Rumplestiltskin

adapted by Rick Swallow


Parts (8):      Narrator 1            Narrator 2            Narrator 3            Miller            
                King                  Daughter              Rumplestiltskin       Messenger
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Narrator 1:      Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it 
                 happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself 
                 appear important he said to the king,

Miller:         "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold."

King:           "That is an art which pleases me well; if your daughter is as clever as you say, 
                 bring her to-morrow to my palace, and I will put her to the test."

Narrator 2:      And when the girl was brought to the king he took her into a room which was 
                 quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said,

King:           "Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning early you have not spun this straw 
                 into gold during the night, you must die."

Narrator 3:      Thereupon the king himself locked up the room, and left young girl in it alone. 
                 So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for the life of her she could not 
                 tell what to do -- she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she 
                 grew more and more frightened, until at last she began to weep. But all at once 
                 the door opened, and in came a little man who said,

Rumplestiltskin: "Good evening, mistress miller, why are you crying so?"

Daughter:      " Alas,"

Narrator 1:      answered the girl, 

Daughter:       "I have to spin straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it."

Rumplestiltskin: "What will you give me if I do it for you?" 

Narrator 2:      asked the odd little man.

Daughter:       "My necklace," 

Narrator 3:      said the girl. The little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the 
                 wheel, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three turns, and the reel was full. Then he put 
                 another on, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three times round, and the second was full 
                 too. And so it went on until the morning, when all the straw was spun, and all 
                 the reels were full of gold.

Narrator 1:      By daybreak the king was already there, and when he saw the gold he was really
                 astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy. He had the 
                 miller's daughter taken into another room full of straw, which was much larger, 
                 and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life. The girl 
                 knew not how to help herself, and was crying, when the door opened again, and the 
                 little man appeared, and said,

Rumplestiltskin: "What will you give me if I spin that straw into gold for you?"

Daughter:       "The ring on my finger,"

Narrator 2:      answered the girl. The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, 
                 and by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold. The king rejoiced 
                 beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not gold enough, and he had the
                 miller's daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw, and said,

King:           "You must spin this, too, in the course of this night, but if you succeed, you 
                 shall be my wife."

King:           "Even if she be a miller's daughter," 

Narrator 3:      thought the king, 

King      :     "I could not find a richer wife in the whole world."

Narrator 1:      When the girl was alone the little man came again for the third time, and said,

Rumplestiltskin: "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time also?"

Daughter:       "I have nothing left that I could give," 

Narrator 2:      answered the girl.

Rumplestiltskin: "Then promise me, if you should become queen, to give me your first born child."

Daughter:        "Who knows whether that will ever happen,"

Narrator 3:      thought the miller's daughter, and, not knowing how else to help herself in this 
                 terrible situation, she promised the little man what he wanted, and for that he 
                 once more spun the straw into gold. And when the king came in the morning, and 
                 found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's 
                 daughter became a queen.

Narrator 1:      A year after, she brought a beautiful child into the world, and she never gave a
                 thought to the little man. But suddenly one day he appeared in her room, and said,
                 
Rumplestiltskin: "Now give me what you promised."

Daughter:        The queen was horror-struck, and offered the odd little man all the riches of the 
                 kingdom if he would leave her the child. But the little man said,

Rumplestiltskin: "No, something alive is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world."

Narrator 2:      Then the queen began to lament and cry, so that the little man pitied her.

Rumplestiltskin: "I will give you three days' time," 

Narrator 3:      said he, 

Rumplestiltskin: "and if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child."

Narrator 1:      So the queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had ever heard, and 
                 she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and wide, for any other names 
                 that there might be. When the little man came the next day, she began with Caspar, 
                 Melchior, Balthazar, and Zeus, and said all the names she knew, one after another, 
                 but to every one the odd little man said,

Rumplestiltskin: "That is not my name."

Narrator 2:      On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to the names of the
                 people there, and she repeated to the little man the most uncommon and curious.

Daughter:       "Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or Sheepshanks, or Laceleg, or Bandybottom?"

Narrator 3:      But he always answered,

Rumplestiltskin: "That is not my name."

Narrator 1:      On the third day the messenger came back again, and said,

Messenger:      "I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain 
                 at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, 
                 there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round 
                 about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg,
                 and shouted --

Rumplestiltskin: "Today I bake, to-morrow brew,  the next I'll have the young queen's child.
                  Ha! glad am I that no one knew that Rumpelstiltskin I am styled."

Narrator 2:      You may imagine how glad the queen was when she heard the name. And when soon 
                 afterwards the little man came in, and asked,

Rumplestiltskin: "Now, mistress queen, what is my name?"

Narrator 3:      At first she said,

Daughter:       "Is your name Conrad?"

Rumplestiltskin: "No."

Narrator 1:      he replied gruffly.

Daughter:       "Is your name Harry?"

Rumplestiltskin: "No."

Daughter:       "Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?"

Rumplestiltskin: "The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that!" 

Narrator 2:     cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the 
                earth that his whole leg went in, and that put him in such a rage that he stomped 
                his left foot so hard that a hole opened up in the earth into which he fell and
                he was never seen again.