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 !!