A Surprise for the Fair


Assembly Instructions: Cut scenery along solid black lines on pages 30 and 31. Glue scene to cardboard and trim.

Cut out objects on floor along solid black outline and then fold up on broken lines.

Glue figures and props to cardboard and cut out. On the back of each figure glue a Popsicle stick. Place a piece of masking tape on the back of the props so they can be positioned in the scene. If the scenery is set on the forward edge of a table, the figures can be moved around in front of it.

Characters: Mother, Ezra, Susan, Elizabeth, and Thomas

Setting: Kitchen of a pioneer cabin with table, chairs, coal stove, and a hearth.

Scene opens: Mother is churning butter. Susan is working on a rag rug. Ezra is sanding a stool he has made in preparation for the Primary fair. Elizabeth kneels on the floor watching Ezra and his stool.

NOTE: Instead of using puppets, this play could be given by boys and girls in a family home evening.

Elizabeth: (in a discouraged voice) What can a five-year-old make to show at the Primary fair?

Mother: Why, Elizabeth, you’re going to play in the rhythm band at the fair. And, I might say, you do a good job on the triangle.

Elizabeth: I know, but I want something to put on the display table with my name on it!

Ezra: You can help me paint this stool and we can put both our names on it.

Elizabeth: No! That wouldn’t be the same as making something all by myself.

Susan: Do you want me to show you how to make a rug?

Elizabeth: No, that’s what you’re doing; besides, there isn’t time for me to finish one.

Mother: (holding out jar of butter) Here, Elizabeth, please take this butter outside and put it in a cool safe place by the stream.

Ezra: On your way back, Elizabeth, would you do me a favor? Bring in the bucket of corn inside the barn for Mother. I forgot. That way I can keep sanding till I’m through.

Thomas: (calling from outside) Elizabeth, come quick! That pesky raccoon’s in the cornfield again! Help me catch him.

Elizabeth: All right! I’m coming! (Elizabeth runs out, carrying the butter. The other family members run to peer out the window.)

Susan: How can little Elizabeth help?

Ezra: Elizabeth is small and quick enough to run through the cornfield to head him off. (Mother, Susan, and Ezra go back to their work.)

Mother: Susan, will you help me clean out this big heavy kettle so I can make soup in it? (The kettle is on the floor by the hearth.)

Susan: I’ll be glad to, Mother. (Helps mother clean kettle.) This kettle will sure hold a lot of soup!

Mother: Yes, it has to. We’re going to have a soup kitchen at the fair, and I told the sisters I would make a big pot of our favorite vegetable soup.

(After a time Thomas and Elizabeth return. Elizabeth is carrying the bucket of corn. Mother and Susan have finished cleaning the kettle and are getting ready to peel the vegetables on the table.)

Elizabeth: Where do you want this corn, Mother?

Mother: Put it in the kettle on the hearth, dear. (Elizabeth puts corn in kettle.)

Thomas: That pesky raccoon got away. If I ever catch him, I’ll have his tail!

Ezra: Then you can have a raccoon hat (family laughs).

Susan: Maybe we could make the raccoon a family pet. The Cole family has a pet raccoon.

Thomas: No thank you! Then he would eat all our crops.

Mother: Elizabeth, did you find a good place by the stream for the butter?

Elizabeth: (looks alarmed) Oh, Mother, in my hurry to help Thomas catch the raccoon I left the butter outside on the porch. I’ll go get it right now. (She leaves.)

Mother: Thomas, if you’ll lift that large kettle from the hearth to the stove, Susan and I will soon have other vegetables ready to put in it.

Thomas: All right, Mother (lifts pan).

Elizabeth: (enters carrying the butter jar) I’m sorry, Mother. I left the butter in the sun and it’s almost all melted. Is it ruined?

Mother: (walks over and looks in butter jar) Oh, dear! No, it’s not ruined, Elizabeth, but it has to be used right away. What can we do with so much melted butter?

Ezra: We could make pancakes (looks in butter jar) but wow! We’d sure have to eat a lot of them!

Mother: (begins to sniff) Say, what can I smell? Oh dear, I forgot to put some water in the kettle for the corn.

Ezra: But what’s that noise? (everyone sniffs and listens.)

Thomas: It smells and sounds like corn popping. (Everyone looks at the stove.)

Ezra: Oh no! Elizabeth must have brought in my popcorn that I was saving for tithing.

Elizabeth: I’m sorry, Ezra.

Ezra: That’s all right. I wonder if the bishop will take popped corn for tithing (family laughs).

Mother: You’ll have to take some more from your supply for your tithing, Ezra.

Susan: Hey! All that popcorn solves the problem of what to do with all the melted butter.

Thomas: That’s right. We can pour it over the popcorn!

Mother: And that’s what Elizabeth can take to the Primary fair and put on the display table with a big sign that reads BUTTERED POPCORN MADE BY ELIZABETH, age 5.

Elizabeth: Yippee!

[illustrations] Illustrated by Parry Merkley