Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose)

Adapted by Rick Swallow

Parts:(10)      Narrators 1       Narrator 2       Narrator 3       Narrator 4       Frog 
                King              Queen            Princess         Prince           Old Woman     
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Narrator 1:  Once upon a time there were a king and queen who said every day, 

King and Queen: "Ah, if only we had a child!" 

Narrator2:  but they never had one.

Narrator 3: It so happened that once when the queen was bathing, a frog leaped out of the water 
            onto the land, and said to the Queen, 

Frog:      "Your wish shall be fulfilled, before a year has gone by, you shall have a daughter."

Narrator 4: What the frog had said came true, and the queen had a little girl who was so pretty
            that the king could not contain himself for joy, and ordered a great feast. He invited
            not only his kindred, friends and acquaintances, but also the wise women, in order 
            that they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. 

Narrator 1: There were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but, as he had only twelve golden plates 
            for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home.

Nqrrator 2: The feast was held with all manner of splendor and when it came to an end the wise 
            women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby - one gave virtue, another beauty, a
            third riches, and so on with everything in the world that one can wish for.

Narrator 3: When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She 
            wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even 
            looking at anyone, she cried with a loud voice, 

Old Woman: "The king's daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and 
            fall down dead." 

Narrator 4: And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room.

Narrator 1: They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came
            forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, 

Woman 12:  "It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess 
            shall fall."

Narrator 2: The king, who would fain keep his dear child from the misfortune, gave orders that 
            every spindle in the whole kingdom should be burnt. Meanwhile the gifts of the wise 
            women were plenteously fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest,
            good-natured, and wise, that everyone who saw her was bound to love her.

Narrator 3: It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old, the king and queen 
            were not at home, and the maiden was left in the palace quite alone. So she went round
            into all sorts of places, looked into rooms and bed-chambers just as she liked, and at
            last came to an old tower. 

Narrator 4: She climbed up the narrow winding-staircase, and reached a little door. A rusty key
            was in the lock, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little 
            room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax.

Princess:  "Good day, old mother. What are you doing there?"

Old Woman: "I am spinning," 

Narrator 1: said the old woman, and nodded her head.

Princess:  "What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily?" 

Narrator 2: the Princess asked the old woman, and she took the spindle and wanted to spin too. But 
            scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree was fulfilled, and she 
            pricked her finger with it.

Narrator 3: And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood
            there, and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep extended over the whole palace. 

Narrator 4: The king and queen who had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to 
            go to sleep too, as did the whole of the court with them. 

Narrator 1: The horses, too, went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons upon 
            the roof, the flies on the wall, even the fire that was flaming on the hearth became 
            quiet and slept.

Narrator 2: The roast meat left off sizzling, and the cook, who was just going to pull the hair
            of the scullery boy, because he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to 
            sleep. And the wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf moved again.

Narrator 3: But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, which every year
            became higher, and at last grew close up round the castle and all over it, so that 
            there was nothing of it to be seen, not even the flag upon the highest tower. 

Narrator 4: But the story of the beautiful sleeping Briar-Rose, for so the Princess was named, 
            went about the country, so that from time to time kings' sons came and tried to get 
            through the thorny hedge into the castle. 

Narrator 1: But they found it impossible, for the thorns held fast together, as if they had hands,
            and the youths were caught in them, could not get loose again, and died a miserable 
            death.

Narrator 2: After long, long years a king's son came again to that country, and heard an old man 
            talking about the thorn-hedge, and that a castle was said to stand behind it in which 
            a wonderfully beautiful princess, named Briar-Rose, had been asleep for a hundred 
            years, and that the king and queen and the whole court were asleep likewise. 

Narrator 3: He had heard, too, from his grandfather, that many kings' sons had already come, and 
            had tried to get through the thorny hedge, but they had remained sticking fast in it,
            and had died a pitiful death.

Narrator 4: Then the Prince said, 

Prince:    "I am not afraid, I will go and see the beautiful Briar-Rose." 

Narrator 1: The good old man tried to talk the prince out of it, but the Prince just would not
            listen to him. By this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day had come 
            when Briar-Rose was to awake again. 

Narrator 2: When the king's son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and
            beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, and let him pass
            unhurt, then they closed again behind him like a hedge. 

Narrator 3: In the castle yard he saw the horses and the spotted hounds lying asleep. On the roof
            sat the pigeons with their heads under their wings. And when he entered the house, the 
            flies were asleep upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still holding out his 
            hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen which she was going 
            to pluck.

Narrator 4: As the Prince went farther on he entered the great hall, saw the whole of the court 
            lying asleep, and up by the throne lay the king and queen. Then he went on still 
            farther, and all was so quiet that even the quietest breath could be heard, and at 
            last he came to the tower. He opened the door into the little room where Briar-Rose 
            was sleeping.

Narrator 1: There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away, and he stooped down
            and gave her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her, Briar-Rose opened her eyes and 
            awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly.

Narrator 2: Then they went down together, and the king awoke, and the queen, and the whole court,
            and they looked at each other in great astonishment. 

Narrator 3: The horses in the courtyard stood up and shook themselves, the hounds jumped up and 
            wagged their tails, the pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their
            wings, looked round, and flew out into the open country

Narrator 4: The flies on the wall buzzed again, the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered 
            and cooked the meat, the joint began to turn and sizzle again, and the cook gave the 
            boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, and the maid finished  plucking the fowl.

Narrators (all):  And Soon the marriage of the Prince and Briar-Rose was celebrated with great
           splendor, and they lived contented to the end of their days.