Microphone Plays‎ > ‎


Let's Pretend


Sep 7 1935 or May 29 1937


ANNOUNCER (1 line)


PAT (1 line)


ALBERT (2 lines)

JACKIE (1 line)





MILLER, the heroine's wicked father

WINIFRED, the heroine


PAGE (3 lines)

BABY, who cries






ANNOUNCER: Hello there, boys and girls. Do you know what time it is? (Chime) There's the clock telling us it's ten thirty and that means -- time for -- "Let's Pretend." Here they are. 

(All voices fade) 

CAPTAIN: Hey, youngsters. (Voice stop) You heard Mr. _____ say -- it's time for "Let's Pretend."

PAT: And so, Captain Bob?

CAPTAIN: And so let's decide what story we are to play today.

ESTELLE: Captain Bob -- may I make a suggestion? 

CAPTAIN: You certainly may, Estelle. 

ESTELLE: We've had so many letters asking for Rumpelstiltskin. How about doing that one?

ALBERT: Now you are talking!

CAPTAIN: You evidently like that story, Albert. 

ALBERT: I think it's a peach.

CAPTAIN: How about the rest of you -- want to play Rumpelstiltskin? 

(All voices agree) 

CAPTAIN: All right -- we're set for the story. Now how shall we go to the land of "Let's Pretend"? Whoa! (Kids laugh) Beat you to that one. Jackie Kelk-- Suppose you say!

JACKIE: How about roller skates? 

CAPTAIN: Now there's a brand new way to go! Everybody here want to roller skate? 

(All kids agree) 

CAPTAIN: All right. Line up! Watch out. One -- two -- three-- (Whiz bang) We're off! 

Biz: Four dozen pairs of roller skates . . . music cue . . . rap on door. 

KING: (off mike) Well -- well -- well-- come in! 

(Door opens and shuts)

COUNCILOR: Good morning, Your Highness. Will you arise now? 

KING: (yawns) Good morning! Is it time to get up, Councilor? 

COUNCIL: Yes, Your Highness. As a matter of fact it's quite late. Today, if you will recall, you are to interview the maidens. 

KING: Interview what maidens? What do you mean? 

COUNCIL: Surely, you haven't forgotten, Your Highness, that you have summoned all the marriageable maidens to the palace so that you may find one suitable to be your wife!

KING: Oh! So I did. Hum! Oh, what made me do that, Lord Councilor? I can't remember. 

COUNCIL: You said you must marry, Your Highness, and that you wanted a wife who was not only beautiful, but one who could give you a noble dowry as well. 

KING: Did I say all that? 

COUNCIL: Yes, Sire. 

KING: I'm getting more absent-minded every day! Don't know what I'd do without you, Lord Councilor. Why did I want a maiden with a noble dowry -- do you know? 

COUNCIL: Yes, Sire. Because our royal coffers are very low. 

KING: Our royal coffee is low? 

COUNCIL: No, Sire, our coffers. 

KING: Well, now that I'm up, call my dresser. (Gong strikes) What's his name -- I can't remember. 

COUNCIL: William, Sire. 

KING: Oh, William -- tell him to -- what did I want him for? 

COUNCIL: To assist you to dress, Your Highness.

KING: Oh, yes. Well, tell him to clear up this dresser when he comes. I can't find a thing on it. My heavens above, I've grown a black beard overnight! Look! 

COUNCIL: Your pardon, Sire, that isn't the mirror in your hand, you have the hair brush. 

Biz: Music cue. 

Biz: Girls' voices fade in laughing and chatting. 

COUNCIL: Young ladies! Young ladies! His Highness cannot hear anything for your chattering. He asks you to be less noisy. 

LOUISE: (laughs) Pardon us, Lord Councilor, but you see it isn't every day we are invited to the palace. 

FANCHON: Oh, what type does he want, Lord Councilor? (Ad lib.) Does he prefer the dark hair of Louise or do you think my golden braids will appeal to him most? 

LOUISE: Oh, I hope he chooses me. I look so well in a crown. 

FANCHON: How do you know? 

LOUISE: I cut one out of paper and have been practicing how to wear it for days. 

FANCHON: I wouldn't have to practice on the crown but the royal train would trip me before I walked three steps. 

KING: Councilor! Councilor! 

COUNCIL: Yes, Your Highness. 

KING: Leave those charming ladies for a moment and come here! What is the name of this country? 

COUNCIL: This is the Kingdom of Yaltoria, Sire. 

KING: Yaltoria? 

COUNCIL: What did you want to know for? 

KING: It was for when I decided which maiden I would choose for Queen, I have to tell her she has been chosen as Queen of -- what did you say? -- oh, yes -- Yaltoria. 

COUNCIL: That's right, Sire. 

KING: Well, call the ladies over. Bring the dark one first. 

COUNCIL: Mademoiselle Louise! His Highness has asked that you come to the throne. 

LOUISE: Oh, yes, gladly. 

FANCHON: (calling away from the mike) I suppose I ought to wish you good luck, but I hope he likes blondes best. 

COUNCIL: Your Highness! This is Louise. 

Biz: Loud raps on door. 

MILLER: Let us in. I must see His Royal Highness, the King. Let us in! 

KING: What's going on out there? 

COUNCIL: It's someone pounding on the outer door, Sire. 

KING: What for? Who does he want to see? 

MILLER: (off mike) Let me in. I must see the King. 

COUNCIL: He says he must see the King, Your Highness. 

KING: Well, where is the King? Get him. Stop the noise. Find the King for him. 

COUNCIL: But, Sire, you are the king! 

KING: What? Oh! He wants to see me! Very well then, let him enter. 

COUNCIL: Come in! Come in! 

Biz: Door opens and shuts. 

WINIFRED: Oh, don't, Father, please don't! 

MILLER: Silence! 

KING: Well, my friend, after all that noise and pounding you'd better have something important to say. 

MILLER: I have, Your Highness. Ever since the Town Crier read the announcement that you sought a wife, I have been trying to get my daughter to come to you. But she is backward, Sire, she is modest, and I have had to bring her myself. 

WINIFRED: Oh, Sire, you mustn't believe anything he says. It isn't true, really it isn't! 

MILLER: Be quiet, Winifred. 

KING: Well now, let's get this settled. Wait a minute. Councilor, what are all these girls doing in here? 

COUNCIL: You sent for them, Sire. They are the-- 

KING: Oh, yes. Well, tell them to get out for a while -- to excuse me. I want to hear what this man has to say. Besides, his daughter is much the prettiest -- so if she has other charms as well as beauty, I think perhaps I won't have to see the others. 

(Councilor and girls ad lib . . . door opens and shuts) 

MILLER: Oh, Sire, she has a most unusual gift! Listen, Sire-- (Very confidential) She can spin flax into pure gold. 

WINIFRED: Oh, Father! Please, Sire, I-- 

MILLER: Silence, Winifred!

COUNCIL: (confidentially) Sire, if she can do this, she is sent from heaven. As I told you, our coffers are low and we need gold -- we need it very badly. 

KING: So we do. And moreover, she's very, very pretty and will make a charming queen. 

MILLER: Oh, yes, Your Highness, she will grace your throne. 

KING: Very well. Your daughter shall be made comfortable here in the palace. Tonight she shall have a spinning wheel placed in her room and tomorrow, if she has spun the gold as you say she can, then I shall marry her and she shall become Queen of-- 

COUNCIL: (whispers) Yaltoria. 

KING: Of Yaltoria. But should she fail to do what you have promised, then you shall both pay for this falsehood with your lives. Do you understand? 

MILLER: Very well, Your Highness. I -- I -- I don't need to stay, do I? My mill wheel is idle -- I must get back to it. 

WINIFRED: (crying) Oh, Father, how can you leave me here to die? 

MILLER: Spin the gold for the King, my dear! I shall be at your wedding. Goodbye. 

(Door slams) 

KING: Now then, Councilor, take her to the Royal Suite. See that she has everything to make her happy and comfortable. 

Biz: Music cue. Winifred's voice fades in crying . . . rap on door. 

WINIFRED: Come in! (Door opens) Oh, who are you -- and what do you want? 

RUMPELSTILTSKIN: First tell me what's wrong, miller maid. Why do you weep? 

WINIFRED: Because tomorrow I am to die. And I did so want to live and be happy! 

RUMPEL: And why do you die! 

WINIFRED: Either I must spin this flax into gold or the King will have me killed tomorrow. And I can't even spin. (Cries) 

RUMPEL: What will you give me if I do it for you, miller maid? 

WINIFRED: Can you spin flax into gold, little man?

RUMPEL: If I am interested I can do it. What have you got to give me? 

WINIFRED: Why -- this ring. It's really lovely. See! Will you take that? 

RUMPEL: Yes, that's a pretty ring. Very well, I will. Get up, and when the dawn appears you will have pure gold to give the King. 

WINIFRED: Oh, thank you, little man, thank you. 

RUMPEL: Here I go! (Sound of spinning wheel whirring loudly) Wheel, wheel, turn and fold all the flax to shining gold. 

Biz: Wheel continues . . . music cue . . . raps on door. 

WINIFRED: (yawns) Who is it? 

COUNCIL: The Lord Councilor, Mademoiselle. The King is approaching. Be ready to let him in, please. 

WINIFRED: (laughs) I am ready, Councilor. 

COUNCIL: Then open the door. (Door opens) His Royal Highness, the King! 

KING: Good morning, Winifred. What did I come here for, Councilor? 

COUNCIL: To see if the maiden had spun the flax into gold, Sire. 

KING: Sure enough, I did. Well then, young lady, let me see what a spinner you are. 

WINIFRED: Here is the gold, Your Highness. Just as you asked me to spin it. 

KING: By Heaven, she has done it! Look, Councilor, every bit of flax has been transformed into shining gold. 

COUNCIL: This is indeed a miracle, Sire. The floor is covered with gold! Now, if I may remind you, Sire, you must fulfill your promise made to her father and her. 

KING: All right, but, Councilor, a word with you. (Lower tone) I think, since our treasury is so low, it would be well to have this lovely lady spin some more gold. Don't you think that's a pretty good plan? 

COUNCIL: Yes, Sire, it is an excellent one. But will she do it? 

KING: She must! I still have some authority here. Winifred! 

WINIFRED: Yes, Sire. 

KING: Today, we will be married, as we agreed yesterday. But -- once more must you spin gold for us! 

WINIFRED: (very much alarmed) Oh, no, no-- 

KING: I command it. And in the meantime, Councilor, make all preparations for the wedding. (Laughs) I have a pretty, talented wife. 

WINIFRED: Oh, please have pity on me, Your Highness. Don't ask me to spin the flax again. 

KING: Silence! Remember I'm the King of -- don't tell me -- I know. I'm the King of Yaltoria. My word is to be obeyed. Prepare for the wedding ceremony, and then to the spinning wheel and woe be unto you should you fail! 

Biz: Music cue. 

WINIFRED: (crying) Oh, what shall I do? What shall I do? 

Biz: Rap on door. 

WINIFRED: Come in! 

RUMPEL: (opens door) What's the matter, miller maid? In tears again? 

WINIFRED: Oh, little man, I'm glad to see you! Indeed I am in tears -- and for a good reason. Look! Twice as much flax that must be spun into gold, or my life will be the penalty. Oh, little man, help me, I beg you! 

RUMPEL: What have you to offer me this time as payment? 

WINIFRED: My new necklace the King has sent me as a wedding gift! See, it's very handsome. 

RUMPEL: It is really lovely! 

WINIFRED: Take it! And start to spin. It will soon be dawn. Please hurry! 

RUMPEL: Very well. Here I go. (Sings as before . . . spinning wheel begins) Wheel, wheel, turn and fold all the flax to shining gold. 

Biz: Music cue. 

COUNCIL: So you see, Sire, something has to be done immediately. 

KING: What's the greatest trouble, Councilor? 

COUNCIL: We must have money. May I make a suggestion? Can you not have the Queen do her magic spinning just once more and so save us from financial ruin? 

KING: That sounds very reasonable. In fact, it's an excellent idea! Send for Her Highness! 

Biz: Gong strikes . . . door opens. 

PAGE: You rang, Lord Councilor? 

COUNCIL: Yes. Commend me to Her Highness, the Queen, and ask her if she will attend His Majesty in the Throne Room at her earliest convenience. 

PAGE: Yes, Lord Councilor. 

Biz: Door shuts. 

COUNCIL: Now then, Your Highness, for the sake of our whole Kingdom urge her to do this immediately. 

KING: Urge her to do what? 

COUNCIL: Why -- spin the gold, Sire. 

KING: Oh, yes -- I forgot. 

Biz: Door opens. 

PAGE: Her Royal Highness, Queen Winifred.

Biz: Door shuts. 

WINIFRED: You sent for me, my King?

KING: No, but I am glad to see you, my darling.

WINIFRED: Why -- the page told me you had asked for me to attend you here. I hastened to come.

COUNCIL: Sire, don't you remember? You have a favor to ask of Her Highness.

KING: Oh, yes, I have. Of course I sent for you, my dear! I do seem to be getting more absent-minded every day.

WINIFRED: (laughs) Never mind, you're a darling and your Queen is very fond of you. Now what is it you wanted?

KING: Leave us, will you, Lord Councilor? I want to speak with Her Highness alone.

COUNCIL: Yes, Sire, but you won't forget what it was you were to ask her?

KING: Certainly not! What was it?


KING: Never mind -- I remember.

COUNCIL: Yes, Sire.

Biz: Door shuts.

KING: Now then, my sweet. We have been married -- how long?

WINIFRED: A half a year, my dear.

KING: Have you been happy?

WINIFRED: Oh, very happy, my dearest. You are so kind and loving. I am eager to make you happy always.

KING: Then you have already answered what I am about to ask.

WINIFRED: What is it, my lord?

KING: (coughs a little nervously) My Lord Councilor tells me that I have overestimated the gold in our treasury, and--

WINIFRED: (fearfully) Oh, my dear, do not ask me to spin again! I beg of you!

KING: But, my love, that is exactly what I must do!

WINIFRED: Oh, I was afraid of this. Just when we were so happy. And now -- what shall I do?

KING: Why, the only thing a loving wife, a loyal queen, could do, Winifred. Spin your flax and save the Kingdom from poverty and misery! Come, Winifred, say you will.

WINIFRED: (crying) I would do anything I could for you, my husband! I will try -- that's all I can promise.

KING: Thank you, dear! And tomorrow we'll be rich again!

Biz: Music cue . . . clock strikes three.

WINIFRED: (crying) Oh, little man, little man, come to me! I need you more than ever before. Suppose he doesn't answer me! What shall I do! Oh, come to me, little man, help me! (Rap on door) Come in. (Door opens) Oh -- come in! 

(Door shuts)

RUMPEL: What's the trouble, Queen Winifred?

WINIFRED: Oh! Oh, how glad I am to see you! I need your help more than ever before.

RUMPEL: So? Are you to be killed if you do not spin flax into gold?

WINIFRED: No, not that. But you see now I want the gold because I love my husband. And now he needs the gold -- really needs it! Will you help me?

RUMPEL: Well now, let me see! What will you give me this time?

WINIFRED: Oh, I can give you anything you ask for this time.

RUMPEL: Umh! There's a lot of work, isn't there?

WINIFRED: Look, I brought my jewel box with me. Take them all.

RUMPEL: I will spin the flax on one condition, Queen Winifred.

WINIFRED: Oh, name it, little man. Whatever you ask is granted.

RUMPEL: Very well, it is this. I am getting old and I am lonely. I would ask that you give me your first-born child to comfort me in my old age.

WINIFRED: But I have no child, my little man.

RUMPEL: Not now, but one of these days one will very likely come along and I will come to claim him. Is it agreed?

WINIFRED: Oh, yes! Yes! Anything if you will but spin the flax for me.

RUMPEL: Very well, it is a bargain! (Sings . . . spinning wheel starts) Wheel, wheel, turn and fold all the flax into shining gold!

Biz: Music cue . . . baby cries.

KING: (laughing) Oh, what a face for a king's son. Look, Winifred. He's making faces at his father. Stop that youngster! Nobody can make faces at the King! (Baby cries) All right! All right! Have it your own way. Go ahead -- make faces. How old is he now, my sweet?

WINIFRED: Three months old today, my dear.

KING: Well, he's a lovely baby. (Baby cries) All right, all right, go to your mother. I shall see you at dinner, dear. I think motherhood becomes you. You're prettier than ever. Until dinner then! 

(Door shuts) 

WINIFRED: Oh, nurse, he's a darling baby, isn't he? 

NURSE: In all my years, Madam, I have never known a finer baby. Aren't you, Prince Courteney? (Baby cries) Of course you are. 

WINIFRED: It's time for his food, Nurse. Please go to the kitchen and get his supper. 

NURSE: Yes, Madam. 

Biz: Door shuts . . . rap on door. 


Biz: Door opens and shuts. 

RUMPEL: Well, Queen Winifred, this is my first visit when you are not in tears. 

WINIFRED: Oh! How you startled me! How do you do! Why have you come, little man? 

RUMPEL: Why have I come? You haven't forgotten your promise, have you? 

WINIFRED: My promise? What promise? 

RUMPEL: You promised me your first-born child, Queen Winifred. I have come to take him! 

WINIFRED: Oh, no! Don't say that! You wouldn't take my baby! You couldn't! 

RUMPEL: You promised me your first-born child! 

WINIFRED: Oh, but I didn't know what I was saying! I'd rather die than give him up! 

RUMPEL: Perhaps. But to be disgraced before the King. To have the King know that you have lied to him from the first day you met him? That you have given me your jewels and money if I would help you to deceive him. Would you have him know that, Queen Winifred? 

WINIFRED: (crying) Oh, little man, have pity! It wasn't my fault. I made no such promises to the King. It was my wicked father, as you know. I love my husband, the King! I would not shame him before the whole world! (Sobs) But I cannot give up my precious baby. Oh, little man, have pity. 

RUMPEL: I am not without heart, even though you promised me on your oath that you would give me the baby. I will make a bargain with you. 

WINIFRED: Oh, anything to keep my baby. What is it? 

RUMPEL: If you can guess my name by Sunday next I will let you keep your baby and the King will never know. 

WINIFRED: Guess your name by Sunday. This is Wednesday night. Is your name so difficult then? 

RUMPEL: You will see. I will give you until one minute past midnight on the beginning of the Sabbath. If you do not know it then, I will take your baby and you'll never see him again.

WINIFRED: (screams) I'll find it! I'll never rest day or night until I find your name. You shan't have my baby! 

RUMPEL: (laughs) We shall see, Queen Winifred. Until midnight as the Sabbath day begins. Farewell! 

Biz: Door slams. 

WINIFRED: (sobbing) Oh, merciful heavens. What shall I do? 

NURSE: Why, Madam! What is wrong? 

WINIFRED: Oh, Nurse, help me! Help me! 

NURSE: Gladly, Madam. What shall I do? 

WINIFRED: There is a man who threatens to take my baby away from me. 

NURSE: What? 

WINIFRED: I'll tell you why later. Can I trust you to help me now? Quickly? 

NURSE: Yes, Madam, I adore you. What can I do? 

WINIFRED: Find fast messengers you can rely on. Search out every name in the Kingdom. If I can guess the little man's name by Sunday next, my baby will be spared to me! List every name you can find. Hurry! Hurry! 

NURSE: I go, Madam! I shall return tomorrow. 

Biz: Music cue . . . rap on door. 

NURSE: It is I, Madam. 

WINIFRED: Come in quickly! 

(Door opens and shuts) 

NURSE: Here are the lists, Madam. The men have searched everywhere. They reported to me just now. 

WINIFRED: Have they started out again? 

NURSE: Yes, Madam. In case the name is not here, we shall surely find it by tomorrow night. 

WINIFRED: Pray Heaven that the name is here! (Rap on door) There he is! I knew it! Give me the lists. Come in! 

Biz: Door opens and shuts. 

RUMPEL: Well, Queen Winifred, it's the evening of the first day and I am here. Have you found my name? 

WINIFRED: First, do you swear to tell me when I have guessed it? 

RUMPEL: (laughs) It's safe to promise that for you can never guess my name. Yes, yes, I swear. 

WINIFRED: Very well, is it Sheepshanks? 


WINIFRED: Crookshanks? 


WINIFRED: Dobrotek? 

RUMPEL: No. (Laughs) 

WINIFRED: (cries) I have only two more. Is it Kashib? 

RUMPEL: No, no, no! 

WINIFRED: Well, then, is it Ab-Es Samad? 

RUMPEL: (laughs madly) No, you're miles away from it! I told you you couldn't guess it. 

WINIFRED: But I will. Come back tomorrow night. I'll find it. The Holy Mother will help me to find your name and to save my baby. 

RUMPEL: Until tomorrow night, Your Highness. 

Biz: Laughs and fades out . . . music cue . . . door opens and shuts. 

NURSE: Good evening, Queen Winifred. 

WINIFRED: Oh, quickly, what news? Have you a longer list of names tonight? 

NURSE: I have had messengers in every part of the Kingdom. Their horses are covered with foam and sweat. All day they have ridden up and down the countryside. Here, here is the list! 

WINIFRED: Surely it will be here. (Rap on door) Oh! Just in time too. Come in! 

Biz: Doors opens and shuts. 

RUMPEL: Good evening, Your Highness. Here I am all ready for the contest. What have you to offer me tonight for a name? 

WINIFRED: Tonight I am sure I have it. Is it Alrashine? 

RUMPEL: (laughs) Far from it. 

WINIFRED: Is it Kas-roos-ka? 

RUMPEL: No, no, no! 

NURSE: Courage, Madam, it is sure to be here somewhere. Go on! 

WINIFRED: Ack-med-- Back-ned? 

RUMPEL: (laughs in glee). 

WINIFRED: Only one more left! Is it -- BAB MUS-TA? 

RUMPEL: (laughs) Tomorrow is Sunday -- the last day! I'll be here at the stroke of twelve tomorrow night. At twelve, Your Highness! 

Biz: Door shuts. 

WINIFRED: Run, Nurse, for your life! Send the messengers out again. Only twenty-four hours left. 

Biz: Music cue . . . horses' hoofs . . . fade in and stop. 

1ST RIDER: Where are we? I've never seen this woods before. 

2ND RIDER: Nor I. Looks ghostly. Don't think we can find any information here.

1ST RIDER: Doesn't seem to be anyone to ask. It's nine o'clock besides. Only three hours left before the Queen must have the name. And we could scarcely make it if we should start now. 

2ND RIDER: Oh, well, we've tried. I feel sorry for Her Highness, but what can we do?

1ST RIDER: Still try until all hope is gone.

Biz: Sounds of RUMPELSTILTSKIN laughing.

1ST RIDER: Listen!

2ND RIDER: What is it?

RUMPEL: Tomorrow I brew, today I bake,

And then the child away I'll take,

For little deems my royal dame

That Rumpelstiltskin is my name. (Laughs)

1ST RIDER: For little deems my royal dame -- that Rumpelstiltskin is my name! Glory be -- that's it! Rumpelstiltskin! No wonder.

2ND RIDER: Rumpelstiltskin! What a name!

1ST RIDER: Ride, man, for your life! Remember the name, and if anything happens to one of us, the other is sure to make it! Ride to the Palace!

2ND RIDER: Right!

1ST RIDER: Let's go!

Biz: Music cue . . . horses' hoofs and whoopees . . . fade out . . . clock strikes twelve . . . horses' hoofs fade in . . . stop . . . knock on door.

RUMPEL: Good evening, Your Highness. Is the baby ready to go with me?

WINIFRED: Good evening, little man. The baby will be ready if I fail to guess your name.

RUMPEL: Better save time then and give him to me.

WINIFRED: Touch him on your life! I'll take my turn to guess your name now.

RUMPEL: Very well, but hurry. I long to be off. You'll never guess it -- never!

WINIFRED: Is it Benjamin?

RUMPEL: (disgusted) No!

WINIFRED: Is it Peter? Paul? Cassin?

RUMPEL: No! Give me the baby!

WINIFRED: One more guess.



RUMPEL: (screams in rage) Oh! You fiend! You sorceress! You've tricked me! You've found my name through magic! Oh! Oh! I could kill you! A demon has told you!

Biz: Sound of stamping on floor . . . floor starts to crack.

WINIFRED: Look out! The floor is breaking! Look out!

Biz: Floor cracks loudly . . . clatter and terrible commotion.

KING: What's happened here? What's wrong, Winifred?

WINIFRED: Oh, my husband, we had a caller and he was so angry when he found you were not home that he stamped on the floor until it collapsed and he disappeared into the earth.

KING: Who was it?

WINIFRED: His name was -- Rumpelstiltskin.

KING: It's just as well. I never could have remembered it anyhow.

Biz: Music cue.