Manuscript of book for children

The script is inspired by my last puppet theatre performance which was aimed at children 2-6 years old.

The singing boy

Edison – Ed

The mother – Ma

Mr Bellini – Be

The parrot – Pa

The boat captain – Ca

The home town

(The mother enters singing – holds out her dress and places fruit on it.)

Ma: (singing) Come n’ buy, come n’ buy. Come n’ buy, come n’ buy.

(Mr Bellini enters, limping)

Be: Ouch, ouch, ouch! And it’s so hot! (He waves his leather hat against his face.) Hello, hello, my good lady!

Ma: Hello, Mr Bellini.

Be: I have been at the doctor’s about my bad leg. Ouch, ouch ouch! (Sits down). Tell me, how much do your oranges cost today?

Ma: One cruzado a piece.

Be: Oh well, I will not have any anyway – I have an orange tree in my garden – hahahahaha! But tell me, how much are the lemons?

Ma: One cruzado a piece. But I suppose you have a lemon tree in your garden as well?

Be: Quite so! Hahahahaha. But I see you have three good mamaos over there - how much do they cost?

Ma: Ten cruzados.

Be: ………….three of them – that makes it nine cruzados, doesn’t it?

Ma: No, that makes it ten.

Be: Yes, yes, yes – I’ll buy them if you can get someone to carry them home to my place.

Ma: No problem – I can always ask my boy.

Be: Here’s the money – here you go. Goodbye, goodbye, good lady! (Leaves, limping and chuckling.)

Ma: Edison! Come here! Edison! Come here!

Ed: (Enters, singing.) Mum, you wanted me.

Ma: Edison, you are to take three mamaos to Mr Bellini in Paraíba.

Ed: Sorry mum, I can’t.

Ma: Why not?

Ed: My toe is really hurting. Ouch, ouch ouch. (Shows his left foot.)

Ma: (Pauses) Show me again!

Ed: Ouch, ouch ouch. (Shows his right foot.)

Ma: You can jump on one leg! Get something to carry the fruit in.

Ed: (singing) Of course I will – of course I will (exits dancing)

Ma: (Collects together the fruit in a box, except for the three mamaos that she puts aside.) Now I will sell my fruit on another street corner. (Leaves)

Ed: (Enters with a cloth in his hand. Opens it out.) One mamao, two mamaos, three mamaos. (Ties the cloth together and lifts the package onto his back.) Oh, it’s heavy! (Exits, singing.)

The forest

(Edison is surrounded by a dense mass of lianas. Sits down and rests. The parrot comes in, flying.)

Pa: Hello! You there! What’s your name?

Ed: My name is Edison – what’s your name?

Pa: That is none of your business! ...What are you doing here in my jungle?

Ed: I am on my way to Paraíba with three mamaos.

Pa: Ah, mamaos – they taste good. Give me one!

Ed: No, no – I can’t.

Pa: Miser! (Flies away.)

(Night falls in the forest and Edison falls asleep. The parrot sneaks up to the package and greedily eats one of the mamaos. It spits out the seeds over the children in the audience, at the same time as day breaks.)

Pa: You there! Wake up! Get up! (Edison sits up.) How many mamaos did you say that you have?

Ed: Three.

Pa: Count them! Count them!

Ed. One, two.......One, two.......One, two....................Oh, if I could fly!

Pa: Well you can’t. (Flies away.) Ed: Ouch, my toe! Ouch, my toe!...................Well, it’s better to come with two mamaos than with just one, in any event.

The town

(A procession is making its way towards the church in the midst of the traffic. The head of the procession cries out “Obàtálá, Omala.....Obàtálá, Omala”. A lorry comes and drives over the package.)

Ed: Oh no! My mamaos! ..........Ouch, my toe! (Takes up the package.) One mamao made it!............It is better to come with one mamao than to come with none at all (Walks towards the boat.)

Ca: Hello, hello! Is there anyone taking the boat to Paraíba?

Ed: When is the boat leaving for Paraíba?

Ca: When I sound the horn.

Ed: When will you be sounding the horn?

Ca: Five minutes before the boat leaves. Jump onboard, boy!


Be: (appears, limping) Ouch, ouch, ouch – and it’s so hot! (Sits, and pulls his leather hat over his face.)

(The boat is moored.) Ca: Well, well, well! We have arrived in Paraíba. You will have to pay for your ticket now.

Ed: But ........I don’t have any money.

Ca: What! Do you think it’s free to ride on a boat?............What do you have in the cloth?

Ed: A mamao.

Ca: Let me take a look at it..............Yes, yes, that looks good – that will do fine as a ticket. You can keep the cloth. (Leaves).

Ed: Ouch, ouch, my toe......................In any event, it is better to come with nothing than to not come at all............ (Winds the cloth around his foot and lowers his feet into the water.) Ah, that feels refreshing – that helps. (The fish comes to the surface – “Blup, blup.......Blup, blup”. The fish sniffs at Edison’s bare foot – not interested. The fish catches sight of the cloth..........and bites on to it! After a hard struggle, Edison gets the fish onto the jetty.)

Ed: What a whopper! What a whopper! (Takes the fish and runs over to Mr Bellini.) Look, Mr Bellini! Look!

Be: (With his hat over his face.) Have you come now with my mamaos?

Ed: Well........I lost one mamao in the forest.......

Be: Okay, well, it’s better to come with two mamaos than to only come with one.

Ed: Exactly! Exactly! Just as I thought! ............But then I lost one in the town as well.

Be: Hmmmmm. Well, then you can give me the remaining one.

Ed. I paid the boat ticket with that one.

Be: I beg your pardon! (Turns up his leather hat)

Ed: But look, Mr Bellini – here you are! Here you are! (Holds out the fish.)

Be: (Long pause) What a whopper! What a whopper! This is even better than three mamaos, I can tell you! Go in to my wife with the fish and you will get a glass of squash and some money. (Pulls his hat over his face.) How hot it is!

Ed: (Coming out of the house.) Mr Bellini – thank you for the squash and the money!

Be: You are welcome, Edison. And be careful with your bad toe. I have a bad leg myself, so I know juuust how it is.

Ed: (Does a somersault.) It has stopped hurting now! Goodbye, Mr Bellini!

The end