Story adapted for puppet stage by Marilyn Kinsella
Puppets: Witch, Elf, Sally Jean
Props: (Place mushrooms around stage)
(outside Witch Gwendolyn's home)
SJ. Oh my! Look at all those beautiful mushrooms! I simply can't resist them. According to my book from the library - "Know Your Mushrooms" - these are perfectly safe. MM, mm good!
WT. (enters) Nibble nibble - sis bam booms!
Who is eating my mush-rooms?
SJ. Oh-oh! Is that a witch I see?
WT. You got that right - Gwendolyn Witch to you. Now, who told you that you could eat my mushrooms? Don't you know that they are rare, magic mushrooms and very, very expensive?
SJ. Gee, I'm sorry. It didn't say anything about that in my mushroom guide book.
WT. Well, “sorry” doesn't pay the piper, Missy. You have to pay! That will be 300 zlomas, thank you very much!
SJ. What! 300 zlomas. That is a bit exorbitant for one mushroom. Besides, I have no money and I can't pay you a single smarthing, much less 300 zlomas!
WT. Good. Then you will have to be my maid. I have a very messy house. Won the “Bad Housekeeping Award” three years running. I hate to cook and clean. And a healthy young person like you will be just what I need to keep my four-story, turn-of-the-century house in apple pie order.
SJ. What! Why that's just not right! I won't be your maid! I refuse to be your maid. So there!
WT. Ha, ha, ha. Too late. You have already eaten one of the magic mushrooms and now you are under my spell. You will have to do everything and anything that I command.
SJ. Like I believe that!
WT. Well, then, Miss Smarty-Ba-Hootie, let's just see you walk away.
SJ. I think I will. (tries to walk, but can't) What's wrong? why can't I move? Oh, no!
WT. Told you so. Magic Mushrooms never fail. Now march on over to that old house at the top of the hill. First I have some grimy floors that need scrubbing, then you can start scraping the bat doodie off the windows, and, after you fix me a five course gourmet meal, you can mend my socks till bedtime.
SJ. Yes, Witch Gwendolyn, Whatever you say. Your wish is my command. (to audience) I don't believe I just said that. Some strange power has come over me.
SCENE 2 (inside house - three months later)
SJ. Please, Ms. Witch Gwendolyn, it's been three months. Surely I've more than paid for that mushroom. Won't you please let me go?
WT. I should say not! I've never had such a clean house and I must say those dinners are delicious.
SJ. But, But... OH (sobbing)
WT. There, there, don't cry! I can't stand all that blubbering. It gives me a headache. There's only one way out and that is if someone offers to take your place. Then I will be required to let you go. But until then you can go out and pick some blackberries for some of your famous blackberry cobbler for supper tonight.
SJ. Yes, Witch Gwendolyn. Anything you say, Witch Gwendolyn (exits)
Scene 3 (out in the woods)
SJ. (Crying loudly)
EF. 'Scuse me! 'scuse me!
SJ. (sniffling) Yes, what do want?
EF. Actually, I wanted directions to the Elf Club. I'm new to this area and I've lost my way. But it seems as if you might need me more than I need you. So, what's your problem?
Sj. Well, it's like this. You see, I ate this magic mushroom. Only I didn't know it was a magic mushroom cause my mushroom guide only said it was edible not enchanted. Anyway, mean ole Witch Gwendolyn caught me and now I have do all of her cooking and cleaning until I can find some one who will actually say that they will do all those chores me.
EF. That's terrible! I've heard rumors about that old witch. And I wouldn't put it past her to do something that tricky. Well, she hasn't met me, Elbert, the trickiest critter this side of the Mississippi.
SJ. You mean…you might be able to help me?
EF. That's exactly what I mean. Now this is what we will do...
(whispers in her ear)
SJ. (giggles and both exit)
Scene 4 (back at the witch's house later that evening)
WT. My, my, my, my, my! I do declare. That is the best blackberry cobbler I have ever eaten.
WT. Sally Jean, someone is at the door? Will you get it?
(no answer) Sally Jean? Oh bother, Who is it?
EF. It's just me Elbert the Elf.
WT. Well, come in. (Elf enters) Now what do you want? "Wheel of Fortune” is on in ten minutes. So make it snappy.
EF. Good evening, madam, I'm working my way through Elf college and I would like to know if you would like to buy some of my mushrooms. They're mighty tasty on your favorite pizza and bat stew.
WT. They do look as good as mine. But, why should I pay you when I have all I want in my own backyard.
EF. True enough. But to thank you for you kind generosity, please taste a free, complimentary mushroom.
WT. You mean it's free?
EF. That's right.
WT. Well then. I never pass up a freebie. (chews - with mouth full) Why these are good. Almost as good as mine, but of course these aren't mine.
EF. Of course! By the way, who was that little girl I saw crying in the woods earlier.
WT. Oh her. That's Sally Jean. She's my cook and chief bottle washer around here.
EF. A cook and maid? How did you ever manage that?
WT. Oh the poor simpleton ate some of my magic mushrooms and now she is paying for it. She is under my spell and must do whatever I say.
WT. Yep - or until someone offers to take her place. And, why would anyone want to do that?
EF. Whoa, wait a minute. I don't quite understand. What exactly would one have to say in order to take her place?
WT. My, you are a dull one. It's simple enough. All that needs to be said is "I offer to take Sally Jean's place - to clean the house, cook the meals and do whatever else needs to be done to keep this house neat and clean.
EF. Ha, ha! You foolish witch! You have just offered yourself to take her place. That was one of your own mushrooms that I tricked you into eating!
WT. What! You tricked me? Why I should turn you into a toad, or a hairy wart or, or... dear me, no time for that. I think I just saw a dust bunny climb under my bed. Now where's my dust mop, my broom, anything. I have this uncontrollable desire to clean, clean, clean! (exits)
EF. Yep, that's me. Trickiest dern elf, you ever done seen! Thanks for coming to our puppet show. Bye.