Five Chinese Brothers Part 9

Li: (moves to center stage) All our lives these abilities have been of little use, but this day they became very important.

Yan: (moves to center stage) Yes, we were able to save our brother’s life and now he can save the kingdom.  Go for it, Deng.

Emperor:  (totally bewildered)  I don’t understand any of this, but somehow I was not obeyed and it has turned out to be a good thing. (shakes his head) Quickly, young man. (clap clap) To the harbor.  Our enemies will be arriving very soon.

Deng, Children, Guards: (rush off stage behind screen and re-enter up stage from the steps to the sea)

Emperor: (waits – looking “out the window” toward the sea)

Court Attendants: (trying to see) (mumbling) Wow!  Will you look at that!

“Water and ships” hand off to Deng

Emperor: Yippee! It’s working!! (Suddenly, he jumps up and down and begins a wild dance)

Court Attendants: Yeah!  They are saving the Empire!!  (Wild cheering)

Deng: (swallows the sea)

Boats: (get closer to Deng)

Guards: Ahah!  We got you now!!  (seize the boats and dash them to the ground)

Water: (drops to the floor and the Water bearers move back)

Children, Guards: (run downstage center off the steps and return from the screen to center stage, showing elation)

Emperor: (joins in the celebration and then remembers his dignity)

Emperor: (on throne) Thank you, young man.  Your name will be remembered by our royal storytellers for all time.  How can I reward you?  And your family?

Deng:  Well, oh Emperor.  We are very poor.  Our family could use a bigger home.

Emperor:  A home?  Done!  (clap, clap)

Chin: (hands Deng a scroll)

Chou:  And a larger property to farm.

Emperor:  More land?  Done! (clap, clap)

Lu: (hands Chou a scroll)

Li:  And more money.

Emperor: Gold and wealth?   Done! (clap, clap)

Han: (hands Li a scroll)

Jiang:  And we would like to be able to go to school and perhaps train for the imperial guards.

Emperor:  Education and position?  Done!   (clap, clap)

Chin: (hands Jiang a scroll)

Yan:  And oh generous and spontaneous emperor, would you mind telling our parents that we have done something important?

Emperor: You would like to be recognized as important?  Of course, my son.  Maybe we have all learned a few things about what is important.  Send for the parents immediately.  (clap, clap)

Ming & Zian: (rush behind the screen down and up steps over to the wall)

Parents are sitting near the wall at their home.

Min: (to the parents) Come with us quickly! The Emperor requests your presence!

Ming:  Your children have done something important!

Zian:  I told you they were fine children!

Mah:  I’ll believe it when I see it.

Parents and Min & Zian exit downstage right and come back up to behind the screen.

Chin:  (excited but then sad and afraid)  Oh, Emperor, who insists on being obeyed.  I wrote the royal poem for the day, but the short, weak scribe who was copying it spilled the ink in a very clumsy way and smeared the paper beyond repair.  The poem is lost.

Emperor:  What? What? No Poem?  Well then,  Off  with . . . ah . . .(pause hands ready to clap the order)

ALL: (turn and stare at the emperor, amazed!)

Emperor:  (catches himself in a habit) Oh, well. Ha, ha.  Even an emperor can make a mistake once in awhile.  It’s important to have a second chance. I order everyone to take a holiday to celebrate our victory – and (looking at them all severely) – and I expect to be obeyed! (laughs)

Chin & Han: Ha Ha … (timidly they laugh a little, then smile and nod)

Min & Zian: (return with parents from screen)

Parents: Bow to the Emperor and embrace children.

All continue to celebrate.  –    Curtain !!