Up the Chimney Christmas Play - Second Scene
Up the Chimney Christmas Play - Second Scene
Written by: Shepherd Knapp
When the Curtain opens, you again see a room, but quite different from the first one. There is a door on one side, and at the back is a sort of tall box with closed doors in the front of it, a kind of cupboard. On shelves at the sides of the room are some toys and packages, and a bag, nearly full, leans against the wall. There are two people in the room. One of them, of course, is Santa Claus, but oh, how sick he looks. The other person is a woman, you will see, and she must be Mrs. Santa Claus. There are two other figures that look a good deal like people, but they are only big toys that Santa Claus and his wife have been making, a soldier on one side, and a doll on the other.
SANTA CLAUS, who is sitting, wrapped up in a great blanket wrapper, and is leaning his head on his hand, while he holds a cane in the other is saying, What is the use of working any longer, for if I can't carry the presents to the children, what is the good of finishing them?
But you might feel better at the last moment, says MRS. SANTA CLAUS, who is tieing a sash on the big doll that stands beside her.
That's true, says SANTA CLAUS. Well, I believe I'll finish this soldier, then. He's the last one I need to make, and he's all done except to have his cheeks painted. I'll get my paint out and finish him.
So Santa Claus rises up very stiffly and painfully, and hobbles across the room to get his paint and paintbrush. Then he sits down again in front of the big toy soldier, and paints both its cheeks a fine bright red. Just as he is finishing, there comes a knock at the door.
Come in, says MRS. SANTA CLAUS. And in walk Jack and Polly, hand in hand, wearing the fairy spectacles and the wishing cap, one holding the bottle and the other the spoon.
Donner and Blitzen! exclaims SANTA CLAUS, laying down his brush, if it isn't Polly and Jack!
Oh, Santa, cries POLLY, we got your letter and the wishing-cap—
And the fairy spectacles, says JACK.
And we've brought you some of father's medicine, continues POLLY, because it made Nurse Mary quite well—her back, you know.
And her joints, adds JACK.
And you have to take it from children, POLLY goes on. One of them holds the spoon—Here POLLY holds out the spoon.
And the other pours out the medicine, says JACK, and with that he pours it out. It's very bitter, he adds, as Polly holds it out for Santa Claus to take.
Then Santa Claus opens his mouth, and swallows the dose, with a wry face and a shudder.
Is it horrid? asks POLLY.
Horrid! says SANTA CLAUS.
But it will make you well, you know, says POLLY encouragingly. Only you have to wait a little for the medicine to work.
And you came all the way to the North Pole, to bring me this medicine? says SANTA CLAUS, looking from Polly to Jack and back to Polly again. How did you get here?
First, we went up the chimney, says JACK, I saw the steps with the fairy spectacles, you know.
And then, says POLLY, I held fast hold of his hand, and wished. I had the wishing-cap, you see.
But weren't you afraid? asks SANTA CLAUS. When you climbed up the black chimney, and when you stood on the top, in the black night under the stars, and when you came flying through the air, weren't you frightened?
Well, it wasn't much fun, says POLLY, but we didn't know how else to get here.
And we knew you were sick, says JACK.
But, asks SANTA CLAUS, what difference did it make to you children whether an old man like me was sick or not?
Why, Santa Claus, answers POLLY, we all just love you, you know.
Well, well, says SANTA CLAUS. Then he lays down his cane on the floor, and stretches himself, and stands up, and walks across the room without hobbling at all.
How do you feel now? asks JACK.
Feel? answers SANTA CLAUS, moving more and more briskly. I feel as young as a snow flake; I feel as strong as a northeast blizzard. Quick, Mrs. Santa Claus, bring me my fur cap and gloves. There's time yet to fill the children's stockings.
While Mrs. Santa Claus is out of the room, JACK says: Santa, I didn't even know there was a Mrs. Santa Claus.
Have you ever been very sick? asks SANTA CLAUS.
We've had chicken pox, answers JACK.
Oh, that doesn't count, says SANTA CLAUS, but some times, when children are very sick indeed—or, for days and days—and when they are very good and patient, and take their medicine, and never kick the bed clothes off, then Mrs. Santa Claus comes in the night, and brings them a present, and when they wake up, they find it beside the bed.
Oh, says POLLY, I think she must be almost as good as you, Santa Claus.
And besides that, says SANTA CLAUS, who do you suppose dresses all the dolls that I put into the stockings? She does, of course. Look here at this fine one that she has just finished. To be sure, I make the doll part myself, and this one here is a very fine one, if I do say it: it can talk. Would you like to hear it, Polly? Just pull that string there.
Polly pulls the string and the DOLL, in a very squeaky voice, says, Ma-ma.
And, by the way, SANTA CLAUS goes on, I must put this doll and that soldier into the shrinking-machine.
Why, what is that, Santa Claus? asks JACK.
The shrinking-machine? says SANTA CLAUS. That is it, over there. He points to the tall cupboardy thing at the back. Then he goes on. You see it's easier to make toys big, but I couldn't carry them that way, for the sleigh wouldn't hold them, and besides they wouldn't go into the stockings. So after they are made, I put them into the machine, and shrink them. Open the doors, Polly, and we will shrink these two.
So Polly opens the doors, and at a signal from Santa Claus the doll and the soldier walk in; but they move in a funny stiff way, because they haven't any joints at their knees or elbows.
Then SANTA CLAUS shuts the doors. Jack, say he, you may turn the crank, if you want. So Jack turns the crank.
After a little SANTA CLAUS says: Stop! Then he opens the door and out walk, in the same funny stiff way, the doll and the soldier, only now they are about half as big as they were before. They walk down to the front. SANTA CLAUS looks at them, shakes his head, and says, No, you must be much smaller than that. Go back into the machine.
So back the doll and soldier go; and Jack again turns the crank and this time, when SANTA CLAUS cries, Stop, and the doors are opened, the toys have grown very small indeed, as you can see, when Santa Claus holds them up. He puts the soldier into a box, and then puts the box and the doll into his bag.
And now Mrs. Santa Claus comes in with the cap and gloves; and Santa Claus puts them on. At the same time sleighbells are heard outside, and a stamping of hoofs.
We're off! cries SANTA CLAUS, taking up his pack. Come, Polly! Come, Jack! I'll stow you away as warm as toast down under the buffalo robe.
Good-bye, cries MRS. SANTA CLAUS as they go out at the door.
Good-bye, good-bye, they ALL call back.
Then there is more stamping of hoofs outside, and a great jingling of sleighbells, which grow fainter and fainter, as they drive away.
And that is the end of the Second Scene.