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The Nuremberg Stove

Let's Pretend

The Nuremberg Stove

Oct 26 1935



CAST:


The Strehla Children

DOROTHEA, the eldest daughter

ALBRECHT

GILDA, the littlest

CHRISTOF

AUGUST, the eldest son


The Adults

KARL, the children's father

OLD LADY, a neighbor

STEINER, the merchant

FRITZ, the merchant's assistant

HARRY

COUNCILOR

KING

ANNOUNCER (1 line)


At the Shop

SHEPHERD

SHEPHERDESS

DUTCH JUG

JADE DRAGON (1 line)

ALBERT, the violin

PRINCESS

HIRSCHVOGEL, deep majestic voice




SOUND: SCENE FADES IN WITH CHILDREN LAUGHING AND TALKING.


DOROTHEA: Christof! Ermingilda! Albrecht! Please. I can't hear myself think.


SOUND: ALL LAUGH.


ALBRECHT: You're too busy getting supper to stop to think.


GILDA: Supper, Dorothea ... supper. Gilda is hungry.


DOROTHEA: Of course you are, little Eyes-like-forget-me-nots. Dorothea will have your supper ready soon.


CHRISTOF: What are we having, Dorothea? 


SOUND: DISHES RATTLE. 


DOROTHEA: Guess! 


ALBRECHT: Potato dumplings. 


DOROTHEA: No.


CHRISTOF: Pigtails and cabbage.


SOUND: STOVE LID CLATTERS MILDLY.


ALBRECHT: Stuffed goose.


DOROTHEA: (LAUGHS) Albrecht. Stuffed goose, indeed! Why, that is for the rich people.


GILDA: Thoup! Thoup!


DOROTHEA: (LAUGHS) Oh, boys ... Gilda ... the littlest ... guesses it. You're right, Ermingilda. Sister has steaming hot onion soup with a great big slice of fresh baked bread for each bowl.


CHRISTOF: Good! When can we eat?


DOROTHEA: Patience, brotherkins. Papa Karl is not back from the salt furnaces yet ... or August either.


SOUND: DISHES RATTLE. 


GILDA: August come soon?


DOROTHEA: Yes, little one ... soon. ... (DOOR OPENS ... WIND WHISTLES AND STOPS WITH CLOSING OF DOOR) August ... there you are.


AUGUST: Hello, Dorothea. (CHILDREN SHOUT WELCOME GREETINGS) Hello. ... Oh, I'm so cold. My hands are numb. Albrecht, help me with my coat. Christof, please take my mittens. Hello, little Eyes-like-forget-me-nots. Been a good girl today?


GILDA: Very good.


AUGUST: Oh, Hirschvogel ... beloved. Oh, how warm you are. And how good it feels to be near you, blessed Hirschvogel.


DOROTHEA: August Strehla! How can you kiss the feet of an old enameled stove?


AUGUST: Hirschvogel isn't an old enameled stove. Hirschvogel is my friend ... our friend. He brings the summer to us in winter, and all through the icy days and nights he never wavers in his care of us. I adore Hirschvogel!


DOROTHEA: All right, all right, little brother. I should have known better than to speak against Hirschvogel.


ALBRECHT: Dorothea, I'm starving! Must we wait for papa Karl?


DOROTHEA: No, Albrecht. ... After all, papa Karl may be late, and so we will have our soup now and keep his hot for him, when he comes.


ALL: (WELCOME THIS WITH AD LIB, "GOOD. I'M HUNGRY," ETC.)


GILDA: Thoup. Thoup. Please, Dor'the ... thoup.


DOROTHEA: All right, little Gilda. Come along and I'll put you in your high chair. And after supper let's ask August to tell us a story.


GILDA: Will August write a cow for Gilda?


ALL: (LAUGH)


DOROTHEA: Yes, Gilda, dear ... August will write a cow for you. Now then ... wait a minute, baby ... Dorothea will put you in your chair. Come along, youngsters. (CHAIRS ARE PUSHED UP TO THE TABLE) Watch the soup, Albrecht. ... Don't spill it, Christof ... are your hands clean?


CHRISTOF: Clean as Hirschvogel's, Dorothea.


ALL: (LAUGH)


DOROTHEA: Just a minute. Wait, baby. Bow your little head. That's right. (VERY REVERENTLY) Give us, first, God, love for Thee. And fill our hearts with gratitude for Thy loving care. Amen. (DISHES RATTLE) All right, Gilda. ... Here's your soup.


ALBRECHT: Oh, this soup is good.


CHRISTOF: And hot!


ALL: (LAUGH)


AUGUST: And fresh baked bread (START TO FADE). It tastes good, too. I didn't know I was so hungry.


(BOARD FADE ... COMPLETELY OUT. FADE IN)


DOROTHEA: Have we finished? Just a minute, Gilda. No, no ... you must sit very still for just one second. Bow the little head.


GILDA: It's bowed, Dorothea.


DOROTHEA: That's right. Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the Good Thou has bestowed upon us. Amen. ... All right.


SOUND: CHAIRS PUSH BACK.


CHRISTOF: Come on, August. ... Tell us a story.


ALBRECHT: Tell us about Hirschvogel.


AUGUST: All right. ... Let's all sit around Hirschvogel's golden feet, and I will tell you a story.


DOROTHEA: First, you'd better feed Hirschvogel, August. He's probably hungry.


AUGUST: Of course I'll feed you, blessed friend. (STOVE DOOR OPENS. WOOD IS LIFTED AND DROPPED IN.) There you are. (STOVE DOOR SHUTS) Look, Albrecht ... Christof ... look how he smiles and thanks me by glowing.


GILDA: Here, August ... here ... charcoal stick.


AUGUST: (LAUGHS) All right. I'll draw your pictures and tell a story at the same time. How's that?


ALBRECHT: Sit with us, Dorothea.


DOROTHEA: I can't, Albrecht. I must put papa Karl's soup on the back of the stove and then straighten the table.


CHRISTOF: All right, August. Tell us about Hirschvogel. 


AUGUST: What do you want to know first? 


CHRISTOF: First ... how the stove got his name. 


DOROTHEA: (LAUGHS) He's told you a million times, Christof. 


CHRISTOF: But I want to hear it again.


AUGUST: And I love to tell it. All right, Christof. Hirschvogel was a famous potter and painter who lived in Nuremberg, and he was known all over the world for the beautiful stoves he made. You see his initials on the stove ... right there. ...


CHRISTOF: I see them ... H.R.H. ... 1532.


AUGUST: Yes, he marked all his stoves like that. And if Hirschvogel, here, could talk he could tell us of all the millions of people he has warmed.


ALBRECHT: Kings and princesses, do you think? 


AUGUST: Of course. 


CHRISTOF: The crimson stockings of cardinals, maybe? 


ALBRECHT: And gold-broidered shoes of duchesses too? 


GILDA: (YAWNS) And brownies and fairies, August?


AUGUST: Who should say no, Forget-me-not-eyes? After all, there must be fairies, or how else could grandfather Strehla ever had the luck to find Hirschvogel?


GILDA: August! (YAWNS) Write Gilda ... a ... a ... (GOES TO SLEEP)


AUGUST: (LAUGHS) Write Gilda a lullaby. Dorothea, she's fast asleep.


DOROTHEA: I'll take her, August. Those blue eyes are fast shut. Come along to your cradle, baby.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... SHUTS.


ALBRECHT: Go on, August. Who are the four golden kings on each corner?


AUGUST: Well, let me see. ... That one was probably Charlemagne. And facing him there with the golden shield ... that's the good King Wenceslaus. At the far corner ... let me see ... that's John the Good. And the last one ... that is Richard the Lionheart.


ALBRECHT: And where is his lionheart?


AUGUST: (LAUGHS) Albrecht, that means because he was so brave and fearless.


CHRISTOF: I love the panels of enamel with their holly and roses and laurel. What do they mean, August?


AUGUST: The panels represent the Ages of Man. There's the Child ... see ... and next is the Young Man. ... Then comes the Father ... and last ... this one with the laurel wreath and mottoes ... that's the Old Man.


ALBRECHT: And the golden crown, away, way up on the top with the jewels ... who did that belong to?


AUGUST: Well, let's say tonight that it's August Hirschvogel's own crown that some great and good king gave him for making such handsome stoves. Oh, dear Hirschvogel! You deserve a crown, for you are so steadfast. Why, you are as great as the sun ... better, I think, sometimes, because he leaves us for many long cold hours, but you ... you make summer for us the whole winter through.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS.


DOROTHEA: Albrecht ... Christof ... time for bed.


ALBRECHT: Oh, no, Dorothea ... we want to hear more about Hirschvogel.


DOROTHEA: But not tonight, Albrecht. Your bed is waiting for you.


CHRISTOF: We'll talk about it tomorrow, August? 


AUGUST: Indeed we will. Good night. 


ALBRECHT AND CHRISTOF: (AD LIB GOOD NIGHT)


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS.


DOROTHEA: I wonder what keeps papa Karl. He is very late tonight.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... WIND BLOWS ... DOOR SHUTS ... WIND STOPS.


DOROTHEA: Oh, there you are, papa.


AUGUST: I'll help you with your coat, papa. Oh, you are cold.


KARL: It's bitter out tonight. And the hearts of men are as cold as the snows of the Tyrol.


DOROTHEA: Why, what's the matter, papa? Has anything happened?


KARL: Besides the butcher, the grocer, the miller ... hounding me for money? Yes ... much has happened.


AUGUST: Sit here by Hirschvogel, papa, and we will bring your nice hot soup to you.


KARL: I don't want the soup.


DOROTHEA: Oh, but you must eat, dear papa Karl. Really you must.


AUGUST: What has happened, papa?


KARL: (PAUSE) I have sold Hirschvogel! (A SLIGHT PAUSE)


AUGUST: Sold Hirschvogel!


DOROTHEA: Oh, father ... the children! And in midwinter!


AUGUST: (ABSOLUTELY STUNNED) It isn't true! It can't be true!


KARL: It is true. And would you like to know something else that is true? The bread you eat ... the meat in the stew ... the roof over your heads ... none of them is paid for. Two hundred florins won't take care of all of it ... but it will help ... and Hirschvogel will be carted off tomorrow morning.


DOROTHEA: August ... darling ... don't look like that!


AUGUST: (IN TEARS) Oh, papa ... you cannot mean it. You cannot sell our comfort ... our very life! Oh, papa, listen. Tomorrow I will go out and get work ... will go to the people you owe and explain to them. They will understand. But to sell Hirschvogel! Never, never, never! Oh, papa, give them back the 200 florins. ... I beg you, on my knees! (SOBS)


KARL: You are a fool. Get up! The stove is sold and goes to Munich tomorrow at daylight.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS.


AUGUST: (SOBBING) He can't! He can't sell you, Hirschvogel. He can't tear the sun out of the heavens like that. He can't.


DOROTHEA: Oh, darling August. Don't! You'll burn your lips if you kiss the stove. Get up, darling. Come to bed. You'll be calmer tomorrow. ...


AUGUST: Leave me alone. I shall stay with Hirschvogel. Go away.


DOROTHEA: But the room is getting cold, dear. We mustn't use any more wood tonight.


AUGUST: It will never be warm again. Never. (SOBS FADE OUT)


SOUND: CLOCK FADES IN, TICKING. LET TICKING RUN A MOMENT PRETTY LOUDLY. CLOCK STRIKES FOUR ... DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS ... ROOSTER CROWS FAINTLY. THIS IS FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY BY THE SOUND OF THE CREAKING WELL CHAIN AT THE PUBLIC WATERING PLACE.


OLD LADY: Well, little neighbor August, you're up early. 'Tis scarcely light enough for me to see to draw the water from the well.


AUGUST: I have not slept all night.


LADY: Little fellows need sleep if they're to grow into fine big men.


AUGUST: I do not wish to grow. I do not wish to live.


LADY: Now, that's no way for a youngster to talk. What ails thee, neighbor?


AUGUST: My father has sold Hirschvogel, and today ... within the hour ... they will come to take my friend away. Oh, I wish I were dead. (SOBS)


LADY: Sold Hirschvogel? Then he must have gotten a fine sum for it. 'Tis a magnificent stove, that.


AUGUST: He has sold my whole world ... for 200 florins.


LADY: Faith, now, and the man's a fool to let a masterpiece like a genuine Hirschvogel go for that. Why didn't he trade with an honest dealer if he must sell it?


AUGUST: One shouldn't sell a living thing for money. (SOBS)


LADY: If I were you I'd do better than cry. ... I'd go with it.


AUGUST: (BRIGHTENING) Go with it. ... Do you think I'd dare?


LADY: (LAUGHS) If I loved something and had been done out of it I'd stand by until I got at least a fair price.


AUGUST: But how can I go with it?


LADY: Well, 'tis not for me to say ... but there is plenty of room inside the stove for a tiny lad like you.


AUGUST: And perhaps I could find a way to buy it back.


LADY: Who knows! Look ... here is a loaf of bread and a sausage I was taking home. I'll give them to you, August. And I'll leave the rest to you.


AUGUST: Oh, thank you. Madam Otho ... (FADES) thank you.


SOUND: SLEIGH BELLS AND HORSES' HOOFS ON SNOW FADE IN AND STOP.


STEINER: Whoa! (CALLS) Karl Strehla! Strehla!


KARL: (OFF MIKE) Aye! Come in, Steiner. We're expecting you. Come along.


STEINER: We have come for the old stove. It is ready? Come on, Fritz.


DOROTHEA: Oh, papa Karl ... must they take it now? 


KARL: Aye ... and go along. 'Tis better to get it out quickly.


DOROTHEA: Papa, where is August?


KARL: I can't be bothered with a lad who cries all the time.


DOROTHEA: But, papa ... all night long he lay on the floor by Hirschvogel sobbing his heart out.


KARL: Oh! (WEAKENING) Steiner! Would you ... I mean ... would you take back the 200 florins and let the stove stay?


DOROTHEA: Papa! 


ALBRECHT: Oh, papa Karl. 


CHRISTOF: Oh, mister, please say you will.


STEINER: (LAUGHS) Oh, now, what foolishness. A bargain's a bargain ... and you got more than a fair price. Come on, Fritz ... we've wasted plenty of time. Lift 'er up there.


FRITZ: Hold it a minute. (STOVE SCRAPING AND BUMPING AS THEY PICK IT UP) All right.


STEINER: Open the door, will you, Strehla?


FRITZ: Easy, there ... take 'er over a little ... little more.


STEINER: Watch these steps, Fritz.


SOUND: STOVE SCRAPES.


FRITZ: Easy now!


STEINER: (FADING) Better back 'er up a little.


FRITZ: Turn your end around for the sleigh.


ALBRECHT: (OFF MIKE) Good-by, Hirschvogel.


CHRISTOF: (CRYING) We'll never see him again.


GILDA: Bye, bye, "Kirtsvokle."


DOROTHEA: Farewell, kind friend.


STEINER: (OFF MIKE) Get up! Get up!


SOUND: SLEIGH BELLS AND HORSES' HOOFS START AND FADE OUT. A SLIGHT PAUSE. BRING IN INCOMING TRAIN AND PULL IT UP TO A STOP.


HARRY: Get a move on there, men. This train can't wait all night. What y' got?


STEINER: Give us a hand, will you? This stove is heavy.


FRITZ: Careful there, fellow. Load her on easy.


HARRY: A stove, eh? No wonder you had to wait for the freight goods train. All right ... hoist 'er ... easy ... (OTHER MEN GRUNT) All right.


STEINER: That check all right?


HARRY: Yeah. Headed for Bavaria, eh?


STEINER: By way of Marrienplatz. We go by express and meet it there.


HARRY: Watch it ... there's the signal.


SOUND: START TRAIN RECORD HERE.


STEINER: Auf wiedersehen, Herr Hirschvogel. We'll meet in Marrienplatz.


SOUND: ANTICIPATE RECORD OF TRAIN LEAVING STATION SO THAT THIS CAN RUN 15 SECONDS. 


(FADE OUT. FADE IN) 


MUSIC: SLEIGH BELLS AND HORSES' HOOFS


STEINER: (OFF MIKE) Whoa! (HORSES STOP) Thank heaven, we're home!


FRITZ: (OFF MIKE) I never saw the old curiosity shop look so good.


STEINER: (OFF MIKE) Unlock the door. ... One more minute and our job will be through.


FRITZ: (NEARER MIKE) All right. (UNLOCKS DOOR. IT OPENS ...)


STEINER: (OFF MIKE) Come on. ... Give me a lift with old Hirschvogel.


FRITZ: (OFF MIKE) All right. Got 'er?


STEINER: Yep. Go ahead! (FEET ARE HEARD AND BUMPING OF STOVE) Easy there!


FRITZ: (OFF MIKE) Where shall we put it? (FEET HIT WOODEN FLOOR OF SHOP)


STEINER: Put him over there between the old Dutch clock and the Chinese idols. Careful! Don't stumble over those Turkish rugs. (STOVE BUMPS AS IT SETTLES) There!


FRITZ: (RELIEVED) I'll say, "There." Shall I unwrap it?


STEINER: Just take off that front covering. (PAPER RATTLES, AND CLOTH RIPS) Oh, Fritz! We have something precious here.


FRITZ: Herr Steiner ... is it such a fine stove?


STEINER: Fine? Wunderschön! Fritz, my boy. ... Now that it's really here in the old curiosity shop, I'll tell you we have a fortune. Here ... here is the finest thing of its kind in the world. (LAUGHS) And wait until the king sees it!


FRITZ: It goes to the king, then?


STEINER: Aye, my lad ... and for a fabulous sum, too. But come ... it's nearly 12 o'clock. Tomorrow we sail at dawn for Bavaria. Come on. Let's get home and get some sleep. Lock the door of the shop.


SOUND: IN ORDER NAMED, DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AND LOCKS ... CLOCK STRIKES 12 ... WHIZ BANG.


SHEPHERD: At last! Twelve o'clock. Now the old curiosity shop belongs to us. Good evening, Dresden Shepherdess.


SHEPHERDESS: Good evening, Dresden Shepherd! That's a fine old Hirschvogel that came in tonight.


MUSIC: MUSIC BOX STARTS.


DUTCH JUG: Oh, good! The Nuremberg music box has come to life. ... Come on, goblets ... let's have a dance.


SOUND: CRYSTAL GOBLETS CLINKING IN TIME TO THE MUSIC.


SHEPHERDESS: (LAUGHS) Look ... Dutch Jug ... the Venetian goblets are already dancing.


DUTCH JUG: So they are. 


JADE DRAGON: (IN VERY DEEP VOICE) Dutch Jug, will you dance with me?


DUTCH JUG: Gladly, Mr. Jade Dragon.


SHEPHERDESS: Dutch Jug and Jade Dragon dance very well, don't they?


SHEPHERD: But so do you, Dresden Shepherdess. Let's jump down from the mantel and join them.


SHEPHERDESS: Certainly, Dresden Shepherd. (MUSIC BOX AND GOBLETS STOP) Oh, the music box has stopped. Shall we ask the old Cremona to play a minuet for us?


SHEPHERD: Not even our precious Cremona could refuse you, Dresden china lady.


ALBERT: (DEEP VOICE) The violins of Cremona have played before the royalty of Dresden for years, my lady. I shall be happy to play while you dance.


MUSIC: BOCCHERRINI MINUET STARTS. AT THIS POINT STOVE DOOR RATTLES PRETTY LOUDLY. MUSIC STOPS ON CUE. STOVE RATTLES.


AUGUST: (TIMIDLY) Hello!


SHEPHERDESS: Why, what in the world?


SHEPHERD: It's a boy ... a little boy in the old Hirschvogel stove.


PRINCESS: Why, fancy that!


AUGUST: Oh, please, may I come out? You sound so friendly ... and I'm so thirsty I can't stand it much longer.


SHEPHERDESS: Of course you may come out. Poor little tot ... he's faint from thirst.


SHEPHERD: You, Japanese Bronze Dragon, help me open this window. ... We can get snow from the window sill. (WINDOW OPENS) There you are. Clean, sparkling snow.


AUGUST: Thank you ... oh, thank you, little Shepherd.


SHEPHERD: You must have been in that stove for days. We heard them talk about the trip.


PRINCESS: Are you hungry, little fellow? (WINDOW SHUTS)


AUGUST: Not so very, thank you. You see, I had some bread and sausage ... but I couldn't get out to get any water. Oh, this tastes good.


PRINCESS: Have some more.


AUGUST: Thank you. Where am I, please?


SHEPHERD: You're in the famous old curiosity shop of Marrienplatz. This lady is the Copenhagen Porcelain Princess of Saxe-Royale.


PRINCESS: How do you do?


SHEPHERD: This Dresden china Shepherdess and I have stood side by side for years on the mantelpiece of a king.


AUGUST: What beautiful things you all are. But tell me, how is it that you people can speak?


PRINCESS: My dear child, is it possible that you don't know? 


AUGUST: I'm sorry, I don't. 


ALBERT: It is because we are real. 


SHEPHERDESS: Those other stupid things are imitation


PRINCESS: They never wake up.


DUTCH JUG: You see, after midnight all the genuine antiques in the shop come to life.


AUGUST: Oh. ... Then if that is true, why can't my beloved Hirschvogel speak to me?


HIRSCHVOGEL: (DEEP MAJESTIC VOICE) I can ... while we are here, my little friend.


AUGUST: Hirschvogel! My friend! Oh ... how wonderful to hear your voice! Tell me more.


HIRSCHVOGEL: We were made by artists of integrity, of faith, and high ideals. They put their hearts in their work, and their love of God shows in the perfection of their creations. You, little friend, love me because, in your childish way, you love art. You, like the masters of old, scorn sham and haste and imitation. All your life, my son, you must remember this night. You were named for August Hirschvogel. He led a wise and blameless life. He wrought in loyalty and love. He taught the value of genuine worth. Be like him always, my little friend.


AUGUST: Oh, dear Hirschvogel, I love you so.


HIRSCHVOGEL: And I love you. I have been honored by emperors; but my greatest happiness was in your humble dwelling, where little children gathered at my feet to sing and laugh.


AUGUST: And must I leave you, Hirschvogel? 


HIRSCHVOGEL: I think not. Tomorrow we go to a famous person with an understanding heart.


AUGUST: Oh. ... Then may I go with you?


HIRSCHVOGEL: Since you came this far. Then we shall see. Now, the witching hour is nearly ended. The time for speech is short, Dresden Shepherdess ... lull my little friend to slumberland with your song.


MUSIC: MUSIC BOX.


SHEPHERD: (AFTER SONG) Our little friend nods. He's very tired.


PRINCESS: Little lullaby lady, rock your melody cradle for him.


MUSIC: BRAHMS' "LULLABY" ... MUSIC BOX. PRINCESS SOFTLY SINGS TO ITS MELODY. 


(FADE OUT)


SOUND: SLEIGH BELLS FADE IN HORSES' HOOFS.


COUNCILOR: Your Majesty! Your Majesty!


KING: Yes, Councilor. What is it?


COUNCILOR: It's here, sire. The Nuremberg stove. They're bringing it up the palace steps now.


KING: Excellent! Page, open the doors.


COUNCILOR: But the draft, sire ...


KING: I care not for drafts. (DOOR OPENS) I want to see Hirschvogel's masterpiece.


STEINER: (FADING IN) Easy there. 


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS AND BUMPING AS THEY CARRY THE STOVE.


FRITZ: I got 'er. Lift the end around. 


STEINER: (GRUNTING) Where shall we put it, please?


KING: Here. Put it in the corridor. (STOVE BUMPS AND SETTLES) Ah! Councilor ... quickly ... unwrap it. Help him, men.


SOUND: PAPER RATTLES ... CLOTH RIPS.


COUNCILOR: There you are, Majesty.


KING: Ah, wunderschön ... wunderschön ... it is perfect! H.R.H., 1532. And look, Councilor ... the gold figures ... the crown at the top ... the ages of man here on the enamel panels ... and the door itself ... how beautifully ...


SOUND: OF IRON STOVE DOOR BEING RATTLED AND OPENED


AUGUST: (FRIGHTENED BUT DETERMINED) How do you do!


SOUND: GENERAL HUBBUB OF EXCITEMENT.


KING: Well, upon my word! A child ... a little boy in the stove.


COUNCILOR: The little ruffian! Men. Take this ragged knave away.


STEINER: He's not mine.


FRITZ: Nor mine.


STEINER: Hey, you! How dare you ...


KING: A moment! Well, youngster! What are you doing here?


AUGUST: Oh, please, meinheer, let me stay. I've come all the way with Hirschvogel. Please don't take me away now.


COUNCILOR: Such impudence!


KING: Silence, Councilor. My child, come here. How came you here, hidden in this stove? Don't be afraid, but tell me the truth. I am the King.


AUGUST: Oh, dear sire! Hirschvogel belonged to us. I can't bear to part with him. Please let me stay and take care of him! Hirschvogel loves me. ... He does indeed!


KING: (VERY GENTLY) What is your name? 


AUGUST: August Strehla, sir. 


KING: How much did your father get for the stove, August? 


AUGUST: For 200 florins, sir, he sold my life. 


KING: I see. You ... you merchant who sold me the stove


STEINER: (FRIGHTENED) Yes, Your Majesty.


KING: You bought the stove for 200 florins? 


STEINER: Y-yes, sire. In a way ... 


KING: And then you asked me 2,000 ducats


STEINER: Well, you see, it was this way ...


KING: I see! The first thing we do is this. Councilor, see that this merchant returns to the Tyrol, pays Herr Strehla 2,000 ducats, less the 200 florins he received!


STEINER: (MOANING) Ay! Ay! 


KING: And also that he takes him a stove to replace this one. 


STEINER: But, Your Majesty, I wouldn't ... 


KING: One more word from you ... and you get what you really deserve. ... Now go! 


STEINER: I'm going. Er ... come on, Fritz.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS HEARD ... DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS.

 

AUGUST: Two thousand ducats! My father will never have to work again.


KING: Does that please you?


AUGUST: Yes, Your Majesty. But ... would you please let me stay here, with Hirschvogel? I beg you to, my King!


KING: Rise up, little man. Kneel only to your God. What do you want to be when you grow up?


AUGUST: A painter, dear King. I wish to be like the master, Hirschvogel.


KING: Very well, August. You may stay. You will take lessons from the greatest painters we can find. And if, when you have come of age, you have done well and bravely, then I will give you Hirschvogel for your very own.


AUGUST: (DELIGHTED) Oh, dear King! Hirschvogel told me that night in the old curiosity shop we were going to a famous person with an understanding heart.


KING: Hirschvogel ... told you that?


AUGUST: Yes sire. ... Truly he told me that.


KING: (LAUGHS VERY GENTLY) And who shall say, then, that he did not? For what is the gift of truly great artists if it is not to see visions, to feel rhythms, to hear sounds that we others cannot hear!


MUSIC: UP TO FINISH.


ANNOUNCER: So ends the story of the Nuremberg Stove, and another story wish has come true. Was this your favorite? If not, write to Let's Pretend in care of this station, and we will try to make your favorite come true.

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