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The Little Mermaid

Let's Pretend

The Little Mermaid

Aug 29 1942



CAST:

NAIDA (pronounced NY-EEDA), the little mermaid; a lovely voice

UNDINE

GRANDMOTHER

LOLITA

PRINCE

SAILOR

GIRL (2 lines)

MAN (1 line)

WITCH DOCTOR, sinister

LORD WORTH

PRINCESS HELEN

DAUGHTER OF THE AIR

plus MERMAIDS and MORTALS




MUSIC: ... FOR AN INTRODUCTION 


MERMAIDS: (LAUGH AND GIGGLE)


GRANDMOTHER: Oh, you foolish mermaids, with your curiosity for the mortal world and its people.


NAIDA: But, Grandmother, when you were fifteen, I'm sure that you were just as anxious to make your first trip to the mortal world as any of us.


UNDINE: Of course she was!


NAIDA: Undine, tell us what else you saw at the top of the sea. I mean, besides the trees that grow tall and the feathered fish that live in them and sing.


MERMAIDS: (LAUGH AND GIGGLE)


GRANDMOTHER: Not "feathered fish," Naida. Mortals call them birds.


NAIDA: I can't imagine what they could look like. What else, Undine? Tell me, what else did you see?


UNDINE: Oh, Naida! Well, I think the most interesting thing of all in the mortal world is that all those people have stumps they walk around on. Er, you say they call them "legs," Grandmother?


GRANDMOTHER: That's right, Undine.


NAIDA: Legs? But where are their fins?


UNDINE: Well, that's the strange part of it, sister. Mortals don't have any.


GRANDMOTHER: (CHUCKLES) Oh, listen to that child. Naida, don't you know that mortals don't live in the water? They can only stay under a very short time -- and then they would die. They walk everywhere they go. That's the greatest difference between the mortals and we mer-people.


NAIDA: Oh, it's so exciting. I can hardly wait for the time when I am fifteen and can put on my pearl crown and swim to the top of the sea!


MERMAIDS: (LAUGH AND GIGGLE)


GRANDMOTHER: Well, it will be a little time yet, my pet. And until you do, I think you'd better content yourself in your garden. Your little ebony statue can be your company.


NAIDA: Oh, I love my beautiful ebony statue. I talk to him by the hour.


UNDINE: How do you suppose that statue ever came down to the bottom of the sea, Grandmother?


GRANDMOTHER: Ooooh, probably a ship was wrecked and sank -- and then the heavy statue sank way down through the moss and settled in her garden. I think it was made for some mortal prince, most likely.


NAIDA: (PLEASED) A mortal prince, Grandmother! Oh, will I see him when I'm fifteen and can go to the top of the sea?


UNDINE: (LIGHTLY) Naida, you ask questions all day long. You'd better run and play in your coral garden.


SOUND: OF A FIGHT BETWEEN WHALES AND SHARKS ... WHOOSH! AND CHURN! OF WATER ... THEN IN BG


MERMAIDS: (REACT WITH SURPRISE)


GRANDMOTHER: Look out, children! The whales and the sharks are fighting again!


UNDINE: Look at the solid black shadow the whales make, Grandmother.


SOUND: WHOOSH! AND CHURN! OF WATER ... THEN INTERMITTENTLY IN BG


GRANDMOTHER: Look! They're out in full force! Better go inside the castle until their conflict is over. Come along, Naida.


NAIDA: (EAGERLY) Will you tell me about how the princes live in their castles that reach to the sky -- and what they do and what they eat?


GRANDMOTHER: (CHUCKLES) Oh, what a question! I-- Yes, I'll tell you! Only come along now. Come, girls!


SOUND: WHOOSH! AND CHURN! OF WATER ... UP AND OUT


MUSIC: BRIDGE


GRANDMOTHER: And now, my dear Naida, here is your birthday gift: your crown of pearls!


NAIDA: Oh, it's lovely, Grandmother, just lovely!


UNDINE: And so our baby is fifteen today. And isn't she pretty, sisters?


MERMAIDS: (AD LIB "OH, YES! LOVELY!" ET CETERA)


NAIDA: And now, Grandmother -- is it time for us to swim to the top of the sea?


GRANDMOTHER: Yes, Naida. Undine, are you ready to go with her?


UNDINE: Yes, Grandmother.


GRANDMOTHER: Oh, wait, Naida! You must have eight oysters clinging to your train.


NAIDA: But they'll hurt me.


GRANDMOTHER: Nonsense. One must endure a little pain for looks. You must wear them -- every princess mermaid does. Why, I have worn sixteen of them day and night ever since I became queen!


LOLITA: You're going to have your hands full today, Undine.


UNDINE: (AMUSED) I know it, Lolita.


GRANDMOTHER: (STRICT) Watch her, Undine. Don't let her swim out of your sight.


UNDINE: I won't, Grandmother.


LOLITA: Oh, be back in time for the Goldfish Pageant in your honor, Naida.


NAIDA: I will, Lolita. 


GRANDMOTHER: Goodbye, my princesses! Up you go to the mortal world!


NAIDA: Goodbye. (EXCITED) Come, Undine! Here we go!


SOUND: WHOOSH! THROUGH WATER AS NAIDA AND UNDINE SWIM AWAY


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... FOR A TRIP TO THE TOP OF THE SEA


SOUND: SEA SURFACE BACKGROUND ... WIND AND WAVES ... SPLASH! OF NAIDA AND UNDINE


NAIDA: Oh, look, Undine -- what's that?


UNDINE: Where?


NAIDA: Over there. Wait until this big wave goes over.


SOUND: BIG WAVE GOES OVER


NAIDA: There. See it?!


UNDINE: Oh! Oh, that's a ship like Grandmother was telling you about. Listen. You can hear mortal sounds coming from it.


MORTALS: (WHO ARE HAVING A PARTY, LAUGH AND CHATTER AND GIGGLE, OFF ... CONTINUES INTERMITTENTLY IN BG)


NAIDA: Oh, how thrilling! I'll see my first mortals! Let's swim over to it and look into the windows, Undine.


UNDINE: (RELUCTANT) Well-- If you promise not to go too close. You know, no mortal must look upon a mermaid.


NAIDA: Why?


UNDINE: Because it could only lead to disaster.


NAIDA: I don't see just why.


UNDINE: Because-- Well-- Just suppose you fell in love with a mortal. You could not live on the Earth; they cannot live in the water. Don't you see what would happen?


NAIDA: Yes. I guess I do. But let's go over to the ship anyhow. Come on!


MORTALS: (THEIR LAUGHTER AND CHATTER GROW LOUDER)


UNDINE: Can you hear what they're saying?


NAIDA: Listen!


MORTALS: Long live the prince! Long live the prince! (THEY LAUGH AND APPLAUD)


PRINCE: Dear friends! This is indeed a royal birthday party!


NAIDA: That's a prince talking, Undine! And it's his birthday, too! Oh, how lovely. That makes us acquainted, doesn't it?


UNDINE: Of course not. Listen.


PRINCE: (TO MORTALS) You've taken me quite by surprise -- and it makes the birthday party all the nicer. And I'm more than happy to welcome you on board. So make yourselves comfortable! My entire staff is at your command!


MORTALS: (REACT FAVORABLY)


PRINCE: Come! Bring in the dancing girls! Let's have music and gaiety! Come!


MUSIC: FOR THE DANCING ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]


NAIDA: Oh, it's a real party on the ship, Undine. Oh, lift me up on your shoulders so I can see better. Please do!


UNDINE: (STRICT) No, Naida. Time to swim on. Remember, we're to see, but not be seen by mortals.


NAIDA: Oh, please -- let me watch the handsome prince a moment more. (AMAZED AND EXCITED) Undine, look!


UNDINE: What is it? Why are you so excited?


NAIDA: Undine, don't you see the resemblance?


UNDINE: To whom? What are you talking about?


NAIDA: The prince in there and the little ebony statue in my garden!


UNDINE: (ASTONISHED) You're right, Naida! It must be a statue of this very prince.


NAIDA: Then that makes us acquainted, doesn't it? [X] I'll go right in and tell him about it.


UNDINE: Naida, you can't go in there! Don't you see how different they are from you?


NAIDA: (SOLEMN) I only see that the prince is the handsomest being in all the world -- and I shall love him and no other as long as I live.


UNDINE: (DISBELIEF AND HORROR) Naida! What are you saying?


NAIDA: It's true. I knew that someday my statue would come to life. And there he is. I love him with all my heart, Undine.


UNDINE: (STERN) Stop that foolish talk instantly and let's go home! Come!


NAIDA: You may go if you want to. But I shall stay here and watch my love.


SOUND: THUNDER! ... STORM (WITH WIND, RAIN, AND CHOPPY WATERS) SWEEPS IN DURING FOLLOWING--


UNDINE: Naida, I forbid you to let your childish fancy wander like this! Now come! Besides, there's a storm coming -- the sky is black. Come along!


NAIDA: If there's a storm coming, perhaps my prince will be in danger. I shall stay here. He's mortal, he can't live under the water -- you said so yourself.


UNDINE: Foolish child. I'm going. The storm is breaking. You'll be sorry for this, mark my words! Goodbye!


SOUND: SPLASH! AS UNDINE DIVES ... DURING ABOVE, PANICKED MORTALS SHOUT AND SCREAM ABOUT THE STORM WHICH GROWS LOUDER ... CONTINUES IN BG


PRINCE: All hands on deck! Another man to the wheel! Cut those lines!


SAILOR: Aye, aye, sir!


PRINCE: Hold to the rail, friends! Hold fast! Try not to be frightened!


GIRL: (SCREAMS) The waves-- [?]


SAILOR: Typhoon, Your Highness! Look out! Quickly! Look out! The prince--


SOUND: BIG WAVE HITS THE SHIP


GIRL: (HORRIFIED) The prince fell overboard! The wave struck him off! Help! Find him! The prince, the prince, the prince! Look!


SAILOR: He's gone! Those waves have drawn him under! No power can save him. We're doomed! The ship is sinking! Jump! Jump for your lives!


SOUND: MORTALS HOLLER AND SCREAM AS THEY JUMP INTO WATER ... STORM SURGES UP AND OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN SLOSH OF WATER AS NAIDA PUSHES PRINCE'S UNCONSCIOUS BODY ONTO SHORE


NAIDA: (WEARY AND LOVINGLY) There, my prince. There. You're safe now. See? I have you on the shore. (WORRIED) Oh, open your eyes. Your lips are so blue and cold. (TO HERSELF) Oh, what do these mortals do to help each other? (BEAT) His heart is beating -- but, oh, so faintly! Oh, my beloved.


PRINCE: (STIRS SLIGHTLY)


NAIDA: Oh, he's alive! Open your eyes, my prince.


MAN: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Hello?! Hello?!


NAIDA: (LOW, TO PRINCE) Oh, thank heaven. Some mortal is coming to your aid, my dearest. They mustn't see me. Why can't you speak to me? If only I could take you to my castle under the sea. But Grandmother says mortals can't live there. (KISSES HIM, HEARTBROKEN) Farewell. I leave my heart with you. Goodbye, beloved. Goodbye.


SOUND: SPLASH! AS NAIDA RETURNS TO THE SEA


MUSIC: BRIDGE


GRANDMOTHER: (KINDLY) Undine, the time has come when I must know fully just what happened to our baby sister. You were with her. 


UNDINE: (GENTLY) Naida, why don't you unburden your heart to Grandmother? Please do. I hate to be the one to speak of what really concerns you.


NAIDA: (MELANCHOLY) I saw the one man in all the world for me, Grandmother. I have fallen in love with a mortal. That's all.


GRANDMOTHER: (SYMPATHETIC) Oh, my precious one! Who is he?


NAIDA: A prince. He's the living image of my little ebony statue. And I love him.


UNDINE: Since she's told you that much, Grandmother, perhaps it'll be easier if I tell you the rest. We saw a royal ship on the water. We swam near it and, through the window, Naida saw the prince. I begged her to go away. I scolded her, knowing it'd only bring sorrow, but -- she didn't even hear my voice.


GRANDMOTHER: I see. Then, Naida, what happened?


NAIDA: The storm broke. The ship went down. The prince was swept overboard. He was just about to sink forever when I reached him. I carried him to the beach. Heard voices coming. So I - I kissed him goodbye. And came home.


GRANDMOTHER: And since then you haven't eaten or slept. Oh, darling, what will become of you?


NAIDA: (HOPELESS) I shall live out my three hundred years -- and then become foam upon the water. (QUIET DESPAIR) And I wish it could be today!


GRANDMOTHER: (COMFORTING) Oh, there, there, my dear. Oh, my poor little Naida.


UNDINE: Grandmother, if mortals do not drown, then do they live forever?


GRANDMOTHER: No. But, you see, mortals have souls and even after the body is no more, their souls rise up through the clear air to the shining stars and the silver moon.


NAIDA: Where is that?


GRANDMOTHER: A beautiful region beyond the sky.


NAIDA: But-- Have mermaids no souls, Grandmother? Is there no way I can gain a soul?


GRANDMOTHER: One way only. If a man should love you so dearly that he forsook family, friends -- everyone -- for you. If he took your hand in his and, before the holy man, promised to be true to you forever, then his soul would divide itself and part would become you, which he would cherish and guard all his life as a part of him. And then you would have a soul.


NAIDA: Could I make my prince love me like that?


GRANDMOTHER: No, Naida. It cannot be. He is of the mortal world and you are a mermaid. Your life is below the sea. Try to forget him, my dear. I'm truly sorry, dearest, but that is best.


NAIDA: (MORE ANIMATED, EVEN HOPEFUL) Thank you for your understanding, Grandmother. If you'll excuse me now, I'd like to be alone in my garden. I have a plan. I want to think about it. Please let me go -- alone.


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN THRASHING OF WATER AS NAIDA STRUGGLES WITH AN OCTOPUS ... THEN IN BG


NAIDA: (CALLS, NERVOUSLY) Oh, Witch Doctor! Witch Doctor! Oh, let me in quickly, please!


WITCH DOCTOR: (APPROACHES, GRUMPY) What's the hurry? What's the matter?


NAIDA: Your octopus slave is holding me! Oh, he's hurting me!


WITCH DOCTOR: (TO OCTOPUS) Stop it! Jack, it's all right! Let her go!


NAIDA: (EXCLAIMS IN PAIN)


WITCH DOCTOR: Jack, let her go, I say!


SOUND: THRASHING STOPS AS OCTOPUS LETS GO


WITCH DOCTOR: (TO NAIDA) Now -- come in! Come in.


NAIDA: (EXCLAIMS WITH RELIEF)


WITCH DOCTOR: Heh! You don't like the octopus, I gather?


NAIDA: What a horrible beast he is.


WITCH DOCTOR: Eh, but a faithful guard. You knew he was there when you came to me.


NAIDA: Yes. But I'd hoped to avoid him.


WITCH DOCTOR: No more than you can avoid the rest of the trouble you're seeking.


NAIDA: Then you know why I've come to you, Witch Doctor.


WITCH DOCTOR: Heh! Of course, foolish mermaid! How else could I be a witch doctor?


NAIDA: Well, if you know why I've come, will you help me?


WITCH DOCTOR: You want to lose your mermaid's body and have two awkward stumps to walk around on like mortals. That's your first wish, isn't it?


NAIDA: Yes. Yes! Can you help me?


WITCH DOCTOR: Certainly. Want to know the price of that?


NAIDA: I don't care what it is. I'll pay.


WITCH DOCTOR: This is what will happen. I will brew you a magic drink. You will drink it. Then slowly you will change into a mortal. But it will hurt you. And ever after, every step you take will be like walking on sharp knives that will pierce and cut your flesh. Want to hear more of what you're bringing on yourself?


NAIDA: Yes. What else?


WITCH DOCTOR: You will be the loveliest dancer in all the kingdom. Yours will be a grace unequaled. But the pain will continue -- and blood will drip from the wounds. You want more?


NAIDA: Yes. Go on.


WITCH DOCTOR: All right. Here is the most important of all. Once you lose your mermaid's body -- once you become a mortal -- you can never, never return to the form of a mermaid. And if you fail to win the prince's love and he marries another, on his wedding day your heart will break and you will become coral foam upon the water. (CHUCKLES CRUELLY) You're as white as death now. You still want to win the prince?


NAIDA: (HELPLESSLY) I'm ready to try. I want a soul. I want my prince to love me as I love him. Oh, I care not what happens to me.


WITCH DOCTOR: Very well, then. I charge for this, too. Know my price?


NAIDA: No. What is it?


WITCH DOCTOR: You have the loveliest voice in all the sea kingdom. I want that! You must leave that here with me!


NAIDA: But - but how can I hope to win the love of my prince without a voice to tell him how I adore him?


WITCH DOCTOR: (CHUCKLES) You have eyes, haven't you? You have arms. You will dance! You can make him understand through these, can't you?


NAIDA: I don't know. I can try.


WITCH DOCTOR: It's your only chance -- for that's my price.


NAIDA: Very well, then. I'll pay it.


WITCH DOCTOR: All right. This flask contains the magic brew. Swim to the castle of your prince, then drink it. Be prepared for constant pain when you walk or dance. And now another magic potion. Drink this one now -- for it takes your voice from your throat and gives it to me! Come! My price -- pay it!


NAIDA: Oh, angels in heaven, help me! (SADLY) Farewell, my voice. (TO WITCH DOCTOR) Give me the magic potion. (BEAT, FATALISTIC) And now, with my last words, I drink to you, my beloved, the prince of my heart.


SOUND: CLINK! OF GLASS FLASK AS NAIDA DRINKS


NAIDA: (SOBS HORRIBLY)


SOUND: CRASH! OF SHATTERING GLASS AS FLASK IS DROPPED


WITCH DOCTOR: (SATISFIED) And so I have your voice! Now then, mortal woman, on your way. And -- heh heh! -- good luck.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


LORD WORTH: May I come in, Your Highness?


PRINCE: Yes. What is it, Lord Worth?


LORD WORTH: A most unusual discovery, sire: this lovely little maiden. Look.


PRINCE: (STARTLED) Wha-- What a beautiful little creature she is. What exquisite coloring. Where ever did you find her?


LORD WORTH: On the shore, sire. Just by the marble steps leading down into the water.


PRINCE: Come here, little lady. Who are you? (NO ANSWER) Now, don't be afraid. Tell me.


LORD WORTH: We could get nothing from her, Your Highness. She won't speak.


PRINCE: What a pity. However, her eyes say a great deal. And until we find out more about her, we must look after her. (TO NAIDA) Well, little lady, would you like to live here at the castle? (NO ANSWER) You would? (CHUCKLES) Oh, you're a very dear little person. I shall call you my faun with the sea-blue eyes. Would you like that? (NO ANSWER) All right. -- Lord Worth, give orders to clothe this little lady in the finest robes. See that she has every comfort. Perhaps when she feels less shy, she will tell us who she is and where she comes from.


LORD WORTH: Yes, sire.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AS HELEN ENTERS


HELEN: May I join you?


PRINCE: Oh, Princess Helen. Come in and see the new addition to our castle.


HELEN: (DELIGHTED) What a perfectly lovely creature, prince. Who is she? Where does she come from?


PRINCE: Lord Worth found her on the shore. We don't know who she is.


HELEN: Oh, she is lovely. (TO NAIDA) Welcome, my dear. What beautiful eyes. And yet - how sad. It almost makes me weep to see them. What is your name, dear?


LORD WORTH: She won't speak, Princess Helen.


PRINCE: Oh, but she can smile. (TO NAIDA) Can't you? (CHUCKLES) Of course she can. Look, perhaps she can dance. (TO NAIDA) You can? Excellent! (CLAPS HANDS TWICE, CALLS) Music! (TO NAIDA) Come, little lady -- dance for us!


MUSIC: FOR THE DANCE ... FILLS A PAUSE, THEN IN BG


HELEN: How exquisite! I've never seen such dancing!


PRINCE: Nor I! Why, she is the most graceful thing I've ever seen. Look how she whirls and bends. And the motion of her arms -- it's like the sea moss floating on the waves. (PUZZLED) What are you looking at, Lord Worth?


LORD WORTH: Pardon, Your Highness, I thought I saw drops of blood on the marble floor, but -- I guess not. She's indeed lovely, sire.


MUSIC: ENDS


PRINCE: The most beautiful dancer I've ever seen. (TO NAIDA) Come, little faun, don't tire yourself. We'll ask you to dance again tonight. Will you? (NO ANSWER) Oh, that's fine.


HELEN: (WARMLY) She's a real discovery, prince. Dancing like hers will soothe the cares of the empire. (STARTLED) Oh! Her feet! They're bleeding! Lord Worth, that was blood you saw! (TO NAIDA) Little lady, come with me. Let me see that you're taken care of.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


HELEN: Come, little lady.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES AS HELEN AND NAIDA EXIT


PRINCE: (MYSTIFIED) Her feet bleeding -- and on her face the sweetest smile I ever saw. Why, Worth, it - it's almost as if she were of another world.


LORD WORTH: Another world, Your Highness? I think she surely is.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


HELEN: (TROUBLED) Prince, I want to speak to you.


PRINCE: Certainly, Helen. Please be seated. Now, what's troubling you?


HELEN: You know that I am not jealous, nor do I feel anything but love for our strange little dancing lady. But I feel also that you should talk very frankly with her.


PRINCE: Oh? Why, Helen?


HELEN: Surely you've noticed her adoration for you.


PRINCE: Oh, yes, of course. But it is only as a devoted dancing slave. Oh, she couldn't dream of anything else.


HELEN: Her eyes tell a different story, my prince. And I am convinced that it is time you talked with her. Only to save her pain, believe me -- that is all.


PRINCE: Perhaps you're right, Helen. I hadn't noticed. I simply wanted to take care of her. But I'll talk to her. Thank you for understanding.


HELEN: She's coming now. (MOVING OFF) I'll leave you together.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AS NAIDA ENTERS


PRINCE: (KINDLY, TO NAIDA) Come in, little lady.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


PRINCE: I'm glad you came. I want to talk to you. It's a little difficult because you can't speak to me. But you can hear. And I hope you'll understand. You see, being a prince, and owing my life to my people, my father the king has decreed that my marriage to the Princess Helen must take place immediately.


NAIDA: (STARTLED, UNHAPPY EXCLAMATION)


PRINCE: Are you surprised? I thought you knew, of course. It has long been arranged. Our marriage takes place a week from today, just at sunrise. (REASSURING) But that in no way affects your life here. The princess loves you devotedly, as do all of us. Will you be my sweet little dancing lady and dance your prettiest for me that day? (NO ANSWER, PLEASED) Thank you.


NAIDA: (SOBS)


PRINCE: Oh, come -- no tears. And a week from today, dance your prettiest for a prince who's very fond of you, my dear.


MUSIC: MELANCHOLY BRIDGE


SOUND: WATER SPLASHES AS UNDINE AND LOLITA SURFACE ... THEN SLOSHING WATER BACKGROUND


UNDINE: Lolita, there's Naida.


LOLITA: Where, Undine?


UNDINE: Up on the balcony. (CALLS) Naida?! Naida?! Look! Down in the water, dearest sister! 


LOLITA: Your sisters! Here we are! 


UNDINE: Oh, Naida -- we know. Grandmother went to the Witch Doctor. He looked into his Magic Pearl and saw your heart breaking. And he told us he'd taken your voice. Can't you say one word, darling sister? (NO ANSWER) He told us of the wedding that takes place at dawn today. He said you'd failed to win the prince -- and at sunrise you will die. Is it true? (NO ANSWER, DISHEARTENED) Oh, Naida. This is the saddest day of our lives. Farewell, dear sister.


LOLITA: Farewell, Naida. Farewell!


SOUND: SPLASH! AS UNDINE AND LOLITA DEPART ... WATER BACKGROUND OUT ... DURING ABOVE, FADE IN RINGING OF WEDDING BELLS ... THEN BEHIND PRINCE--


PRINCE: (APPROACHES) Little dancing lady, where are you?! Ah, here you are on the balcony. Watching the sun rise over the water? We've been looking for you. Come into the ballroom. The wedding is over and now you must dance as you promised. (CLAPS HANDS TWICE, CALLS) Music for the loveliest dancing girl in the world!


MUSIC: FOR THE FINAL DANCE ... FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG


HELEN: (ENTHRALLED) She's dancing more beautifully today than ever before! (STARTLED) Oh! Oh!


MUSIC: ABRUPTLY OUT WITH--


MORTALS: (STARTLED GASPS AND MURMURS)


PRINCE: (ALARMED) Little dancing lady! (CALLS) Worth come here quickly! 


WORTH: (APPROACHES) Sire? What is it? 


PRINCE: Help me lift her to the couch.


WORTH: All right, sire.


HELEN: (WORRIED) Oh! Has she fainted? Her eyes-- They're-- (REALIZES, WITH DREAD) Worth! Is - is she--?


WORTH: (HELPLESSLY) Prince-- Ladies and gentlemen-- Our sweet little dancing lady is - is dead.


MORTALS: (BRIEF UNHAPPY MURMUR)


HELEN: Oh! Poor little lady.


PRINCE: God rest her gentle soul.


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ETHEREAL HEAVENLY BACKGROUND ... ECHO ON DAUGHTER'S VOICE


DAUGHTER: (CALLS GENTLY) Naida? (NO ANSWER) Naida? Come, Naida! Open your eyes, little one!


NAIDA: (WAKES) Oh--


DAUGHTER: Arise, Naida!


NAIDA: Where am I? (QUIETLY SURPRISED) Once more I can speak. And there's no pain. No pain at all. To whom have I come?


DAUGHTER: To the land beyond the sky and the stars, Naida. Welcome.


NAIDA: Who are you?


DAUGHTER: We are known as the Daughters of the Air. Through good deeds we gain our souls. Your happiness is yet to be.


NAIDA: How, Daughter of the Air?


DAUGHTER: Unseen, we of this land beyond the sky are permitted to enter the houses of mortal men. When we do good deeds, the Guiding Spirit shortens our time of trial.


NAIDA: Then -- someday, I, too, will gain a soul?


DAUGHTER: Even so, Naida.


NAIDA: And you say we may glide unseen into the homes of mortals?


DAUGHTER: It is true.


NAIDA: (FERVENTLY) Oh, then I wish--


DAUGHTER: (BEAT) You wish what, little one?


NAIDA: Oh, may I--? May I just once glide unseen into his home -- kiss him and - and his lovely bride -- and give him my blessing?


DAUGHTER: (PLEASED) Naida, through this unselfish wish, your term has been shortened two hundred years! And behold -- your soul is born!


SOUND: ETHEREAL HEAVENLY BACKGROUND ... UP FOR THE BIRTH OF A SOUL ... THEN OUT WITH--


MUSIC: "LET'S PRETEND" THEME FOR CURTAIN ...


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