRD. Do not ask too much, Prince!

PRINCE. I wish to have the moon, I say! Do you hear, Wish-Bird? I wish to have the moon!

BIRD. You ask too much! Feathers, feathers, fly away!

NURSE. Prince, Prince, your feather flowers are flying away!

BIRD. Rabbits, rabbits, fly away!

NURSE. Prince, Prince, your pretty rabbits are flying away!

PRINCE. I want my pretty flowers, I do! I want my pretty rabbits, too!

BIRD. You asked too much, Prince! You asked too much!

PRINCE. What will the king say?

NURSE. Dear me! Dear me! The king loved the flowers and white, white rabbits.

PRINCE. What shall I do, Wish-Bird?

BIRD. Go plant flower seeds and care for them until they grow to flowers. Go feed your doves and care for them. Go work and work and work and never ask too much. Then some day I will come to you and you may wish again.

[The Wish-Bird flies away.]



LAZY KATE

SCENE I

TIME: early in the morning. PLACE: Kate's bedroom.

* * * * *

KATE. MOTHER. BED.

* * * * *

[KATE is in bed. Her MOTHER comes.]

MOTHER. Kate, Kate, get up!

KATE. By and by, mother.

MOTHER. It is time to go to school. Get up!

KATE. By and by, mother, by and by.

MOTHER. You will be late to school, I fear.

[The Mother goes.]

BED. Dear me! Dear me! Kate will not get up. Well, she shall not be late to school. I will see to that.

[The Bed walks from the room into the street. Kate is frightened.]

KATE. Bed, Bed, where are you going?

BED. To school, you lazy child.

SCENE II

TIME: five minutes later. PLACE: the schoolroom.

* * * * *

KATE. TEACHER. BED. BOYS AND GIRLS.

* * * * *

[The BED enters the schoolroom. Kate tries to hide under the covers.]

BED. Good-morning, teacher. Here is lazy Kate.

TEACHER. Ha, ha, ha!

BED. Good-morning, boys. Here is lazy Kate.

BOYS. Ha, ha, ha!

BED. Good-morning, girls. Here is lazy Kate.

GIRLS. Ha, ha, ha!

KATE. Take me home, Bed! Please take me home!

BED. Will you get up early?

KATE. O yes, yes, yes!

BED. Every morning?

KATE. Every morning, Bed! Every morning!



BED. Then I will take you home. Good-by, teacher!

TEACHER. Ha, ha, ha!

BED. Good-by, children!

CHILDREN. Ha, ha, ha!

[The Bed goes with Kate, who still tries to hide under the covers.]

SCENE III

TIME: two minutes later. PLACE: Kate's bedroom.

* * * * *

KATE. MOTHER.

* * * * *

[KATE is asleep. Her MOTHER comes.]

MOTHER. Kate, Kate! You are asleep again! Get up and go to school!

KATE. I have been to school.

MOTHER. What is this?

KATE. I have been to school. The Bed took me.

MOTHER. You have been dreaming, child.

KATE. No, no! The Bed took me to school. The children laughed at me.

MOTHER. It was a dream, my dear.

KATE. Well, I promised the Bed to get up early. I know that was not a dream.

[She jumps out of bed.]

MOTHER. Oh, that is fine!

KATE. I must not be late to school. I promised the Bed.



THE PROUD RING-FINGER

TIME: this morning. PLACE: Mary's bedroom.

* * * * *

MARY. MOTHER. FATHER. BROTHER. SISTER. POINTING-FINGER. MIDDLE-FINGER. RING-FINGER. LITTLE-FINGER. THUMB.

* * * * *

[MARY lies in bed asleep. Her FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER, and SISTER enter softly. They carry birthday presents for Mary.]

MOTHER. Sh! We must not wake her!

FATHER. I will put the gold pen on the table.

BROTHER. I will lay the apple by the pen.

SISTER. I will place the rose by the apple.

FATHER. How pretty they look!

MOTHER. What shall I do with the ring?

FATHER. Why not put it on her finger?

MOTHER. I will do that. I will put it on her ring-finger. There! See how pretty it looks!

SISTER. How pretty it makes her finger look!

MOTHER. Now come. We must not wake her. Sh! Sh!

[They go.]

RING-FINGER. I have a gold ring. I am pretty. I am better than the other fingers. I will not work with them.

THUMB. Do you hear that, fingers?



POINTING-FINGER. You are too proud, Ring-finger.

RING-FINGER. Have I not a ring?

MIDDLE-FINGER. That makes you no better, miss.

RING-FINGER. I will not work with any of you.

LITTLE-FINGER. Then I will not work with you.

POINTING-FINGER. Nor I!

THUMB. Nor I!

MIDDLE-FINGER. Nor I!

[The Ring-finger sees the rose.]

RING-FINGER. I wish to hold the rose.

MIDDLE-FINGER. I will not help you.

RING-FINGER. I cannot get it alone.

MIDDLE-FINGER. I will not help you. Let the ring help you.

RING-FINGER. Dear me! Dear me! I cannot get the rose!

[The Ring-finger sees the apple.]

RING-FINGER. I wish to hold the apple.

POINTING-FINGER. I will not help you.

RING-FINGER. I cannot get it alone.

POINTING-FINGER. I will not help you. Let the ring help you.

RING-FINGER. Dear me! Dear me! I cannot get the apple.

[The Ring-finger sees the gold pen.]

RING-FINGER. I wish to write.

THUMB. I will not help you.

RING-FINGER. I cannot write alone.

THUMB. I will not help you. Let the ring help you.

RING-FINGER. The ring does not help me. I cannot work alone. I am no better than you, my brothers. I will work Win you.

MIDDLE-FINGER. Ah, now I will help you to get the rose.

POINTING-FINGER. And I will help you to get the apple.

THUMB. And I will help you to write.



THE TWO MILLERS

SCENE I

TIME: morning. PLACE: Peter's mill.

* * * * *

PETER, THE STUPID MILLER. PETER'S WIFE. THE FOX.

* * * * *

[The FOX enters. He knocks at the mill door. PETER opens the door and comes out. He is covered with meal.]

FOX. Good-morning, Peter.

PETER. What do you want, sir?

FOX. I am hungry. I want to eat Jacob's chickens.

PETER. Ah, that is fine! I do not like Jacob. Do you know that?

FOX. Oh, yes, I know! Now will you help me to get his chickens?

PETER. What can I do?

FOX. Put meal on me, till I am white. Then the chickens will think I am a miller.

PETER. Ah, that is fine! I will get meal. Wait here.

[Peter enters the mill.]

FOX. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

[PETER comes with a pan of meal.]



PETER. Now I will make you white. You shall look just like a miller.

(He covers the Fox with meal.)

Ha, ha! Jacob's chickens will think you are Jacob. Now go! Go and eat Jacob's chickens.

(The Fox goes.)

Ah, this is fine! I do not like Jacob. I do not like Jacob's chickens. I am glad the fox will eat them. Ha, ha, ha!

[Peter enters the mill. Soon his WIFE comes running.]

WIFE. Peter! Peter! Come out! Come out! Peter!

[PETER comes running from the mill.]

PETER. What is it? What is it?

WIFE. The fox has killed your chickens!

PETER. Oh, no! He has killed Jacob's chickens, dear wife. Ha, ha, ha!

WIFE. No, no! He has killed your chickens! They lie there on the grass. Look and you will see them.

[Peter runs to the fence and looks over.]

PETER. What is this? What is this? Ah, my pretty chickens! My pretty chickens!

[He weeps bitterly.]

SCENE II

TIME: the next day. PLACE: Jacob's mill.

* * * * *

JACOB, THE WISE MILLER. THE FOX.

* * * * *

[The FOX enters. He knocks at the mill door. JACOB opens the door and comes out. He is covered with meal.]

FOX. Good-morning, Jacob.

JACOB. What do you want, sir?

FOX. I am hungry. I want to eat Peter's chickens.

JACOB. Why do you come to me?

FOX. You do not like Peter.

JACOB. Oh, you know that, do you?

FOX. Oh, yes, I know! Now will you help me to get his chickens?

JACOB. What can I do?

Fox. Put meal on me, till I am white. Then the chickens will think I am a miller.

JACOB. Ah, that is fine! Wait here.

[He enters the mill.]

FOX. He has gone for meal! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

[JACOB comes out with a club.]

JACOB. Now go! Go, sir!

FOX. Why, what is this? I said I would eat Peter's chickens.

JACOB. Yes, but you mean to eat mine. Now go! Go, or I will beat you!

[The Fox runs quickly away.]



THE VAIN JACKDAW

TIME: last summer. PLACE: a public park.

* * * * *

VAIN JACKDAW. OLD JACKDAW. YOUNG JACKDAW. OTHER JACKDAWS. PEACOCKS.

* * * * *

[The JACKDAWS are seen in the park.]

OLD JACKDAW. Come, jackdaws! We must have our breakfast. Come!

[The Vain Jackdaw stops to look at something on the ground.]

(To Vain Jackdaw.)

Come, no one should stop to look at anything! Come!

YOUNG JACKDAW. Just look at him. He takes up feathers!

VAIN JACKDAW (to himself). How fine I would look in these peacock feathers!

ANOTHER JACKDAW. See how he sticks the feathers in among his own!

YOUNG JACKDAW. See how he struts about in them!

OLD JACKDAW. My son, take off those feathers!

VAIN JACKDAW. It pleases me to wear them.

OLD JACKDAW. Take them off, I say!

VAIN JACKDAW. I will not take them off!

OLD JACKDAW. Then you cannot stay with us.

VAIN JACKDAW. I do not wish to stay with jackdaws. I will not walk with jackdaws. I will not talk with jackdaws. I think myself too fine for jackdaws.

OLD JACKDAW. Then, jackdaws, we will think no more about him. Come, now, to find our breakfast! Come!

[They go. The PEACOCKS enter.]

VAIN JACKDAW. Good-morning, brothers.

PEACOCKS. Ha, ha, ha!

VAIN JACKDAW. Why do you laugh so, brothers?

PEACOCKS. Ha, ha, ha!

VAIN JACKDAW. You must not laugh, dear brothers. I am a peacock like yourselves.

FIRST PEACOCK. You silly jackdaw!

VAIN JACKDAW. I am no jackdaw. Do I not have feathers like your own?

SECOND PEACOCK. Ha, ha! I dropped them on the ground this morning.

THIBAUD PEACOCK. Let's take them from him!



VAIN JACKDAW. No, no! I beg you—

FIRST PEACOCK. Come, let's pull them out!

[They pull the peacock feathers from the jackdaw.]

THIRD PEACOCK. You cannot stay with us!

SECOND PEACOCK. Go back to the jackdaws!

FIRST PEACOCK. Away with you! Away!

[The jackdaw runs. The peacocks go, laughing. The other JACKDAWS enter, followed by the VAIN JACKDAW.]

VAIN JACKDAW. Ah, here you are! I have been looking for you.

OLD JACKDAW. Why do you look for us?

VAIN JACKDAW. I am a jackdaw. I want to be with jackdaws.

OLD JACKDAW. We will have nothing more to do with you! Away!

VAIN JACKDAW. But, brothers, my dear, dear brothers, please let me stay with you!

OLD JACKDAW. You would not walk with jackdaws! Away!

YOUNG JACKDAW. You would not talk with jackdaws! Away!

ANOTHER JACKDAW. You thought yourself too fine for jackdaws! Away!

ALL JACKDAWS. Away! Away!

[They drive the Vain Jackdaw from the park.]



THE LITTLE JACKAL AND THE CAMEL

SCENE I

TIME: one morning. PLACE: the east bank of the river.

* * * * *

THE JACKAL. THE CAMEL.

* * * * *

[The JACKAL stands on the river bank. He looks longingly toward the west shore.]

JACKAL. Ah, if I could only get at those crabs over there! It makes me hungry just to see them! Now if I could only swim! Or if I could walk on water! Or if I had a little canoe!

[Enter the CAMEL. The Jackal whispers to himself.]

Aha! Now I know the way to get across.

(To the Camel.)

Such news as I have for you, dear friend!

CAMEL. Must I guess?

JACKAL. No, I'll tell you this time. Listen: I know a spot where the sugar-cane grows thick.

CAMEL. Tell me! I cannot wait! Tell me!

JACKAL. I cannot. I'll have to show you. It is on the other side of the river.

CAMEL. Why, then, I'll swim across and take you on my back.

JACKAL. Just the very thing!

CAMEL. Come, then! It makes me hungry just to hear of sugar-cane.

[He kneels for the Jackal to get upon his back.]

SCENE II

TIME: a little later. PLACE: the sugar-cane field.

* * * * *

THE JACKAL. THE CAMEL. FARMER. BOYS.

* * * * *

[The CAMEL eats the sugar-cane. The JACKAL comes running into the field.]

CAMEL. What! Have you finished your crabs?

JACKAL. I cannot eat another one! Are you not ready to go?

CAMEL. Ready! Why, I have just begun.

JACKAL. I'll wait for you outside the field, then.

[The Camel nods and disappears among the cane.]

Now I do not wish to wait for him. I am in a hurry to get home, I am. So I'll sing a little song I know. The farmer then will come and drive the camel out.

[He goes. Soon he is heard singing in the distance. Enter the FARMER and the BOYS with clubs.]

FARMER. I see no jackal here!

A BOY. I am sure I heard him singing!

ANOTHER BOY. I heard him, too!

FARMER. We must look for him and drive him out.

[The CAMEL enters, eating cane.]

FIRST BOY. Look, look! A camel!

SECOND BOY. Look, father! A camel!

FARMER (to Camel). So it was you who was singing, was it? Drive him out, boys! Quick! Beat him with your clubs!

[They rush upon the Camel and beat him as he runs from the field.]

SCENE III

TIME: a little later. PLACE: the west bank of the river.

* * * * *

THE JACKAL. THE CAMEL.

* * * * *

[The CAMEL lies on the bank half dead from his beating. Enter the JACKAL.]

JACKAL. Are you ready to go now, friend?

CAMEL. Don't say "friend" to me!

JACKAL. Why do you speak so strangely?

CAMEL. Why did you sing so strangely?



JACKAL. Oh, I don't know why! I always sing after dinner.

CAMEL. Ah! Well, let us go.

[He kneels. The Jackal gets on his back. The Camel rises and enters the river. He swims to the middle of the river and stops.]

JACKAL. Why do you stop?

CAMEL. I have such a strange, strange feeling.

JACKAL. Well, swim on. You need not stop!

CAMEL. I feel as if I must roll over.

JACKAL. Roll over! If you do, I shall be drowned!

CAMEL. Exactly. But still I have that feeling.

JACKAL. Now that is nonsense! Why should you roll over?

CAMEL. Oh, I don't know why! I always roll over after dinner.

[He rolls over.]



THE ENDLESS TALE

TIME: a long time ago. PLACE: the King's palace.

* * * * *

KING. PRINCESS. FIRST STORY-TELLER. SECOND STORY-TELLER. LORDS AND LADIES. GUARDS.

* * * * *

[The KING sits on a cushion in the great hall. The PRINCESS sits on a cushion by him. In front of them sits the FIRST STORY-TELLER. The LORDS and LADIES sit near by.]

STORY-TELLER. "Then the prince married the princess and they were happy forever and ever."

[There is a pause.]

KING. Go on!

(The Story-Teller hangs his head.)

Go on, I say!

STORY-TELLER. That is all, your Majesty.

KING. All!

STORY-TELLER. The prince married the princess. There is nothing more to tell.

KING. I cannot bear so short a story!

PRINCESS. Why, father; for three months we have listened to it!

KING. 'Tis short, I say! I bid you make it longer, sir!

STORY-TELLER. I cannot, Sire. The prince married the princess. There is nothing—

KING. Throw him out of the palace, guards! Cut off his head!

[Guards seize the Story-Teller.]

PRINCESS. Father!

LORDS. Your Majesty!

LADIES. Sire!

PRINCESS. Spare his life!

STORY-TELLER. Let me keep my head, Sire!

KING. Why should you keep it? You do not use it.

STORY-TELLER. For three months I have used it, Sire!

KING. Your story is too short, I say! Away with him, guards! Away!

(Guards take out the First Story-Teller.)

Bid another Story-Teller come!

(A guard admits the SECOND STORY-TELLER, who bows before the King and Princess.)

Sir, hear me. You must tell a story that will last forever.

SECOND STORY-TELLER. I hear, O King!

KING. If you can do this, you shall marry my daughter and be king after me.

SECOND STORY-TELLER. I hear, O King!

KING. If you fail, you shall lose your head. Begin! And remember, the story must go on forever. Now again I say, begin!

SECOND STORY-TELLER. "Once upon a time a certain king seized upon all the corn in his country. He had it stored in a strong granary. Then came a swarm of locusts over the land. Soon they found a crack in the south side of the granary. Now the crack was just large enough for one locust to pass through at a time. So one locust went in and carried away a grain of corn. Then another locust went in and carried away a grain of corn. Then another locust went in and carried away a grain of corn. Then—"

KING (interrupting). Yes, yes! Now go on with the story.

SECOND STORY-TELLER. The story shall go on, O King! "Then another locust went in and carried away another grain of corn. Then another locust—"

KING (interrupting). I tell you to go on with the story!

SECOND STORY-TELLER. I obey, great King. "Then another locust went in and carried away another grain of corn. Then another—"

KING. The story! The story, I tell you!

SECOND STORY-TELLER. This is the story, O King! "Then another locust went in and carried away another grain of corn. Then—"

KING. I cannot stand it! How long will it take the locusts to carry away all the grain?

SECOND STORY-TELLER. One thousand years, O King! "Then another locust went in and—"

KING. Stop! Stop! Take my daughter! Be king after me! Be king now! Anything to stop the locusts!



THE HOLE IN THE DIKE

SCENE I

TIME: late afternoon in autumn. PLACE: Holland.

* * * * *

PETER. JACOB. GRETCHEN. FRIEDA.

* * * * *

[The CHILDREN enter. They carry buckets full of nuts.]

GRETCHEN. How cold it is!

FRIEDA. Let us run. Then we shall not be cold.

PETER. How can we run? We shall spill our nuts.

FRIEDA. We are so far from home!

JACOB. We went so far to find the nuts.

GRETCHEN. It will soon be dark.

FRIEDA. We must walk as fast as we can.

GRETCHEN. Why do you stop, Peter?

PETER. There is water on the sand here.

JACOB. Come, Peter, come!

PETER. Where has this water come from?



FRIEDA. Come, come, Peter!

PETER. There was no rain yesterday. There was no rain to-day.

GRETCHEN. Come, Peter!

PETER. What if the water comes through the dike!

JACOB. Oh, that could not be! How could water get through that thick wall?

PETER. There might be a hole in it. I will see.

GRETCHEN. Peter, Peter! Your mother waits for you.

PETER. I must find where the water comes from.

GRETCHEN. Well, I will not wait.

JACOB. Nor I!

FRIEDA. Nor I! It is too cold.

[They go. Peter runs to the dike and looks at it carefully.]

PETER. Ah, I thought so! Here is a little hole! The water comes through it from the sea. Soon the hole will be larger. I must find stones and fill it.

(He looks about for stones.)

Dear me! Dear me! I cannot find a single stone! What shall I do? The hole will grow larger and larger. The sea will come in and cover all the land. What shall I do? I cannot go and tell the people. That would take too long. What shall I do? What shall I do?

(He thinks for a moment.)

I know! I know how to stop it!

(He thrusts his arm through the hole. He shivers.)

How cold it is!

SCENE II

TIME: the next morning. PLACE: the street near Peter's home.

* * * * *

PETER. PETER'S MOTHER. PRINCE. SOLDIERS. PEOPLE.

* * * * *

[The MOTHER stands in the door of her home looking up and down the street.]

MOTHER. He does not come! Well, I will go to Jacob's after him. I must teach him that he cannot stay away all night. I will punish him for what he has done.

[Enter the PRINCE, SOLDIERS, and PEOPLE. Four soldiers carry PETER on their shoulders.]

A SOLDIER. Hurrah for Peter!

A MAN. Hurrah for Peter!

SOLDIERS. Hurrah! Hurrah!

PEOPLE. Hurrah! Hurrah!

MOTHER. What is this? Why do you carry Peter?

PRINCE. Peter has saved us!

MOTHER. What do you mean?

PRINCE. He put his arm in a hole in the dike. All night long he stood there! All night long he kept out the sea! We found him there this morning. Poor little boy, he was so cold!

MOTHER. Ah, my Peter! My dear Peter!

PRINCE. He is a brave boy. The king wants to see him and to thank him. Come, soldiers, to the king with Peter! Come, to the king! To the king!

[They go with Peter on their shoulders.]

SOLDIERS. Hurrah for Peter!

PEOPLE. Hurrah for Peter!



THE POT OF GOLD

SCENE I

TIME: one spring day. PLACE: the farmer's vineyard.

* * * * *

THE FARMER. HIS THREE SONS.

* * * * *

[The THREE SONS dig lazily among the vines.]

FIRST SON. Oh, I am tired of digging! Come, brothers, let us sit and talk!

[He throws down his spade and sits.]



SECOND SON. Father said we should dig at every vine. But I must say I am tired of it.

[He throws down his spade and sits.]

THIRD SON. I was tired when we began.

[He throws down his spade and sits. The FARMER enters. His sons do not see him.]

FIRST SON. Now I should like to go to war and ride a great white horse.

SECOND SON. I should like to be a prince. I would do nothing all day long but wear my golden crown.

THIRD SON. I want to find a purse of gold. I would never work again, I tell you!

[The farmer shakes his head sadly.]

FARMER. My sons, these vines have not been dug about. Come, do this work as I have told you.

(The sons take up their spades, but unwillingly.)

Now listen: a pot of gold is hidden in this vineyard. It is buried deep beneath these vines.

SONS. A pot of gold!

FARMER. It is all I have to leave you. I think it best to-tell you now, for I cannot live much longer.

FIRST SON. Why do you hide the gold, my father?

FARMER. That you may dig for it.

SECOND SON. Why do you hide it in the ground?

FARMER. That you may dig for it.

THIRD SON. Why don't you tell us where it is?

FARMER. That you may dig for it.

[He goes.]

SONS. A pot of gold!

FIRST SON. Now I shall go to war and ride a great white horse!

SECOND SON. Now I shall marry a princess and wear her golden crown!

THIRD SON. Now I shall find my purse of gold, and never work again!

SCENE II

TIME: one month later. PLACE: the vineyard.

* * * * *

THE THREE SONS.

* * * * *

[The ground is completely dug up. The FIRST SON is seen digging. He throws down his spade showing disappointment.]

FIRST SON. I cannot find it!

(Enter SECOND SON with his spade.)

Did you find it?

SECOND SON. No, and I have dug up every inch of our western vineyard.

[Enter THIRD SON with his spade.]

FIRST AND SECOND SONS. Did you find it?

THIRD SON. No, and I have dug up every inch of the eastern vineyard.

FIRST SON. Well, you see what I have done here.

SECOND SON. Not a vine that has not been dug about!

THIRD SON. I cannot understand it!

FIRST SON. The day our father died he spoke again of the pot of gold.

SECOND SON. And told us again to dig for it.

THIRD SON. I cannot understand it.

[They go, shaking their heads sadly.]

SCENE III

TIME: six months later. PLACE: the vineyard.

* * * * *

THE THREE SONS. THE FRUIT MERCHANT.

* * * * *

[The MERCHANT enters the vineyard with the THREE SONS.]

MERCHANT. You say your grapes are ripe?

FIRST SON. They are ripe and ready to sell, sir.

SECOND SON. Come, now, and look at them.

[They cross to the vines.]

MERCHANT. Why, I have never seen such grapes as these!

THIRD SON. We have never had such grapes before, sir.

MERCHANT. How fine and large they are!

FIRST SON. And sweet, too! Just taste one, sir!

MERCHANT (eating a grape). Are they all like these?

SECOND SON. Every vine bears just such grapes.

MERCHANT. I must have your grapes. I will give a pot of gold for them.

SONS. A pot of gold!

MERCHANT. Come, will you sell?

SONS. Aye, sir!

MERCHANT. Then to-morrow I will bring the pot of gold and take away the grapes.

[He goes.]

SONS. A pot of gold!

FIRST SON. I wonder if that was father's pot of gold.

SECOND SON. I almost think it was.

THIRD SON. I wonder now, I wonder—

FIRST SON. No war horse for me! I will stay and dig again for gold!

SECOND SON. No prince's crown for me! I will stay and dig here too!

THIRD SON. I have found my purse of gold! I will stay and find another!



THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG

TIME: one fine morning. PLACE: the farmer's cabbage field.

* * * * *

THE HARE. THE HEDGEHOG. THE HEDGEHOG'S WIFE.

* * * * *

[The HEDGEHOG and his WIFE are walking in the field.]

HEDGEHOG. These cabbages are growing well.

WIFE. They are very fine indeed.

HEDGEHOG. We can feed on them all summer.

WIFE. Yes, if the hares will let us.

HEDGEHOG. Oh, there is enough for all of us, hares, hedgehogs, and farmer.

WIFE. Yes, if the hares will think that, too.

HEDGEHOG. Well, we will let them alone as we have always done.

WIFE. But they will not let us alone. Yesterday they called at me while I was eating here.

HEDGEHOG. What did they say to you?

WIFE. Oh, such things as "Short-legs," and "Duck-legs."

HEDGEHOG. Here comes one of them now!

WIFE. He is one who called at me. I'll hide till he goes by.

[She hides among the cabbages. The HARE enters.]

HEDGEHOG. Good-morning, sir.

HARE. Why do you speak to me?

HEDGEHOG. I always speak to neighbors, sir.

HARE. Speak to your own kind, then. I think myself too good for hedgehogs.

HEDGEHOG. Now that is strange.

HARE. There is nothing strange about it. Look at your silly little legs!

HEDGEHOG. They are quite as good as yours, sir.

HARE. As good as mine! Hear him! You can only walk with those legs, sir.

HEDGEHOG. I'll run a race with you this day.

HARE. Hear him! Hear him! Ha, ha!

HEDGEHOG. You may run in that furrow. I will run in this. We will see who gets to the field fence first.

HARE. Are you crazy?

HEDGEHOG. Come, come, let's begin the race!

HARE. Ha, ha! Well, I'll run with you. You ought to know just how silly your little duck-legs are.

HEDGEHOG. Let us go to this end of the furrow to begin.

HAKE. I will run to the brook and back while you are getting there.

HEDGEHOG. As you please.

(The Hare runs off.)

Wife, wife, did you hear?

WIFE. I heard. Are you crazy?

HEDGEHOG. Go to the other end of this furrow, wife.

WIFE. And why should I do that?

HEDGEHOG. The hare will run in the other furrow. When he comes to your end, put up your head and say, "I am already here."

WIFE. Ha, ha! He will think that I am you.

HEDGEHOG. Exactly.

WIFE. Ha, ha, ha! I go, Mr. Hedgehog! I go! You may be short on legs, my dear, but you are long on brains.

[She runs to other end of furrow. Mr. Hedgehog goes to his end.]

[The HARE enters.]

HARE. Well, are you ready?

HEDGEHOG. I am ready.

HARE. One, two, three, go!

[The Hare runs swiftly. The Hedgehog sits. The Hare reaches the other end of his furrow. The Wife puts up her head.]



WIFE. I am already here.

HARE. What is this?

WIFE. I am already here.

HARE. We will try again! Are you ready?

WIFE. I am ready.

HARE. One, two, three, go!

[The Hare runs swiftly. The Wife sits. The Hare reaches the other end of his furrow. Mr. Hedgehog puts up his head.]

HEDGEHOG. I am already here.

HARE. I cannot understand this.

HEDGEHOG. I am already here.

HARE. We will try again! Are you ready?

HEDGEHOG. I am ready.

HARE. One, two, three, go!

[The Hare runs swiftly. Mr. Hedgehog sits. The Hare reaches the other end of his furrow. Mrs. Hedgehog puts up her head.]

WIFE. I am already here.

HARE. I cannot believe it!

WIFE. I am already here.

HARE. We will try again! Do you hear? We will try again.

WIFE. I am ready.

HARE. One, two, three, go!

[The Hare runs swiftly. The Wife sits. The Hare reaches the other end of his furrow. Mr. Hedgehog puts up his head.]

HEDGEHOG. I am already here.

HARE. This is very, very strange!

HEDGEHOG. Shall we run again?

HARE. No, no! The race is yours, Neighbor Hedgehog. And will you please to call some day? I should be glad to see you.

HEDGEHOG. I shall be glad to come.

[The Hare goes off wondering.]

WIFE (running to meet Mr. Hedgehog). You may be short on legs, my dear, but you are very, very long on brains.



FISHING ON DRY LAND

TIME: long ago. PLACE: before the King's palace.

* * * * *

KING. PRINCE. QUEEN. LADIES. FARMER NIX. FARMER KNAVE. MANY OTHER FARMERS.

* * * * *

[FARMER NIX, FARMER KNAVE, and the other FARMERS have come with their wagons, for it is market day. Some of the wagons are drawn by horses and some by oxen.]

NIX. Have you seen my colt, sir?

A FARMER. I saw a colt run by not long ago.

SECOND FARMER. There is a colt with Farmer Knave's oxen.

NIX. I do not see him.

THIRD FARMER. He is lying down between them.

NIX. Ah, I see him now.

(He goes to Farmer Knave.)

I have come for my colt, Farmer Knave.

KNAVE. Your colt?

NIX. Yes. There he is between your oxen.

KNAVE. He is my colt, sir.

NIX. How can he be your colt when he is mine?

KNAVE. I ask the same question, sir.

NIX. What do you mean?

KNAVE. How can the colt be yours when he is mine?

NIX. I'll have you before the judge, sir!

KNAVE. The judge shall speak to you, sir!

[The PRINCE comes from the castle.]

PRINCE. What is all this noise, sirs? What is all this noise, I say? The king sent me to ask.

NIX. Farmer Knave does claim my colt, Prince.

PRINCE. How is this, Farmer Knave?

KNAVE. I claim the colt because the colt is mine, Prince.

PRINCE. Now how is this, Farmer Nix?

NIX. The colt is mine, Prince.

KNAVE. The colt is mine I say!

NIX. I say the colt is mine!

PRINCE. Hush, Farmer Nix! Hush, Farmer Knave! I'll tell the king what both of you do claim. He will decide to whom the colt belongs.

[The Prince goes.]

KNAVE. See how the colt lies between my oxen! Is not that proof that he is mine?

NIX. But who can tell what a colt will do?

[The PRINCE comes.]

PRINCE. Farmers, the king has decided. He says the colt belongs where it is now lying.

KNAVE. And he lies between my oxen.

PRINCE. That is proof enough, The colt belongs to you, Farmer Knave.

NIX. But, Prince—

PRINCE. Not another word! Go, now, with your wagons and horses and oxen! The queen comes out to walk. Go, all of you!

[The Prince enters the castle. The farmers go, Nix last. The QUEEN and her LADIES come from the castle.]

QUEEN. Go bring Farmer Nix to me.

[A Lady runs to Nix.]

LADY. The queen wants to see you, sir.

[Nix goes to the Queen and bows.]

QUEEN. I heard all from the castle window. I know the colt is yours.

NIX. I thank you, my Queen, I thank you!

QUEEN. Now you must show the king that colts cannot belong to oxen, never have belonged to oxen, and never will belong to oxen.

NIX. I will go to him at once! I will tell him—

QUEEN. Not so fast! I said you must show the king. He would not let you tell him. No one ever dares to tell things to a king.

NIX. How can I show him?

QUEEN. You must think out the way. I cannot help you more.

NIX. I thank you, my Queen, I thank you.

QUEEN. The king comes out to walk soon.

NIX. I will return to show him.

[Nix bows to the Queen and goes. The KING and PRINCE come from the castle.]

QUEEN. 'Tis a pleasant day to walk, dear King.

KING. Oh, 'tis very, very pleasant.

[Enter Nix with a fishing-net. He throws out the net and draws it in.]

QUEEN. Why, look you what that foolish man is doing!

KING. He throws out his net and draws it in! He acts just as if he were fishing.

QUEEN. Let's ask what he is doing.

KING. Come here, you foolish fellow! Come here, I say!

(NIX comes to the King, but goes on with his fishing.)

Now what are you doing, sir?



NIX. I am fishing, fishing, fishing.

KING. How can you fish where is no water?

NIX. Fish can be found on land if colts belong to oxen.

KING. What is that, sir?

NIX. If colts belong to oxen, then fish should swim in dust.

KING. Well, well, that may be true! What do you think, dear Queen?

QUEEN. I think with you—it may be true.

NIX (fishing). If colts belong to oxen, then I will always fish in dust.

KING. Well, well, I think you may be right, sir!

(Pause. The King thinks deeply.)

Yes, I am now sure that you are right, sir. Go get your colt from Farmer Knave. Go with him, Prince, and see to it. Now come, dear Queen, we'll walk about together, for 'tis a very pleasant day, 'tis very, very pleasant.



THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM

SCENE I

TIME: one morning. PLACE: the highroad to Gotham.

* * * * *

HODGE. PODGE. NODGE. SCRODGE. KING. SOLDIERS.

* * * * *

[Enter HODGE, PODGE, NODGE, and SCRODGE; each carries an ax and each chuckles to himself.]

HODGE. Well, the last tree is down!

PODGE. Down and across the road!

NODGE. Not a horse can get through them!

SCRODGE. How angry it will make the king! Ha, ha!

HODGE. He sent us word he would visit Gotham! Ha, ha!

PODGE. Ha, ha!

NODGE. Ha, ha!

SCRODGE. He would hang us if he knew we cut the trees!

HODGE. And let them fall across the road.

PODGE. He will not know. Not a Gotham man would tell him!

NODGE. Nor a Gotham woman!

SCRODGE. Nor a Gotham child!

HODGE. They have not forgotten what his last visit brought upon them.

PODGE. Everything he saw and liked, he took.

NODGE. And would not pay for it!

SCRODGE. His servants and his soldiers ate the town up.

HODGE. And would not pay for it!

PODGE (looking off). He is coming now! He is on the hill!

SCRODGE. He has his soldiers with him!

NODGE. He must not see us! Come!

[They run off. Enter the KING and SOLDIERS.]

KING. To think that I—a king—should have to walk!

FIRST SOLDIER. Shall I bring the horses up, your Majesty?

KING. Of what use? Look how the road from here is filled with trees!

SECOND SOLDIER. Just as it was back there!

KING. I know! It was done to keep me out of Gotham! I know!

(To Third Soldier.)

Here, you!

THIRD SOLDIER (saluting). Yes, your Majesty.

KING. Get to Gotham, if you have to crawl.

THIRD SOLDIER. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. Tell these men of Gotham I shall come again.

THIRD SOLDIER. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. And when I do—and when I do—[He stops.]

THIRD SOLDIER. Yes, your Majesty?

KING. And when I do, I'll have their noses!

THIRD SOLDIER. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. I'll have the Gotham nose of every Gotham man cut off his Gotham face!

THIRD SOLDIER. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. Go, now, and tell them that!

THIRD SOLDIER (saluting). Yes, your Majesty.

[He goes.]

KING. We will now return the way we came. (He shakes his finger toward Gotham,)

I'll have your noses, that I will!

[He goes with his soldiers.]

SCENE II

TIME: one month later. PLACE: a field near Gotham.

* * * * *

HODGE. PODGE. NODGE. SCRODGE. KING. SOLDIERS. OLD MEN OF GOTHAM. YOUNG MEN OF GOTHAM. PETER AND OTHER GOTHAM BOYS. POLLIE AND OTHER GOTHAM GIRLS.

* * * * *

[The OLD MEN, the YOUNG MEN, and the CHILDREN are in the field.]

AN OLD MAN. Well, the king's men have taken all the trees away.

A YOUNG MAN. A good month's work it made them, too!

ANOTHER OLD MAN. And now the king will come again!

PETER. And we shall lose our noses!

POLLIE. I do not wish to lose my nose!

[Enter SCRODGE, running.]

SCRODGE. The king is coming!

[Enter HODGE, running.]



HODGE. The king is coming!

[Enter PODGE and NODGE, running.]

PODGE and NODGE. The king is coming!

PETER. And we shall lose our noses!

POLLIE. Oh dear! Oh dear! I'll lose my nose!

CHILDREN. Oh dear! We'll lose our noses!

HODGE. Now get you back to Gotham, children! You will not lose your noses.

PODGE. Quick, now—before the king comes!

[The children go, holding their noses.]

NODGE. Now, Gotham men, do you all know what to do?

OLD MEN. Aye! Aye!

YOUNG MEN. Aye! Aye!

[All the men begin to work.]

PODGE. I think this will save our noses.

[Enter the KING and the SOLDIERS.]

KING. Is there a tree left on the road?

FIRST SOLDIER. We took them all away, Sire.

KING (to a soldier.) Then go and get our horses. We will ride into this Gotham town. (The soldier salutes and goes.)

Where do you roll these stones, old men?

AN OLD MAN. Uphill to help the sun rise.

KING. What! To help the sun rise?

OLD MAN. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. Don't you know that the sun will rise without help?

OLD MAN. Will it? Well, well! Who would have thought of that!

KING. You foolish fellows! Well, go on and roll your stones. Now tell me why you grunt, young men?

A YOUNG MAN. Oh, we do the grunting while our fathers do the work.

KING. Ha, ha! Well, go on and grunt. Now what are you men doing?

HODGE. There is a cuckoo here, your Majesty.

KING. What if there is a cuckoo there?

PODGE. We are building a wall around it, Sire?

KING. Why build a wall around it?

NODGE. To keep it from flying away.

KING. Ha, ha! Don't you know that the bird can fly over the wall?

HODGE. Well, well! Who would have thought of that!

NODGE. How very wise you are, Sire!

KING. You foolish fellows! Well, go on and build your wall.

(Enter SCRODGE, carrying a door on his back.)

Where are you going with that door?

SCRODGE. I am going on a journey, Sire.

KING. Why do you carry a door?

SCRODGE. I left my money at home, Sire.

KING. Why didn't you leave the door at home?

SCRODGE. I was afraid of thieves.

KING. Afraid of thieves! And you have taken down your door!

SCRODGE. If I have the door with me, they can't break it open to get in.

KING. You foolish fellow! Why didn't you leave your door at home and carry your money?

SCRODGE. Well, well! Who would have thought of that! How very wise you are, Sire!

KING. Ha, ha, ha! Well, go on and carry your door.

(To Soldiers.)

These Gotham men are foolish. Does it not seem so to you?

SOLDIERS. Aye, Sire!

KING. I'll let them keep their noses. They knew no better than to cut down the trees. Come, we will go away and leave them.

[King and Soldiers go.]

GOTHAM MEN. Ha, ha, ha!



THE TWO QUESTIONS

SCENE I

TIME: when John was King of England. PLACE: King John's palace.

* * * * *

KING JOHN. ABBOT. KNIGHT. JESTER. LORDS AND LADIES.

* * * * *

[KING JOHN sits on his throne. A KNIGHT stands before him. Back of him are the LORDS, the LADIES, and the JESTER.]

KING. Now, what is this you say?

KNIGHT. I saw it all, your Majesty.

KING. You say one hundred men sit down to dine with him?

KNIGHT. Yes, your Majesty, every day.

KING. And fifty knights in velvet coats do wait on him?

KNIGHT. They bring him food on golden plates.

JESTER. Your Majesty does not eat on golden plates!

KING. I cannot afford it.

JESTER. Ha, ha! The king's Abbot lives better than the king!

KING. Be silent, Jester! Sir Knight, go bring this Abbot to me.

[The Knight bows and goes.]

JESTER. The Abbot is the real king! Now who is John, ladies? Who is John, lords? Truly, who are you, John?

[All laugh. Enter the KNIGHT and ABBOT.]

KING. Abbot, I hear strange things about you.

ABBOT. Your Majesty! How can that be?

KING. 'Tis said that every day you have one hundred men to dine with you.

ABBOT. Oh, your Majesty, they are only friends.

KING. No matter who they are!

JESTER. 'Tis not their names! 'Tis what they eat!

LORDS. Ha, ha!

LADIES. Ha, ha!

KING. 'Tis said that fifty knights in velvet coats do wait on you!

ABBOT. Well, your Majesty, I—

KING (interrupting). Do I have fifty knights to wait on me?

ABBOT. Well, your Majesty, I—

[He stops in confusion.]

JESTER. Are eggs brought to us on golden plates? Not so! Not an egg!

KING. You spend more money, sir, than I do! How do you dare to do so?

ABBOT. 'Tis my own money, Sire—

KING. 'Tis not your money! Everything in this land belongs to me! You shall go to prison, sir!

ABBOT (falling on his knees). Oh, say not so, dear King! Oh, say not so!

KING. Well, I will let you off if you will answer me two questions.

ABBOT. Ask as many as you like, dear King.

KING. First, you must tell me how long I shall live.

[The Abbot is silent.]

JESTER. Go on, John! Ask as many as you like!

KING. Then, Abbot, you must tell me what I think.

ABBOT. Your questions, Sire, are deep and hard.

KING. Answer them, or go to prison.

ABBOT. I pray you for some time to think!

KING. I will give you just two weeks. If you cannot answer then, I'll have your head cut off. And then I'll take your lands and palaces.

JESTER. And your knights and golden plates!

ABBOT (in a trembling voice). In two weeks I will return, Sire.

KING. Two weeks and not a day longer! Go!

SCENE II

TIME: two weeks later; morning. PLACE: the Abbot's palace.

* * * * *

ABBOT. FIRST PROFESSOR. SECOND PROFESSOR. SHEPHERD.

* * * * *

[The PROFESSORS look through very large books.]

ABBOT. Look well for the answers, friends. Look long, look deep, look well.



FIRST PROFESSOR (closing book). I cannot find the answers here.

SECOND PROFESSOR (closing book). I cannot find them in my book.

ABBOT. Have you looked in other books?

FIRST PROFESSOR. We have looked in every book.

SECOND PROFESSOR. In every book, in every house, in every town.

ABBOT. Alas! Alas! What shall I do? What shall I do?

FIRST PROFESSOR. Go to the king and tell him all.

ABBOT. And then I'll lose my head!

SECOND PROFESSOR. Yes, I fear you'll lose your head.

FIRST PROFESSOR. I am sorry, Abbot, I wish that I might help you.

SECOND PROFESSOR. I am sorry too, friend Abbot. And I do wish the same.

ABBOT. You both have tried your best. Farewell.

(The Professors bow and go.)

Alas! Alas! Alas! Alas!

[Enter the SHEPHERD.]

SHEPHERD. Good-day to you, good Abbot!

ABBOT. Ah, Shepherd, I am glad to see you. How goes it in your village?

SHEPHERD. We do nothing there but laugh since your visit to us, sir. We laugh all day and half the night.

ABBOT. Now why do you do that?

SHEPHERD. Because, sir, I look so much like you. At least, they think so in our village.

ABBOT. Why, that is true, you do. Well, what can I do for you?

SHEPHERD. I have heard about the two questions, sir. I have come to help you.

ABBOT. How can you help me? Speak!

SHEPHERD. I will go to the king in your place. He will think that I am you.

ABBOT. Can you answer the two questions?

SHEPHERD. Only the king himself can say. Now give me your gown and cap and golden staff, dear Abbot.

ABBOT. Well, I will let you try.

(Gives his gown and cap to the Shepherd, who puts them on and then takes the staff.)

You truly seem to be myself, good Shepherd!

SHEPHERD. I hope the king will think so.

ABBOT. Suppose he will not take your answers?

SHEPHERD. Then he will take my head.

ABBOT. No, good Shepherd, I'll take my own head up to him for that. Now go, and bear my blessing with you.

[He lifts his hand. The Shepherd bows his head.]

SCENE III

TIME: the same day; afternoon. PLACE: King John's palace.

* * * * *

KING JOHN. ABBOT (REALLY THE SHEPHERD). KNIGHT. JESTER. LORDS AND LADIES.

* * * * *

[The KING sits on his throne. The LORDS, LADIES, and JESTER stand near. Enter a KNIGHT.]

KNIGHT. The Abbot begs to see you, Sire.

KING. Ah, he has come, has he?

KNIGHT. Yes, your Majesty, he waits without.

KING. Bid him enter.

[The Knight goes.]

JESTER. Will the Abbot take his head back with him? I'll give you two guesses, ladies! I'll give you two guesses, lords!

[Enter the KNIGHT and the SHEPHERD dressed as the ABBOT.]

ABBOT. Your Majesty, I am here.

KING. Well, then, tell me how long I shall live.

ABBOT. Sire, you shall live till the day that you die, and not one day longer.

KING. Ha, ha! You are witty, Abbot. Now tell me what I think.

ABBOT. You think I am the Abbot, Sire. I am only his poor Shepherd. Behold!

[He throws off his gown and cap.]

KING. Ha, ha, ha! Truly you are a witty fellow! I like you for it, that I do!

SHEPHERD. Then will you pardon the good Abbot, Sire?

KING. I will pardon the Abbot and let him keep his lands and knights, if you will stay and live here in my court.

JESTER. Yes, stay. Stay and help me jest!

SHEPHERD. I'll stay, and I'll jest whene'er I can. I thank you, King John, I thank you.



POCAHONTAS AND CAPTAIN SMITH

SCENE I

TIME: a spring morning; three hundred years ago. PLACE : forest near Jamestown.

* * * * * POCAHONTAS. INDIAN WOMAN. INDIAN GIRLS. INDIAN BOYS.

* * * * *

[POCAHONTAS and the INDIAN GIRLS are playing in the forest. An INDIAN WOMAN comes with bows and arrows.]

WOMAN. The deer go to the river! You must shoot them while they drink. Here are your bows and arrows.

A GIRL. I'll shoot a doe!

SECOND GIRL. I'll shoot a stag with horns!

THIRD GIRL. And I, a fawn!

WOMAN. Come, Pocahontas, and get your bow and arrows.

POCAHONTAS. I will not shoot at deer!

WOMAN. Ah, but you must. The braves have gone to watch the white men. So we must do the hunting. Come!

POCAHONTAS. I will not shoot at deer!

THIRD GIRL. She never shoots at them.

WOMAN. Why, what is this?

FOURTH GIRL. She only shoots at trees and sedges peeping from the water.

WOMAN. Now why do you not shoot at deer?

POCAHONTAS. They look at me so gently. I cannot bear to kill them.

FIRST GIRL. She will not kill anything.

SECOND GIRL. She will not even shoot a bird.

WOMAN. Can this be true?

POCAHONTAS. I will not kill the pretty things. This forest is their home, the same as it is ours.

WOMAN. Such talk I never heard before! The braves must know of this.

POCAHONTAS. No, no! They will tell my father!

WOMAN. Aye! Chief Powhatan must know.

POCAHONTAS. I beg you not to tell him!

THIRD GIRL. He will send her from his wigwam! Do not tell him!



FOURTH GIRL. He will send her alone into the forest! Do not tell him!

POCAHONTAS. Do not tell him!

WOMAN. Then take your bow and kill a deer.

POCAHONTAS. I will not! I have told you that! I cannot!

WOMAN. Powhatan shall know. Before the sun sets, Powhatan shall know.

[INDIAN BOYS enter.]

FIRST BOY. The braves have brought a prisoner!

SECOND BOY. It is the white chief from the village!

THIRD BOY. They have taken him to Powhatan!

FOURTH BOY. Come, if you would see him!

WOMAN. I come! I come!

GIRLS. And I! And I! And I!

[They go.]

SCENE II

TIME: a little later. PLACE: Indian camp.

* * * * *

CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH. MEDICINE MAN. CHIEF POWHATAN. POCAHONTAS. BRAVES, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN.

* * * * *

[CAPTAIN SMITH stands before POWHATAN. He holds a small compass in his hand.]

SMITH. Let me live, great chief! Let me live and you shall have my talking needle!

POWHATAN. Talking needle! What is that?

SMITH. It is this needle in this box. It talks whenever I wish it.

POWHATAN. What does it say?

SMITH. It tells me where to find the north. I turn the box this way,—I turn the box that way. But the needle always shows the north to me.

POWHATAN. Why, so it does! It is very strange and wonderful!

A BRAVE. Will it tell the north at night?

SMITH. In the darkest night it tells you.

ANOTHER BRAVE. Will it tell the north on water?

SMITH. On river or on lake it tells you.

POWHATAN. Come, show me how to make it talk.

SMITH. Will you let me go in peace?

POWHATAN. You shall live and go in peace.

MEDICINE MAN. Great chief, is it wise to let so wise a man go from us?

POWHATAN. Is it your wish to keep him here?

MEDICINE MAN. There is no place for such a wise man.

POWHATAN. What do you mean?

MEDICINE MAN. Let him go, or let him stay, he will only make more wise things.

POWHATAN. That is true.

MEDICINE MAN. Things too wise for Powhatan's braves. Things too wise for Powhatan.

POWHATAN. What is that? Things too wise for Powhatan!

MEDICINE MAN. The white man makes talking needles. This needle shows the north to him. Another needle may show him how to be chief in your place, Powhatan.

A BRAVE. Yes, yes! That is true!

ALL BRAVES. Yes, yes!

MEDICINE MAN. He is too wise to live, great chief!

BRAVES. Yes, yes, yes!

(Pause.)

POWHATAN. Bind him to the ground, braves! Put his head on that stone there!

SMITH. Powhatan! I beg you—

POWHATAN. Take him, braves! Be ready with your war clubs!

[The braves throw Captain Smith on the ground, and stand over him with uplifted clubs. Enter POCAHONTAS. She runs to Captain Smith and kneels beside him, shielding his head with her arms. Enter WOMEN and CHILDREN.]

POCAHONTAS. You shall not kill him!

POWHATAN. My daughter! Come away!

POCAHONTAS. You shall not kill him! You shall not kill him!

A WOMAN. Pocahontas!

A GIRL. Pocahontas! They will kill you!

SECOND GIRL. Pocahontas! Come away! Come away!

POCAHONTAS. I will not move!

MEDICINE MAN. Drag her away, braves! Drag her away, I say!

POWHATAN. Do not dare to touch her! Do you hear? Do not dare to touch her! The Great Spirit lives in the child! The Great Spirit has breathed His courage into her! Captain Smith, you shall live and go in peace. I, Powhatan, do say these words!



POCAHONTAS SAVES JAMESTOWN

SCENE I

TIME: One evening; three hundred years ago. PLACE: Indian camp near Jamestown, Virginia.

* * * * *

CHIEF POWHATAN. BRAVES. MEDICINE MAN. WOMEN AND CHILDREN POCAHONTAS.

* * * * *

[POWHATAN, MEDICINE MAN, and BRAVES sit around the fire in council. The WOMEN and CHILDREN, POCAHONTAS among them, are near.]

POWHATAN. I speak, my children.

BRAVES. We hear, great chief.

POWHATAN. Who among you loves the white man?

(There is silence.)

Again I ask, who among you loves the white man?

(There is silence.)

MEDICINE MAN. The white men are not our friends, Chief Powhatan.

A BRAVE. They take our land from us.

SECOND BRAVE. They take our corn from us.

THIRD BRAVE. They will not let us fish in our own rivers.

MEDICINE MAN. They are too wise for Powhatan's children.

POWHATAN. They are too wise for Powhatan.

MEDICINE MAN. Not one should live in our great forests!

A BRAVE. We should not leave one white man in their village!

SECOND BRAVE. Nor a white woman!

THIRD BRAVE. Nor a white child!

POWHATAN. I think with you, my children. Your words are my words.

MEDICINE MAN. This night we should creep upon them!

BRAVES. Yes! Yes! Yes!

POWHATAN. This night it shall be done! Lie here and sleep, my braves, till midnight. Then we will rise and creep upon them. Women, take the children to the wigwams. Pocahontas, fill my quiver full of arrows. You may do this while I sleep. And now, silence.

SCENE II

TIME: Midnight of same day. PLACE: Jamestown.

* * * * *

POCAHONTAS. CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH. JOHN ROLFE. POWHATAN. MEDICINE MAN. BRAVES. SETTLERS.

* * * * *

[POCAHONTAS enters, running. She knocks at the door of Captain Smith's cabin.]



SMITH (within.) Who knocks?

POCAHONTAS. Pocahontas!

[CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH comes from the cabin.]

POCAHONTAS. Powhatan is coming! He is coming with his braves! They come creeping while you sleep!

SMITH. What is this?

POCAHONTAS. They come to kill you and the women and the children!

SMITH. Rolfe, Rolfe, do you hear that?

[ROLFE comes from the cabin.]

ROLFE. I heard! I'll go and warn the people!

SMITH. Tell them to run quickly to the fort!

ROLFE. I'll tell them!

[He goes, running.]

SMITH. It is brave of you to warn us, Pocahontas.

POCAHONTAS. I could not bear to have the little children killed.

SMITH. You have saved them and their mothers and their fathers. Me, you have saved twice.

[Pocahontas starts to go.]

POCAHONTAS. Good-by, white chief. I go now to my wigwam.

SMITH. Girl! Girl! You must not go! The braves will know you warned us!

POCAHONTAS. They will not know, white chief. At midnight they were to leave the camp. I will get back by that time.

SMITH. It is midnight now. They have missed you by this time, Pocahontas.

POCAHONTAS. What shall I do? What shall I do?

SMITH. You must stay with us.

POCAHONTAS. I cannot leave my father, white chief.

[She starts to go.]

SMITH. You must not go! The braves will not let you live! I fear your father could not save you from them!

[Enter ROLFE, running.]

ROLFE. To the fort! To the fort! The Indians are upon us! To the fort!

SMITH. Come, Pocahontas! There is our fort across the road. You will be safe in there.

POCAHONTAS. How can I leave my father!

[Enter MEN, WOMEN, and CHILDREN, running. They enter the fort.]

SMITH. Come, Pocahontas! Come!

[He leads her into the fort just as the INDIANS creep in from the forest. They see Pocahontas and rush at her, but Rolfe shuts the gates.]

BRAVES. Pocahontas! Pocahontas!

MEDICINE MAN. 'Tis Pocahontas who has warned them!

BRAVES. Yes, yes! 'Tis Pocahontas!

MEDICINE MAN. Do you hear that, Chief Powhatan?

POWHATAN. I hear.

A BRAVE. She has betrayed her own people!

SECOND BRAVE. We should never take her back to us!

THIRD BRAVE. We should not let her live!

MEDICINE MAN. Aye, braves, aye! We should not let her live! We will demand her from the white men!

BRAVES. Yes, yes!

MEDICINE MAN. Shall we offer them peace in return for Pocahontas?

BRAVES. Yes, yes, yes!

MEDICINE MAN. Do you hear that, Chief Powhatan?

[There is a long pause.]

POWHATAN. Go, take the peace flag to them, and ask for Pocahontas.

[The MEDICINE MAN raises a white flag and goes to the fort. Captain Smith and many men come out.]

SMITH. Do you come to offer peace?

MEDICINE MAN. We offer peace, great chief, if you will give up Pocahontas.

SMITH. And what if we will not give her up?

MEDICINE MAN. We will make war upon you.

SMITH. We will not give her up.

MEDICINE MAN. Then not a man of you shall live! Nor a woman! Nor a child!

SMITH. Pocahontas is our friend. We will not give her up to you.

MEDICINE MAN. Shoot them, braves! Shoot them, as they stand there!

POWHATAN. Do not dare to shoot one arrow! I, Powhatan, speak.

(To Smith.)

I see you are my daughter's friend, white chief.

SMITH. I am, and would be yours, if you would let me.

POWHATAN. Your white braves take our land from us.

SMITH. They shall pay you. As I am chief here, they shall pay you.

POWHATAN. Your white braves take our corn from us. They will not let us fish in our own rivers.

SMITH. I did not know such wrongs were done you. My braves shall pay for everything in full.

POWHATAN. Then there shall be peace between us. Bring the peace pipe, braves. We will smoke in friendship with our brothers.

SMITH. And Pocahontas will be pardoned? You will take her back as your own daughter?

POWHATAN. Pocahontas will be pardoned, white chief. She shall come and go, as she may please, between our wigwams and yours, my brother.

[A brave comes with the peace pipe, which he gives to Powhatan, who hands it to Captain Smith.]

SMITH (taking pipe). 'Tis for eternal peace between us!



KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES

[Footnote: The teacher should explain that King Alfred was one of the most famous and best beloved kings of England, and that while he was king the Danes were trying to conquer England. At the time of the story, he had been defeated by the Danes, and was compelled to hide with a few followers in the forest to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy.]

TIME: More than a thousand years ago. PLACE: a forest in England.

* * * * *

KING ALFRED. DANISH CHIEF. GOODWIFE. ENGLISH SOLDIERS. PRINCE. DANES.

* * * * *

[A hut is at one side. Near by is a pile of burning fagots. The PRINCE enters from the forest. He carries a great spear. He looks about; creeps to the hut and looks in the window; shows satisfaction; returns to the forest.]

PRINCE (softly). All is well. Enter!

(Enter Two ENGLISH SOLDIERS from forest. They carry large bows and wear quivers holding arrows.)

We are safe here, my men. Tell King Alfred that.

[The first Soldier salutes and enters forest.]

SECOND SOLDIER. Danes may hide in the hut, Prince—

PRINCE (shaking head). There's only an old woman within.

[Enter FIRST SOLDIER. He holds the bushes and vines aside.]

FIRST SOLDIER. The king!

[Enter KING ALFRED. He is disguised as a beggar. He is young, manly, and courageous.]

PRINCE (bowing). You can rest safely here, King Alfred.

KING. Do you think the Danes are still in pursuit?

PRINCE. No, your Majesty, I am sure we have escaped them this time.

SECOND SOLDIER. Besides, they would not know your Majesty dressed so.

KING (anxiously). Gentlemen, disguise yourselves as you have me.

PRINCE. That will not do, Sire. The Danes must not see you dressed as we are. 'Twill make you safer.

KING. Aye, but there's more danger for you dressed so. Come, be beggars now with me!

FIRST SOLDIER (shaking head). Our first thought is for you, Sire.

SECOND SOLDIER. Should you fall into the Danes' hands now, what will become of England?

KING. Why, she must fight again!

PRINCE, (shaking head). Our soldiers ran from the Danes to-day, and lost the battle to them!

KING. 'Tis because they fear these Danes as they do monsters,—monsters come to rob them,—to burn their homes,—to make them slaves!

SOLDIERS. Aye! Aye!

KING. If only I could turn their fear to rage and fierce, hot anger! Then England would not flee! She'd fight her foes and conquer!

SOLDIERS. Aye! Aye!

PRINCE. 'Tis for that great work you should save yourself, Sire! For that, you should wear the beggar's rags now!

[Enter ENGLISH SOLDIERS in great haste.]

THIRD SOLDIER. Sire, save yourself! The Danes still follow us!

FOURTH SOLDIER. They have crossed the river!

THIRD SOLDIER. They pursue your Majesty!

PRINCE. Go to the hut there, Sire. Let the Danes find you begging from the goodwife.

KING. But you, my men, where will you hide?

FIRST SOLDIER. We'll scatter, Sire.

KING. Then go, go at once! I'll await you here, if the Danes go on.

PRINCE (saluting). Farewell, my King!

SOLDIERS (saluting). Farewell, King Alfred, farewell!

[They go. The King crosses to hut, and knocks at door, which is opened by the GOODWIFE. She holds a wooden bowl and a large flat stone in her hands.]

GOODWIFE (aside). Another beggar, as I live!

(Aloud, sharply). Well, what do you want?

KING. A bite to eat, goodwife.

GOODWIFE. My cakes are not yet baked.

KING. I will wait, then.

GOODWIFE (indignantly). Well, and you will not, sir!

KING (alarmed). You will not drive me off, good woman!

GOODWIFE. And who are you, that you should sit by and wait, whilst I do all the work! And do you think you are the king, sir?

KING. No, no! I—

GOOD WIFE (interrupting). You'll fry the cakes yourself, sir! And that you will at once, sir! Go now and mend the fire, and lay this stone upon it.

[The King takes the stone; crosses to the fire, and stirs it; places the stone on the burning wood. When the stone is hot, the Goodwife pours the batter from the bowl on the stone.]

GOODWIFE. Now watch these cakes while I'm within. And watch them well: rye cakes do burn while one is winking.

KING. I'll watch them carefully, goodwife.

(The Goodwife enters hut. The King turns the cakes carefully, then sits on a log; he shows that his thoughts are far away.)

I will drive them out! I will!

(Pause.)

To-night I'll get my men together.

(Pause.)

We will take them by surprise—at daybreak.

[Enter the GOODWIFE; she rushes to the fire.]

GOOD WIFE (looking at cakes). Burnt to cinders! Not one of them fit to eat!

KING. I am sorry—I—

GOOD WIFE (interrupting). Oh, you good-for-nothing! I would like to beat you!

KING. What can I do to make it right?

GOODWIFE (taking up a stick). You'll mix more dough! More dough! Do you hear?

KING. I'll be glad to do it, Madam!

GOODWIFE (flourishing stick). In with you! Now in with you, and get to work!

[The King enters the hut. Enter DANISH CHIEF and DANES from the forest. They carry spears and shields.]

GOODWIFE (with fear; dropping stick). The Danes!

CHIEF (haughtily). Aye, Danes!

GOODWIFE. I have no silver! Not a piece, sir!

CHIEF. Burn the hut, men!

DANES. Aye! Aye!

[They start toward the hut. The Goodwife falls on her knees before them.]

GOODWIFE. I pray you, spare my home!



CHIEF. We spare no home to any English. Do you not know that?

GOODWIFE. I've heard so—

FIRST DANE. We'll burn every home on English land before we go!

SECOND DANE. And drive every Englishman into the seas!

DANES. Aye! Aye!

GOODWIFE (sobbing). I pray you—

CHIEF (roughly). Come, get up! Get up and cease your weeping! I like it not. Get up, I say!

[Goodwife rises, trembling with fear.]

CHIEF. Now listen; we will not burn your hut, if you will tell us what we wish to know.

GOODWIFE. I will tell you what I can—

CHIEF. Did King Alfred pass this way in flight?

GOODWIFE (starting). What? Our king in flight?

CHIEF (angrily). Come, no tears for him! Did he pass this way, I say?

GOODWIFE. No, my lord.

FIRST DANE. Do not believe her, chief! There's not an Englishman that would not hide him from us!

GOODWIFE (forgetting her fear). Aye, and die for him!

CHIEF (angrily). Say not such words to me! I am your king that is to be!

DANES. Aye! Aye!

CHIEF. Go search within the hut, Danes!

[Danes enter hut. They come out immediately bringing King Alfred.]

FIRST DANE. We found this man within, chief.

SECOND DANE. 'Tis only her husband, I think.

GOODWIFE (indignantly). Husband, say you?—that beggar!

CHIEF (showing suspicion). Ah, a beggar—!

GOODWIFE. Yes, my lord, he came but just before you.

FIRST DANE (whispering). Hear that, my lord,—just before us!

SECOND DANE (whispering). It may be King Alfred!

THIRD DANE (whispering). Disguised as a beggar, sir!

FOURTH DANE (whispering). 'Twould be safest to take him prisoner, my lord!

CHIEF (nodding). We'll take him with us to be certain.

GOODWIFE (hearing this). Yes, take him! 'Twould serve him right! He burnt my cakes just now!

CHIEF. What! Burnt your cakes?

GOODWIFE. Yes, my lord! And I'd have beaten him had not your lordship come.

CHIEF (aside to Danes). This cannot be the king.

FIRST DANE (shaking head). No king would fry cakes!

SECOND DANE (shaking head). He could not be made to fry them!

THIRD DANE (shaking head). Nor take a beating from a woman!

[The Goodwife has crept up to listen; and so overhears this last remark.]

GOODWIFE. He wouldn't, eh? Ha, ha! Well, I sent him within to mix fresh dough! And I sent him with my stick, I did!

[Flourishing stick.]

FOURTH DANE. Would you let a woman threaten you with a stick, my lord?

CHIEF (proudly). Never! Besides, King Alfred would be dressed as are his princes and his soldiers. I have thought that from the first. Release the beggar!

[Danes release King Alfred.]

CHIEF. Now listen, Danes! A hundred silver pieces will I give the man who makes King Alfred prisoner! Hear—all of you!—One hundred silver pieces!

DANES. Aye! Aye!

CHIEF (to Goodwife and Alfred). And when this Alfred's taken, to me you'll bend your English knees! To me, you English beggar! Now come, my men! To hunt King Alfred!

DANES (going). To hunt King Alfred! To hunt King Alfred!

[They go. King Alfred smiles. The Goodwife looks after them, listening for a moment.]

GOODWIFE. May they never see a hair of his head!

(Lifting up arms.)

May Heaven protect and save King Alfred!

KING (growling). You seem to love King Alfred—

GOODWIFE. I love the ground he treads on!

KING (as before). Of course,—'tis English ground!

GOODWIFE (shaking head). Not that—I love the air he breathes!

KING. Well—'tis English air.

GOODWIFE (sharply). No, no! I love the king!—the king himself!

KING (growling). Out upon King Alfred! Out upon him, I say!

GOODWIFE (angrily). You are a traitor, sir!

KING. What has he done for England? He has lost every battle to the Danes! He is running from them now!

GOODWIFE. 'Tis no fault of his! If the king's men were as brave as he, there would not be a Dane on English land to-day!

KING (still growling). Well, I'm glad there's one that thinks so well of him!

GOODWIFE. You are a traitor and should be punished!

(Taking up stick.)

I myself will do it!

[Lifting stick. Enter the PRINCE and ENGLISH SOLDIERS.]

PRINCE (kneeling). Your Majesty is safe!

GOOD WIFE (aside). What!—Your Majesty, they say!

SOLDIERS (kneeling, joyfully). King Alfred! King Alfred!

GOODWIFE (aside). What!—King Alfred!—

KING. Rise, my Prince! Rise, my soldiers! Ah, I'm glad they did not find you!

[He grasps their hands.]

GOODWIFE (aside; showing fear). It is—it is—the king!

KING. We'll fight again, my men! At daybreak we'll surprise them.

SOLDIERS. Aye! Aye!

KING. Goodwife, your king now thanks you.

GOODWIFE (kneeling). Oh, your Majesty, forgive me! forgive me!

KING (gently). Arise, goodwife.

GOODWIFE (rising). Alas the day I made you fry the cakes! Alas the day I would have beaten you!

KING. Nay, goodwife, 'twas that saved my life. I bless the day you made me fry the cakes! I bless the day you would have beaten me! (Lifting his hand over her head.)

And you I bless, goodwife, for your loyalty to England and her king! Soldiers, salute this brave goodwife!

[Soldiers form in a double line from door of hut, and hold their bows aloft to make an arch. The Goodwife passes up this lane, under the bows, and stands in door of hut. The King and the Prince salute her.]

THE END

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