The Tale of Elvira Scum

The Tale of Elvira Scum

 

By Mira Wibel

Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, “Clod Hans”

 

Cast:

 

Narrator (2)

Princess

Master Scribe

Scribe

Scribe’s Apprentice (2)

First Daughter

Second Daughter

Elvira Scum

Billy Goat

 

Narrator:

 

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a princess, who, although she had a vast kingdom, loyal subjects, and servants to fulfull her every desire, was lonely. One day, however, she called the Master Scribe, Scribe, and Scribe’s Apprentice to her, and beckoned them to write a proclamation.

 

Princess:

 

Let it be known throughout the kingdom that whichever of my subjects speaks to me the most wittily, be they merchant or milkmaid, duchess or stable hand, shall become my personal attendant, to entertain my highness. In fact, the chosen one will have the honor to lace my shoes each morning as well. Do you have that?

 

Master Scribe:

 

Word for word, your highness.

 

Scribe:

 

As he said.

 

Scribe’s Apprentice:

 

Indeed!

 

Narrator:

 

(Castle scene freezes, attention is drawn to cottage)

 

The proclamation was announced and many decided to try and win the favorable position. Among the candidates were the two daughters of a poor farmer. Both were so clever, that they could answer more questions than anyone cared to ask them.

 

(Two daughters exit cottage and pose).

 

The eldest knew the dictionary by heart, as well as the last three years of newspapers. The newspapers she could even recite backwards!

 

The second knew all the rules of etiquette, even ones the noblewomen didn’t know, and how to get others to discuss personal matters without them realizing they were giving away their secrets. She could also embroider garters – for she was considered artistic.

 

And so the two clever daughters set out to try and win the task of Princess’ personal attendant. But it wasn’t long before they were stopped by an all too familiar voice.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Oi! I say, where are you off to today?

 

First Daughter:

 

We are going to dazzle the Princess with our wit and charm and become her personal attendant.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Fish Feathers! I think I’ll come along too!

 

(Daughters laugh)

 

Narrator:

 

Now this was the third daughter of the poor farmer, who was known as Elvira Scum. I hadn’t mentioned her before because, as she wasn’t a clever scholar like the other two, no one thought much of her.

 

Second Daughter:

 

You can’t walk that far, so I suppose you had better stay here.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

I’ll take the billy goat. He’s mine, and I can ride him.

 

Narrator:

 

Elvira Scum got her billy goat and rode behind the two sisters, whose silence may have meant they were thinking of witty things to say to the Princess, but made them seem as if they were going to a funeral. Presently, Elvira Scum cried:

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Hallo? Hallo, look at this (Picks up crow and waves it at her sisters).

 

First Daughter:

 

Whatever are you going to do with a dead crow?

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Why, give it to the Princess of course!

 

Second Daughter:

 

How revolting!

 

Narrator:

 

The two sisters hurried to walk ahead of Elvira Scum, not wishing to be seen in her company. Presently, another cry caused them to turn around.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Good gracious me, what treasures there are to be found today! Aren’t I lucky (Holds shoe aloft).

 

First Daughter:

 

I suppose you’ll want to give that to the Princess as well!

 

Elvira Scum:

 

I will put my crow in it, and it will be a perfectly wonderful present.

 

Narrator:

 

The two sisters walked on, determined not to pay any more attention to Elvira Scum, but soon a scream of delight stopped them in their tracks.

 

(Elvira Scum screams in blood-curdling happiness).

 

First Daughter:

 

Whatever is it now?

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Mud! Oh my lucky stars, the fates certainly smile upon me today! Just look at this! (Begins stuffing mud into her pockets).

 

Second Daughter:

 

Mud? What’s so interesting about mud?

 

Elvira Scum:

 

(Stops putting mud into her pockets to shove an oozy handful under Second Daughter’s nose).

It’s the very best kind of mud! Squishy, damp, and oozes through your fingers. Oh how lucky I am!

 

Second Daughter: (to First Daughter)

 

Well, at least competition is narrowed down by one.

(Daughters snicker).

 

(Attention is drawn to castle. Princess sits fanning herself dejectedly, while Scribes do the same nearby).

 

Narrator:

 

When they reached the palace, the Elder Daughter was shown to the Princess first.

 

Scribe’s Apprentice opens door:

 

Welcome to the palace…

 

First Daughter:

 

(curtsies)

 

Whew…it’s very hot in here, Your Highness.

 

(Scribes write)

 

Princess:

 

My father is roasting geese today.

 

First Daughter:

 

Ah.

 

Narrator:

 

The elder daughter tried to think of something uncommonly witty to say, but the heat drove all sparks of inspiration from her brain.

 

Princess:

 

Boring. Next!

 

Narrator:

 

The second daughter was shown in next.

 

Scribe’s Apprentice:

 

Welcome to the palace.

 

Second Daughter:

 

(curtsies elaborately, straight out of an etiquette manual)

 

It is quite warm in here, My Lady.

 

Princess:

 

My father is raosting geese today.

(scribes write down everything said)

 

Second Daughter:

 

Oh.

 

Narrator:

 

The second daughter tried to think of something charming to tell the princess, but like her sister, her brain produced no ideas.

 

Princess:

 

Not amusing in the least. Out!

 

Narrator:

 

Finally, it was Elvira Scum’s turn. Into the throne room she rode on the billy goat.

 

Scribes Apprentice:

 

Welcome to the palace!

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Why thank ye kindly! I’ll say, it’s hot in here!

 

Princess:

 

My father is roasting geese today.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Swell! Maybe he could roast my crow while he’s at it! (holds dead crow under Princess’ nose)

 

All Scribes:

 

A crow!

 

Princess:

 

Gracious! But all our pots and pans are used up – do you have anything to cook it in?

 

Elvira Scum:

 

As a matter of fact, I found an old shoe on the way here. Perhaps we can use that.

 

All Scribes:

 

A shoe!

 

Princess:

 

(claps hands in delight)

 

Wonderful! We’ll need a suave to cook it in though – whatever shall we use?

 

Elvira Scum:

 

(pulls a glob of mud from her pocket)

 

Here’s just the thing! And I have plenty of it.

 

All Scribes:

 

Mud!

 

Princess:

 

How lovely!

 

Elvira Scum:

 

(watches scribes intently)

 

Are they really writing down everything I say?

 

Princess:

 

Indeed.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

What about this?

 

Scribe’s Apprentice:

 

Yes.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

This?

 

Scribe:

 

Yes.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Even this?

 

Master Scribe:

 

What? Speak up!

 

Scribe and Scribe’s Apprentice:

 

Yes!

 

Princess:

 

(Lowers voice)

 

Master Scribe is so pompous, but is nearly deaf. He never copies anything down right. He often bores me.

 

Elvira Scum:

 

Then he should be the first to get a taste of this! (Flings mud right into the Master Scribe’s face.)

 

(Princess, Elvira Scum, and Scribe’s Apprentice laugh hysterically).

 

Master Scribe:

 

What was that for?

 

Scribe:

 

The nerve!

 

Princess:

 

Dismiss the other applicants; Elvira Scum shall be my personal attendant!

 

Narrator:

 

And so, Elvira Scum began a happy life as a Princess’ attendant, and rose quite high in ranks of nobility. She was given a proposal of marriage from the King of Andorra, but she turned him down, being quite content to say witty things and lace the Princess’s shoes each morning. And Elvira Scum lived happily ever after.

 

(narrator begins to walk off stage)

 

Oh, one more thing – I read this in the newspaper, written by the Master Scribe – and we all know not everything he writes can be trusted. He’s nearly deaf, you know.

 

The End

 

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