Chou: Hurry up, Deng. Let us take a look at those ships.
Deng: All right. All right. Here goes. (begins to “swallow” the sea)
Sea holder: (“hands the sea” to Deng and slips behind the “water” and takes the ships from the other sea holder and moves them closer to Deng on the top of the water.
Ships: (come closer to Deng, almost close enough for the brothers to touch them)
Deng: (begins to “sneeze”)
Jiang: (looking at Deng and pointing) Watch out! I think Deng is going to sneeze.
Yan: Quick, Li, Put your finger under his nose. (Li puts his finger under Deng’s nose)
Deng: (shaking all over, but seems to gain control)
Li: (takes his finger away) Wow, that was close!!
Deng: (sneezes violently)
Ships: (are dropped to the ground)
Water: (billows up then falls to the ground as water bearer slides behind the wall)
Children: (Stunned, they point and gape at the destruction.) Oh No! Oh No!
Deng:(becomes distraught, pulls his hair and stamps his feet)
Deng: Oh, we’re in so much trouble! What are we going to do?!
Li: What are WE going to do? You’re the one who swallowed the sea!
Deng: You told me to. You told me to.
Chou: Oh no, here come the emperor’s guards.
Guards: (rush up from stairs toward the “sea”– ready to battle the “enemy”)
Peng: Where are they?
Bo: What enemy has destroyed our royal navy?
Wong: (noticing the children) Who are you?
Guards: (turn and face children at center stage – amazed and annoyed)
Deng: (bowing apologetically) I didn’t mean to do it. (bows again and again) We only wanted to look more closely at the emperor’s beautiful ships.
Jiang: Deng can’t help it that he sneezed.
Min: What ARE you talking about? None of this makes any sense.
Peng: Hold on a minute!! You are not handsome or tall or strong or fast or graceful or smart. How could you have done anything of importance?
Li: Can it be important, even if it’s bad?
Chou: Sirs, our brother Deng has a rather unusual ability. He can swallow the sea.
All Guards: (staring without believing) What?
Yan: (nodding) Yes, it is true. He can swallow the sea.
Jiang: That’s what he was doing when he sneezed and accidentally destroyed the entire royal navy.
Bo: The emperor is not going to believe this.
Wong: And he’s not going to like it either.
Min: Come along with us. We’d better get this over with.
Guards: (grab Deng roughly and drag him noisily downstage center and off)
Children: We’re right behind you, Deng!! (follow a step or two, but then sneak back to their position at the wall and sit)
Guards and Deng: (go down the steps stage right and then back stage behind the screen)