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fairy tale stHigh above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.
He was very much admired indeed.'He is as beautiful as a weathercock,' remarked one of the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for having artistic taste; 'only not quite so useful,' he added, fearing lest people should think him unpractical, which he really was not.
'Why can't you be like the Happy Prince?' asked a sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the moon. 'The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.'
'I am glad there is some one in the world who is quite happy', muttered a disappointed man as he gazed at the wonderful statue.
'He looks just like an angel,' said the Charity Children as they came out of the cathedral in their bright scarlet cloaks, and their clean white pinafores.
'How do you know?' said the Mathematical Master, 'you have never seen one.'
'Ah! but we have, in our dreams,' answered the children; and the Mathematical Master frowned and looked very severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.
One night there flew over the city a little Swallow. His friends had gone away to Egypt six weeks before, but he had stayed behind, for he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. He had met her early in the spring as he was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her.
'Shall I love you said the Swallow', who liked to come to the point at once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples. This was his courtship, and it lasted all through the summer.
'It is a ridiculous attachment,' twittered the other Swallows, 'she has no money, and far too many relations;' and indeed the river was quite full of Reeds. Then, when the autumn came, they all flew away.
After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-love. 'She has no conversation,' he said, 'and I am afraid that she is a coquette, for she is always flirting with the wind.' And certainly, whenever the wind blew, the Reed made the most graceful curtsies. I admit that she is domestic,' he continued, 'but I love travelling, and my wife, consequently, should love travelling also.'
'Will you come away with me?' he said finally to her; but the Reed shook her head, she was so attached to her home.
'You have been trifling with me,' he cried, 'I am off to the Pyramids. Good-bye!' and he flew away.
All day long he flew, and at night-time he arrived at the city. 'Where shall I put up?' he said 'I hope the town has made preparations.'
Then he saw the statue on the tall column. 'I will put up there,' he cried; 'it is a fine position with plenty of fresh air.' So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.
'I have a golden bedroom,' he said softly to himself as he looked round, and he prepared to go to sleep; but just as he was putting his head under his wing, a large drop of water fell on him.'What a curious thing!' he cried, 'there is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining. The climate in the north of Europe is really dreadful. The Reed used to like the rain, but that was merely her selfishness.'
Then another drop fell.
'What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?' he said; 'I must look for a good chimney-pot,' and he determined to fly away.
But before he had opened his wings, a third drop fell, and he looked up, and saw - Ah! what did he see?
The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.
'Who are you?' he said.
'I am the Happy Prince.'
'Why are you weeping then?' asked the Swallow; 'you have quite drenched me.'
'When I was alive and had a human heart,' answered the statue, 'I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans-Souci where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.'
'What, is he not solid gold?' said the Swallow to himself. He was too polite to make any personal remarks out loud.
'Far away,' continued the statue in a low musical voice,'far away in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion-fowers on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen's maids-of-honour to wear at the next Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.'
'I am waited for in Egypt,' said the Swallow. 'My friends are flying up and down the Nile, and talking to the large lotus flowers. Soon they will go to sleep in the tomb of the great King. The King is there himself in his painted coffin. He is wrapped in yellow linen, and embalmed with spices. Round his neck is a chain of pale green jade, and his hands are like withered leaves.'
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince,'will you not stay with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad.
'I don't think I like boys,' answered the Swallow. 'Last summer, when I was staying on the river, there were two rude boys, the miller's sons, who were always throwing stones at me. They never hit me, of course; we swallows fly far too well for that, and besides, I come of a family famous for its agility; but still, it was a mark of disrespect.'
But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry. 'It is very cold here,' he said 'but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.'
'Thank you, little Swallow,' said the Prince.
So the Swallow picked out the great ruby from the Prince's sword, and flew away with it in his beak over the roofs of the town.
He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed by the palace and heard the sound of dancing. A beautiful girl came out on the balcony with her lover. 'How wonderful the stars are,' he said to her,'and how wonderful is the power of love!' 'I hope my dress will be ready in time for the State-ball,' she answered; 'I have ordered passion-flowers to be embroidered on it; but the seamstresses are so lazy.'
He passed over the river, and saw the lanterns hanging to the masts of the ships. He passed over the Ghetto, and saw the old Jews bargaining with each other, and weighing out money in copper scales. At last he came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman's thimble. Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy's forehead with his wings. 'How cool I feel,' said the boy, 'I must be getting better;' and he sank into a delicious slumber.
Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. 'It is curious,' he remarked, 'but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.'
'That is because you have done a good action,' said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep. Thinking always made him sleepy.
When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath.
'What a remarkable phenomenon,' said the Professor of Omithology as he was passing over the bridge. 'A swallow in winter!' And he wrote a long letter about it to the local newspaper. Every one quoted it, it was full of so many words that they could not understand.
'To-night I go to Egypt,' said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect. He visited all the public monuments, and sat a long time on top of the church steeple. Wherever he went the Sparrows chirruped, and said to each other, 'What a distinguished stranger!' so he enjoyed himself very much.
When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. 'Have you any commissions for Egypt?' he cried; 'I am just starting.'
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince, 'will you not stay with me one night longer?'
'I am waited for in Egypt,' answered the Swallow. To-morrow my friends will fly up to the Second Cataract. The river-horse couches there among the bulrushes, and on a great granite throne sits the God Memnon. All night long he watches the stars, and when the morning star shines he utters one cry of joy, and then he is silent. At noon the yellow lions come down to the water's edge to drink. They have eyes like green beryls, and their roar is louder than the roar of the cataract.'
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince,'far away across the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.'
'I will wait with you one night longer,' said the Swallow, who really had a good heart. 'Shall I take him another ruby?'
'Alas! I have no ruby now,' said the Prince; 'my eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.'
'Dear Prince,' said the Swallow,'I cannot do that;' and he began to weep.
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince, 'do as I command you.'
So the Swallow plucked out the Prince's eye, and flew away to the student's garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird's wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.
'I am beginning to be appreciated,' he cried; 'this is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,' and he looked quite happy.
The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the hold with ropes. 'Heave a-hoy!' they shouted as each chest came up. 'I am going to Egypt!' cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.
'I am come to bid you good-bye,' he cried.
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince,'will you not stay with me one night longer?'
'It is winter,' answered the Swallow, and the chill snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm on the green palm-trees, and the crocodiles lie in the mud and look lazily about them. My companions are building a nest in the Temple of Baalbec, and the pink and white doves are watching them, and cooing to each other. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.
'In the square below,' said the Happy Prince, 'there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.
'I will stay with you one night longer,' said the Swallow,'but I cannot pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then.'
'Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,' said the Prince, 'do as I command you.'
So he plucked out the Prince's other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. 'What a lovely bit of glass,' cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.
Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. 'You are blind now,' he said, 'so I will stay with you always.'
'No, little Swallow,' said the poor Prince, 'you must go away to Egypt.'
'I will stay with you always,' said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince's feet.
All the next day he sat on the Prince's shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.
'Dear little Swallow,' said the Prince, 'you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.'
So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in one another's arms to try and keep themselves warm. 'How hungry we are' they said. 'You must not lie here,' shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.
Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.
'I am covered with fine gold,' said the Prince, 'you must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.'
Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children's faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played games in the street. 'We have bread nod' they cried.
Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.
The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker's door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.
But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince's shoulder once more.'Good-bye, dear Prince!' he murmured, 'will you let me kiss your hand?'
'I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,' said the Prince, 'you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.'
'It is not to Egypt that I am going,' said the Swallow. I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?'
And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.
At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.
Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: 'Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!' he said.
'How shabby indeed!' cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor, and they went up to look at it.
'The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,' said the Mayor; 'in fact, he is little better than a beggar!'
'Little better than a beggar,' said the Town Councillors.
'And there is actually a dead bird at his feet,' continued the Mayor. 'We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.' And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.
So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. 'As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,' said the Art Professor at the University.
Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. 'We must have another statue, of course,' he said, 'and it shall be a statue of myself.'
'Of myself,' said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.
'What a strange thing!' said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.'This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.' So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.
'Bring me the two most precious things in the city,' said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.
'You have rightly chosen,' said God,'for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.'ories
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Scene 2: An Angel Visits Mary
MARY enters from the side and stands near the BASKET OF CLOTHES.
MARY begins folding the clothes.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.
ANGEL begins sneakily tip-toeing from the side, making their way to stand behind MARY, who doesn’t notice.
He was sent to a girl named Mary. The angel greeted her and said...
(Jumps out from behind MARY)
MARY throws the piece of clothing she was folding in the air.
MARY takes a few steps away and hides behind the RECTANGULAR BOX.
The Lord has given you special favor. He is with you.
Mary was very upset because of his words. Mary wondered...
MARY stands up and scratches her head.
What kind of greeting this could be?
But the angel said to her...
(Holds out a hand out)
Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you.
Then the angel said...
The ANGEL reaches into their sash, pulls out the FOLDED LETTER, walks over to the NARRATOR, and hands it to them.
The NARRATOR unfolds the letter and glances over it, then looks at the ANGEL quizzically.
The ANGEL leans over and whispers in the NARRATOR’S ear.
The NARRATOR nods.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the angel has informed me that, after a long and tiring trip from heaven, they’d like a little help delivering their long message from God. Any volunteers? (Waits a second.) Ah, yes, you over there.
The ANGEL’S MOM OR DAD comes and stands next to the NARRATOR.
The NARRATOR hands the LETTER to the ANGEL’S MOM OR DAD.
The ANGEL returns to where they were onstage.
The angel continued...
You will become pregnant...
The ANGEL pats their belly a few times.
And give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus.
The ANGEL grabs the JESUS SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to MARY, who holds it in one hand.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.
The ANGEL flexes their muscles several times like a body builder.
The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago.
The ANGEL grabs the CROWN SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to MARY, who holds it in her other hand.
He will rule forever over his people, who came from Jacob's family. His kingdom will never end.
Mary asked the angel...
How can this happen?
The angel answered...
The Holy Spirit will come to you.
The ANGEL reaches up to the sky and slowly lowers their hands to waist level while wiggling their fingers.
The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God.
Nothing is impossible with God.
I serve the Lord. May it happen to me just as you said it would.
Then the angel left her.
The ANGEL exits to the side of the stage.
MARY sets the SIGNS back on the back of the stage.
MARY puts the clothes in the basket and exits to the side of the stage.
Scene 3: An Angel Visits Joseph in a Dream
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
JOSEPH enters from the side of the stage, holding a BOUQUET OF FLOWERS.
His mother Mary and Joseph had promised to get married.
JOSEPH gestures over to the side of the stage for someone to come over.
MARY enters in slowly from the side of the stage with a noticeably pregnant belly, holding one hand against the small of her back.
But before they started to live together, it became clear that she was going to have a baby. She became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.
JOSEPH stares with his mouth open, throws the FLOWERS in the air, and puts his head in his hands.
MARY covers her face, crying, and runs, exiting to the side of the stage.
Her husband Joseph was a godly man.
JOSEPH paces back and forth, pretending to talk to himself.
He did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her quietly.
But as Joseph was thinking about this...
JOSEPH sits down on the RECTANGULAR BOX and poses like the thinker. He slowly leans his head and lays down on the RECTANGULAR BOX to sleep.
...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.
The ANGEL runs in from the side, does a somersault, and jumps up with arms outstretched.
The angel said...
(Holding out one hand to Joseph)
Joseph, son of David...
JOSEPH sits up, startled. He hides behind the RECTANGULAR BOX.
Don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.
The baby inside her...
The ANGEL pats their belly a few times.
...is from the Holy Spirit.
The ANGEL holds out their hands up to the sky and wiggles his fingers while hopping from foot to foot.
She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus.
The ANGEL grabs the JESUS SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to JOSEPH, who holds it in one hand.
That is because he will save his people from their sins.
The ANGEL grabs the SAVIOR SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to JOSEPH, who holds it in one hand.
After a beat, the ANGEL takes the SIGNS back and sets the where they were before.
The ANGEL helps JOSEPH lay back down on the RECTANGULAR BOX. The ANGEL grabs the BLANKET from behind the RECTANGULAR BOX and lays it on JOSEPH.
The ANGEL then exits to the side of the stage, doing another somersault as they leave.
Joseph woke up.
JOSEPH sits up, pulls off the BLANKET, and sets it behind the RECTANGULAR BOX.
JOSEPH rubs his eyes with his palms, pinches himself, and stands up.
He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do.
MARY does a pregnant-style run over to JOSEPH.
JOSEPH pats down his torso, as if feeling in his pockets. He then does a “COME ON” gesture towards the NARRATOR.
The NARRATOR walks over to JOSEPH and hands him a ring.
JOSEPH bows down on one knee. MARY holds a hand, and JOSEPH puts a ring on it.
He took Mary home as his wife.
JOSEPH and MARY hold hands and exit to the side of the stage.
Scene 4: Mary and Joseph Travel to Bethlehem
In those days, Caesar Augustus made a law.
CAESAR AUGUSTUS enters from the side holding a SCROLL and stands in the center of the stage.
CAESAR AUGUSTUS lets the SCROLL roll to the ground and pretends to read it.
Hear ye, hear ye! Let there be a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world.
CAESAR AUGUSTUS exits to the side of the stage.
All went to their own towns to be listed. So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea.
The INNKEEPERS enter from the side of stage, holding INNKEEPER SIGNS, with their heads poking out from the cutout of the sign. They stand, spread out in a long line.
That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was.
JOSEPH enters from the side, pulling a WAGON with MARY riding in it. MARY is looking very pregnant.
He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby.
JOSEPH pulls the wagon up to INNKEEPER 1 and knocks on their INNKEEPER SIGN.
JOSEPH pulls the wagon up to INNKEEPER 2 and knocks on their INNKEEPER SIGN.
JOSEPH pulls the wagon up to INNKEEPER 3 and knocks on their INNKEEPER SIGN.
There was no room for them in the inn.
The INNKEEPERS exit to the side of the stage.
The STABLEKEEPER enters from the side carrying the STABLEKEEPER SIGN and stands in the center of the stage, in front of the RECTANGULAR BOX.
JOSEPH pulls the wagon over to the STABLEKEEPER and KNOCKS on their STABLEKEEPER SIGN.
There’s room in the barn!
JOSEPH gives the STABLEKEEPER a bow of thanks.
The STABLEKEEPER exits to the side of the stage.
JOSEPH and MARY sit on the RECTANGULAR BOX.
The STAGE HANDS carry the MANGER and set it in the middle of the stage.
Scene 5: Jesus is Born in a Stable
While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born.
JOSEPH kneels next to MARY and grabs her hand. He rubs his hand once along her hair.
She gave birth to her first baby.
JOSEPH reaches behind the RECTANGULAR BOX and grabs the BABY.
(Holding the BABY up)
It’s a boy!
MARY grabs the BLANKET from behind the RECTANGULAR BOX .
JOSEPH hands the BABY to MARY.
She wrapped him in large strips of cloth.
MARY wraps the BABY in the BLANKET.
Then she placed him in a manger.
MARY places the BABY in the manger.
MARY and JOSEPH exit to the side of the stage, taking the WAGON with them.
Scene 6: The Angels Visit Shepherds
There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby.
A group of SHEPHERDS enter from the side of the stage.
They were looking after their sheep.
A group of children dressed as SHEEP enter from the side of the stage wearing SHEEP HATS and sit down, scattered near the center.
It was night.
The SHEEP yawn and stretch.
The SHEPHERDS run to the side of the stage and grab blankets and pillows.
The SHEPHERDS proceed to tuck each of the sheep in by laying then down on the floor, placing a pillow under their heads, and pulling a blanket over them.
When the SHEPHERDS are finished, they sit down on or near the RECTANGULAR BOX .
An angel of the Lord appeared to them.
ANGEL 3 jumps out from the side of the stage with their hands up and stands near the SHEPHERDS.
And the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified.
The SHEPHERDS kneel and cower in fear, hiding behind the RECTANGULAR BOX.
But the angel said to them...
(Holding out a hand)
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy.
It is for all the people.
The ANGEL gestures out toward the audience.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.
The ANGEL makes the baseball “Safe!” sign with their arms.
Here is how you will know I am telling you the truth. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth...
The ANGEL grabs the BABY SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to one of the SHEPHERDS, who holds it in their hand.
And lying in a manger.
The ANGEL grabs the MANGER SIGN from the back of the stage, holds it up for the audience to see, and hands it to one of the SHEPHERDS, who holds it in their hand.
Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared.
ANGEL 1 and ANGEL 2 run on stage and stand next to ANGEL 1.
They were praising God. They said...
ANGELS 1, 2 AND 3
(Raising their hands to the sky)
Glory to God in heaven!
And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!
The angels left and went into heaven.
The ANGELS exit to the side of the stage.
Then the shepherds said to one another...
Let's go to Bethlehem.
Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off...
The SHEPHERDS and all of the SHEEP exit to the right of the stage.
They found Mary and Joseph and the baby.
MARY and JOSEPH enter from the side of the stage and sit on the RECTANGULAR BOX.
The baby was lying in the manger.
The SHEPHERDS enter from the side of the stage and kneel around the manger.
After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child.
The SHEPHERDS run all over into the audience, going to various people, putting their hands on their shoulders and saying, “Jesus is born!” After 30 seconds of this, they run to the back of the auditorium and wait.
Everyone who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
I said, everyone who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
(Gestures to the congregation)
But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart.
MARY picks up the BABY and walks off the side of the stage, looking up contemplatively.
JOSEPH exits to the side of the stage after her.
She thought about them over and over.
The shepherds returned.
The SHEPHERDS run from the back on the auditorium and onto the stage.
They gave glory and praise to God.
The SHEPHERDS to a brief, silly dance of celebration.
Everything they had seen and heard was just as they had been told.
The SHEPHERDS exit to the side of the stage.
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The story of the love of Virgil and Cely?
Virgil was only seventeen years old - still young but his mother thought he was old enough, so she courted a girl for him.
Strange? Perhaps in the city, but in the provinces it is a common thing. Mothers usually choose the heart's choice of their children. That is why so many unfortunate young find themselves tied to mates they hardly know, at least at the beginning.
But Virgil was in luck. His mother fell in love with a girl who was also the silent choice of his own heart. He had met her a month before and she had smiled at him. He had smiled at her too, but had lacked the courage to speak to her.
His mother took Virgil to the girl's house one afternoon and introduced him to her. After that she and the girl's mother left them together and went off to talk about some business of their own.
Virgil was still very young. Though good-looking and a bit mischievous with the girls at times, he had never made love to any of them. So now, he sat before the girl, staring out of the window and desperately trying to think of something to say.
"A beautiful sunset, is it not?" he finally said stiffly.
The girl looked at him, smiled and nodded, saying "Yes" at the same time.
He smiled, although there was really nothing to smile at in what either the girl or he had said. Nevertheless, he smiled again.
The girl did not move and kept on looking at him. Evidently she expected something more from him. But he had nothing else to tell her.
And so they sat, hardly moving, their mouths shut. Occasionally their glances would meet and then both would look away.
"Excuse me," Virgil burst out suddenly. The girl stared at him a little surprised.
"Why?" she asked.
"I… may I know your name? I didn't hear clearly what my mother said."
"My name is Cely," she answered. "Cely Toreno."
"Cely? That is a nice name!" he said in an attempt at flattery.
"Whose? Mine? It is Virgil. Virgil Carillo."
"Virgil! Are you an American?"
"American?" he echoed. "How could that be?"
The girl laughed and he was surprised. Why did she laugh? He thought. Was there something funny in what he had said? Maybe! He laughed, too.
And so for a whole minute they stared at each other smilingly. The girl's shyness was disappearing, but Virgil had not yet conquered his timidity when the two mothers returned. Virgil looked at his mother and saw that she was happy about something. An then Virgil and his mother bade Cely and her mother goodbye, Virgil's mother stating that they would call again and Cely's mother nodding in agreement.
Virgil and his mother visited Cely and her mother in the afternoon of the next day and again Virgil and Cely were left alone while the mothers went into another room. The two young people were now less restrained. Virgil told Cely about his childhood and Cely told Virgil about hers, and their afternoon together ended with tales about each other's childhood days, while in the other room the two women had been making arrangements looking to the future.
Every afternoon for two weeks Virgil and his mother called at the girl's home and then beginning the third week, Virgil went alone. At the end of the month, Virgil learned from his mother that he and Cely would be married.
"Why, mother!" he said, "I have not asked her yet!"
"But I have," she said.
Cely, too, learned from her mother that she and Virgil would soon be joined in wedlock.
"But mother!" she cried. "He has not asked me yet!"
"But Virgil's mother asked me," said Cely's mother.
And so Virgil and Cely found themselves engaged, hardly knowing how it had happened. They had not yet told each other what was in their hearts, and yet they were engaged. Yesterday they were just friends, now they would soon be married.
In the afternoon Virgil and Cely took long walks in the fields. She would ask him for flowers, and he would pick them for her. They were no longer so bashful together and felt as if they had know each other for years.
Once Cely asked Virgil jokingly, "If I married somebody else, would you feel sad?"
"But that can never happen!" he answered. "We are engaged, aren't we?"
"But suppose!" said the girl.
"Of course, I would be unhappy, Cely," he replied. He came near her and said, "Cely once you were nothing to me. But now, thought we have only known each other for a month, I truly love you."
Virgil's words made Cely very happy. She, too, loved him.
The two mothers were also glad that their children showed each other affection. "They will make a good pair," they said.
But one day Virgil's mother came to him with a worried look on her face.
"Virgil," she said, "your wedding with Cely is off."
"Why, mother!" he exclaimed, astonished. "Cely and I have not quarrelled."
"No," said the mother, "but we…" She did not finish her sentence, but turned away.
Cely was also told by her mother that there would be no wedding.
"But mother!" she cried. "Virgil and I did not quarrel!"
"No," said her mother, "but we - Virgil's mother and I - did."
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