Manger Menagerie

A musical by Raymond Lombardi
(Note: a royalty is required for this script. For conditions, see details at the foot of the script.)

Summary

The story of 7 animals (three sheep, a donkey, a rooster, a chicken, and a cow) who, the day that Mary and Joseph come to the Inn, are arguing about the overcrowded conditions in their barnyard. Then Mary and Joseph show up, and the animals form an "alliance" to find out why these humans have invaded their already limited space.

Script

SONG

Manger Menagerie
Chorus:
Manger Menagerie
It's the place you want to be
If you want to really see
the miracle of Christmas
Manger Menagerie
It's a known reality
God sent his child to be
the miracle of Christmas
Verse 1
Born in this tiny wooden barn
A story that some might call a yarn
Took place on a cold and frosty night
When our barn was filled with a holy light
Verse 2
Into this darkened world he came
seeking no wealth, pow'r or fame
He came to save the world from sin
The fight for our souls he'd surely win
This story's true
This all took place
In our humble home
a small cramped space
Mary gave birth
in our little stall
We know the truth
We saw it all!

Scene 1:

Christmas Eve morning, 5:00 am, the Stable. All the animals are asleep on the floor, squashed together with legs and arms laying over one another. . . all except for Red, who is walking around them and getting ready to do his thing. . .

Red: "Cock-a-doodle doo!" (Or make some noise that sounds like a rooster crowing!) Red keeps on doing it as everyone slowly wakes up, complaining, yawning, etc. . .

Bangles: "Somebody stuff some straw into that rooster's mouth! It's 5:00 am! Donkeys sleep until 7:00!"

Wowsie: "Bangles, you know he does this every single morning. Why don't you get used to it? He has to put up with you being so ornery every single minute of the day!"

Lacy: "Yes, Bangles, why are you so ornery in the morning anyway? Don't you get enough sleep at night?"

Bangles: "How am I supposed to sleep? All night long all you hear is baa, baa, baa, baa, baa, baa. from the wooly trio. And you Lacey, when you roll over and lay on my leg it feels like a ton of quarry rocks from Jericho is crushing me! And you think I'm going to sleep?"

Petela: "I know I speak for Merela and Surela when I say that we sheep are getting a little tired of having to share our house with you other animals. It was crowded enough BEFORE they put you in here. Now I feel like we're packed in here like sardines in a tin can!"

Merela: (aside to Surela) "What are sardines?"

Surela (aside to Merela) "What's a tin can?" They both shrug and look back at the others.

Red: "Enough already! Everyone just calm down. I have a plan. Here's what I think we should do. Let's get the. . . "

Bangles: "Wait just a minute. . . who put YOU in charge? I'm the oldest and smartest one here, I should be in charge! This is what I think. . . "

Everyone starts arguing loudly over who is supposed to be in charge. Finally, Wowsie shouts out. . .

Wowsie: "Listen to us, we're beginning to sound just like HUMANS!"

At that everyone stops dead in their tracks. Just as they stop their arguing they hear human voices approaching the door.

Innkeeper: I'm sorry, it's the best I can do. There's plenty of room in there for you, and the hay will keep you warm. It won't get really cold until tonight when the sun goes down, anyway. When's your baby due to be born?

Joseph: Any minute now.

Innkeeper: "Oh! Well then, I'd better move along, a lot of guests to feed, you know! This tax season is really breaking my back! (Voice trails off here) Good luck to you! Enjoy your stay at the Bethlehem Manor Inn."

Mary: "A lot of help he was."

Joseph: "Yes, well we knew this wasn't going to be easy. We'll just have to make the best of it."

They enter the "stable" area, look around for a place to get Mary comfortable. . . Meanwhile the animals are all huddled in a corner of the stable.

Merela: (whispering) "What are THEY doing in here?"

Surela: "I don't know! It sounds like they're going to be STAYING in here with us!"

Red: (sarcastically) "Isn't this just great. Look, she's going to have a baby. There's nothing worse than a crying baby."

(Everyone looks at Red like he's crazy)

Red: "What? What? You can't possibly compare what I do to a crying baby!!!"

He Came to a Stable

He came to a stable
One night long ago
And no one ever knew
That this night would show
That God was watching over us
That He truly cared
He came to a stable
But we were not prepared
He came to a stable
He came to a stable
He came to a stable
The king of kings
The lord of lords
He came to a stable
He came to a stable
He was born among the meek
He came to a stable
Our hearts he came to seek
He came to a stable
He came to this earth
He came to a stable
Now we celebrate His birth
He came to a stable
He came to a stable
He came to a stable
The king of kings
The lord of lords
He came to a stable

Wowsie: "Well you guys, what do ya think this is all about, anyway?"

Red: "We need to find out. I'll sneak into the Inn and see what the other guests have to say."

Wowsie: "Good idea. But they might not know anything. Who might know something about this couple?"

Petela: (excitedly) "I know! The shepherds! They know EVERYTHING. I'll bet the shepherds know what's going on."

Surela: "Yes! The shepherds are over on the next hill with the rest of the flock! What do you say the three of us go over there and socialize with the flock. We're bound to pick up something. The shepherds usually sit around a fire at dinnertime. We'll go over then."

Merela: "I'm in!"

Wowsie: "Good. Now, Bangles, what about you? What can you do?"

Bangles thinks about it for a minute, then exclaims,

Bangles: "I know! I'll go into town. There's this cute little mare I know over by the market shops. She always hears the market gossip."

Lacey: "Where do you want me to go?"

Wowsie: "Lacey, you stay here with me. We'll keep an eye on these humans just in case they start bringing in their relatives. All right, everyone know what they're supposed to do?

Everyone nods in agreement

Wowsie: "Then let's get to it!"

Everyone exits the stage.

Scene 2:

The inside of the Inn. 4:00 pm The Innkeeper is serving dinner to a guest, and the two strike up a conversation. Red, wearing all black (dressed up like a spy) sneaks in and listens in to the conversation. . .

Innkeeper: (serving the dish to the guest) "Here you go, the special of the day. Anything else I can get you?"

Guest: "No, everything's great. But let me ask you a question. I'm curious, what's up with that couple that you sent over to the barn this morning? She looked like she was about to have a baby."

Innkeeper: "Any minute, according to the gentleman. Matter-of-fact, I think she's gone into labor."

Guest: "No kidding."

Innkeeper: "It's a strange couple, those two. They told me a story you'd never believe even if Herod himself were here telling it. Seems they claim that the woman is going to bear God's son, the Messiah. What a joke! Everyone's got a gimmick, these days, ya know?"

Guest: "They really said that?"

Innkeeper: "Yes, get this - they said that they were fulfilling what the prophet Isaiah said . . . you know, when Isaiah said THE VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD AND WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL.

Guest: "Unbelievable! Where are they from?"

InnKeeper: "Nazareth."

Guest: "Are they here because of the. . . "

InnKeeper: "Census? Of course, isn't everyone. Ah, I just love these taxes! Business has never been better! My Inn has been sold out for the last two months! (music begins) It's a man's duty to pay taxes, nay, I say privilege to pay taxes! Without taxes our government would grind to a crawl! Our streets would be worse than the streets of Jerusalem after a earthquake. Foreign devils would invade our country like those barbarian Assyrians and Babylonians! Thank God for taxes!"

The Innkeeper's Solo

I Love Taxes

Taxes are my very best friend
I hope this census will never, never end
It's the best thing for business
I have ever seen
So many people coming here
It's really quite a scene!
I love taxes
I love taxes
I love taxes
Taxes have been so good to me
I love taxes
I love taxes
Taxes are my very best friend!
Taxes are the best thing on earth
What you get taxed depends upon your worth
It's the way to keep the masses
under control
The names of every citizen is on the tax roll
If we didn't have taxes
Just think of all the problems
There'd be no politicians, no political campaigns
If we didn't have taxes
Just think of all the problems
There wouldn't be a reason for us to complain!
Oh,

Scene ends

Scene 3:

The Bethlehem hillside. 5:00 pm Petela, Merela, and Surela have caught up to the rest of the flock.

Petela: (whispering to the others) "The flock seems a little restless tonight, doesn't it?"

Merela: "Yes, I wonder what's up. . . "

Surela: "We need to get closer to the shepherds, so we can find out what's going on.

Angel music begins softly. . .

Petela: "Wait! Did you hear that?"

Merela: "Hear what?"

Angel music gets a little louder. . .

Surela: "What is that? It's frightening the flock!"

Petela: "What are those shepherds doing?

Merela: "It looks like they're staring up at the clouds. . . no wait! Look! Those are angels!"

Surela: "Shepherds are not angels, Merela. Why, sometimes they don't even take a bath. . . "

Merela: "Not the shepherds, you blockhead! Look up in the sky. Those are angels!"

Surela : "Oh . . . . yeah, now I see them." Petela: "Listen, they're singing something. I think I know what they're saying. . . it sounds like Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men.

Surela: Quiet! Look - the big angel up front is saying something to the shepherds. Let's get closer - (they move in closer to the shepherds)

Angel: "Do not be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Petela: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Merela: "I don't know, Petela, you know I'm not very good at thinking."

Surela: "Merela, Petela is saying that maybe the baby that they are talking about is the one being born in our manger stall!"

Merela: "Really? You think so?"

Petela: "So what should we do?"

Surela: "I think we should go back and tell the others."

Merela: "Tell them what?"

Surela: "We'll tell them, WE HEARD ANGELS!"

We Heard Angels

We heard angels
Singing joyfully and strong
We heard angels
Singing all night long
We heard angels
Sing to Him a holy song
We heard angels
This is what they sang:
Chorus:
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God in the highest
and on earth Peace to all men
and on earth peace to all men
We heard angels
Sing this quiet holy night
We heard angels
Sing a melody so bright
We heard angels
What a glorious delight
We heard angels
This is what they sang
Hark the herald angels sing
Gloria

Scene 4:

Town Market, 5:30 pm Shopkeepers are packing away their wares, and everything is quiet. Bangles is conversing with Pixie.

Bangles: "So Pixie, what say you and I go for a little stroll around the town?"

Pixie: "Forget it, Romeo, I've been on my feet all day hauling fruits and vegetables from the farm to the market. The last thing I want to do is go for a stroll."

Bangles: "OK, well, how about I treat you to a nice dinner?"

Pixie: "The last time you said that I got food poisoning. Why don't you just tell me what it is you want!"

Bangles. "FINE. I was just trying to be nice. Anything suspicious happening around here today?"

Pixie: "What do you mean?"

Bangles: "You know, any gossip about strangers in town?"

Pixie: "Look, if you think I'm going to go out with those crazy-looking humped donkeys you have nothing to worry about!"

Bangles: "What crazy-looking humped donkeys?"

Pixie: "Now don't you play innocent with me! I know that you know that they know that I'm available! You aren't the only donkey in the coral, you know!"

Bangles: "I honestly don't have a clue as to what you are talking about."

Pixie: "Really?

Bangles: "Really."

Pixie: "So you didn't come to town because you were in a jealous rage and just had to save me from the strange humped donkeys??

Bangles: "Right. Whatever. Now tell me about these strange humped donkeys. . . "

The Donkeys with a Hump

I had never seen a man ride a donkey with a hump
But in Bethlehem there were three
They came from the east bearing costly gifts
And those were who there agree
A donkey with a hump is a strange, strange beast
A donkey with a hump is what I see
But they played a special role in the birthday of a king
for they brought wise men from the east
Yes they brought wise men from the east
They were dirty and they smelled like a plate of rotten eggs
They spit and stamped their feet
But when they saw the baby they knelt down at his side
It was really rather sweet
The hump in the middle was a perfect spot
for the myrrh, frankincense and gold
The wise men had brought for the baby king
That the prophets had foretold

Song ends. Bangles is getting anxious to get back and tell the others about his discovery. He turns to Pixie and says:

Bangles: "I've got to get back and tell the others! I'm sure they don't have any idea that the baby that is being born is God's only son!"

Pixie: "Can I come with you?"

Bangles: "You mean like on a date?"

Pixie: "Sure, whatever. I guess those strange humped-donkeys make you look pretty good."

Bangle, "Gee, thanks for the compliment, I guess. . . well let's go!

Bangles and Pixie exit.

Scene 5:

The stable, 8:00 pm. Everyone is back from their investigative travels. The baby is sleeping, Mary and Joseph are attending to the baby. The baby begins to fuss a little, and the animals begin to whisper to one another.

Wowsie: "He's adorable! How great is it that God sent his Son to be born in our stable!"

Merela: "He's starting to fuss. Maybe we're making too much noise"

Bangles: "Or maybe he's smelling wet wool. Nothing worse that smelling that wet wool in here. . . "

Petela: "Wait just a minute, maybe it's from all the noise that you and Pixie were making when you were braying back and forth a few minutes ago!"

Red: "Maybe I should sing him a lullaby"

Everyone, at once: "NO!"

Lacey: "No offense, Red, but after he hears YOUR voice he'll decide to turn around and go back to heaven! Now I know a little tune my mother taught me. Remember the one I sang for all of you at our last barnfest? Come on, let's sing it for the baby!"

Lullaby, lullaby baby Jesus

Chorus:
Lullaby, lullaby, baby Jesus
Sleep now sleep on this bed of hay
Lullaby, lullaby, baby Jesus
On this special holy day
Verse1
You were born into humble means
shunning life with kings and queens
so that men from everywhere
would come to learn of the Father's care
Verse 2
You will not be welcomed here
by most of humankind
But for now you will lay and rest
in perfect peace of mind
bridge:
Angels are watching over you
God the Father knows just what to do
To protect you and guard you till you're grown
He'll never leave you all alone

The song finishes, the animals have gathered around Mary and Joseph.

Wowsie: "This has been one eventful day! When the baby was born, he was so peaceful and quiet! Nothing like us barn animals. We sure do make a racket when we're born!"

Petela: "Yes, I'm so glad we went to see the shepherds. Otherwise we would never have seen those beautiful angels, singing that song to the baby that I will always remember."

Bangles: "And not one BAA in the whole song, I bet! I'm glad that we were able to help those strange humped donkeys. Never did see anything like 'em around here before. I have to admit, though, that they are almost as ornery as me."

Pixie: "And that will ruin your reputation?"

Bangles: "As long as you still love me, does it matter?"

Pixie: "Yuuck!!"

A knock is heard at the entrance to the manger. . .

Curlene: "Hello? May we come in?"

Wowsie: "Shh! You'll wake the baby up!

Shurlene: "Sorry! We didn't know he was sleeping."

Petela: "Can we help you?"

Curlene: "Yes, well, actually, we're here to help you! Help you celebrate, that is. You see we're from triple AAA."

Bangles: "What's a triple AAA?"

Curlene: "You don't know? You're all members of the triple AAA."

Shurlene: "It's the Agricultural Animals Association. We're here to present you an award for being the Menagerie of the Year! We heard that your barnyard was chosen to be the place where the Savior was to be born! Of the 387 barnyards in our conference, yours was the one to be chosen! We think it's a great honor to be chosen. We get chills just thinking about the fact that God choose this tiny manger to allow his only Son to be born."

Wowsie: "Well of course, we are very kind, and we're highly intelligent, and we all get along so well. . . "

Red: "Maybe you'd better stop there, Wowsie."

Merela: "It's not US that matters, anyway. It's the baby! We should celebrate because this baby is going to be the Savior of the whole world! Years from now the world will still remember this night, and celebrate it by re-enacting what happened. No one will ever get tired of hearing the good news about what happened this night - Jesus was born! Come on, let's CELEBRATE!"

Celebrate
Jesus is born
Celebrate
On this Christmas morn
Celebrate
Remember this day
Celebrate
Get carried away
With the celebration, celebration of Love
With the celebration of the gift from above
With the celebration that Jesus came to earth
With the celebration, celebration of the Savior's birth
Celebrate
Dance, sing and shout
Celebrate
Let it ring out
Celebrate
Let all men hear
Celebrate
Celebrate and cheer
Joy to the world the Lord is come
Let earth receive her king
Let every heart
prepare Him room
and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and nature sing
and heaven and heaven and nature sing
Celebrate
Jesus is born
Celebrate
On this Christmas morn
Celebrate
Remember this day
Celebrate
Get carried away
O Come let us adore him
O Come let us adore him
O come let us adore him Christ the Lord
For he alone is worthy
For he alone is worthy
For he alone is worthy
Christ the Lord
Celebrate Christ the Lord!

THE END

............................................

Copyright Raymond J Lombardi. All rights reserved.
A Royalty is payable for use of this script. Sheet music and backing CDs are available from the Author. To pay Royalties and obtain copies of the music, visit the Author's Website at http://www.lorraymusicals.com for details.