Beggars and Broth

giving and sharing

Drama based upon a story by R H Lloyd; Narrator with 4 beggars who enter and mime on stage.

Narr: At the end of a very hot and tiring day, four hungry beggars began to grumble as they walked towards their tumbledown shack which they shared together.

They were not at all happy, as they had not received very much in their begging bowls that day in the market square. (Beggars enter from 4 different parts of the room)

The first one had this to say: ( words can be concealed in the bowls)

Beggar 1) 'Marvellous! All that this mendicant managed, was a multiple mixture of mouldy meat, what munificence was that?'

Narr) The second said: (Beggar 2) 'Verily,verily you got vastly more than I.

For my vigil, all I got was a vulgar vase of various vegetables!'

Narr) The third continued:( Beggar 3) 'Huh! For huddling humbly on my hunkers(or haunches) all day, I received hardly a handful of home grown herbs!'

Narr) Finally the fourth one chipped in: (Beggar 4) 'And I was bountifully blessed with black beans for all my brash busking! Brilliant!'

Narr) As so they all grumbled together, until one of them suddenly had an excellent idea!

DING!!!!!(ring bell)

Beggar 4) : 'Blimey, if we blend or bind the bulk of what is in our begging bowls, we can boil up a broth (or a biryani) and be brightened up in no time! All we need is boiling water for our banquet!'

Narr) They all agreed that this was the right thing to do. Soon the pan of water was bubbling… beautifully.

The first beggar went over to the pan, but then thought to himself: 'Methinks if I miss a turn in mixing in my measly meat, they won’t know the difference. Then I can munch merrily, much later.' So he only pretended to put in his meat, and hid it well away. ( he hides the contents)

The second beggar went over to the pan, but he also had something to say to himself: 'Verily, verily, I am vacillating. Must I really volunteer to put my valuable vegetables in the pot, or shall I make them vanish with velocity, and voraciously de-vour them later? For I value vitamins?'

He too pretended to put his vegetables into the steaming pot, and slid them secretly into his pocket. ( he hides the contents)

The third was a rogue too! He went over to the pot and made a show of sprinkling his herbs into the pot, saying, 'Hopefully they will not hold (or hypothesize with) with my hidden agenda:- the hiding and hoarding of my herbs herein. Hungry heathen that I am!'

He too pocketed his! ( he hides the contents)

And finally the fourth went forward to make his contribution. 'Blimey! I’m blowed if I’m burying my beans in the broth, basically I’d rather bake ‘em with a butty for breakfast,' he declared to himself. ( he hides the contents)

All four beggars had done the same, and since it was quite dark no-one was any the wiser…they all lazily slouched around waiting for the broth to cook, feeling very pleased with themselves for being so devious.

But then came the time for them to eat it! Each of the beggars in turn helped themselves to a bowlful from the pot.

They all drank the hot water in absolute silence!

If younger children are doing this as a drama, then the complicated alliteration* can simply be removed, and replaced with simpler prose.* alliteration~ occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of several words in succession…sing a song of sixpence.