A MAGICAL PLACE (FOC)
DEMON KING enters left.
DEMON KING:† Humans, I welcome you, let me introduce myself
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I am the Demon King, Iím somewhat bad for your health
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Wicked, evil as can be, and children, I hate yer
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I donít choose to, I canít really help it, it just happens to be my nature
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Your greed, your discontent, is what I thrive on best
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† It does not matter how much you have, youíll never have true happiness.
FAIRY JOY enters right.
FAIRY JOY:† I beg to differ, Demon King, there is in every girl and boy
†††††††††††††††††††††††† The potential to be content and happy say I the Fairy Joy
†††††††††††††††††††††††† Your blackened heart cannot see this, you just follow your evil trend
†††††††††††††††††††††††† For you have never felt love or joy and youíve never had a friend.
DEMON KING:† Foolish fairy, canít you see, no matter how good their intent
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† All humans are consumed by greed and wallow in discontent.
FAIRY JOY:† You are wrong and I am right of that there is no danger
DEMON KING:† Then may I suggest, Fairy Joy, we have a little wager?
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††Choose a mortal, anyone, perhaps of meagre means
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† And see if theyíll be contented after suffering all my schemes.
FAIRY JOY:† Very well, Demon King, if on this path you are set
†††††††††††††††††††††††† I will choose a champion who will meet the challenge and win your little bet
†††††††††††††††††††††††† I know just the person who will be perfect to make you look a moose
†††††††††††††††††††††††† Poor of pocket yet rich of heart, her name is Mother Goose.
FAIRY JOY exits right, DEMON KING exits left.
Curtain up on village square, there are market stalls about but with meagre fare available.† VILLAGERS move about stage, all are poorly dressed.
SONG 1 Lively chorus number performed by VILLAGERS.
Song finishes, MAYOR MONEYBAGS enters left.
MAYOR:† Whatís all this noise?
VILLAGER 1:† We were just singing a song, Mayor Moneybags.
MAYOR:† Singing, eh?† Tell me, do you all like singing?
VILLAGERS:† Oh yes, we love it.
MAYOR:† You all enjoy raising your voices to a merry tune?
VILLAGERS:† Oh yes.
MAYOR:† All of you?
VILLAGERS:† Oh yes, all of us.
MAYOR:† Good.† Then Iím sure youíll all be delighted to hear that Iíve just introduced a tax on singing.
VILLAGER 1:† A tax on singing?!
VILLAGER 2:† Thatís appalling!
VILLAGER 1:† I donít think we should pay it.
General chorus of agreement from VILLAGERS.
MAYOR:† It might interest you to learn that Iím thinking of introducing a tax on arguing as well.
VILLAGER 1:† Then again a singing tax seems quite reasonable.
VILLAGER 2:† Any old riff raff may start doing it otherwise.
MAYOR MONEYBAGS laughs and produces a bag, he moves around VILLAGERS who begin putting money in it.
MAYOR:† Excellent.† Feel free to sing as much as you like from now on.† Now, have any of you seen that old hag Mother Goose?
VILLAGER 1:† Mother Goose isnít an old hag, sheís lovely.
MAYOR:† I didnít ask for her personality profile I asked if you had seen her.
VILLAGER 1:† Not today, no.
MAYOR:† Well when you do see her, tell her she owes me rent.† And if I donít get it this time then she and her layabout son will be out on the street.
MAYOR MONEYBAGS exits left laughing.
VILLAGER 2:† What a horrible thing for him to say about, Mother Goose.
VILLAGER 3:† Yes, she may be poor but sheís the nicest person in the village.
VILLAGER 1 looks right.
VILLAGER 1:† Speaking of Mother Goose, here she comes now.
MOTHER GOOSE enters right carrying a basket.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Good morning, everybody.
VILLAGERS:† Good morning, Mother Goose.
VILLAGER 1:† Mother Goose, youíd better watch out.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Why?
VILLAGER 2:† Mayor Moneybags is after you.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Ooh, has he finally succumbed to my womanly wiles?
VILLAGER 3:† No, heís just after the rent as usual.
MOTHER GOOSE:† That man has got a one tracked mind.† All heís interested in is money, money, money.† Ooh, cue for a song I think.
VILLAGER 1:† No, donít do that!
MOTHER GOOSE:† And why not?† I have a beautiful voice.
VILLAGER 1:† Mayor Moneybags has put a tax on singing.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Heís done what?!† Why, that no good, tight-fisted, old meany.† If he were here right now, Iíd bash his...his...(notices AUDIENCE) children!††
MOTHER GOOSE:† No, children, the place is full of them.
VILLAGERS:† (relieved)† Oh.
MOTHER GOOSE:† (to audience)† Well hello, allow me to introduce myself.† My nameís Mother Goose, poorest woman in the land.† Oh, Iím so poor.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Iím a lot poorer that that, children.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Thatís better.† I wasnít always this poor you understand, when my husband was alive I was even poorer still.† He was very dear to me, in a monetary sense of course.† He was the single most, lazy man on the planet, he was so lazy that if the TV remote control was out reach he had another remote to operate the other one.† Even when he was dreaming he dreamt he was asleep in bed.† It was six weeks before Iíd even noticed he had died.† I suppose I should have noticed earlier, he was getting a bit smelly, he lost quite a bit of weight though.† But thatís all water under the bridge that I chucked him off as I couldnít afford the funeral expenses.† Iím better off without him and so is my son Jack.† Heís everything his father wasnít, heís handsome, brave, hard-working, likes to wear tights and talk about hair, heís everything a mother could possibly want in a...daughter, but he makes a lovely son too.† He should be here in a minute but in the meantime I think we should have some fun.† Every time I come on Iíll shout out ďgood-day, everybodyĒ and I want you to all shout back ďgood-day, gorgeousĒ as loud as you can.† Will you do that?
MOTHER GOOSE:† Wonderful.† Letís have a practice.† (MOTHER GOOSE exits right then comes back on again)† Good-day everybody.
AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:† Good-day gorgeous.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Well that wasnít very convincing.† Letís give it another go.† (MOTHER GOOSE exits right then come back on again)† Good-day, everybody.
AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:† Good-day, gorgeous.
MOTHER GOOSE:† Thatís still not very good.† I know Iím no (popular female celebrity) but I do have something that she hasnít.† Would you like me to show it to you?† (possible reaction)† I bet you do really.† (reaches into basket and pulls out bag of sweets)† Itís sweeties, and you all get some if you shout out really loud.† (MOTHER GOOSE exits right and then come back on again)† Good-day, everybody.
AUDIENCE+VILLAGERS:† Good-day, gorgeous.
MOTHER GOOSE:† That was much better.† Now, who wants sweeties?† (MOTHER GOOSE distributes sweets† to children as VILLAGERS exit)† Do you know Iím in such a generous mood I think Iíll sing a little song regardless of the mayorís silly singing tax.
SONG 2 Short lively number performed by MOTHER GOOSE.