Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Anita's secret or Christmas in the Steerage (5)

Part 1     -     Part 2    -     Part 3     -     Part 4     -     Part 5


(All are sound asleep. Stage is dark.)

Klinker (talking in his sleep). Noddin', nid, nid noddin'.

Schwillie (talking in his sleep). Dropping off to sleep, ain't we, Klinker?

(Soft, mysterious music. Anita dances in from R. She dances around the stage, keeping time to the music and bending over the little sleepers.)

Anita. Asleep! Every last one of them is verra sound asleep. Meeny and Biddy Mary, and Sergius and Tomasso and the leetla Dutch twins and all! (Goes to curtain at rear.) Jack Frost! Jolly Jack Frost! Come-a quick, come-a quick! They're all asleep.

Jack Frost (sticks his head out of the curtains). Hello, what is it?

Anita. It is Anita. The leetla children are all here and sound asleep.

Jack Frost (coming down to her). And so was I. They sang a song about noddin', nid, nid noddin', and I just went to sleep myself. I dreamed I was hunting a polar bear way up by the North Pole. (Yawns.) I'm still awfully sleepy.

Anita. I didn't know that you ever went to sleep.

Jack Frost. You bet I do. That's the one thing I've got against my daddy's Christmas trip every year. It wakes us all up right in the middle of the night.

Anita. The middle of the night? What do you mean?

Jack Frost. Middle of the north pole night. If it wasn't for Christmas we could go to bed about half past October and sleep until a quarter of May, but ma thinks we ought to help pa and then wait up until he comes home. My, I'm sleepy! Aren't you?

Anita. Oh, no, no! I'm verra too much excited to sleep. It's all about my secret. Are you really sure he is coming?

Jack Frost. Of course he is, and it's almost time he was here now. It's nearly Christmas Day. Look way up there in the sky. You don't see anything that looks like an air ship, do you?

Anita (looking up and off at R.). No, I cannot see a single thing.

Jack Frost (sees table at rear). Oh, look here! The children have lighted a candle for him. That's just fine. It always pleases him. And see; here's a picture and a wreath of holly and the star of Bethlehem. And stockings and shoes all in a row.

Anita (looking up and off R.). I can't see a thing.

Jack Frost. Here's a telescope. Look through that. (Takes home-made telescope from his barrel.) Now do you see anything?

Anita. Oh, no; now I cannot even see the stars or the moon.

Jack Frost. Of course you can't. You are looking through the wrong end. Turn it around.

Anita (looks up and off R. through telescope). Oh, now I can see the stars. And, oh, look! I see a leetla, teeny-weeny thing way, way off—far up in the sky. Look, Jack Frost, is that the air ship?

(Fast music, played softly.)

Jack Frost (looks through the telescope). Yes, I believe it is.

Anita (dances wildly about the stage). Oh, he's coming, he's coming. I'm going to get to see Santa Claus! Is it not wonderful? I'm going to see him. Let me look. (Takes telescope.) Oh, it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger!

(Sleigh bells heard outside at R., far away in the distance.)

Jack Frost (capering around). Hurray! daddy's coming! daddy's coming!

Anita. Now I can hear the bells. Oh, it's coming closer and closer and closer. Look out, it's going to hit the boat! (Small toy air ship flies across the stage at rear, with tiny lights twinkling in it. Stretch a wire across rear of stage and high up, for the toy to run on.)

Jack Frost. He flew right by us.

Anita. Maybe he didn't see the boat. Oh, now he isn't coming at all.

Jack Frost (looking out at L.). Yes, he is. He's landed right over there. Here he comes; here he comes! (Music and bells louder and louder.)

Anita (runs to L.). Here we are, Santa Claus. This is the place. Come in. Merry Christmas, Santa Claus, merry Christmas!

Loud fast music. Enter Santa Claus from L.

Santa Claus. Hello, there—where are you? It's so dark I can't see a single thing.

Jack Frost. Hello, daddy; merry Christmas.

Santa Claus (shaking hands with him). Hello yourself. Merry Christmas to you, too. Are you all ready for me?

Jack Frost. Yes, it's all ready. The magical tree is just waiting for your touch to turn into a real Christmas tree.

Anita. Oh, we're going to have a real Christmas tree.

Santa Claus. Hello, who's this young person?

Jack Frost. This is Anita.

Santa Claus. And why isn't she sound asleep like the rest of the children?

Jack Frost. She's such a good little girl that I told her she could stay up with me and wait until you came.

Santa Claus (laughs). Oh, ho; so you've made a hit with my boy, Jack Frost, have you? Well, if that's the case, I guess you can stay.

Anita. But all of the children would like to see you, Santa Claus. See, they've prepared the candle and the wreath of holly and the star of Bethlehem all for you. There's Sergius and Tomasso and Hulda and Meeny and Hans and Yakob and Neelda and Ah Goo and Sano San and Mieze and the leetla Dutch twins, Klinker and Schwillie Willie Winkum. They've all been awfully good children. And Biddy Mary and Paddy Mike they brought the candle. They're good, too.

Santa Claus. Hurry, Jack, and fill up the shoes and stockings.

Jack Frost (filling them from the sack). Yes, daddy, I'm hurrying.

Santa Claus. It's just two minutes till Christmas morning. I've had a hard night's work and I think I'll just take a little vacation here in the steerage.

Anita. Oh, Santa Claus, may I wake up all the leetla children and let them see you?

Santa Claus. Yes, just as soon as you hear the chimes announcing the birth of Christmas Day.

Anita. And don't you have any other place to go this year?

Santa Claus. I hope not. Here I am in the middle of the ocean and my air ship is just about played out. Jack, dump everything out of the sack and we'll give the little immigrants the jolliest kind of a Christmas. I'm not going to lug all of those toys and candy and things back to the North Pole again.

Jack Frost (empties sack on floor). Here they are, daddy.

Santa Claus. Now, where's the tree?

Jack Frost (goes to rear of the stage and removes the curtains that have been concealing the dazzling Christmas tree.). There she is. Isn't she a beauty?

Anita. Oh, it's the greatest, most grand-a tree in all the world.

(Faint chimes are heard in the distance.)

Jack Frost. There are the chimes. It is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas, daddy; merry Christmas, Anita. Christmas Day is here.

Anita (dancing around). Merry Christmas, Jack Frost! Merry Christmas, Santa Claus! Merry Christmas, everybody! Merry Christmas to all the world. Wake up, Hulda! Wake up! (Shakes her.)

Jack Frost. Wake up, Paddy Mike and Sergius! Wake up! Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus. Wake up, Meeny and Biddy. It's Christmas morning. And you two little shavers, Klinker and Schwillie Willie Winkum, wake up and give Santa Claus a good, old hug!

(The children all awaken. Rub eyes, stretch, etc.)

Hulda. Oh, he's come, he's come, he's come! (Runs and hugs Santa Claus.)

Schwillie. Me, too. (Hugs him.) I said he'd come, didn't I, Klinker?

(Lights all on full.)

Klinker (hugging Santa Claus). Sure you did. And me, too, didn't I, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

Meeny. Oh, see the tree! The beautiful, beautiful Christmas tree.

Tomasso. And my leetla shoes are full of candy and toys.

Paddy Mike. Now, let's be all after giving three cheers for old Santa Claus. (The cheers are given.)

Anita (bringing Jack Frost forward). And this is the leetla Jolly Jack Frost.

Paddy Mike. Then three cheers for the leetla Jolly Jack Frost. (The cheers are given.)

Anita (at C. with Jack Frost). This was my Christmas secret. Santa Claus and the air ship and the Christmas tree and jolly Jack Frost and everything. This was the secret.

Paddy Mike. Now all of yeez give three cheers for Anita's secret. (The cheers are given. Folk dance may be introduced. All sing Christmas carol as the curtain falls.)


Remarks of the production of the play


  1. Awwwwww...
    How sweet...
    Thank you, Han.
    A awfuly good leetla story, Han.

    Mona Lisa


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