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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: On The Forty-First Day: A Drama In One Act
By Jan Ackerson


As the curtain rises, Noah is walking the decks of the ark. He stops by several animal enclosures and speaks in low tones. When he reaches the porcupines’ pen, he stops, a puzzled look on his face.

NOAH: Shem! Come here, son, I want to show you something.

Shem jogs to his father.

SHEM: What is it, Pop?

NOAH: Take a look at the porcupine. Does it look like he’s missing several quills, there?

SHEM: Gee, Pop, I dunno. Ham’s in charge of the porcupines. Get it? Ham? Pork-upines? (Shem laughs heartily, pleased with his joke.)

NOAH: (sighing) All right, all right. Where’s Ham, then?

SHEM: Last time I saw him, he was on the top deck, getting some air. You know, Pop, now that the rain has stopped…it’s getting pretty ripe in here. You can’t blame him.

NOAH: (another sigh) Run along then, son. Go check on the cats, will you? They’ve been eyeing the mice recently…

Shem exits. Noah climbs a rough wooden ladder to the upper deck, where he finds Ham, sitting with his feet over the edge of the ark. Ham is holding a long stick, and there is a line dangling into the “water.” A bandage is wrapped around his hand.

NOAH: What are you doing up here, Hammie?

HAM: You’re gonna love this, Pop! I—I don’t want to complain or anything, but I was getting kinda tired of those barley cakes Mom brought. ‘What’s for breakfast?’ ‘Barley cakes.’ ‘What’s for lunch?’ ‘Barley cakes…’

NOAH: I get it, boy. Don’t tell your mother, but I’m tired of them, too. (They sit in pensive silence for a beat.) So what’s this, then?

HAM: Well, I’m trying to catch a fish. (with mounting enthusiasm) I’ve got this stick, see, and I tied this line to it…

NOAH: (very interested) Where’d you get the line?

HAM: Yeah, about that. (sheepishly) You might want to stay away from the back end of the female horse for a while. Her tail might be a little bit sore. Anyway—I figured if I dangled this in the water, and a fish saw it, the fish might bite it, and I could pull him up! But—

NOAH: But what?

HAM: I needed something to hook the fish. So…(he holds up his bandaged hand) I visited the porcupines. I’m pretty sure quills grow back, Pop.

NOAH: Hammie, I’m amazed. What do you call this—this thing you’re doing?

HAM: I’ve been thinking about that. How ‘bout—fishing?

NOAH: No, no, that’s not right. When I used to go hunting for deer, before the rain, I didn’t call it ‘deering.’ I didn’t call hunting for boar ‘boaring.’

HAM: Well, it was pretty boring.

The two laugh at the pun. There are several seconds of silence, as they continue to gaze toward the water. Suddenly, something occurs to Noah.

NOAH: How can you be sure the fish will grab that hook?

HAM: Bait, Pop!

NOAH: Not one of your mother’s barley cakes…

HAM: Nah—fish don’t like those, either. I used a worm.

NOAH: What? We’ve only got two!

HAM: Chill, Pop. We HAD two worms, forty days ago. There’s a zillion of them now.

NOAH: Oh. Right.

Another minute of silence, then there is a flurry of activity, as Ham struggles with the line. Eventually, he hauls up a fish, which flops on the deck at their feet.

NOAH: So--how’re we going to eat this thing?

HAM: Grilled? With some butter and onion?

NOAH: Son, I am NOT going to light a fire on this ark. (They look at the fish again. It is draped in seaweed) I wonder…do you suppose your mother could cut it up real small, and wrap it in some of that seaweed?

HAM: Raw fish? Gross, Pop.

NOAH: Well, let me know if you have a better idea, Mr. Fishing-With-Porcupine-Quills. Where’s Japheth?

HAM: It’s his turn for tiger litter detail.

NOAH: I’m going to go get him. I want you boys to do some more fishing. This just might catch on.

HAM: (looking at the fish again) It’s kinda pretty, isn’t it? Look at those colors, all in a row. We should call it a…I dunno. I’ve never seen anything with colors all lined up like that.

NOAH: (eyes toward the sky) It IS pretty. Maybe the Lord God will show us what we should call it. It worked for Adam. Some kind of trout, maybe…

He exits, as Ham casts another line into the water.

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This article has been read 1900 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ross02/08/07
This is so cute! I love it! Such a unique take on the topic, too. Excellent! :)
Helen Paynter02/08/07
Well, I loved it. And I read it out loud to the family and they all loved it. (Susanna even broke off from reading LOTR to listen!!)Very good, very funny
TJ Nickel02/08/07
Great story, humor, and approach for the topic. I enjoyed it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/08/07
I believe this is my favorite this week--a really delightful story!
Jen Davis02/08/07
Super cute! You had me giggling at “Gee, Pop, I dunno. Ham’s in charge of the porcupines…” I could hear his voice so clearly. This was such a fun read--I loved the creativity at work here. Oh, if only I had such an imagination. Great job!
Leigh MacKelvey02/08/07
Cleverly written! I even enjoyed the puns (I usually groan at puns!) Nice job at script writing.
Myrna Noyes02/09/07
Very well-done! I'd like to see it expanded to a two or three act play even! :) Loved the dialogue, and I thank you for the laughs!
Pat Guy 02/09/07
Oh the humor! The puns! (Groan!)

I caught the sushi thing with seaweed - um, and so many others. This was so much fun to read and I loved the voices of the characters.

This really would make a great skit for a young peoples group - I could just visualize it! They would have a blast!
Marilyn Schnepp 02/10/07
Creativity personified!!! Who'd of thunk this up? Leave it to... And the quills? The worms? the Horse' tail? The Rainbow Trout. Not just good thinking, Brilliant thinking!
Joanne Malley02/10/07
So cute...so original! What a delight to read. I just love the silliness and lightheartedness of the characters. Pass me a barley cake, will ya? LOL Blessings, Jo
william price02/10/07
Inteligently creative. I loved it. The rainbow at the end was the clincher. You should experiment more often. This was delightful. God bless.
Betty Castleberry02/10/07
What a hoot! This is very creative. I love the "What's for breakfast. Barley cakes. What's for lunch. Barley cakes..."'
Venice Kichura02/10/07
Such a creative entry! This would be excellent for a children's Sunday school program... Masterfully written!
Ann Grover02/10/07
Clever, brilliant, witty... what else can I say? A youth group would have fun with this!
Sally Hanan02/10/07
I'm glad you experimented - this was funny!
Sheri Gordon02/10/07
I've often wondered just what they did on the ark for food, and fun. This makes the characters so real, so human ... which I guess they were. And I agree, youth groups would love doing this.
Laurie Glass 02/11/07
This is absolutely delightful. How creative and you had me smiling all the way through.
Chrissi Dunn02/11/07
Very clever, and funny! How unique to describe the first attempt at fishing. I especially loved the bit about the worms.
Shari Armstrong 02/11/07
Delightful! love a good pun :)
Sharlyn Guthrie02/11/07
A ridiculous experiment? Well, maybe it will catch on, just like Ham's experiment. Very clever and humorous.
Lynda Lee Schab 02/12/07
Jan, you've outdone yourself. This was brilliantly creative and such an entertaining read. I absolutely loved it.
cindy yarger02/12/07
This was a fun read! The rinbow trout was a great idea at the end.
cindy yarger02/12/07
sorry - I meant rainbow!
Sherrie Jackson02/12/07
Well, not like you need another accolade, but--here's one anyway! This was absolutely engaging from start to finish, such a fresh format and done with lots of humor and cheer. Excellent, excellent job!

I'm thinking, though--should this be a "comedy in one act" instead? If you ever publish this (which you should!) you should think about making that one tiny change.

T. F. Chezum02/12/07
Consider it a successful experiment ... I enjoyed this a great deal.
Cassie Memmer02/13/07
This is delightful! The world is so somber and serious, so filled with troubles, I love it when I find respite from it and a chance to laugh. Laughing at silly things, at ourselves, gives us balance. This is creative, entertaining, wonderful! And forget the kids doing it as a skit... I'd love to do it! LOL! Great writing, Jan!
Sara Harricharan 02/13/07
Ohhh, clever! I liked this, totally refreshing from what I'd expected. (Not sure what I expected, but this certainly delivered) very creative and wonderfully written. ^_^
Dave O'Neil02/13/07
This is outstanding. I wish Veggie Tales would pick this up from you. I'm definitely going to have my kids read it (ages 9-14). I loved it from beginning to end.
Cheri Hardaway 02/13/07
Truly masterful and creative! Wonderful work! Blessings, Cheri
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/13/07
Loved all of it, but the sushi part made me laugh out loud! (p.s. a "female horse" is a mare)
Jacquelyn Horne02/14/07
Would just love to see this acted out on stage. It would be so ooooooo funny.
william price02/15/07
Congrats, Jan. I'm gonna read it to my grandboy this weekend. God bless.
Rhonda Clark02/26/07
That is cute Jan. Thanks for sharing a giggle with me this early in the day.