And So They Did
by V. McQuin

From Newfangled Fairy Tales, Book #1

A shortage of princes isn't enough to stop three resourceful princesses from finding three princes

 
       

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Characters in Order of Appearance
Narrator
King
Servants (who speak in unison)
Midwife
Queen
Princess April
Princess May
Princess June
Tom Thumb
Handsome Man


Narrator: Once upon a time a queen had triplets.

King: Three! Three?

Narrator: the king shouted.

Servants: Three! Three?

Narrator: the servants cried.

Midwife: Three.

Narrator: the midwife said. And so there were.

King: Boys?

Narrator: inquired the king.

Servants: Boys?

Narrator: asked the servants.

Midwife: Girls.

Narrator: said the midwife. And so they were. The queen named them April, May, and June.

Narrator: As the years passed, the three little princesses grew into beautiful young women. One day the king said,

King: It is time for you to think of marrying.

Servants: And wedding gowns, and wedding feasts, and wedding balls.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Not to mention princes.

Narrator: the queen said.

King: Yes, princes.

Narrator: said the king.

King: And there is the problem. You see, there is a slight shortage of princes this year.

Princesses: A shortage of princes?

Narrator: wailed the three princesses.

Servants: How dreadful!

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Most unfortunate.

Narrator: agreed the queen.

King: I'm afraid so.

Narrator: said the king.

King: There were some very fine princes, but it appears they've all been taken. One was swept up by a cleaning girl!

Princesses: A cleaning girl?

Narrator: exclaimed the princesses.

Servants: Impossible!

Narrator: cried the servants.

Queen: Of all the nerve.

Narrator: said the queen.

King: A cleaning girl,

Narrator: said the king,

King: named Cinder-something-or-other. Very nice and a hard worker, too. They said she only had rags to wear. Except for a pair of glass slippers. But she took the prince anyway.

Narrator: The king continued,

King: Another prince found some enchanted castle. Those are rather rare these days, but you do still find one every now and again. Seems everyone had been asleep for years, including the king's daughter, a real beauty. Without even knowing the girl the prince fell in love. Woke her with a kiss.

Princesses: A kiss! A kiss?

Narrator: gasped the three princesses.

Servants: My word!

Narrator: exclaimed the servants.

Queen: Of course.

Narrator: said the queen.

King: You know magic spells.

Narrator: the king said.

King: If you can't think of anything else to break them, a kiss will usually do the trick. Anyway, that prince was married before everyone could finish yawning. Another prince fell helplessly in love with a dead girl.

Narrator: the king went on.

Princesses: With a dead girl?

Narrator: shouted the three princesses.

Servants: How frightful!

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Good heavens!

Narrator: cried the queen.

King: She wasn't really dead.

Narrator: the king said.

King: Another magic spell, you see. Her stepmother was a real witch. She couldn't stand the poor girl and put a curse on her. Everyone thought she was dead. She was so beautiful they kept her in a glass coffin. Good thing, too. The prince wandered by and fell in love. A kiss did the trick again. One more prince taken. Lovely for them, but you see it creates a problem for us.

Princesses: It's a problem, all right.

Narrator: said the princesses.

Servants: And what a problem it is.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Most perplexing.

Narrator: the queen agreed. Princess April stood up.

April: I will go and find a prince myself!

Narrator: she said.

King: Find a prince yourself?

Narrator: cried the king.

Servants: Unheard of!

Narrator: scolded the servants.

Queen: Quite improper.

Narrator: the queen agreed.

April: I'm sure I can!

Narrator: said April.

April: If a cleaning girl can find a prince, how hard can it be?

King: Well…

Narrator: said the king,

King: I've heard a prince or two might be left in the northern countries. You could try there, I suppose.

April: I will leave at once.

Narrator: said April. And so she did.

King: What of you, May?

Narrator: asked the king.

King: Will you seek out your prince, too?

May: I hope you and mother won't mind terribly, but I'd really rather not find a prince at all.

Narrator: Princess May said.

King: Not at all?

Narrator: shouted the king.

Servants: Unthinkable!

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Have you lost your mind?

Narrator: asked the queen.

May: Not at all.

Narrator: said Princess May.

May: I've never much liked being a princess. I'd prefer to be an ordinary sort of person and work in the gardens.

King: Well… I suppose two princesses are enough for any castle.

Narrator: said the king.

Servants: Indeed!

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Of course.

Narrator: said the queen.

May: And there's a nice young man who works in the garden.

Narrator: said Princess May,

May: I believe he would marry me if you said he could.

Narrator: And so they did.

King: Well, then, June, what of you?

Narrator: asked the king.

June: Oh, I think I'll put an ad in the paper.

Narrator: said Princess June.

King, Queen, Servants: An ad! In the paper?

Narrator: cried the king, the queen, and the servants all at once.

June: I'm quite happy being a princess,

Narrator: said Princess June,

June: but I don't want the hassle of searching for a prince. Therefore, I shall put an ad in the Castle Times. The ad will read: "Wanted: A prince to marry. Preferably handsome and rich. Must be wise and kind. Apply in person to Princess June."

King: Well…

Narrator: said the king,

King: it's worth a try.

Servants: Perhaps.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: I'm sure it's not wise.

Narrator: said the queen.

June: Sooner or later, a nice prince will answer my ad.

Narrator: said Princess June.

June: Until then, I'm quite content to wait.

King: Very well,

Narrator: said the king,

King: write your ad.

Narrator: And so she did. It was not long before Princess April returned to the castle with a charming prince.

King: Now, then, April, tell us how you found this fellow.

Narrator: said the king.

April: It wasn't easy, Father.

Narrator: Princess April answered.

April: I traveled north until I reached a castle. A queen and her son lived in it, but they wouldn't even talk about marriage. "Spend the night and we'll talk in the morning," the queen said. The room was nice enough, but oh, the bed! I needed a ladder to climb into it. And was it ever lumpy! I couldn't sleep a bit. I figured that since I was awake, and the prince didn't seem very eager to marry me, I might as well move on. So I did. Of course, it was terribly dark out. I could not see a thing. I ran right into the side of another castle. When I rang the bell, a horrid beast came to the door!

King: A beast! A horrid beast?

Narrator: cried the king.

Servants: Shocking.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Extraordinary.

Narrator: said the queen.

April: It was dreadful.

Narrator: said Princess June.

June: You can be sure I didn't stick around to find a prince there! I ran away as quickly as I could in the dark. Suddenly I splashed right into a smelly pond. A poor frog talked to me. Or at least he tried. He had a raspy voice-hard to understand. I was tired, frightened, and soaked-I didn't have time to listen to a croaky old frog.

King: That may have been a good time to try a kiss.

Narrator: said the king.

Servants: Ah… yes, indeed.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Quite so.

Narrator: said the queen.

April: A kiss! Hmmm…

Narrator: said Princess April,

April: I never thought to kiss a frog!

Queen: Not to worry, my dear. You've a prince now.

Narrator: comforted the queen.

Queen: Do tell us how you got him.

April: Oh yes. In the morning, I wandered farther north. The snow was very deep. I was freezing, not to mention tired and hungry. I had almost decided to go home and let my prince find me. Then I saw him! He was so tall, so handsome, and so marvelous that I almost didn't know he was made of ice!

King: Of ice! He was made of ice?

Narrator: exclaimed the king.

Servants: Remarkable.

Narrator: the servants said.

Queen: Chilling!

Narrator: said the queen.

April: Indeed!

Narrator: agreed Princess April, and her prince nodded and shivered.

April: He was enchanted, of course. By a wicked stepmother. You know how it is.

King: And you thawed him out?

Narrator: asked the king.

April: A kiss did the trick, just as you said.

Narrator: Princess April answered.

April: As soon as he stopped dripping, we hurried here to be married.

Queen: Everything is almost ready for the wedding.

Narrator: the queen said.

Queen: While you were away, we worked day and night to prepare your wedding feast, ball, and gowns.

April: Gowns?

Narrator: asked Princes April.

King: May has arranged to marry a young man who works in the gardens.

Narrator: the king said.

April: In the gardens! May is marrying a gardener?

Narrator: cried Princess April.

Servants: It's true.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: And why not?

Narrator: said the queen.

King: Of course,

Narrator: said the king,

King: he isn't just a gardener. He's a prince as well. Wicked stepfather, curses, and all that. A kiss did the trick once more. We can have a triple wedding as soon as a suitable prince answers June's ad.

April: Ad! June has placed an ad for a prince?

Narrator: Princess April cried.

Servants: Most upsetting.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Quite distressing.

Narrator: agreed the queen.

King: We've already been through this.

Narrator: said the king. Just then, the bell rang. The servants shouted,

Servants: A prince!

King: Lower the drawbridge!

Narrator: the king called.

Narrator: Princess June opened the door. She saw no one. Just as she turned to go back inside, she heard a very small laugh.

June: Hello?

Narrator: the princess said, looking all around her.

Tom Thumb: Ha! Tricked you, didn't I?

Narrator: A very small man popped out of a crack between the paving stones. He was riding a mouse.

June: Oh!

Narrator: cried Princess June, backing away.

Tom Thumb: Tom Thumb at your service.

Narrator: the little man said.

Tom Thumb: I'm here about the ad. May I speak to Princess June, please?

June: Why… I am Princess June, but I'm afraid you are not quite what I was hoping for. You're much too small, and… I… well, I'm afraid of mice. I'm sorry, but you just won't do.

Tom Thumb: Oh well, it was worth a try. I guess I'll be off. Good day!

Narrator: Tom Thumb hopped into his saddle and spurred the mouse away.

King: Well?

Narrator: the king asked when she came inside. Princess June shook her head.

June: It was a very odd little man, only as big as your thumb, His horse was a mouse! I doubt he's really a prince. Oh, there's the bell again. Perhaps this will be my prince.

Narrator: The drawbridge was lowered again. Princess June opened the door-and slammed it shut.

King: Well?

Narrator: said the king.

Servants: So?

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: A kiss wouldn't help?

Narrator: asked the queen.

June: Absolutely not!

Narrator: said June.

June: The ad must have gotten into the Jungle Times by mistake. It was a lion.

King: A lion!

Narrator: shouted the king.

Servants: Beastly!

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: I knew that ad was a mistake.

Narrator: said the queen.

June: Perhaps you're right.

Narrator: said Princess June, peeking out the door.

June: But the lion's gone now. And look, someone else is coming.

King: A man, I hope!

Narrator: said the king.

Servants: A tall and handsome man.

Narrator: said the servants.

Queen: Please!

Narrator: prayed the queen.

Narrator: Princess June opened the door. The man was indeed tall and handsome. But he was not a prince.

Handsome Man: I understand you are looking for a new gardener.

Narrator: he said.

June: Actually,

Narrator: said Princess June,

June: I'm looking for a prince to marry me.

Narrator: The man was not a prince, but he was charming, kind, and wise.

Handsome Man: Well, now, you are a very beautiful princess.

Narrator: he said.

Handsome Man: I would be delighted to marry you. Although I am not a prince now, I would be if I married a princess. Marry me and you shall have your prince.

Narrator: From behind the door, the king, queen, servants, and other princesses said,

King, Queen, Servants, April, May: Take him!

Narrator: And so she did.

Narrator: The next day, the castle was full of flowers and wedding guests. The three princesses were full of happiness; the king and queen were full of pride; the servants were full of relief. It was a marvelous wedding. The three princesses were stunning in their wedding gowns of silk, lace, beads, and jewels. The three princes were dashing in their wedding suits. The feast was delicious. No one went hungry in all the land that day. The dance could not have been better, even though someone dropped a glass slipper. It was a glorious day. As the newlyweds kissed, everyone was certain the three princesses and their princes would live happily ever after. And so they did.

 

© 1997 by V. McQuin. Adapted from the story "And So They Did" in Newfangled Fairy Tales, Book #1, published by Meadowbrook Press. This Classroom Theater version of "And So They Did" is © 2000 by Meadowbrook Press.

Permission is given for individual school classes to perform this play and to make as many copies of the play as are needed for the students' use. All other reproduction and performance is prohibited under penalty of law.