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DRAMA: Grimmly Speaking

How Six Men Got On In The World

This is a story about teamwork and using each individual's abilities and strengths for the good of the group.

Now available as an eScript from Toad & Fox Publishers – Go HERE!

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Cast In Order Of Appearance:

Narrator
King
Soldier
Strong Man
Sharpshooter
Runner
Princess

SFX: Grimmly Speaking theme music

NARRATOR

Once upon a time there was a soldier who served in a war. When the war was over the King decided to dismiss him.

KING

You have served well and bravely. Here, take these three farthings for your troubles.

SFX: three farthings

KING

Goodbye now.

SOLDIER

Three farthings! Why that's lousy pay for being in a war and all! If I can meet the right people, I'll bet I can get this King to pay me more.

NARRATOR

The soldier then went into the forest and soon saw a man who was so strong that he was pulling huge trees out of the ground as if they were blades of grass.

SFX: four plucking sounds

SOLDIER

Ho, this man will be of use to me. Excuse me, strong man? Will you be my friend and come with me? If we two are together, we ought to be able to get on in the world.

STRONG MAN

Why certainly, my new friend. But first I must take this little bundle of sticks home to my mother. I'll just pluck one more tree out of the ground –

SFX: plucking sound

STRONG MAN

– and wrap it around these others to hold them together more securely.

NARRATOR

The strong man quickly finished his work, said goodbye to his mother, and –

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

– off he went with the soldier. A short time later, they found a sharpshooter poised and ready to fire his rifle.

SOLDIER

Sharpshooter, what are you aiming at?

SHARPSHOOTER

Two miles from here there's a fly sitting on a branch of an oak tree and I'm going to shoot its left eye out.

SFX: fly ouches

SOLDIER

Oh, come with us. If we three are together, we certainly ought to be able to get on in the world.

SHARPSHOOTER

Sounds good to me.

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

And off they went together. After a bit, the three men came to seven windmills –

SFX: fade in seven windmills turning

NARRATOR

– whose sails were turning furiously and yet there was no wind to be felt. The soldier was the first to comment on this.

SOLDIER

The windmills are turning and yet the air around us is calm.

SOLDIER, SHARPSHOOTER & STRONG MAN

How can this be?

NARRATOR

Confused –

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

– they kept walking. Two miles later they discovered a man leaning against a tree. He was casually –

SFX: fade in blowing his breath

NARRATOR

– blowing his breath out and looked as if he was whistling with no sound. The soldier again commented first.

SOLDIER

What is this?

STRONG MAN

Yes, what is this?

SOLDIER

Sharpshooter, go ask that man what he's doing over there blowing his breath out like that.

NARRATOR

The sharpshooter did as he was told and returned saying –

SHARPSHOOTER

Remember those seven windmills that we passed two miles from here? Well, he's the one who is making them turn round and round.

STRONG MAN

Oh, he must come with us, come with us!

SOLDIER

Yes, if we four are together, we shall carry the whole world before us!

NARRATOR

The man agreed to go with them –

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

– and off they all went together. Further down the road, the four men came across another man who was standing on one leg.

SOLDIER

Why is he standing so?

STRONG MAN

I shall ask him.

NARRATOR

And the strong man did just that.

STRONG MAN

Sir! Why are you standing on one leg?

RUNNER

I am a runner of foot races, and to stop myself from running too far too fast, I've taken off one of my legs. If I use both my legs at the same time, I run faster than any bird can fly.

SHARPSHOOTER

Oh, come with us then.

SOLDIER

Yes, if we five are together, we shall carry the whole world before us!

RUNNER

Why not?

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

And the adventure continued. Before long, the five men came across yet another man who was wearing his cap entirely on one ear.

STRONG MAN

What is this? He looks like an idiot wearing his cap like that.

NARRATOR

The runner, who was exceptionally sensitive to possible slights upon a person's character, spoke up quickly.

RUNNER

I know him. He has to wear his cap like that because if he doesn't cover his left ear, a terrible frost comes about and all the birds in the air freeze and drop dead to the ground.

STRONG MAN

Then he must come with us!

SOLDIER

Yes, if we six are together, we shall carry the whole world before us!

NARRATOR

And so they became the six men of this story.

SIX MEN

Hoorah for us! Off we go!

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

At the soldier's suggestion, the six men decided to return to the kingdom – from whence the soldier came. The next morning, the King rode into the village square and proclaimed –

SFX: trumpets open

KING

He who first runs a race with my daughter, the Princess, and wins – may marry her. But any man who loses a race against the Princess – shall also lose his head.

SFX: trumpets close

NARRATOR

The six men discussed this wager and together they agreed that this was their chance to get on in the world.

SOLDIER

We shall go to the King.

STRONG MAN

Yes, we shall!

RUNNER

Together as one!

SHARPSHOOTER

Together!

SIX MEN

Hoorah!

SFX: trumpets open

NARRATOR

The soldier stood before the King and introduced himself. The King was unimpressed.

KING

And is it you, who shall be running in the race against my fair daughter, the Princess?

NARRATOR

The runner leapt forward and bowed before the King.

RUNNER

I shall run for my friend.

NARRATOR

The King eyed the runner and then eyed the soldier again.

KING

Then you must both stake your lives on this race.

RUNNER & SOLDIER

We will!

NARRATOR

All was arranged and on the day of the competition, the King announced the rules of the royal race.

SFX: trumpets close

KING

You and my daughter, the Princess, shall both carry a pitcher to the Red Lake far away. You will each fill your pitcher with its red water and then bring it back. Whomever returns first shall be declared the winner. BEGIN!

SFX: the race begins

NARRATOR

The soldier turned to the runner and said –

SOLDIER

Get going and help us win!

NARRATOR

The runner saluted the soldier and took off.

SFX: fade out runner takes off

NARRATOR

The runner then reached the Red Lake –

SFX: lake water

NARRATOR

– filled his pitcher with its red water, and began his run back to the tournament grounds to claim victory. But suddenly, he began to slow down.

RUNNER

Ho, I'm a little tired. I think I'll take a little nap. My, look at this – a horse's skull on the ground before me and we're not even in New Mexico. I'll just make a pillow out of this horse's skull so I don't get too comfortable and sleep for too long.

NARRATOR

Yet, while –

SFX: fade in Princess stopping

NARRATOR

–he was sleeping, the Princess finally caught up to him.

PRINCESS

Ha! The fool! I shall empty his pitcher of red water –

SFX: dumped water

PRINCESS

– run on ahead, fill my pitcher and then run back and win this race. That'll fix him –

SFX: fade in Princess starting to run

PRINCESS

– try and marry a princess, will ya. Ha!

NARRATOR

Fortunately, the sharpshooter, who had exceptionally keen eyesight, and also happened to be standing on top of the castle wall, saw what the Princess had done.

SHARPSHOOTER

She thinks she's so clever, that Princess. I'll just shoot that horse's skull out from under my friend, the runner, and wake him up.

NARRATOR

And so he did.

SFX: rifle shot and skull cracking

RUNNER

Oh no! My red water has been dumped out and I can see the Princess ahead of me. She's on her way back to the castle. But that's okay. I'll still win this race.

NARRATOR

And so he raced back to the Red Lake –

SFX: wind whistling

NARRATOR

– filled his pitcher once again and started the run back to the finish line.

SFX: racetrack

NARRATOR

The strong man, who was standing in the crowd, saw him and called out.

SFX: fade in background crowd

STRONG MAN

Look! The runner has passed the Princess!

SOLDIER

He's going to beat her to the finish line by at least ten minutes!

SFX: everyone mutters and sighs or whines, killing time

SHARPSHOOTER

Here he comes to the finish line!

SFX: race finish

SIX MEN

Hoorah!

NARRATOR

The King was very unhappy.

KING

Rats! Now what am I going to do? I can't go back on my wager or the peasants will draw and quarter me.

PRINCESS

Father, you can't let me be married to a lowly soldier.

KING

I know, I know.

PRINCESS

Well then, do something! Find some way to get rid of him!

NARRATOR

The King frowned and thought as hard as he could.

SFX: plucking sound

KING

I've got it! We'll invite this soldier and his friends to come and celebrate their victory with a meal in the castle. I'll put them all in a room with a floor made of iron.

PRINCESS

And then what? Make them eat themselves to death? Hope they lick the floor, get iron overload, and die of hemochromatosis?

KING

No, I'll have the cook make a fire beneath the floor. It will get so hot in the room that all the air will disappear and then they'll suffocate to death, one by one.

PRINCESS

That's a great idea!

NARRATOR

The King called for the six men to come forward.

SFX: trumpets open

KING

Come, gentlemen. We shall celebrate your victory with a feast in my castle.

SOLDIER

Oh boy! We get a princess and some food!

SIX MEN

Hoorah again!

NARRATOR

Once the six men were shut in the room –

SFX: door closing

NARRATOR

– the King had the cook begin the hottest fire he could make.

SFX: fade in fire crackling

KING

Throw on as many logs as you need. I want an inferno beneath them.

NARRATOR

The six men began to sweat.

SOLDIER

Ahem – Isn't it getting a little warm in here?

STRONG MAN

It's the food and the wine that are making you hot. Eat! Eat!

NARRATOR

But it grew hotter still. The sharpshooter went to the windows to open them.

SFX: rattling windows

SHARPSHOOTER

Hey! The windows are all bolted closed from the outside!

NARRATOR

The strong man went to push open the door.

SFX: oomphing into door

STRONG MAN

And the doors are bolted closed from the other side also!

SOLDIER

We must do something quick or we will suffocate and die!

NARRATOR

The man with the cap over his one ear jumped up from his seat and pulled the cap off. The runner cheered him on.

RUNNER

Yes! Look now, everyone! That wicked King! Well, he'll not succeed. With our friend's cap off his ear, this room will freeze down right away. Our friend here will make a frost so great that the fire beneath us will be ashamed and creep away.

NARRATOR

Two hours later, the King believed that all six of the men had perished, so he ordered the doors to be opened.

SFX: door opening

NARRATOR

The six men came strolling out.

PRINCESS

Father, they live!

NARRATOR

The King was very unhappy.

KING

Rats! Now what am I going to do? We used up all our spare logs making that fire.

PRINCESS

Buy them off! Give them gold! Father, you can't let me marry a lowly soldier!

NARRATOR

The King frowned and looked at the floor.

KING

When's the last time this floor was washed?

NARRATOR

And then made up his mind.

SFX: plucking sound

KING

I know what I'll do!

SFX: trumpets open

KING

Soldier! If I give you gold, will you renounce your claim on my daughter's hand and leave my kingdom forever?

NARRATOR

The soldier paused, looked at the strong man for a moment, and then said –

SOLDIER

Certainly. Give me as much gold as my friend here can carry, and I will not demand my right to take your daughter's hand in marriage.

KING

As much as your friend can carry?

NARRATOR

The King knew how heavy gold was and laughed to himself at the soldier's foolishness.

KING

It is agreed then. You will have as much gold as this one man, standing here next to you, can carry. And then all six of you shall leave my kingdom forever.

SOLDIER

Good. My friends and I shall return in fourteen days to fetch our gold.

SFX: trumpets close

NARRATOR

The six men left. But, the strong man was worried because, though he was strong, he had only two arms with which to carry the gold.

STRONG MAN

Soldier! What is this you have agreed to?

NARRATOR

The soldier smiled at his friend.

SOLDIER

Do not fret, my good man.

NARRATOR

However, the runner was also worried.

RUNNER

Yes, what are we going to do?

SOLDIER

Trust me, my friends. I have a plan.

NARRATOR

The next day the soldier sent word summoning all the tailors in the kingdom to their door.

SOLDIER

Dear tailors, sew us the largest, strongest, most enormous sack you can make.

NARRATOR

The tailors got busy with their work.

SFX: tailors

NARRATOR

Twelve days later they finished the giant sack, and the soldier called the other five men together.

SOLDIER

Now everyone, we are ready to go back to the King and pick up our gold.

SIX MEN

Hoorah for us!

SFX: fade in men tromping

NARRATOR

So the next morning they began their walk back to the castle. The King and the Princess both spied the strong man first through their breakfast window.

KING

Who is that man coming towards us? And what is that huge pile of cloth on his back that looks as big as a house?

PRINCESS

He looks like one of those men we were trying to get rid of, father.

KING

You're right! And there are the other five men following behind him.

NARRATOR

The strong man, who had exceptionally good hearing, said –

STRONG MAN

Yes! It is I! A very strong man who is a friend of the soldier, who is exceptionally brilliant. The very same soldier you treated so unfairly when he returned from service in your war. I have come to carry away all the gold you have now promised him. We'll start with a ton!

KING & PRINCESS

Oh my!

NARRATOR

The King had no choice but to have a ton of gold brought.

SFX: fade in ton of gold

NARRATOR

But the strong man was not satisfied.

STRONG MAN

This barely covers the bottom of my sack. Bring more!

NARRATOR

The King emptied his treasury –

SFX: treasury doors

NARRATOR

– but still the bag wasn't even half full. The King was very unhappy.

KING

Rats! I'll have to collect all the gold in the kingdom for them.

SFX: fade in oxen

NARRATOR

Seven thousand carts of gold were gathered and brought to the six men. The strong man put all the carts and the oxen pulling them, into his bag.

STRONG MAN

Any more gold, your Majesty? My bag still isn't full.

NARRATOR

The King and the Princess were both sobbing.

SFX: sobbing

KING

Just a few dishes and trinkets.

PRINCESS

And our crowns.

STRONG MAN

Put them all into my sack and then we six men will be on our way, even though the bag still isn't full.

NARRATOR

The strong man threw the enormous bag of gold over his shoulders and walked away as though it were light as a feather.

PRINCESS

Father, you must send our fastest regiment to capture those six men and make them give us back all our gold!

KING

Yes, my daughter! I must do this or we shall be the poorest kingdom of all!

NARRATOR

So all the best horsemen were sent –

SFX: fade in horses

NARRATOR

– to hunt down the six men.

SHARPSHOOTER

Look! The King has set his regiment on us!

RUNNER

And they have us surrounded!

STRONG MAN

They say we are their prisoners!

NARRATOR

The soldier disagreed.

SOLDIER

Oh no we're not! That regiment and their steeds will dance in the air! Just you watch.

NARRATOR

The soldier then nodded to their friend, the fourth man who had joined them, and he began to blow his breath out –

SFX: fade in high wind

NARRATOR

– as he did for the windmills. He caused such a wind that the King's regiment was carried away into the sky and scattered all over the mountains.

SFX: fade in commotion

NARRATOR

One by one they came crashing down.

SFX: fade in crashing

NARRATOR

One horseman cried for mercy for his steed. So the six men took pity, and allowed them both to come to a rest more gently upon the ground.

SOLDIER

Go home to your King and tell him to lay off. If he sends any more men, we shall have them all blown into the air just as the others.

NARRATOR

The horseman saluted the six men –

SFX: fade in horse returning

NARRATOR

– and returned to the King, who was now thoroughly miserable.

KING

Rats and then some. They must have magic on their side.

SFX: fade in Grimmly Speaking end theme (make certain the volume is low to start and then increase the volume when narrator is finished)

NARRATOR

And so the six men divided up all the gold and went away to their separate homes at last. And there they each lived, very happily, for the rest of their lives.

©1997-2014 Lishka DeVoss/Kranky Kids®

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