The Three Wasted Wishes
A Tragicomedy by Charles Perrault
Adapted and scripted by Alfia Wallace
Narrator: Alfred W.
Jupiter: Dylan B.
Cornelius the Woodcutter: Nicholas W.
Matilda the Wife: Jennifer
Special effects: Bill Katz & Art Wallace
Stage hands: Andrew W. & Eva D.
[ Scene: A forest. Hills and trees in the background. The woodcutter is chopping wood stage left as the curtain opens. Narrator enters stage right.]
Narrator: Once upon a time in the old country, a woodcutter was working in the forest. Although the forest was beautiful and he was in good health, the woodcutter didn't really like his job: mosquitoes bit him, his back ached, he wished he were home in front of a nice, warm fire playing Gameboy. He developed a habit of complaining.
Woodcutter: [humming, drops his axe] Ah, sugar daddies! That tootin' thang darn near whacked my toes off! That's all I need, to be the amazing one-legged woodcutter. Hoppin' around the forest like a ding-dong - leanin' up against a tree to chop down another - that won't work. I've got to be the unluckiest man alive. No luck at all. Why can't something good happen to me instead of getting infected thumb blisters and almost de-digitizing my foot?! Nothing I've wished for has ever come true. I might as well be dead… [mumble, grumble, itch]
Narrator: Now at this very time, who, but the mighty god Jupiter! had come down from Mount Olympus to take a nice stroll through the forest. As usual, he brought his thunderbolts with him.
[ Stage darkens. Thunder and lightening. Jupiter enters stage right whistling, smiling and enjoying his stroll as thunder continues to roar.
Woodcutter: Great! Now it's going to rain! My toe fungus is going to act up! I wish I didn't get toe fungus…
[Jupiter stops in front of the woodcutter who is still mumbling and grumbling. The woodcutter jumps up and screeches]
Woodcutter: J - J- Jupiter?! [shakes, and immediately falls to his knees, groveling.]
I'm sorry! I take back everything I just said, your Highness! I didn't mean any of it. I don't wish anything - anything at all. I'll give up wishing altogether. Please forgive me - please stop the thunder - I'm going deaf!!!
Jupiter: [ laughing, thunder stops ] Relax, buddy. I'm just taking a leisurely stroll. Nice forest you have here.
Woodcutter: [still shaking] Thanks.
Jupiter: But seriously, I'm not offended by your complaints. And just to show you what a good sport I am, guess what?
Jupiter: I'm going to grant you the next three wishes you ask for! That's right, buddy! The next three things you wish for, no matter what they may be, I, master of the universe, shall grant them. What do you think of that?!
Woodcutter: Whoa. That would be, so, like totally and utterly fabulous! Jupiter, you are DA MAN!! I mean, you are DA GOD, I uh, mean, thank you thank you thank you…
Jupiter: Don't mention it, don't mention it. Just make sure you think carefully before you wish, ok? Make sure what you wish for is what will bring you the most happiness. Ok?
[ Jupiter walks off whistling and in a clap of thunder, is gone. ]
Woodcutter: It's my lucky day! Man, oh, man! Forget about this! I'm going home! [Walks back and forth on the stage, towards home. Cottage is set up. ] Wait til I tell Matilda about this. Now we can afford to do those renovations, put in a hot tub, maybe buy a cow. Or maybe I'll buy chinchilla farm and give up woodcutting! Or we could get a huge RV and travel cross country. Or we could just lay in the sun all day watching other people work. Hehehehe… [ He arrives at the door of his house and walks in. Matilda is sweeping up.]
Woodcutter: Matilda baby!! [He runs up to her and tries to pick her up. She swats him.]
Matilda: Put me down, you big galoot! What do you think I am, one of your logs - get off of me! Cornelius! Put me down!
Woodcutter: But Mattie, honey, we're going to be rich! Put another log on the fire, give the dog a bone, lay on the chinchilla chow for Joey - we are going to be rich!!! All we have to do is make three wishes and anything we want is ours!
Narrator: So Cornelius the woodcutter told his wife the story of what had happened that day but Matilda had her own ideas about how things should go…
Woodcutter: I mean, we could wander like gypsies, buy a cow, start a chinchilla farm…
Matilda: Just a minute there, Cornelius! Easy does it, boy. Remember, we have to think carefully about this and not make any mistakes. Let's sleep on it. Don't you think so?
Woodcutter: I guess you're right, honey. In the meantime why don't you go down to the cellar and bring up that nice bottle of '94 Swann Zin we've been saving for a special occasion, hmm? [Woodcutter stretches out in his comfy chair before the fire and goes for his Gameboy. Matilda leaves for the bottle of wine, comes up and pours them each a glass] This is the life. To us!
Matilda: To Life! [They clink and drink.]
Woodcutter: Ahhh. What we could use with this now is a nice, big, juicy sausage. Mmmm-mmm! I wish we had a nice big sausage right about now.
[A long red sausage appears out of nowhere and plunks itself onto the table by the Woodcutter. Matilda and the Woodcutter's jaws drop open.]
Matilda: Are you crazy or stupid?! I mean are you a complete or only a partial moron?! You put the more in moron - that's what! What are you thinking wasting our wishes on sausage! What next, are you going to wish for an ice cream cone?! [ She burst into tears and continues berating him. Woodcutter looks genuinely hurt and gazes from her to the sausage to the ground as he grows increasingly frustrated with her abuse.] Why did I have to marry the stupidest man in the county? I could have married Elmer the baker or Francisco the basketweaver but nooooo - I get stuck with Cornelius the crud-for-brains! We could have wished for a mansion, a vacation home on Maui, a million dollars. Wishing for sausage - your brain is sausage!
Woodcutter: [getting up , angrily] You stop talking to me like that, woman! My brain is not sausage. Blast this sausage already - I wish it were hanging off your nose the way you're going on about it. As if I hadn't come home with some very good news…
[Matilda facing away from the audience. Sausage leaps from the table onto Matilda's nose. Matilda freaks out and shuts up for a minute.]
Matilda: [crying, sadly, seriously] Now what are we going to do? You've wasted your second wish and you've made a fool of me.
Woodcutter: Well, we could still have that mansion you were talking about. I wouldn't mind being king. Or we could…
Matilda: Don't you dare! Forget about all that stuff. Just get this sausage off of my nose!!
Woodcutter: [sighs] But we only have one wish left, Mattie. We could be rich. Are you sure all you want is to look like other people?
Matilda: [walking threateningly towards him] Get this thing...
Woodcutter: Ok, ok, ok. [Draws a deep breath] I wish.. the sausage were off the end of my wife's nose. [Sausage disappears. Woodcutter and Matilda just look at each other. Narrator comes center stage.]
Narrator: So the next day, the Woodcutter went back to chopping wood and Matilda went back to baking bread. Joey the chinchilla was given a dust bath. They had had their three wishes.
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