The curtain opens on an unusual assortment of people, seated on folding chairs at what appears to be an informal meeting. There is good-natured chatter going on, as if the participants were enjoying a break. After a few seconds, REV. GRIMM speaks.
Grimm: Let’s get back to it, shall we? (He waits for the gathering to settle down) So…we’ve agreed to start up some small home groups. I guess the only question remaining is…in whose homes shall we meet? We’ll just need one or two to start off, until the idea catches on. Anyone have an idea? Peter? How about you?
PETER looks slightly startled.
Peter: I thought you knew…my wife and I moved into a smaller place. We’re doing fine there, very well in fact, but, uh…it’s a pumpkin shell. Not a lot of room for guests. Sorry…
Grimm: Peter, Peter…don’t worry about it. Sister Grimelda, what about you? Ever since you’ve repented of, dear me, your witchcraft, you’ve been a changed woman. What about your little cottage?
SISTER GRIMELDA cackles a little, then pats the heads of the two children playing at her feet.
Grimelda: Up until today, I’d have said yes. (another cackle) But you know that thunderstorm we had yesterday? It really did a number on the marzipan siding, and don’t even talk to me about the frosting mortar. I’m afraid it’s a sticky mess right now. (She speaks to the girl, who is tugging her skirt) Gretel, dear, eat your carrots.
Grimm: Well, Grimelda, we’ll be happy to help you out with that. But as to the subject at hand—what about you, Sister Birkenstock? Your place is quite large, isn’t it?
SISTER BIRKENSTOCK is a white-haired woman, surrounded by a dozen children. She considers the question for a moment.
Birkenstock: Dearie me, I don’t know what to do. It’s large, yes, but the Lord has given me so many children. And Grimelda, that rain hit me hard, too…you all realize that we live in a shoe, right? You know that odor after your shoes get wet? Well…
Grimm: (hastily) That’s quite all right, then. Let’s see, who else… Rapunzel?
Rapunzel: (reluctant to say no) Well, that’s a lot of people in one little tower. And they’d have to climb my hair…
Grimm: Oh, no…that would be an unnecessary burden. What about the Behrs? Mama? Papa?
Papa Behr: (growling slightly) Furniture’s still broken. (He glances over at GOLDILOCKS)
Goldilocks: I’m so sorry!
Mama Behr: We’ve forgiven you, dear, don’t worry about it. (She glares at Papa) What about our neighbors? Grandma Hood?
Grandma Hood: I’d love to, but it’s still covered in crime scene tape. (She whispers) That horrible wolf, doncha know. (perking up) But I’d like to invite you all to Red’s wedding to the woodcutter, he’s been such a gentleman, so strong and brave, doncha know, we’re just so blessed…
Grimm: (Sighing now, and interrupting Grandma’s speech) Thank you, Sister Hood. (desperately) Anyone else in that neighborhood?
MR. PIGG stands to speak, looking a tad embarrassed.
Pigg: I wouldn’t mind, but my brothers just moved in with me…there’s a bit of a wolf problem in our area…and their houses were both blown down by…(he starts to mutter) …shoddy construction anyway, what were they thinking…
There is a general tittering in the room, with especial laughter coming from an assemblage of seven chairs near the center.
Happy: We’d love to have people over—if we’re not working! Oh, boy, that’d be fun!
Grumpy: Speak for yourself, smiley.
Doc: I don’t know…think of the germs…(as if in reply, SNEEZY sneezes. SLEEPY snores, wakes himself up and mutters “Hi-ho…”, then drifts back off to sleep)
Grimm: Bashful? What do you say?
Bashful: Gosh, I don’t know. (He lifts his eyebrows at DOPEY, who simply grins)
Grumpy: Hmmph! Too crowded, too messy, now that someone’s left us.
Grimm: Never mind, then. We don’t want anyone to do this unwillingly. But where is…(He scans the room, and finally sees SNOW WHITE in a corner)
Grimm: Snow? You live in that nice castle; surely there’s a small room there for a home group?
Snow White: Well, you all know that my hubby’s not a believer…but I’ve been really hoping that some day my Prince will come to church…maybe he’d come to a friendly meeting in the small ballroom.
Grimm: You know, he just might, at that. Amen, and amen! Let’s pray…
Two bluebirds take the edges of the curtain in their beaks and close it, then fly away, twittering.
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