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Tulip Trouble
by darlene hight
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Category: Slice of Life Illustration
Approx. 5mins.

Synopsis: Greed, covetousness and desire for worldly wealth seem to be in the fiber of mankind. Not long after a child’s first words are uttered are they followed by the word “Mine!” This sketch takes a look at that all too common dilemma which has been the root of trouble throughout history.

Cast: one male – Grandpa, one boy – Grady, one girl – Lauren

Props: A beach chair, a book, sand buckets and sea shells. Costuming can be shorts or swim wear depending on the climate of the individual church.

Setting: General Stage

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:9

[Grandpa sitting in beach chair reading a book. Children looking for sea shells.]

Lauren: Grandpa, look at this shell. It’s the prettiest one!

Grady: I can hear the ocean in mine!

Lauren: Yeah, but I found the starfish!

Grady: Look at this one. It’s gigantic!

Lauren: Hmmph…you didn’t find a shiny black one like this one.

[Both of them spot a shell at the same moment and reach for it.]

Grady: I found it first!

Lauren: No you didn’t! I had my hand on it first! [She grabs for it]

Grady: Stop! You’re going to break it! It’s mine!

Lauren: Grandpa! I had the shell first and Grady won’t give it to me!

Grandpa: Be careful now. This is how all the tulip trouble started in Holland.

Lauren: What kind of trouble?

Grady: Tulips? What does tulips have to do with anything? Lauren’s trying to take my shell and I saw it first!

Lauren: It’s not your shell! I saw it first.

Grandpa: Your shell? I thought shells on the beach belong to everyone.
[Both look at each other as if they don’t know how to respond. Lauren sticks out her tongue at Grady and then sweetly asks…]

Lauren: Grandpa, what is tulip trouble? [Grady rolls his eyes]

Grandpa: Well now, that’s an interesting story and it’s a true story. You see it all started way back in the country of Turkey with one King, who took a fancy to tulips. He saw these flowers growing in Asia and when he returned home he wrote in his journal about his fondness for the flowers.

Grady: I thought that tulips grew everywhere.

Grandpa: That’s right they do grow everywhere, now, but at that time they only grew in Asia. So when the people discovered that the King liked tulips, it wasn’t long before the king began receiving tulip bulbs as gifts. They were considered a very precious flower and could only be found in the King’s garden or in some of the wealthy aristocratic gardens. Common people couldn’t afford tulips.

Lauren: I still don’t see what a bunch of stupid tulips have to do with my sea shell!

Grandpa: There you go with the “My Sea shell” thing. That is just how all the tulip trouble started. You see some time later a botanist by the name of Carolus Clusius visited Turkey and admired the tulips that grew in the royal gardens. He purchased some bulbs and took them back to Holland. He planted them so that they could be studied and he was very selfish with the tulips. He refused to share them with any of the locals. Finally, one day somebody broke into his garden and stole some of the tulip bulbs.

That is when Holland went tulip crazy! Before you knew it, people began buying and selling tulip bulbs for outrageous prices. Then it got even worse. They began selling promissory notes for certain breeds of tulip bulbs. These promissory notes were sold many times with each seller increasing the price. The unlucky fellow was the one who ended up with the tulip bulb. It got so bad that the Dutch government had to step in and put a stop to it.

They called it the Dutch wind trade because what people were selling was nothing more than wind. Solomon called this kind of striving for things ‘chasing the wind’. He warned against it in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Grady: Chasing the wind? That sounds like fun! Come on Lauren let’s chase the wind. [He begins running around in circles and reaching out for nothing until all of them are laughing at his antics and he finally falls on the ground]

Grandpa: I have a suggestion for you two. How about if you put all of the Sea shells that you find together and then you both can enjoy all of them?

Grady: That’s a great idea! Then when we get home, we could make a Sea shell museum and sell tickets!

Lauren: Yeah, just think about all of the money that we’ll make! That’s a really good idea Grandpa!

[Grandpa shakes his head]

Grandpa: I guess that there truly isn’t anything new under the sun.

[Lights out]

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Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Rossano 12 Oct 2005
I loved the twist. Sou did a wonderful job of portraying the children and the Grandfather. Great job!
Pat Guy  12 Oct 2005
Yes Darlene - I was wondering if you submitted this week! This is absolutely delightful to read! Kept my attention from beginning to end. I guess some of will have a chance this week now! ;)
Deborah Porter  11 Oct 2005
Darlene, this is very good. What a pity you didn't quite make it in time for the Challenge. This certainly was out of the box - who would think "greed" and "flowers" would go hand in hand? I definitely learnt something today. Love, Deb
Amy Michelle Wiley  11 Oct 2005
That was great, Darlene! Seashells and tulips--haha!


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