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Children's Classics In Dramatic Form by Augusta Stevenson

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CHILDREN'S CLASSICS IN DRAMATIC FORM

A READER FOR THE FOURTH GRADE

BY AUGUSTA STEVENSON

Formerly a Teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools

1908

TO
MISS N. CROPSEY

Assistant Superintendent
Indianapolis Public Schools

[Illustration: "The moon changes into the red beard of the old
soldier"]

FOREWORD

This book is intended to accomplish 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 this
little book 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 book 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 book 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
inclosed 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 these stories in the
fourth grade. In some schools, however, the stories in the first part of
the book may profitably be used in the third grade.

The author has been led to believe from her own experience and from her
conversation with many other teachers that there is a pronounced call for
this kind of book. She therefore hopes that in the preparation of this book
she may have been of service to the teachers and children who may be led to
use it.

A. S.

CONTENTS

THE TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET
_Adapted from Aesop's Fable, The Travellers and the Hatchet._

THE OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON
_Adapted from Grimm's The Old Man and his Grandson._

THE CROW AND THE FOX
_Suggested by Aesop's Fable, The Crow and the Fox._

THE MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR DONKEY
_Suggested by Aesop's Fable, The Miller, his Son, and their Ass._

EACH IN HIS OWN PLACE
_Suggested by Grimm's The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage._

WHAT THE GOODMAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT
_Adapted from Hans Andersen's What the Goodman does is always Right._

THE CAT AND THE MOUSE
_Suggested by Grimm's The Cat and the Mouse._

THE GIRL WHO TROD ON THE LOAF
_Suggested by Hans Andersen's The Girl who trod on the Loaf._

THE UGLY DUCKLING
_Suggested by Hans Andersen's The Ugly Duckling._

THE RED SHOES
_Suggested by Hans Andersen's The Red Shoes._

THE STORY OF ALI COGIA
_Adapted from The Story of Ali Cogia from The Arabian Nights'
Entertainments._

THE WILD SWANS
_Suggested by Hans Andersen's The Wild Swans._

THE TWO COUNTRYMEN
_Suggested by an oriental legend; source unknown._

THE MAN AND THE ALLIGATOR
_From a folk-tale of Spanish Honduras._

THE SONG IN THE HEART
_Suggested by Grimm's The Three Spinners._

THE EMPEROR'S TEST

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

ILLUSTRATIONS

THE MOON CHANGES INTO THE RED BEARD OF THE OLD SOLDIER.

THE TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET

"WE HAVE LOST OUR DONKEY"

WHAT THE GOODMAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT

THE CAT AND THE MOUSE

"'T IS SINKING! WHAT SHALL I DO?"

THE UGLY DUCKLING

"A THOUSAND PIECES AT LEAST"

THE TWO COUNTRYMEN

"HELP! HELP!"

THE PRINCE SEES THE THREE GREAT-AUNTS

THE TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET

TIME: _last week_.
PLACE: _a high road_.

* * * * *

FIRST TRAVELLER.
SECOND TRAVELLER.
THE CARPENTER.

* * * * *

[_The_ TWO TRAVELLERS _journey along the road. A hatchet lies in the dust
at one side._][Footnote: The explanations in _brackets_ may be read by the
teacher.]

FIRST TRAVELLER (_seeing the hatchet, taking it up_).[Footnote: 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.] Ah, see what I have
found!

SECOND TRAVELLER. Do not say _I_, but rather, what _we_ have found.

FIRST TRAVELLER. Nonsense! Did I not see the hatchet first? And did I not
take it up?

SECOND TRAVELLER. Well, then, claim the hatchet, since that is plainly your
wish.

[_Enter the_ CARPENTER.]

CARPENTER (_to First Traveller_). Aha, thief! Now I have caught you!

[_He seizes the First Traveller._]

FIRST TRAVELLER. No thief am I, sir!

[Illustration: THE TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET]

CARPENTER. But my own hatchet is in your hand, sir. Come along to the
judge, sir!

FIRST TRAVELLER (_to Second Traveller_). Alas, we are undone!

SECOND TRAVELLER. Do not say _we_. You are undone, not I. You would not
allow me to share the prize; you cannot expect me to share the danger. I
bid you good day, sir.

THE OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON

TIME: _now_.
PLACE: _a certain_ MAN'S _house_.

* * * * *

THE MAN.
HIS WIFE.
THEIR SON--LITTLE HANS.
THE GRANDFATHER.

* * * * *

[_The_ MAN, _his_ WIFE, _little_ HANS, _and the_ GRANDFATHER _sit at the
table eating the noon meal._]

MAN. Be careful, father! You are spilling the soup on your coat.

GRANDFATHER (_trying to steady his trembling hand_). Yes, yes, I'll be
careful.

[_Short pause._]

WIFE (_sharply_). Grandfather! You have spilled the soup on my clean
tablecloth!

GRANDFATHER (_embarrassed_). Dear me! Dear me!

[_Short pause._]

MAN. Here, father, is your plate of meat.

[_The old man takes the plate, but lets it fall._]

WIFE (_angrily_). There now! Just see what
you have done!

GRANDFATHER. My hand shook so--I'm sorry--so sorry!

WIFE. That won't mend the plate!

MAN. Nor buy a new one!

WIFE (_to her husband_). He should eat from wooden dishes.

MAN (_nodding, pointing to a wooden dish_). Let him have that one for his
meat.

[_The Grandfather sighs sadly. The Wife gets a wooden dish and fills it
with meat. Little Hans leaves the table and plays with his blocks on the
floor._]

WIFE (_handing the wooden dish to the Grandfather_). Here's one you can't
break. Go now and sit in the corner behind the oven. You shall eat there
hereafter. I cannot have my tablecloths soiled--that I cannot!

[_The Grandfather takes his wooden plate and goes to the seat in the corner
behind the oven. His eyes are filled with tears._]

MAN. Come, little Hans, and finish your dinner.

WIFE (_turning to Hans_). Bless me! What are you making, child?

HANS. A wooden trough for you and father to eat out of when I grow big.

[_The Man and his Wife look at each other; there is a pause._]

MAN (_showing shame_). He will treat us as we have treated father!

WIFE (_weeping_). 'T will serve us right!

MAN (_kindly_). Father, throw that wooden dish out of the window. I am
ashamed of what I have done; forgive me!

WIFE (_kindly_). Father, come back to the table. I too am ashamed. Forgive
me, dear father.

THE CROW AND THE FOX

TIME: _yesterday noon_.
PLACE: _a high tree in a grove_.

* * * * *

MADAM CROW.
MISS CROW, _her Daughter_.
MASTER FOX.

* * * * *

[MADAM CROW _sits in the tree. Enter_ MISS CROW. _She carries a large piece
of cheese in her mouth._]

MADAM. O joy! O joy! Come, dear daughter, come! We'll dine as if we were
queen and princess!

[_Miss Crow flies to Madam Crow. Enter_ MASTER FOX.]

FOX. I bid you good morning, dear madam.

MADAM. Good morning to you, dear sir.

FOX (_sitting under tree_). With your permission, I'll speak with your
daughter.

MADAM. She'll be pleased to listen, that she will--you are so clever.

FOX (_modestly_). Nay, madam, not so clever, only thoughtful.

[_He sighs deeply twice._]

MADAM. You have something on your mind.

FOX (_sighing_). Yes, dear madam,--I am thinking of your daughter.

MADAM. Then speak! Speak now, sir!--at once, sir!

FOX. I speak. O sweet Miss Crow, how beautiful your wings are!

MADAM (_pleased_). Do you hear that, daughter?

[_Miss Crow nods, spreading her wings proudly._]

FOX. I speak again. How bright your eye, dear maid! How graceful your neck!

MADAM. Bend your neck, child! Now bend it well that he may better see your
grace.

[_Miss Crow bends neck twice._]

FOX. But oh, that such a sweet bird should be dumb!--should be so utterly
dumb!

[_He weeps gently in his little pocket handkerchief._]

MADAM (_indignantly_). Do you think, sir, she cannot _caw_ as well as the
rest of us?

FOX. I must think so, dear madam. Alas!

[_Weeping again in his little pocket handkerchief._]

MADAM. You shall think so, then, no longer! Caw, child, caw, as you have
never cawed before!

MISS CROW (_opening mouth; dropping cheese_). Caw! Caw!

[_Fox quickly snaps up the cheese._]

FOX (_going_). Thank you, Miss Crow. Remember, dear madam, that whatever
I said of her beauty, I said nothing of her brains.

[_He goes, waving the crows a farewell with his little pocket
handkerchief._]

THE MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR DONKEY

TIME: _this morning_.
PLACE: _a bridge, near a town and not far from a Fair_.

* * * * *

THE MILLER AND HIS SON.
FIRST MAID.
SECOND MAID.
THIRD MAID.
FIRST OLD MAN.
SECOND OLD MAN.
THIRD OLD MAN.
FIRST GOODY.
SECOND GOODY.
THIRD GOODY.
THE MAYOR.
HIS FIRST CLERK.
HIS SECOND CLERK.

* * * * *

[_The_ MILLER _and his_ SON _are driving their donkey across the bridge.
They go to the Fair._]

SON. Do you expect to get a good price for our donkey, father?

MILLER (_nodding_). Aye, lad; the Fair is the place to take your wares.

SON. Our donkey is not so young, though.

MILLER. Neither is he so old, though.

SON. But he is not so fat, though.

MILLER. Neither is he so lean, though.

SON. Truly he might be worse.

MILLER. Better or worse, he must be sold.

[THREE MAIDS _enter the bridge. They go to the Fair._]

FIRST MAID (_pointing to the Miller and his Son_). Look there! Did you ever
see such geese?

SECOND MAID. As I live!--walking when they might ride!

THIRD MAID (_to the Miller_). You'll get a laugh at the Fair, old man!

[_The Maids pass on._]

MILLER. This may be true. Get you upon the beast, lad.

[_The boy mounts the donkey. Enter_ THREE OLD MEN. _They talk together
earnestly. They go to the Fair._]

FIRST OLD MAN (_pointing to the Miller and his Son_). Look you there! That
proves what I was saying.

SECOND OLD MAN (_nodding_). Aye! There's no respect shown old age in these
days.

THIRD OLD MAN (_nodding_). Aye! There's that young rogue riding while his
old father has to walk!

[_The Old Men pass on._]

MILLER. Get down, lad. 'T would indeed look better should I ride.

[_The lad dismounts; the Miller mounts. Enter_ THREE GOODIES; _they go to
the Fair._]

FIRST GOODY (_indignantly, pointing to the Miller and his Son_). Look,
Goodies, look! Did you ever see anything so cruel?

SECOND GOODY (_to the Miller_). You lazy old fellow! How can you ride while
your own child walks in the dust?

THIRD GOODY (_to the lad_). You poor, poor child!

[_The Goodies pass on, shaking their heads and their canes indignantly._]

MILLER. Come, lad, get up behind me.

SON. Why, father, I'm not tired!

MILLER. I know, but we must try to please them. Come.

[_The lad mounts, sitting behind his father. Enter the_ MAYOR _and his_
CLERKS. _They go to the Fair._]

MAYOR (_turning to his Clerks; pointing to the Miller and his Son_). Look,
will you!

(_He turns to the Miller._)

Pray, honest friend, is that beast your own?

MILLER. Yes, my lord Mayor.

MAYOR. One would not think so from the way you load him. Say you not so, my
Clerks?

FIRST CLERK (_bowing_). Just so, my lord Mayor.

SECOND CLERK (_bowing_). Even so, my lord Mayor.

THE MAYOR (_to the Miller and his Son_). Why, you two fellows are better
able to carry the poor donkey than he you! Say you not so, my Clerks?

FIRST CLERK (_bowing_). Just so, my lord Mayor.

SECOND CLERK (_bowing_). Even so, my lord Mayor.

MILLER. Come, my son, to please them, we'll carry the donkey.

[_They dismount and try to lift the donkey. This frightens the poor beast.
He tries to get away, and falls over the bridge into the deep river._]

MILLER (_weeping_). I have tried to please every one! I have pleased no
one!

SON (_weeping_). And we have lost our donkey in the bargain!

[Illustration: "WE HAVE LOST OUR DONKEY"]

EACH IN HIS OWN PLACE

TIME: _yesterday_.
PLACE: _in a tiny house_.

* * * * *

THE STRAW _who brings in the wood_.
THE COAL _who makes the fire_.
THE SNOWFLAKE _who draws the water_.
THE SUGAR LOAF _who lays the table_.
THE SAUSAGE _who cooks the meals_.

* * * * *

[_The tiny kitchen is seen. The_ SAUSAGE _is stirring the pot. The_ COAL
_is tending the fire. The_ SUGAR LOAF _is laying the table. Enter_ STRAW
_with a load of wood._]

STRAW (_throwing down wood_). Think you'll need more wood for the dinner,
Sausage?

[_Sausage does not answer. She gets into the pot to flavor the
vegetables._]

COAL (_whispers to Straw_). Sausage is quite put out.

STRAW. What's the trouble?

COAL. No one knows.

[_Enter_ SNOWFLAKE _with a pail of water._]

SNOWFLAKE (_looking about_). Where's Sausage?

STRAW. She is flavoring the vegetables.

[_Sausage comes out of the pot._]

SNOWFLAKE. Here is the water, Sausage.

[_Sausage does not answer._]

SNOWFLAKE (_speaking louder_). Will you come for the water, Sausage?

SAUSAGE (_sharply_). No, madam, I will not!

THE OTHERS (_with surprise_). Sausage!

SAUSAGE. I've been slave here long enough!

THE OTHERS (_as before_). Sister Sausage!

SAUSAGE. I mean just what I say!

SNOWFLAKE. Have I not done my share of the work?

COAL. Have I not done my share?

STRAW. Have I not done my share?

SUGAR LOAF. And have I not done my share?

SAUSAGE. Please to tell me what you do.

STRAW. I bring in wood that Coal may make the fire.

COAL. I make the fire that the pot may boil.

SNOWFLAKE. I draw the water and bring it from the brook.

SUGAR LOAF. I lay the table nicely.

SAUSAGE. What do I? Eh? What do I? I must stand over the fire. I must not
only stir the dinner, I must flavor it with myself. For each of you there
is one duty. For me there are plainly three.

STRAW. But, sister--

SAUSAGE (_interrupting_). Don't "sister" me!

SNOWFLAKE. Sausage, dear, would you break up our pretty home?

SUGAR LOAF. And we all so happy here!

SAUSAGE. There must be a change! Some one else can stand over the fire--can
stir the pot--can flavor the vegetables.

COAL. If I flavored them, they could not be eaten.

SAUSAGE. That's what you're always saying, but I'm not so sure of it.

SNOWFLAKE. If I stirred the pot, 't would be the end of me.

SAUSAGE. Yes, you say that often enough, but I'm not so sure that it is
true.

STRAW. Should I stand over the fire, I'd be no more.

SAUSAGE (_scornfully_). Excuses! Excuses!

SUGAR LOAF. 'T is plain that I should not get into the pot.

SAUSAGE. And why not, Miss? why not?

SUGAR LOAF. 'T would be good-by for me, if I should!

SAUSAGE. Excuses! Excuses! I say there must be a change! 'T is I who will
bring the wood or draw the water.

COAL. But, Sausage, you should stay within.

SAUSAGE. Not I, sir! I'll out of the pot and out of the house, I will! I'll
see a bit of the world, I will!

SUGAR LOAF (_sighing_). Well, if she will, she will!

SAUSAGE (_getting slips_). Come, now, and draw for it.

[_She holds the slips for the others to draw._]

STRAW (_drawing; reading from slip_). "Who gets this must make the fire."

SUGAR LOAF (_drawing; reading from slip_). "Who gets this must draw the
water."

SNOWFLAKE (_drawing; reading from slip_). "Who gets this must stir the pot
and flavor it with herself."

COAL (_drawing; reading from slip_). "Who gets this must lay the table
nicely."

SAUSAGE (_reading from last slip_). "Who gets this must bring the wood."
Well, that pleases me! Straw, see if the fire needs wood.

(_Straw hesitates._)

Come, come, do your duty!

[_Straw crosses the hearth and looks into the fire. He is very careful, but
the fire reaches him and he is gone in a puff!_]

SNOWFLAKE. Poor Straw! Well, 't is my duty to stir the pot and to flavor it
with myself.

[_She crosses to the hearth, but just as she reaches it, she disappears
without so much as a cry._]

SUGAR LOAF. Poor Snowflake! Well, 't is my duty to draw the water.

[_She forgets that the pail is full, falls into it, and is seen no more._]

COAL. Poor Sugar Loaf! Well, 't is my duty to lay the table nicely.

[_He forgets that he is still burning from having lately tended the fire.
As he places the plates, the tablecloth catches fire and wraps itself
around him._]

COAL (_from inside the burning cloth_). This is the end of me!

SAUSAGE (_weeping_). Dear me! Dear me! Who would have thought 't would turn
out so badly! Well, 't is my duty to bring in wood.

[_She opens the door and is face to face with a hungry dog who is sniffing
about._]

DOG. Ah, I thought you'd be coming out soon!

SAUSAGE (_pleased_). Do you want to see me, sir?

DOG. Why, yes, I've been waiting for you.

SAUSAGE. How good to be out in the world! They always said my place was
within.

DOG. They did, eh? Well, just to please them, I'll put you there.

[_He swallows her quickly, which ends both Sister Sausage and our story._]

WHAT THE GOODMAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT

SCENE I

TIME: _early one morning_.
PLACE: _a very old farmhouse_.

* * * * *

THE GOODMAN.
HIS WIFE.

* * * * *

[_The_ GOODMAN _and his_ WIFE _are seated in their spare room because it is
Fair-day._]

WIFE. Yes, I think it would be as well to sell our horse. Or, as you say,
we might exchange him for something more useful.

GOODMAN. What shall we exchange him for?

WIFE. You know best, Goodman. Whatever you do will be right.

GOODMAN (_starting out_). It is Fair-day. I will ride into town and see
what can be done.

WIFE. Wait till I fasten your neckerchief! You shall have a pretty double
bow this time, for you are going to the Fair.

(_She ties the neckerchief. The Goodman starts out._)

Wait till I have smoothed your hat!

(_She smooths his old hat._)

Now you are ready.

GOODMAN (_going_). Be at the window, Wife.

WIFE (_nodding_). Yes, surely, and I will wave at you as you ride by.

SCENE II

TIME: _two hours later_.
PLACE: _near the toll-gate on the road to the Fair_.

* * * * *

THE GOODMAN.
FIRST PEASANT.
SECOND PEASANT.
THIRD PEASANT.
TOLL-KEEPER.
HOSTLER.

* * * * *

[_The_ GOODMAN _is seen riding his horse. Enter, from a country lane, a_
PEASANT, _driving a cow._]

GOODMAN (_stopping; calling_). Halloo, there--you with the cow!

PEASANT (_stopping_). Yes, Goodman.

GOODMAN. Your cow gives good milk, I am certain.

PEASANT (_nodding_). None richer in this country!

GOODMAN. A horse is of more value than a cow, but I don't care for that. A
cow will be more useful to me; so if you like, we'll exchange.

PEASANT. To be sure I will. Here is your cow.

GOODMAN. Here is your horse.

[_The Peasant goes off riding the horse. A_ SECOND PEASANT, _driving a
sheep, enters from a field near by._]

GOODMAN (_sees him and calls_). Halloo, there--you with the sheep!

SECOND PEASANT (_stopping_). Yes, Goodman.

GOODMAN. I should like to have that sheep.

SECOND PEASANT. She is a good, fat sheep.

GOODMAN. There is plenty of grass for her by our fence at home, and in the
winter we could keep her in the room with us.

SECOND PEASANT. Do you wish to buy her?

GOODMAN. Will you take my cow in exchange?

SECOND PEASANT. I am willing. Here is your sheep.

GOODMAN. Here is your cow.

[_The second Peasant goes off driving the cow. Enter, from a farmyard near
by, a_ THIRD PEASANT _carrying a goose._]

GOODMAN. What a heavy creature you have there!

THIRD PEASANT (_stopping_). She has plenty of feathers and plenty of fat.

GOODMAN. She would look well paddling in the water at our place.

THIRD PEASANT (_stopping_). She would look well in any place!

GOODMAN. She would be very useful to my wife. She could make all sorts of
profit out of her.

THIRD PEASANT. Indeed she could, Goodman!

GOODMAN. How often she has said,--"If now we only had a goose!"

THIRD PEASANT. Well, this goose is for sale.

GOODMAN. I will give my sheep for your goose and thanks into the bargain.

THIRD PEASANT. I am willing; here is your goose.

GOODMAN. Here is your sheep.

[_The Peasant goes off with the sheep. The Goodman discovers a hen in the_
TOLL-KEEPER'S _potato field._]

GOODMAN (_calling_). That's the finest fowl I ever saw, Toll-keeper!

TOLL-KEEPER. You're right about that, Goodman.

GOODMAN. She's finer than our pastor's brood-hen! Upon my word she is! I
should like to have that fowl!

TOLL-KEEPER. She is for sale.

GOODMAN. I think it would be a good exchange if I could get her for my
goose.

TOLL-KEEPER. Well, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

GOODMAN. Then here is your goose.

TOLL-KEEPER. Here is your fowl.

[_Enter a_ HOSTLER _carrying a sack._]

GOODMAN (_to Hostler_). What have you in that sack, friend?

HOSTLER. Rotten apples--to feed the pigs with.

GOODMAN. Why, that will be a terrible waste. I should like to take them
home to my wife.

HOSTLER (_astonished_). To your wife?

GOODMAN (_nodding_). You see, last year our old apple tree bore only one
apple, which we kept in the cupboard till it was quite rotten. It was
always property, my wife said.

HOSTLER. What will you give me for the sackful? Your wife would then have a
great deal of property.

GOODMAN. Well, I will give you my fowl in exchange.

HOSTLER. Here is your sack of rotten apples.

GOODMAN. Here is your fowl.

[_The Hostler goes with the fowl._]

TOLL-KEEPER. Toll, Goodman!

GOODMAN. I will not go to the Fair to-day. I have done a great deal of
business, and I am tired. I will go back home.

SCENE III

TIME: _two hours later_.
PLACE: _the old farmhouse_.

* * * * *

THE GOODMAN.
HIS WIFE.

* * * * *

[_Enter the_ GOODMAN, _carrying the sack. The_ WIFE _waits for him in the
spare room, because he has been away._]

GOODMAN. Well, Wife, I've made the exchange.

WIFE. Ah, well, you always understand what you're about.

GOODMAN. I got a cow in exchange for the horse.

WIFE. Good! Now we shall have plenty of milk and butter and cheese on the
table. That was a fine exchange!

GOODMAN. Yes, but I changed the cow for a sheep.

WIFE. Ah, better still! We have just enough grass for a sheep.--Ewe's milk
and cheese! Woolen jackets and stockings! The cow could not give all those.
How you think of everything!

GOODMAN. But I changed the sheep for a goose.

WIFE. Then we shall have roast goose to eat this year. You dear Goodman,
you are always thinking of something to please me!

GOODMAN. But I gave away the goose for a fowl.

WIFE. A fowl? Well, that was a good exchange. The fowl will lay eggs and
hatch them. We shall soon have a poultry-yard. Ah, this is just what I was
wishing for!

GOODMAN. Yes, but I exchanged the fowl for a sack of rotten apples.

WIFE. My dear, good husband! Now, I'll tell you something. Do you know,
almost as soon as you left me this morning, I began thinking of what I
could give you nice for supper. I thought of bacon with eggs and sweet
herbs.

GOODMAN. But we have no sweet herbs.

WIFE (_nodding_). For that reason, I went over to our neighbor's and begged
her to lend me a handful.

GOODMAN. That was right; they have plenty.

WIFE (_nodding_). So I thought, but she said, "Lend? I have nothing to
lend, not even a rotten apple." Now I can lend _her_ ten or the whole
sackful. It makes me laugh to think of it. I am so glad.

GOODMAN. So you think what I did was right?

WIFE. What the Goodman does is always right.

THE CAT AND THE MOUSE

TIME: _perhaps this minute_.
PLACE: _perhaps your own garret_.

* * * * *

MOTHER MOUSE.
HER DAUGHTER, MISS MOUSE.
THE CAT.

* * * * *

[MOTHER MOUSE _and_ MISS MOUSE _are in their spare room because Mother
Mouse is getting ready for a journey. Miss Mouse helps her. The_ CAT _is
outside, peeping now and then through the window, but so slyly that the
mice do not see her._]

MOTHER MOUSE (_going_). Now mind you keep one eye on our grease-pot, child.

MISS MOUSE. That I will, dear mother!

MOTHER MOUSE. Let no one in,--no one! no one!

MISS MOUSE. No one, dear mother!

MOTHER MOUSE. I'll not be long away. Good-by, my child.

(_Starting out; stopping._)

Mind you show no one the grease-pot, child,--no one! no one!

Miss MOUSE. No one, dear mother!

[_Mother Mouse goes out of the front door._]

CAT (_calling through window_). Oh, Miss Mouse! Oh, Miss Mouse!

MISS MOUSE (_showing alarm_). Who calls?

CAT (_very sweetly_). Only I! Will you please let me in?

MISS MOUSE (_shaking head_). Mother said--

CAT (_interrupting quickly_). 'T is a matter of business!

MISS MOUSE (_shaking head_). But mother said--

CAT (_interrupting_). 'T is most important!

MISS MOUSE (_as before_). But mother said--

CAT (_interrupting_). I wish your advice--you are so clever!

MISS MOUSE (_showing she is pleased; starting to window_). Oh, do you truly
think so?

CAT (_nodding_). Every one thinks so!

MISS MOUSE (_showing she is more pleased; going to the window_). Oh, do
they, truly?

CAT. Oh, truly they do!

MISS MOUSE (_showing she is most pleased; opening window_). What else nice
say they?

CAT (_jumping in_). That I'll tell you by and by.

(_Sniffing about._)

There must be a grease-pot about! Am I not right?

MISS MOUSE. Mother said--

[Illustration: THE CAT AND THE MOUSE]

CAT (_interrupting_). Only tell me if I be right! 'T will do no harm!

MISS MOUSE (_hesitating_). Well--then--yes. But 't is put away for our
winter stores.

CAT (_nodding_). Just so! Now, I can't decide where to keep my grease-pot
when I have bought one. Won't you give me your advice? You are so wise.

MISS MOUSE. Do you truly think I'm wise?

CAT (_nodding_). Aye, and if you will tell me where to keep my grease-pot
when I have bought it, I'll tell you something more.

MISS MOUSE (_greatly pleased_). About me?

CAT (_nodding_). Yes,--what every one says about your being so beautiful.
But first I must know where to keep my grease-pot.

MISS MOUSE. Then listen--you must keep it, when you have bought it, in the
northwest corner.

[_The Cat runs quickly to the northwest corner._]

MISS MOUSE (_in alarm_). Come away! Come away!

CAT. Why, here is your grease-pot!

MISS MOUSE (_as before_). Come away, I say!

CAT (_looking into the pot_). Truly, the fat is kept hard and cool here.

MISS MOUSE. I pray you come away! Mother does not so much as let me look
into it. 'T is not yet time, she says.

CAT (_looking again into pot_). Exactly!

(_She leaves the pot and joins Miss Mouse._)

'T is just what I'll tell my kittens about my grease-pot when I have bought
it.

MISS MOUSE. Ah, then you have kittens at home?

CAT (_nodding_). Such beautiful kittens! The eldest is white, with brown
marks.

MISS MOUSE. He must be charming!

CAT. I've a mind to tell you his name. First, though, run out to see if
your dear mother is not coming.

[_Miss Mouse nods and runs out. The Cat quickly creeps to the grease-pot
and licks the top off. She crosses to the window just as_ MISS MOUSE
_returns._]

MISS MOUSE. Mother is nowhere to be seen. Now what did you name your eldest
child?

CAT. Top-off.

MISS MOUSE. Top-off? Why, that is a curious name! Is it common in your
family?

CAT. Oh, no! My second child has a white ring around his neck.

MISS MOUSE. Remarkable!

CAT. Very!

MISS MOUSE. What did you name him?

CAT. I gave him an unusual name. I will tell you what it is. First, though,
run out to see if your dear mother is coming.

[_Miss Mouse nods and runs out. The Cat creeps to the grease-pot and eats
half the fat; then crosses to window._ MISS MOUSE _returns._]

MISS MOUSE. Mother is nowhere to be seen. Now what did you name your second
child?

CAT. Half-out.

Miss MOUSE. Half-out? I never heard such a name! 'T is not in the calendar,
I'm sure.

CAT. What does that matter, if it pleases me? Now the last child is really
a wonder. He is quite black and has little white claws, but not a single
white hair on his body.

MISS MOUSE. What have you named him?

CAT. I'm afraid that will please you no better than the others, but still I
will tell you. First, though, run to see if your dear mother is not coming.

[_Miss Mouse nods and runs out. The Cat creeps to the pot and eats all the
fat. She then crosses to the window._]

CAT. What one begins one must needs finish.

[MISS MOUSE _returns._]

MISS MOUSE. Mother is nowhere to be seen. Now tell me what you named your
youngest child.

CAT. All-out.

MISS MOUSE. All-out? Why, that is more curious than the others. I have
never seen it in print.

CAT (_glaring at Miss Mouse_). You never will!

MISS MOUSE (_frightened_). What do you mean?

CAT (_preparing to spring_). I mean to put you down with the fat!

MISS MOUSE. Help! help!

[_Enter_ MOTHER MOUSE _just as the Cat clutches her daughter and jumps out
of the window with her. Mother Mouse crosses and looks into the empty
grease-pot._]

MOTHER MOUSE (_sighing sadly_). 'T was ever thus! Show your grease-pot, and
you'll go with it!

THE GIRL WHO TROD ON THE LOAF

SCENE I

TIME: _the day before Christmas_.

PLACE: _Inge's Mother's home_.

* * * * *

INGE.
HER MOTHER.

* * * * *

[_The_ MOTHER _stands at the kitchen window, watching for Inge._]

MOTHER. Ah, here she comes at last!

(_Short pause. Enter_ INGE.)

I have waited long for you, my child. Where have you been?

(_Inge is silent._)

Have you been to the Elf Hill? Tell me.

INGE (_hesitating_). Just for a little while, mother.

MOTHER. Inge! Inge! What have I ever told you?

INGE. I thought I'd go just this once.

MOTHER (_showing sorrow_). Ah, Inge, that's what you always say.

INGE. There's no harm talking with the elves.

MOTHER. And I, your mother, say there is harm.

INGE. But, mother,--they talk so prettily.

MOTHER (_nodding_). Aye! and that's the harm. They've put such silly ideas
into your head.

INGE. They say 't is friendship makes them talk as they do.

MOTHER (_indignantly_). Friendship! 'T is friendship, is it, to tell you
not to fetch the wood?

INGE. They say 't will spoil my hands.

MOTHER. Out upon them and their pretty talk! You shall go there no more. Do
you hear me, Inge?

INGE (_pouting_). I hear.

MOTHER. Now take this loaf of bread to your sick aunt. Say to her 't is her
Christmas gift.

INGE. But, mother, I must cross the muddy road to go there.

MOTHER. Well, you are neither sugar nor salt.

INGE. I'll spoil my shoes!

MOTHER. You think of your shoes, and your aunt lies ill?

INGE. Wait till spring and the mud will be gone.

MOTHER. Wait till spring and your aunt will be gone! Here is the loaf--now
off with you!

[_Inge takes the loaf and goes, but not willingly._]

SCENE II

TIME: _a few minutes later_.
PLACE: _the muddy road_.

* * * * *

INGE.
THE WICKED ELF.

* * * * *

[INGE _is seen stopping at the muddy road._]

INGE. 'T is too wide to leap!

[_The_ WICKED ELF _suddenly appears on the opposite side of the road._]

WICKED ELF. Good day to you, pretty maid!

INGE. Good day to you, dear Elf!

WICKED ELF. Wilt cross this muddy road?

INGE. I must.

WICKED ELF. Then I'll tell you how to do it and not so much as wet your
shoe.

INGE. Oh, thank you, dear Elf!

WICKED ELF. Throw down your loaf and--

INGE. (_showing surprise; interrupting_). Throw down the loaf?

WICKED ELF. Why, yes,--to use it for a stepping-stone.

INGE. But 't will spoil the bread!

WICKED ELF. But 't will save your shoes!

INGE. Well, that's true--

WICKED ELF. A pretty maid ne'er wears a muddy shoe.

INGE. That's true, too--

WICKED ELF. Come, then, throw down the loaf!

INGE. Well, I'll do it!

(_She throws the loaf and steps upon it._)

'T is sinking! What shall I do?

WICKED ELF. Why, then, jump off!

INGE (_trying to jump_). I can't! Don't you see I can't?

WICKED ELF. Ha, ha! You're fastened to it!

INGE. 'T is drawing me down! Help me! Help me!

WICKED ELF. There's no help for you.

INGE. No help? What do you mean?

WICKED ELF. You must go down with the loaf.

INGE. I pray you help me! See how I'm sinking! The mud will soon be over my
shoes!

WICKED ELF. The mud will soon be over your head!

INGE (_weeping_). Save me! Save me!

WICKED ELF. Will you be saved by magic?

INGE. Yes, yes!

WICKED ELF. Listen, then--I'll change you into a bird. Are you willing?

INGE. Yes, yes! Quick now, before I sink deeper!

WICKED ELF (_nodding head three times_). A sparrow shall you be! Change,
now change!

[_Inge changes into a_ SPARROW, _with a tuft of white feathers, just the
shape of a loaf of bread, upon its head. The Sparrow flies from the mud._]

SPARROW. Now change me back into Inge.

WICKED ELF. You shall remain as you are.

SPARROW (_showing surprise_). Remain as I am?

WICKED ELF (_nodding_). Until you can change yourself back.

SPARROW. And when will that be?

WICKED ELF. When the loaf has gone from your head.

SPARROW. The loaf from my head? What do you mean?

WICKED ELF (_going_). Fly away to the brook and see! Ha, ha, ha!

(_She runs away, calling back._)

Fly away to the brook and see! Ha, ha, ha!

[Illustration: "'T IS SINKING! WHAT SHALL I DO?"]

SCENE III

TIME: _the day following Christmas Day_.
PLACE: _an old stone wall by a brook_.

* * * * *

THE SPARROW.
THE PEASANT.
GRETEL.
FIRST STONE.
SECOND STONE.
THIRD STONE.

* * * * *

[_The_ SPARROW _sits in a hole in the wall._]

FIRST STONE. Come, come, be not so sad, little Sparrow!

SECOND STONE. Come, lift up your head and sing!

THIRD STONE. Come, sing us your Christmas song!

SPARROW. Sing! I have nothing to sing about.

FIRST STONE. Sing of your friends.

SECOND STONE. Sing of their love for you.

THIRD STONE. Sing of their kindness to you.

SPARROW. Talk not to me of friends, or love, or kindness! There's none in
the world.

[_Enter a_ PEASANT _with his little_ GRETEL. _The Peasant carries two ears
of corn._]

PEASANT. Now, my Gretel, we'll place the corn here on the old wall.

GRETEL. Mother thought you brought too much.

PEASANT. Well, 't is true there are only three ears left at home, but the
birds must have their Christmas dinner.

[_He places the corn on the wall._]

GRETEL. There's none about to see it!

PEASANT. Oh, some bird will soon find it!

GRETEL. But will it call the others?

PEASANT. We'll wait to see. Come, we'll sit there on the log.

[_They go to a log near by._]

FIRST STONE. There, little Sparrow, say you now there is no kindness?

SECOND STONE. Or love?

THIRD STONE. Or friendship?

SPARROW. No, no! I can never say that again. The peasant's heart is full
of kindness and love and friendship. I will sing of it! 'T will be my
Christmas song!

[_The Sparrow leaves the hole and flies to the corn._]

GRETEL. Look, father, there is a sparrow! And hear it sing! Just hear it!

PEASANT. It is calling the other birds.

GRETEL. Why, it doesn't even touch the corn!

PEASANT. It's waiting to share it with the others. Is it not a pretty
sight? Come, we must go to tell mother.

SCENE IV

TIME: _one month later_.
PLACE: _same as_ SCENE III.

* * * * *

OUR SPARROW.
THE VERY OLD SPARROW.
THE OLD SPARROW.
THE YOUNG SPARROW.
THE VERY YOUNG SPARROW.
THE WICKED ELF.

* * * * *

[_All the_ SPARROWS _except Our Sparrow sit on the stone wall._]

YOUNG SPARROW. I say the stranger should be driven away!

VERY YOUNG SPARROW. So say I!

OLD SPARROW. The stranger is a sparrow, but still not a sparrow.

VERY OLD SPARROW. And yet she is only different by a tuft of white
feathers.

YOUNG SPARROW. And such a tuft! For all the world like a loaf of bread!

VERY YOUNG SPARROW. I'd think it shame to carry such on _my_ head!

OLD SPARROW. I fear 't will shame us all to have this stranger about.

VERY OLD SPARROW. And yet we are not ashamed to eat the crumbs this
stranger brings.

OLD SPARROW. Well, 't is true she has been most kind.

VERY OLD SPARROW. 'T is a hard winter! Shall we drive away the one who
finds food where we find none?

YOUNG SPARROW. And calls us every time!

VERY YOUNG SPARROW. And never eats till we have come!

VERY OLD SPARROW. I've kept in mind the crumbs she has found us. Now, how
many do you think?

OLD SPARROW. I cannot say, for I did not think to notice.

VERY OLD SPARROW. There only lacks two or three now of being a loaf.

OTHER SPARROWS (_greatly surprised_). A loaf?

VERY OLD SPARROW (_nodding_). A loaf.

VERY YOUNG SPARROW. Here comes the stranger now!

OLD SPARROW. She brings a crust!

[OUR SPARROW _flies up with a crust in its bill._]

OUR SPARROW. Come, friends, 't is for all of you!

VERY OLD SPARROW. Do you know, stranger bird, that, with these crumbs, you
have brought us in all one loaf?

[_Our Sparrow drops the crust for the others. At once it changes into_
INGE. _The birds fly away frightened._]

INGE. Ah! Now I understand. The loaf had to be made up, crumb by crumb.

[_The_ WICKED ELF _suddenly appears._]

WICKED ELF. Come, pretty maid, come to the Elf Hill!

INGE. No, no! I will not!

WICKED ELF. But we have such pretty things to tell you!

INGE. I care not for your pretty things! I go to fetch wood for my mother.
I go to walk in the mud if need be. Away with you! I'll have none of you!
Away, away, I say!

THE UGLY DUCKLING

SCENE I

TIME: _one summer morning_.
PLACE: _the farmyard of the Moor Farm_.

* * * * *

MADAM DUCK.
FIRST DUCKLING.
SECOND DUCKLING.
THE UGLY DUCKLING.
THIRD DUCKLING.
TURKEY.
GRAY GANDER.
WHITE GOOSE.
PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN.
RED ROOSTER.

* * * * *

[MADAM DUCK _enters the farmyard with her new brood of_ DUCKLINGS. _The
other fowls approach._]

TURKEY (_showing displeasure_). A new brood of ducks! Look you all--a new
brood of ducks!

GRAY GANDER (_also displeased_). As if there were not enough of us here
already!

WHITE GOOSE (_likewise displeased_). True enough,--I can scarce find a
corner for my afternoon nap!

RED ROOSTER. It seems to me, Madam Duck, that you should not have brought
us a new brood this summer.

MADAM DUCK. What is that you are saying?

TURKEY. It seems to all of us, madam, that there is no room here for a new
brood.

PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN. Friends, be just. Madam Duck has a perfect right to
bring her ducklings here. Besides, the children are quite pretty.

MADAM DUCK. They are beautiful! You shall all see that for yourselves.
Come, children, into a row with you!

[_The Ducklings form themselves into a row. The Ugly Duckling is last._]

MADAM DUCK. Legs wide apart! Toes out! Now speak prettily to my old
friends.

DUCKLINGS (_all but the last_). Quack! Quack!

MADAM DUCK. There now--are they not charming?

GRAY GANDER (_looking down row_). Why, yes, they all seem graceful
enough--here--wait a moment! Does that last one there belong to you?

[_All the fowls look at the last Duckling._]

MADAM DUCK. Oh yes! He is larger than the others and perhaps not so pretty,
but--

TURKEY (_interrupting_). Make no excuses for him, madam. We can see for
ourselves what he is.

GRAY GANDER. In all my life I never saw anything so ugly!

WHITE GOOSE. He is neither duck nor goose!

PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN. Nor duck nor chick!

TURKEY. I'd be 'shamed to have a turkey look like that!

RED ROOSTER. I'd allow no hen of mine to claim him!

MADAM DUCK. Come now, come now, friends. The poor child is not pretty, but
he is good, and he can swim even better than the others.

TURKEY. That he can swim well is nothing to me!

RED ROOSTER. Nor to me! He should be driven out, I say!

MADAM DUCK. Let him alone; he is not doing any harm.

FIRST DUCKLING. But, mother, no one will look at us if he stays with us!

MADAM Duck (_thoughtfully._) Now perhaps it may turn out that way.

SECOND DUCKLING. I'll not walk about with him!

THIRD DUCKLING. Nor I!

MADAM DUCK. Well, well! He must be uglier than I thought!

FIRST DUCKLING. Besides, dear mother, he will not quack.

MADAM DUCK. What is this? Did he not quack but just a moment ago?

SECOND DUCKLING. He turned his toes out, but quack he would not.

THIRD DUCKLING. 'T is true, dear mother.

MADAM DUCK (_to the Ugly Duckling_). Quack! Quack now--at once!

[_The Ugly Duckling tries to quack, but chokes. The fowls laugh and jeer at
him._]

GRAY GANDER. Ha, ha! There's a "quack" for you!

WHITE GOOSE. Ha, ha!

PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN. Ha, ha!

RED ROOSTER. Ha, ha!

TURKEY. Ha, ha!

MADAM DUCK (_angrily_). Once more I tell you--quack!

[_The Ugly Duckling tries again; chokes._]

ALL FOWLS. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

UGLY DUCKLING (_weeping_). I'm sorry--I'd quack if I could.

MADAME DUCK. Ah, if you were only far away!

[Illustration: THE UGLY DUCKLING]

FIRST DUCKLING. I wish the cat would eat you!

SECOND DUCKLING. I wish the swans would kill you!

WHITE GOOSE. And they will when they see him--you may be sure of that.

GRAY GANDER (_nodding_). Aye, they'll not suffer such an ugly creature to
swim in the brook!

RED ROOSTER. We must drive him off--that's clear!

(_Running at the Ugly Duckling._)

Come now, out with you!

PLYMOUTH ROCK HEN (_pecking Duckling_). Out with you!

UGLY DUCKLING. Mother, save me!

MADAM DUCK. Call not on me!

GRAY GANDER (_striking Duckling with his wings_). Out with you!

UGLY DUCKLING (_running to Ducklings_). Brothers, sisters, save me!

FIRST DUCKLING. Come not to us!

SECOND DUCKLING. We'll not save you!

THIRD DUCKLING. Away with you!

TURKEY. At him, hens to peck him! At him, geese to beat him! At him, all of
you!

[_They all rush upon the Ugly Duckling, who escapes them, running out of
the farmyard into the moor._]

SCENE II

TIME: _the next winter_.
PLACE: _the Peasant's cottage_.

* * * * *

THE PEASANT.
HIS WIFE.
ELIZABETH.
THE CAT.
THE HEN.
THE UGLY DUCKLING.

* * * * *

[_The_ PEASANT _enters the cottage, carrying the_ UGLY DUCKLING.]

PEASANT. See what I'm bringing you!

WIFE. Why, 't is a duckling--half frozen, too!

PEASANT. I found him frozen in the pond. I had to break the ice to get him
out.

ELIZABETH. Give him to me, father. I will put him behind the stove.

PEASANT (_giving Duckling to Elizabeth_). That's a good child.

WIFE. Handle him tenderly, daughter.

ELIZABETH (_taking off her shawl_). He shall lie upon my shawl. You poor,
dear, ugly little duckling!

[_She places the Duckling upon the shawl behind the stove, near the_ CAT
_and_ HEN.]

PEASANT. 'T is the duckling I told you of!

WIFE. The one you saw on the pond yesterday?

PEASANT. Aye, and the day before, and all winter long, for that matter.
Yesterday I saw him try to join the wild ducks on the river, but they drove
him back to the pond.

ELIZABETH. Poor duckling! The pond was freezing then!

PEASANT (_nodding_). Then he tried to find a place among the rushes on the
moor, but the birds drove him from there.

ELIZABETH. Why did they all treat him so, father?

PEASANT. I do not know, unless it is because he is so ugly.

WIFE. Come now to dinner, father--Elizabeth. By the time we have finished,
our duckling will be warmed and awake.

[_They go into the kitchen. The Duckling stirs and looks about._]

HEN. Can you lay eggs?

DUCKLING (_politely_). No, madam.

CAT. Can you set up your back?

DUCKLING. No, dear sir.

CAT. Can you purr?

DUCKLING (_frightened_). No.

HEN. Then you can't stay here.

DUCKLING. Do not drive me out, I pray you!

CAT. Will you learn to purr?

HEN. And to lay eggs?

DUCKLING (_sadly_). Alas, I can do nothing but swim.

CAT. Swim! Well, I must say that is very queer.

DUCKLING. Oh, no, dear sir! It is most pleasant when the waters close over
your head and you plunge to the bottom.

CAT. Plunge to the bottom, indeed! I'd never think of doing such a silly
thing!

HEN. Nor I!

CAT. 'T is clear you can't remain here.

DUCKLING. Where am I to go?

CAT. Go lie in the rushes. The birds flew south this morning.

DUCKLING. I shall starve there.

CAT. It would really be a good thing for you if I should eat you.

DUCKLING. I'd thank you to do so, dear sir.

HEN. Eat him, since he is so willing. He is too ugly to live.

CAT (_turning away_). I can't, he is too ugly to eat.

(_To the Duckling._)

Come, out with you!

HEN (_running at him_). Yes, yes! Out with you! Out with you!

[_They push the Duckling out of the door into the snow._]

DUCKLING. Alas! What shall I do? Where shall I go? Why was I made so ugly
that every one despises me!

SCENE III

TIME: _the next spring_.
PLACE: _the brook on the Moor Farm_.

* * * * *

THE UGLY DUCKLING.
THE MOLE.
THE FATHER.
THE MOTHER.
THE CHILDREN.
THE SWANS.

* * * * *

[_The_ UGLY DUCKLING _sits on the hill of a_ MOLE _near the brook which
winds through the Moor Farm._]

MOLE (_from the mole hill_). Will you please move? I wish to come out.

DUCKLING (_rising quickly_). Why, 't is a mole hill I've been sitting on!

(_The Mole comes out from the hill._)

I'm sorry, friend Mole, I didn't notice your hill.

MOLE. Who are you?

DUCKLING. Madam Duck of this farm is my mother.

MOLE. That can't be! You are no duck.

DUCKLING. Yes, but I am. Only, I am uglier than any duck in the world.

MOLE. You have not the voice of a duck. You do not speak with the quack of
which they are so proud. And then, if you are truly a duck, why are you not
with your family?

DUCKLING. They drove me out last summer because I was ugly and could not
quack.

MOLE. Then why have you come back?

DUCKLING. To let the swans kill me.

MOLE. What! To let them kill you?

DUCKLING. I would rather be killed by those beautiful birds than pecked by
the hens, beaten by the geese, or starved with hunger in the winter.

MOLE. Perhaps you are not so ugly now as you were then.

DUCKLING. I have not looked at myself in the water since spring came and
took the ice away. But I know well enough how dark and badly formed I am.
The swans will kill me if I dare to approach them.

[_A noise is heard in the distance._]

MOLE. They are coming! Go, while there is yet time.

DUCKLING. There is no place to go to. All winter long I was driven from
moor to moor. I could not make a friend--I no longer wish to live.

[_The_ SWANS _are seen swimming down the brook._]

MOLE. They are here! Do not go to them, I pray you!

DUCKLING (_shaking head_). Farewell!

[_He flies to the water and swims toward the Swans. They see him and rush
to meet him with outstretched wings._]

DUCKLING. Kill me! Kill me!

FIRST SWAN. Kill you! Why, we have come to welcome you, beautiful stranger.

SECOND SWAN. We saw you from afar, and came to meet you.

THIRD SWAN. We are so happy to have you with us!

[_Enter several_ CHILDREN.]

FIRST CHILD. See, there is a new swan!

SECOND CHILD (_calling_). Father, mother, come! There is another swan!

[_Enter the_ FATHER _and_ MOTHER.]

FATHER. What were you calling?

THIRD CHILD. A new swan has come! Look!

MOTHER. I see him! He is beautiful!

FATHER. He is very young, but he is the most beautiful of all!

FOURTH CHILD. See how the others stroke him with their beaks!

MOTHER. They are showing him how glad they are to have him with them. See
how they swim around him and how gently they touch him!

FATHER. I have never seen anything so pretty. How happy the new swan is!
See how he rustles his feathers! See how proudly he curves his slender
neck!

FIRST CHILD. And see how he looks at himself in the water!

SECOND CHILD. Let's get bread and cake for him!

THIRD CHILD. Yes, yes!

FOURTH CHILD. Yes, yes!

[_The Children run off, followed by the Father and Mother._]

MOLE (_going into his hill_). 'T was not so bad after all--not to have the
family quack!

THE RED SHOES

SCENE I

TIME: _one morning_.

PLACE: _the Shoemaker's shop_.

* * * * *

GRANDMOTHER.
KAREN.
SHOEMAKER.

* * * * *

[_The_ GRANDMOTHER _and_ KAREN _enter the shop of the_ SHOEMAKER.]

GRANDMOTHER. This is my little granddaughter Karen, Shoemaker. Please to
take her measure for a pair of shoes.

SHOEMAKER. What kind do you wish, madam?

GRANDMOTHER. Morocco, the finest you have, Karen is to wear these shoes to
church.

SHOEMAKER. What color do you wish, madam?

GRANDMOTHER. Black.

KAREN (_whispering to Shoemaker_). Red.

SHOEMAKER (_puzzled_). Eh?

GRANDMOTHER (_louder_). Black.

KAREN (_whispering to Shoemaker_). Red.

SHOEMAKER. Of course, madam, if you say black, black they shall be.

KAREN. The little princess wore red shoes, Grandmother.

SHOEMAKER (_nodding_). That is true; I saw them myself.

GRANDMOTHER. Red shoes?

KAREN (_nodding_). Of beautiful red morocco. The queen let the princess
stand at a window so every one could see her new shoes.

SHOEMAKER. It is all true, madam.

GRANDMOTHER. No matter; Karen is to have black shoes.

(_Taking up a pair of shoes._)

Here, this pair suits me exactly.

SHOEMAKER (_surprised_). But, madam, those shoes are--

KAREN (_interrupting; whispering_). Hush, Shoemaker! Do not tell her. She

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