The Fourth Wish
(also written as a theater play)
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful peasant's daughter named Henrietta. Even though Henrietta's family was extremely poor, Henrietta was a very spoiled girl. By the time she was sixteen, Henrietta never knew what it was to work in the fields beside her siblings. Nor did she know how to clean a home or prepare a meal. Henrietta was too proud and too vain to learn to do these things. Her parents, knowing that they should have taught their youngest daughter better, knew it was too late to get her to change her ways, so they did everything for her. Henrietta was very spoiled and selfish indeed.
One day, a fairy godmother found Henrietta beneath a tree.
"Why do you cry, dear child?" asked the fairy godmother.
"Oh, fairy godmother, I am wretched. I wish to live in the castle, but it is forbidden for a peasant's daughter to marry the king." Henrietta cried.
"Do not despair, child. I can help you."
"Oh, that would be wonderful!" exclaimed Henrietta.
"I will ask my fairy friends to visit and grant you four wishes."
"Oh godmother, only four wishes? How can I look like a queen with only four wishes?" Henrietta slumped back onto the ground in a pout.
"Dear child, four wishes are plenty, but you are very spoiled indeed, so I will take away one wish. Only by making three correct wishes shall you earn the fourth. Furthermore, you may not wish yourself queen, you must be chosen by the King."
With that, the fairy godmother was gone. Henrietta called out for her return, but to no avail. The rest of the day, Henrietta anxiously awaited the arrival of the other fairies. At bedtime, they still had not arrived. Henrietta retired to bed with hopes of seeing them on the morrow. During the night, the more Henrietta thought about the wishes, the more she thought she was being tricked. She was intent on beating the fairy godmother. So, she devised a series of wishes to gain her access to the castle that would surely get her chosen by the king for his bride.
In the middle of the night, a faint voice awoke Henrietta from a wonderful dream filled with riches. She got up from bed and looked out her window. Beneath the sill, lay a small box. She excitedly pulled away the
glittering ribbon. Inside, she discovered four tiny fairies nestled asleep in gold satin.
She picked one up, shook it awake, and said aloud her first wish, "I wish my dreadful family would disappear." Henrietta was sure the King would have pity on an orphaned child.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," said the fairy before granting Henrietta's wish.
Henrietta searched her home. She was delighted to find it empty. She returned to the box and awoke the second fairy in the same fashion as the first.
"I wish I never had to ask for another morsel of food."
"As you sow, so shall you reap," replied the fairy.
Henrietta wasn't certain how to test this wish without asking, so she simply thought about it. Miraculously, a small tray of sweets appeared on her nightstand.
Henrietta was delighted. Now, even if she were played a fool, she would be rid of her loathsome family and not have to worry about going hungry. She shook the third fairy awake and demanded her wish, "I wish I had all the riches of the kingdom."
"What goes around, comes around," said the fairy.
Suddenly, Henrietta's room was filled with lavish silks, baubles and golden trinkets. Henrietta danced amongst the jewels.
"I have all the riches of the kingdom. The king shall never decline my hand in marriage now!"
Henrietta tired of dancing and fell to her bed exhausted. Then she remembered she had one final wish! She ran to the window and grabbed the last fairy.
"I wish to live happily with the king for as long as I shall live," Henrietta exclaimed. She was quite certain she had done well with her wishes and this one was sure to be granted.
"Of all the strategies, to know when to quit is the best," replied the fairy.
With that, everything in Henrietta's room disappeared and she found herself wallowing in a pig's pen. She stood and ran to the gate. When she reached the gate, she found she no longer had hands, but hooves! She snorted and looked around for something to view her once lovely face in. She
found a puddle and when she glanced down she was shocked to see she had turned into a pig!
She squealed, "Oh, fairy godmother, why have you forsaken me?"
In a beam of sunlight, the fairy godmother appeared.
"Dear child, if you recall, I forewarned, you must ask your wishes correctly to have earned the fourth. But, being generous, I still have answered all your wishes."
Henrietta cried, "This, this is not my wish! I did not wish to be a sow living in mud!"
"My child, you wished to be rid of your family. Look about you, are they not gone from you?"
The fairy godmother stopped Henrietta and continued,
"You wished to never ask for another morsel of food.
These pigs are well fed. You will not go hungry here."
"What about my riches? This," Henrietta stomped the mud, "This is not ladled with riches!"
"What better riches than that which grows the soil, my child. Your waste will provide nutrients for all the kingdom's food."
"But, I wished to live with the king! What of that?"
"Look about you. You are in the king's pig pen. You live among the finest in the kingdom. You shall live without want until it is time for you to be a part of a grand feast."
With those final words, the fairy godmother faded into the morning mist, leaving Henrietta to cry for her lost life among the peasants.
The Eagle that was Afraid to Fly
Bernie the eagle was afraid to fly.
He would look down below and just cry.
He could see the rabbits playing with their peers
He could hear the squirrels' gleeful cheers.
The other animals would call to him, "Come play!"
And he would say, "Yes, today is the day."
He would flap his wings and prepare to jump,
But then would fall back into his nest in a lump.
His mother asked, "What do you fear?"
"You can fly high like me my dear!"
He would look at her with a look that was quite older,
Then shake his head and shrug his shoulders.
He did not know what kept him in his nest.
"Maybe," he thought, "this place is best."
Then night would come and the stars would light the sky,
And Bernie the eagle would be so sad and cry.
One night, the moon shone very bright.
Bernie looked up and listened with all his might.
Was that a voice he had just heard?
Or was it just the teasing of another bird?
He listened again trying to hear.
Was the voice telling him he had nothing to fear?
Yes, he heard it right.
That voice was telling him to take flight.
He looked around and around,
But the owner of the voice was no where to be found.
He listened again and the voice said, "You can fly!"
"Spread your wings into the night sky!"
He knew that voice, and it was not a seagull,
He knew the voice as Bernie the eagle.
He was telling himself he could fly,
He was telling himself to go into the sky!
He took a deep breath and opened his wings,
He took a step back and did all the right things.
He took a step, and it felt so right,
He jumped from the nest into the night.
Before he knew it, the sky had taken hold,
He was flying, brave and bold!
He could fly and he could soar,
His fear had faded 'til there was no more!
He flew to the moon and to the stars,
He soared up and down and went real far.
At last he returned to his nest
He was tired and needed to rest.
All night long the other animals could hear him sing:
"I am Bernie the eagle--I am not afraid of anything!"
A Horse’s Tale
Midnight the colt knew he was loved the day he came into this world.
Like the way he just knew that he was a boy and not a girl.
His mom showered him with kisses and licked him clean.
She bathed him and kissed him until his coat gleamed.
She watched as he took his first steps and tried to run,
He ran to her and thought his life would be filled with fun.
But, his mom couldn’t take care if him, the way a mom should,
She forgot to feed and bathe him, and he didn’t feel good.
He still loved his mom, but knew something was wrong,
He didn’t want to live this way his whole life long.
He tried to help, and he tried his best,
But he was too little, and needed to rest.
His mom cared, this he knew
But she wouldn’t take care of him – it was something she just couldn’t do.
A social worker visited him one day,
She told him of another family that wanted him to stay.
His mom cried and was sad to see him go
But she knew in her heart that he needed help to grow.
Midnight left his birth-mom that day,
He said good-bye and was on his way.
His social worker took him to an adoptive home --
One with plenty of food and a pasture to roam.
He still loved his birth-mom, but found he liked his new family too,
Maybe, he thought, he could have room in his heart for two.
He worked really hard and studied and played,
He wanted his new family to be proud of him someday.
He thought of his birth-mom often and he cried sometimes,
But he knew she wanted the best for him, and for him to have a good life.
He grew to love his adoptive family and they filled his heart with love,
He knew his birth-mom would want him to be happy, and so, he was.
Marcus the Monkey
Marcus the monkey is having a birthday this year.
His mom and dad bought presents he hears.
His parents say he is turning four,
Now, he wonders what’s in store.
He thinks to himself: just one little peek.
But, he searches and hunts and looks for a week.
He says; I’ll be quiet as a mouse and they’ll never know.
He even asks the sitter while mom and dad are at the show.
But, no presents can be found in any room of the house.
And, Marcus the monkey is no longer quiet as a mouse.
He cries and complains and says “What about me?”
“Where’s all the good stuff like when I turned three?”
His mom says, be patient dear, you’ll just have to wait.
And, Marcus watches every day, he thinks maybe they’re late.
His dad says don’t worry, it’ll be the best yet.
Marcus is too little to tell time, but knows how to fret.
He cries and he whines and he doesn’t give in.
But, no one knows about presents not even Aunt Gin.
He looks in closets and cupboards and under the beds,
He asks grandma and grandpa and even Uncle Fred.
Then, the day finally comes and Marcus awakes with a smile.
Mom and dad have the presents, they did the whole while.
Marcus runs through the rooms singing “I’m four today!”
Then, he opens each gift and takes time out to play.
Friends come over and more gifts come too,
Marcus thinks this is better than when I turned two.
A huge cake is brought out and the singing begins
There’s more love, hugs and gifts – everyone wins.
The day is finally done and Marcus is nestled in bed.
Then a wonderful thought enters his head.
He’s snuggled and loved and happy to be alive,
“I can hardly wait”, he whispers, “until I turn five!”
Her breath came in short bursts and seared her lungs. A sharp pain stabbed at her side and still she ran as fast as she could. Her legs burned and her arms were tired, and she thought maybe she would collapse before getting away. It was so big and hairy! How could a tiny thing like that possibly have so many eyes?! She pictured those eyes staring at her from every direction as she had sat peacefully on her tuffet. How she hated to be snuck up on! She knew as soon as it had spun down on its silky thread that she needed to get out of there - and fast! She didn’t think she could ever get far enough away!
She ran past old father Murphy’s place and past his knee high by the fourth of July corn field. Sweat poured down her face and into her eyes, but she didn’t stop to wipe her face, she just ran. She ran past her friend Camille’s house and thought of stopping, but it would do no good, Camille was in school – where little Miss was supposed to be. Oh, if only she hadn’t skipped out today, but the thought of fresh curds had been far too tempting.
She ran until her legs collapsed beneath her and then she crumpled up on the dirt road and waited to catch her breath. She looked behind her to see if by some fluke it had managed to follow her. She could see nothing except her own mind’s image of that spider that sat down beside her. Oh, how she hated them!
After a few minutes, her lungs took in full breaths of air. The pain in her side subsided and she was able to stand upright. She stood and began walking along the dirt road, kicking at stones with her now scuffed patent leather shoes. She fussed with her hair, pulling it back and smoothing it until she thought it would look presentable.
She headed toward town, toward school, where she had already missed her first three classes. She thought that maybe, just maybe, she could sneak into school during recess and maybe she could think of a good lie on the way there. There was just no way she was going to tell every one that she saw a big spider, it had sat down beside her, and she had been frightened away!
Prancing Penny was a wonderful horse.
She got her name from prancing of course.
She loved to prance.
She loved to dance.
She loved to sing.
She loved to do just about anything.
Prancing Penny would prance all day long,
She would dance and laugh and sing this song:
“I’m Prancing Penny, that’s my name,
I’m Prancing Penny one in the same.
I’ll dance all day and sing all night,
I’m Prancing Penny, and my feet are light.”
One day, Prancing Penny didn’t come out to play.
Inside the barn is where she decided to stay.
“My foot is hurting,” she cried and cried.
Her owner called the ferrier who came and sighed
“You have a tack in your foot my dear,
I’ll fix you good as new, you’ve nothing to fear.”
With that, he mended Penny’s foot quite quick
She was so thankful she gave him a lick.
She tested her new shoe with a tip and a tap.
Then she ran out of the barn in ten seconds flat.
She ran and she danced and she pranced around
She whinnied and bucked and pawed at the ground.
“My foot feels better,” she said with delight.
And, she pranced and she danced well into the night.
When she got tired, she went home to her stall.
She said her goodnights to everyone big and small
In the morning she woke and started prancing anew.
Everyone near, far and wide,
Could hear Penny singing in stride:
“I’m Prancing Penny, that’s my name,
I’m Prancing Penny, one in the same.
I’ll dance all day and sing all night
I’m Prancing Penny and my feet are light.”