Sleeping Ugly

by Jane Yolen

Parts (7):	Narrator 1		Narrator 2		Miserella		Jane
		Fairy			Prince			Jojo
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Narrator 1:	Princess Miserella was a

Miserella:	beautiful princess

Narrator 2:	if you counted her eyes

		(Miserella indicates eyes, nose, mouth and toes.)

		nose and mouth and all the way down to her

Miserella:	toes.

Narrator 1:	But inside, where it was hard to see, she was the meanest

Narrator 2:	wickedest,

Narrator 1:	and most worthless

Narrator 2:	princess around.  She liked

Miserella:	stepping on dogs!           (Miserella makes such foot movements)

Narrator 1:	She kicked kittens.         (Miserella makes kicking actions)

Narrator 2:	She threw pies

Miserella:	in the cooks face,  Tee Hee Hee.

Narrator 1:	And she never,
		
		(Miserella shakes head back and forth)

		not even once, said "Thank you," or "Please."

Narrator 2:	Now, in that very same kingdom, in the middle of the woods, lived a poor orphan

		(Jane turns in)

		named

Jane:		Plain Jane!

Narrator 1:	And plain she certainly was!  Her hair was

Jane:		short

Narrator 2:	and turned down.  Her nose was

Jane:		long

Narrator 2:  	and turned up.  And even if they had been the other way around, whe would not 
                have been a 

Jane:		great beauty.

Narrator 1:	But, she loved animals!  And, she was always kind to strange old ladies.

		(Jane turns Back to Audience as Miserella turns in)

Narrator 2:	One day, Princess Miserella rode her horse out of the palace
		gates in a big huff.

		(Miserella mimes riding horse.)

		She rode and rode and rode,

Miserella:	looking beautiful, as always

Narrator 1:	even with her hair in tangles.  She rode right in to the middle of the woods and 
                was soon

Miserella:	LOST!

		(Miserella mimes action)

Narrator 2:	She got off her horse, and slapped it sharply for losing the way.

Narrator 1:	The horse said nothing, but ran right back home.

Narrator 2:	So there was the princess, lost in a dark wood without even her horse for company.
                Suddenly

		(Fairy turns in, sleepily.)

		Princess Miserella tripped over a

Narrator 1:	little old lady asleep under a tree.  Now, little old ladies who

Fairy:		sleep under trees in the dark woods,

Narrator 2:	are almost always fairies in disguise.

Narrator 1:	Miserella guessed who the little old lady was, but she did not care.

		(Miserella mimes kicking action)

		She kicked the old lady, hard on the bottoms of her feet.

Miserella:	Get up and take me home,

Narrator 2:	said the princess quite rudely.

Narrator 1:	So the old lady got to her feet  very slowly

Fairy:		for the bottoms now hurt!

Narrator 2:	She took Miserella by the hand.  She used only her thumb and second finger to hold
                Miserella's hand, for Fairies know

Fairy:		quite a bit about that kind of princess!

Narrator 1:	They walked and walked even deeper into the woods.

Narrator 2:	There they found a little house.  It was dreary

Narrator 1:	The floors sank

Narrator 2:	The walls stank

Narrator 1:	And the roof leaked--even on sunny days.  But Jane made the best of it.  She

		(Jane speaks from over her shoulder, still BTA)

Jane:		planted roses around the door.

Miserella:	This is not  my home!

Narrator 2:	Said Miserella with a sniff.

Fairy:		Nor mine.

Narrator 1:	Said the Fairy.

Narrator 1 & 	They walked in without knocking.
    Narrator 2:

		(Jane turns in.)

Narrator 2:	And there was Jane.

Jane:		It's mine.

Narrator 1:	She said sweetly.

Narrator 2:	The princess looked at Jane down and up, and up and down.

Miserella:	Take me home,

Narrator 1:	said Miserella,

Miserella:	and as a reward, I willl make you my maid.

Fairy:		Some reward!

Narrator 2:	said the Fairy to herself.  Out loud she said,

Fairy:		If you could take both of us home, I could probably squeeze out a wish or two.

Miserella:	Make it three,

Narrator 1:	said Miserella to the fairy,

Miserella:	and  I'll get us home!

Narrator 2:	Plain Jane smiled a thin little smile.  The birds began to sing.

		(All make bird song noises.)

Jane:		My home is your home

Narrator 1:	said Jane.

Fairy:		I like your manners

Narrator 2:	said the Fairy.

Fairy:		And for that good thought, I'll give you three wishes.

Narrator 1:	Princess Miserella was not pleased.  She stamped her foot.

Fairy:		Do that again,

Narrator 1:	said the Fairy, taking a pine wand from her pocket

Fairy:		and I'll turn your foot to stone.

Narrator 2:	Just to be mean, Miserella stamped her foot again.

Narrator 1:	And quick as a wink, the Fairy waved her pine wand and Miserella's foot was turned
                to stone.

		(Miserella screams a little shriek.)

Fairy:		Well, I warned you!  What did you expect?

		(Plane Jane sighs a loud sigh.)

Jane:		Well, my first wish is that you change her foot back.

Narrator 2:	The Fairy made a face.

Fairy:		I like your manners, but not your taste

Narrator 1:	she said to Jane.

Fairy:		Still, a wish is a wish.

Narrator 2:	The Fairy moved the wand.

Fairy:		Allah Kazam!

Narrator 1:	The princess shook her foot.  It was no longer made of stone.

Miserella:	Hmmm!  Guess my foot fell asleep for a moment.

Narrator 2:	said Miserella.  She really liked to lie.

Miserella:	Besides,

Narrator 1:	the princess said

Miserella:	that was a stupid way to waste a wish.

Fairy:		STUPID!

Narrator 2:	The fairy was very angry.

Fairy:		Do not call someone stupid, unless you have been properly introduced, or are a
                member of the family.

Miserella:	Stupid, stupid, stupid

Narrator 1:	Miserella hated to be told what to do.

Fairy:		Say "stupid" one more time,

Narrator 2:	warned the fairy, holding up her wand,

Fairy:		and I'll make toads come out of your mouth!

Miserella:	STUPID!

Narrator 1:	Shouted Miserella, and as she said it

Narrator 2:	a large green toad

Narrator 1:	dropped out of her mouth.

Jane:		Oh, cute,

Narrator 2:	said Jane, as she stooped and picked up the toad.

Jane:		And I do like toads, but...

Fairy:		But?

Narrator 1:	asked the fairy.

		(Miserella mimes the disgust of toads in the mouth.)

Narrator 2:	Miserella did not open her mouth.  Toads were among her least favorite animals.

Jane:		But, my second wish is that you get rid of the mouth toads.

Fairy:		She's lucky it wasn't mouth elephants.

Narrator 1:	mumbled the fairy.  She waved the pine wand.

Fairy:		Allah Kazam!

Narrator 2:	Miserella opened her mouth slowly.  Nothing came out but her tongue.  She pointed 
                it at the fairy.

Miserella:	BLAH!

Narrator 1:	Princess Miserella looked miserable.  Of course that made her look beautiful, too.

Miserella:	I definately have had enough,

Narrator 2:	she said.

Miserella:	I want to go home!

		(Miserella and Jane mime action)

Narrator 1:	She grabbed Plain Jane's arm.

Fairy:		Gently, gently,

Narrator 2:	said the old fairy, shaking her head.

Fairy:		If you're not gentle with magic, none of us will go anywhere.

Miserella:	You can go where you want,

Narrator 1:	shouted Miserella,

Miserella:	but there is only one place I want to go.

Fairy:		To sleep!

Narrator 2:	Shouted the fairy, who was now much too mad to remember to be gentle.  She waved 
                her wand

Narrator 1 &	so hard
    Narrator 2

Narrator 1:	she hit the wall of Jane's house.

Narrator 2:	The wall broke.

Narrator 1:	The wand broke.

Narrator 2:	And a spell broke upon them.

Narrator 1:	And before Jane could make her third wish,

		(Slow down pace of speaking)

Narrator 1&	All three of them were sound asleep!
   Narrator 2

Narrator 2:	It was one of those famous one-hundred year naps that need a

		(Prince, still BTA, speaks over shoulder)

Prince:         prince

Narrator 1:	and a

Prince:         kiss

Narrator 2:	to end them.

Narrator 1:	So they slept and slept in the cottage in the woods.

Narrator 2:	The slept through three and a half wars.

Narrator 1:	one plague,

Narrator 2: 	six new kings,

Narrator 1:	the invention of the sewing machine,

Narrator 1 & 	and the discovery of a new continent.
    Narrator 2

Narrator 2:	Now, at the end of one hundred years,

		(Prince JoJo turns in)

		a prince, named

Jojo:		Jojo

Narrator 1:	who was the youngest son of a youngest son, and so had

Jojo:		no gold or jewels or property to speak of

Narrator 1:	came out of the woods.  He stepped into the cottage over the broken wall.  Inside 
                he saw

Jojo:		three women

Narrator 2:	asleep

Jojo:		with spider webs holding them to the floor.

Narrator 1:	One of them was a beautiful princess.

Jojo:		Ahhhhh!

Narrator 2:	Being the kind of young man who read fairy tales, Jojo knew

Jojo:		just what to do.   Ahhhhh!

Narrator 1:	But Jojo had never kissed anyone before, except his mother,

Jojo:		which didn't count,

Narrator 2:	and his father

JoJo:		who had a fuzzy beard!

Narrator 1:	So Jojo thought he should practice before he tried kissing the beautiful 
                princess.  So he puckered up his lips

		(Jojo mimes kissing actions)

		and kissed the old fairy on the nose.

Jojo:		Hmmm!  Pleasant.

Narrator 2:	She smelled slightly of cinnamon.  He moved on to Jane. He puckered up his lips

Narrator 1:	and kissed her on the mouth.

Jojo:		Hmmmm!  Delightful!

Narrator 2:	She smelled of wild flowers.

Narrator 1:	He moved on to the beautiful princess.

Narrator 2:	But just then the fairy and Jane woke up.

		(Fairy and Jane stretch, blink eyes, and smile.)

Narrator 1:	Prince Jojo's kisses had worked.

Narrator 2:	The fairy picked up the pieces of her wand.  Jane looked at the prince.

Jane:		I wish he loved me,

Narrator 1:	she said softly to herself.

Fairy:		Good wish!

Narrator 2:	said the fairy, and she waved the two pieces of her wand gently.

Fairy:		Allah Kazam!

Narrator 1:	The prince looked at Miserella, who was having a bad dream and enjoying it.  
                Even frowning, she was beautiful.  But Jojo knew about that kind of princess. 
                He had three cousins just like her:

Jojo:		Nastina, Prunella and Bratina.  Pretty on the outside, but really ugly within.

Narrator 2:	He remembered the smell of wild flowers, and turned back to plain Jane.

Jojo:		I love you!  What's your name?

Jane:		Plain Jane.

Narrator 1 &	So they lived happily ever after
    Narrator 2

Narrator 1:	in Jane's cottage.

Narrator 2:	Prince Jojo fixed the roof and the wall, and built a house next door for the old
                fairy.

Fairy:		Just for me!

Narrator 1:	They used the sleeping princess as a conversation piece when friends came to visit.

Narrator 2:	Or sometimes they stood her up (still fast asleep) in the hallway, and let her
                hold coats and hats.

Narrator 1&	But they never let anyone kiss her awake--
   Narrator 2:

Jojo & Jane:	not even their children, who numbered three.

Adapted by Iz Crain