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Mildred's Mouse House
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Synopsis: Millie discovers a unique way of giving Jesus the birthday present He could have used two thousand years ago.
Mildred, a child of about 7
Robin, Mildred’s 12 year old brother
A kitchen with a back door leading to the yard.
Mom is in the kitchen cooking. Robin is working on homework at one end of the kitchen table. Mildred is at the other end, elbows on the table, holding up her head with her hands, looking very glum.
Robin (looking up and across at Milly):
"Mr. Henderson paid me yesterday. Now I have enough to do ALL my Christmas shopping."
"That’s nice. If you like, we can go to the mall on Saturday. Milly can come with us."
"Don’t want to."
"Don’t have any money. Can’t buy anything for anybody without money."
"I’ll lend you some. Course, I’ll have to charge you interest."
"Don’t pay any attention to your brother. He’s being silly. Maybe you could make some Christmas presents out of things you already have."
"I don’t want some of her homemade junk."
Mom (with warning in her voice):
"Robin, that’s enough. With that kind of attitude you don’t deserve any kind of present from Milly. Maybe we could make things easier for all of us this year. How about we write down the names of all the people we are going to give presents to and put them in a hat. Then each of us can draw a name and buy a present for just that one person?"
"Hey, then I only get one present."
"Robin, Christmas isn’t about how many presents YOU get, remember?"
"Okay, okay. Actually it’s not a bad idea. Then I only have to buy one present and I’ll still have money left for me."
Mom (signs and shakes her head):
"Sometimes, I wonder if Scrooge didn’t somehow get trapped in a twelve year old’s body."
"Never mind. It’s not important."
"I ALWAYS wonder about Robin. But I don’t even have money for one present. What if I get Grannie’s name?"
"That’s easy. Grannie says she’s going to heaven soon and there isn’t a thing that she needs. You wouldn’t have to buy her anything."
Milly & Mom (horrified)
"Well, that’s what she said."
"You know, I think I have the solution to this problem. How about we don’t buy any presents for anyone this year?"
Robin and Milly:
"No, I’m serious. Whose birthday is it anyway?"
"Right. So, why are we buying presents for everyone except the person who is celebrating the birthday?"
"Cause we have to. We’ve always done it that way. We need to. I NEED Christmas presents."
"Look at it this way, Robin. Think of all the money you will have left from your paper route if you don’t have to buy any Christmas presents."
Robin (thinks for a moment):
"Well, there is that."
"But, Mom. I still don’t have any money to buy Jesus a Christmas present either."
"Jesus is like Grannie. He doesn’t need anything either cause he’s already in heaven."
Milly (throws something at her brother):
"Mom, tell him to stop."
"Yes, Robin, please stop being disrespectful. You are right…"
"See, I told you."
"…to a point. How about we think about doing, rather than buying?"
"What good stuff doesn’t cost money?"
"If we had been around when Jesus was born, we could have done lots of things for him with what we already have. Robin could have given up his bedroom so that Mary could have her baby in a warm and safe place."
"Why my room?"
"Milly, you could have given him your doll’s bed so that he would have a nice place to sleep. I could have given some of this nice chicken soup to Mary and Joseph and warmed a bottle of milk for the baby".
"But Jesus is in heaven, and he doesn’t need me to do anything like that for him now."
"Well, you could do something for him, by doing something for someone else, just as if you were doing it for Jesus. He’s like that kind of present. Think about it for a while. Meanwhile son, you and I have a date upstairs with your room. We clean it or we condemn it."
"Aw, Mom. You can’t be serious."
(Mom leads Robin off protesting all the way. The lights fade with Mildred still sitting at the table deep in thought.)
The lights come up as Milly closes the door leading out into the back yard. Mom enters with Robin.
"Four hours, I can’t believe it took us four hours to do that room. I’ll never be able to find anything ever again. I’m wiped. I’m starving. When’s dinner?"
"Soon. Clear your things off the table. Milly can set it and we’ll be ready to eat."
(The children begin those chores. Mom reaches for her pot holder only to discover that it’s missing.)
"Milly, have you seen my pot holder? I thought I left it right here beside the stove when Robin and I went up to clean his room."
"I took it."
"Well, give it back so we can eat."
"You took it? What for?"
"I got thinking about what you said, you know, doing something to help someone else, just as if I was doing it for Baby Jesus. I needed the pot holder."
"I knew it. Too much thinking and she’s flipped out."
Mom (in a warning tone of voice):
"Robin. You did want supper, didn’t you?"
"Sure. (Pause) Oh, I get it. Zip the lip."
"Right. Now, Mildred, explain to me what the pot holder has to do with what we talked about?"
"Well, Jesus doesn’t need a bedroom or a blanket or chicken soup or milk, but I found someone else who does. But my blanket didn’t fit in the bed, so I took the pot holder to use as a blanket."
"You used the pot holder for a blanket. What person do you know who would need a pot holder for a blanket?"
Mill: (beginning to look a little worried):
"I don’t know any babies like Jesus that I could do something for, so I thought maybe helping other babies might be okay."
"Other babies? What other babies?"
"Um. Dad plugged the hole going into the basement last week so that the mice couldn’t get in the house."
"Well, He took the mice out of the basement before he plugged the hole."
"It’s cold outside and they can’t come into the basement, or live in the house."
"The mice had babies. I saw them in the shed."
"So I took my old doll house out to the shed. I put it down flat and filled all the rooms up with those wood shavings that dad had in the basement. But I didn’t have any blankets to put on top to keep the babies warm. So I took the pot holders."
"All of them?"
"Mostly. I’m sorry."
(Milly begins to cry.)
"Milly, honey, don’t cry."
"You’re not mad at me?"
"No honey, I’m not angry with you. You did for those mice what you would have done if Jesus had needed a warm place to sleep, didn’t you?"
"I wanted to. I thought that if the mice were happy and warm, Jesus would be too. But I am sorry about the pot holders."
"I really do want those pot holders back. But don’t worry. I think I can find something that will work just as well to cover up the babies’ beds and keep all of them warm."
"Can we eat now?"
"I did something else too."
"What did you do?"
"I took the mice some chicken soup."
"You did what?"
"Did you leave enough for us?"
"I think so."
"Good. Put the bowls out and then you can give thanks."
(Milly puts out the bowls and Mom serves the soup.)
"Dear Jesus. Thank you for Mom and Dad. And Robin too. Thank you for giving us a warm place to live, and food to eat. I’m sorry no one was there to give you those things when you were a baby but I hope you like your birthday present even if you can’t enjoy it yourself. Amen."
"And, Lord, please make sure the mice are careful with Mom’s pot holders."
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Reader Count & Comments
Edy T Johnson
26 Apr 2006
Thank you, Lynda, for this heart-warming play. This is one for the grandchildren. What a neat way to bring home a lesson about the true spirit of Christmas!
22 Nov 2005
Lynda, wow this made me chuckle, it was hilarious in such an innocent way. That dear Milly! Oh that we were all so innocent and loving as she was. Jesus did say after all, "as ye do unto teh LEAST of these...." A wonderful piece of writing Lynda!
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