THE FIRST MIRACLE OF THE INFANT JESUS
A dramatic monologue
by Dario Fo
translated by Ed Emery
For all queries regarding performance rights, please contact
Agenzia Tolnay : info [@] tolnayagency.it
For all queries regarding the text, please contact the translator at:
Original text copyright © Dario Fo
Translation copyright © Ed Emery
[The Performance Text]
It was night... and through the great dark sky, full of stars, the fiery comet suddenly flashed like a bolt of lightening, with its great blazing tale of fire... zigzagging across the sky like a wild serpent, and plunging down among the shining stars like a bat scattering a huddle of frightened lizards... And those poor stars were scared. They shouted:
"What was that! For heavenís sake!"
And the great star staggered like a drunkard, moving off, and disappearing into the distance, and tracing a great trail which, as it happened, was the route for the Three Wise Men. The Three Wise Men were three kings, who came from afar, from the East.
The oldest of the Three Wise Men was a king with a great crown on his head, and white hair and a grey beard. His face was wrinkled, he had a terrible hooked nose, and he swore a lot. He swore because he had boils on his bum, and every time his horse went bump, they hurt, and heíd go "Nyaah... mutter, mutter, mutter".
There was another king. He was young. He rode a white horse. he had a crown on his head, and long, flowing golden ringlets. He had clear blue eyes. And he always had a smile on his face. Then there was another king. He rode a camel. he was a black king, so black that compare with him the grey camel that he was riding seemed whiter than the white horse of the blond king. He was handsome, always smiling, and when he rode his camel he always sang. Over and over again. And this is what he sang:
"Oh how fine it is, to ride on a camel!
What a treat! What a treat!
Bumpety-bump on the hump of a camel.
Oh what a treat to be on a camel going to Bethlehem.
Under the light of a thousand stars.
With a comet guiding us
To the little hut
And to the Madonna whoís singing lullabies
To the baby who is crying and fretting.
And Saint Joseph, who is sawing away,
And the cherubims flying and praying,
And the ass and the ox braying and snorting,
And the camel goes along, bumpety-bump.
Oh how fine it is to ride on a camel!
Itís a lot better
Than riding on a horse
Because a horse shakes your testicles,
And this doesnít happen on a camel.
What a treat! What a treat!Ö"
"Stop it, stop it!" spluttered the old king. "I canít stand it! Four days and four nights now, heís been singing about how wonderful it is on his camel!"
[The BLACK KING starts his ditty again]
"Obviously Iím going to sing,
Because it helps my camel keep going,
Because if I donít sing,
The camel falls asleep.
And when he falls asleep, he trips up
And falls over right on top of me,
And so I get squashed.
So of course I sing on my camel!
Oh what a treat! What a treat!
And this way we get to the manger,
With the Madonna singing lullabies,
And Saint Joseph sawing away,
And the baby crying and whinging,
And the cherubs flying and praying.
The camel going bumpety-bump,
What a treat! What a treat!
You have to sing on your camel,
So as to give it a bit of rhythm,
Because riding on a camel isnít like riding a horse,
Because a horse can gallop along,
But a camel goes bumpety-bump,
One paw in front and one behind,
And if you donít give it the right rhythm,
One leg gets tangled up with the other,
And it trips over its toes,
And over it goes!
And I end up squashed by a camel.
Oh what a treat! What a treat!
Iím off to Bethlehem on my camel.
OOOOOH WHAT A TREAT!
OOOOH WHAT A TREAT!"
"Stop it!" Shouted the old king, in desperation. " If you donít stop, Iím going to eat you alive! Iíll peel off the black, and Iíll eat the pink bits inside! Iíll eat you whole!"
"I ask you what a daft idea, sending a black king along as well, just because all humanity had to be represented! Why didnít we bring a yellow one as well, or a red one, or a spotty one? No, he had to be black! And then heís got those white eyes, with the black pupil in the middle, and when itís dark, they glow red and he looks like a wild animal."
"You know, the other day I went out into a field because I had to see to my bodily needs... and I pulled down my trousers (excuse me if I go into details), and there I was, halfway through, squatting on my knees, in this very position, when all of a sudden I see in front of me two eyes of some wild animal! I shat on my trousers! And then it turned out to be him, shitting in front of me! He was shitting, but he wasnít singing! The first and only time that heís not been singing. At the very least he could have sung: ĎOh what a treat! What a treat to shit without your camelí!"
At that moment the comet star did a big swoop, like a meteorite, and came to a sudden stop, in the middle of the sky.
And the black king answered, with a little song.
"Itís stopped to get its breath back!
That means weíve arrived!
Weíve almost arrived at Bethlehem.
Oh what a treat! What a treat!"
In desperation, the old king spurred his horse, and went galloping off like a madman, but the black king followed, hard on his heels and both of them disappeared off into the darkness and vanished... But even though you couldnít see them, in the distance you could still hear:
"Oh what a treat, what a treat!"
"Oh what a treat..."
He mimes listening to voices getting fainter and disappearing off into the distance.
"Oh what a treat... !"
And then came a great silence.
At that moment, all of a sudden, a great big angel appeared in the sky. His hair was all ruffled and his locks were blowing in the wind. He had a gold halo fixed on his head. And great folds of silk clothing which billowed in the wind like loose-handing sails. And across his chest was a big silk sash, with big letters, which said: "Angel!" Just in case anybody hadnít noticed. And this angel, with his great big coloured wings, looked more like a flying pheasant in the sky. He came zooming down, skimming the ground as he pulled out of his nose-dive, and shouted:
He mimes the ANGEL doing a nose-dive to the ground.
"Men of good Wiiiilll... come, for the Redeemer is boooorn."
And all the shepherds threw themselves to the ground, terrified!
"Heeey... Are you crazy? What are you trying to do, crush us? Youíve frightened all the sheep and now they wonít give any milk."
He mimes another nose-dive by the ANGEL, which comes within an ace of flattening the SHEPHERD who is speaking.
"I hope you end up crashing into the mountain, so that your halo jams itself down over your head, and all your feathers end up scattered far and wide. You great chicken!"
And the shepherds set off towards the manger, and took all sorts of things to eat. Some of them took cheese, some of them a little goat, or rabbits, and another took chickens, and another took wine and oil, and one of them took baked apples, and tarts with chestnuts. And then there was one idiot who turned up bringing polenta made alla Bergamasca. I ask you, giving polenta to a new-born baby! Anyway, they said:
"We have to make the crib!"
In the manger, Maryís mother, Saint Ann was arranging all the presents that people brought. The whole manger was full of things to eat. The donkey was so buried under a pile of parcels and packages that you could only see his head, and the poor thing could hardly breathe.
The cow was completely covered, and you couldnít see her at all. Chickens, cheeses, salamis, bottles everywhere...It looked more like a street-market! The Three Wise Men arrived, and they went down on their knees. There was the old king, who brought his gift; then the young king, who brought his gift; and then the black king arrived...
"Oh what a treat! What a treat to see!
The baby in his cradle"
"Out you go... black man! Youíll frighten the Baby! If you must sing, sing outside!"
At that moment, they heard the noise of soldiers arriving. The soldiers were going from house to house to find out whether the Redeemer had been born, so that they could kill him. And lo and behold, the big angel suddenly arrived right in front of the house where the Madonna and Baby Jesus were, and he stood in front, with a huge sword. The soldiers got to the house, and the one leading them said:
"Stop. Look. In front of that house. A bloody great angel! Come on, letís go, before he splits us in half! Come on, letís get out of here!"
Now, at that very moment, stomp, stomp, stomp, a town crier arrived on the scene.
"Calling all mothers! Hear ye, hear ye! Whomsoever of you has, within these three days, given birth to a child, may be happy, because the King has decided to give a prize to the most handsome baby in his kingdom. Bring your baby to the palace. Bring it to Herodís big house, and the King will be the judge, and he will present the most beautiful baby with a little crown, with an inscription: ĎWhat a beautify baby! This baby is almost more beautiful than the Son of God!í And the woman who bore him, too, will have a crown, inscribed: ĎThis is the mother who gave birth to the beautiful baby!í"
Saint Ann heard all this, and immediately rushed off to find the Madonna:
"Come on, theyíre giving a prize for the prettiest baby. Bring Jesus along."
"No, I donít want to. I donít need prizes or rewards. Iím happy just as I am!"
"No, the whole world should know about your baby. We canít have the prize offered by Herod going to another baby! Come on, come on! Do as your mother says!"
And they were just about to leave, when they had second thoughts:
"Wait a minute, weíll go and get some ribbons to make the baby look pretty, and Joseph, you keep an eye on him and make sure nothing happens to him."
They go out, and immediately Joseph stops sawing, and says:
"There must be a trap here. Iím sure itís a trap, Baby Jesus. What do you think?"
And Baby Jesus, who was not daft, said:
"Yes, yes . . " And he winked.
So then Joseph pulled out a jam jar where he kept some black stuff for painting chains. He took a little brush, and tac, tac, tac, he put little black dots all over the babyís face, and the baby pulled faces, because it tickled.
"Now you just stay there!" And he carried on sawing.
What Saint Ann came back into the house:
"Waaah! Chicken pox . . ! Black chicken pox! It must have been that black man who came in here and frightened the baby!"
St Ann was a Sun reader.
But then she took a rag, and, wipe, wipe, wipe, she wiped the spots off, and the baby was all clean again.
"Somebody has been painting spots on our babyís face! I wonder who that might have been!"
Joseph carried on sawing:
"Hrumph. Donít ask me! Havenít a clue!"
"You there, with your silly saw, youíd better watch your step, because otherwise, I might decide to saw something of yours off!"
Saint Ann was a terrible woman!
Then she and the Madonna went out again, to get some ointment to put on the baby to make him smell nice.
"Now, watch out. Weíre going out, and youíd better mind that nothing happens to the baby, because weíll know who to blame if it does!"
When the women had gone out, St Joseph didnít know what to do... But then he saw a great big bumble bee sitting on the wall...all black and yellow stripes, a great big whopper of a bee. He took a glass... and... whap! He used the glass to trap it against the wall... Then he took a bit of card, and slipped it over the glass. Caught it!
He mimes imprisoning the bee in the glass.
"Iím sorry, but Iím going to have to give you a bite on the cheek. Whap! Whoomf! [He mimes an immediate swelling on the babyís cheek] Now the other side. What! Whoomf! [He mimes an immediate swelling on the babeís other cheek] Zap! And another on his forehead! [He mimes as above] In the name of the Father... (etc)."
Then he returned to his sawing, carrying on as if nothing had happened. Saint Ann came back into the room:
"Aaaargh! God! Look at that! Waaah! What happened! What a monster! Look at the state of him!"
"Donít just stand there crying. Theyíll be gone soon," said Joseph, "Two months at the most."
She points to one of the bee stings.
Itís a wisdom tooth!"
But thereís one on both sides!"
"And thereís one in front too!"
"Very wise baby..."
The Madonna started crying, and Saint Ann likewise.
Oh, what bad luck! Why did he have to go and get three wisdom teeth today, when there was such a good prize to win! We wonít be able to take him now, he looks terrible!"
A little while after, down the road, they heard the sound of crying. They heard the desperate screams of women, of mothers, carrying their babies, all bloody and cut to pieces.
Waaah! It was a trap! No sooner were we in the courtyard than Herod shut all the gates. And soldiers came in and killed all the babies. It was a trap! All our babies, killed!"
So then Saint Ann realised what had happened, and went down on her knees. And the Madonna too. And both of them cried out:
"Thank you, God, thou are so wise and all-knowing. With this clever device of the bee stings, you tried to save this baby so that he would not end up in Herodís clutches. Aha! What intelligence! What a wonderful discovery, oh Lord!"
And this rather irritated Joseph, and he sawed and sawed and sawed, sawing so hard that he even sawed through the bench that he was sawing on, and he spluttered:
"Thatís the way it is... Always like that! Every time!" he said. "A fellow has a bright idea, and everyone goes off thanking God, who never had anything to do with it in the first place!"
At that moment, an angel came in, crying:
"Out, get out," he said. "Flee the massacres!"
"What do you mean, the massacres?!"
"Time to move! Get out! Youíve got to run!"
"The Flight into Egypt!"
"Yes, because thereís all the soldiers outside, and theyíre looking for you."
"Wait, first weíll have to get a cart," said Saint Ann. "So that we can load up the presents that everyoneís brought us."
"No presents. You canít take anything with you!"
And the Madonna Said:
"Do you mind, young man! Presents donít grow on trees, you know, and I want them for the baby, for when he grows up . . "
"Bring out the donkey!"
"You must be joking," said Joseph . "You canít load up that donkey. Heís been going for four days and four nights, and the poor thing is worn to a frazzle!"
And at that moment, the donkey came forward, walking like a drunkard. The poor thing could hardly stand up, and as they loaded him up, his legs began to buckle. They loaded all the bottles, and the posts, they loaded the cheeses, and the parcels and the bundles. And all of a sudden, the donkey collapsed. Whoomf, he went. His knees buckled, and his belly hit the ground. And there was the Madonna, still sitting on this back, with the babe in her arms.
"Madonna," said Joseph, "youíre going to have to come down, because the poor thing canít budge. Itís dying"
"But I canít, dear. In the Flight into Egypt the painters always show me sitting on the donkey."
So Saint Joseph got down underneath the donkey, and humped it up on his back, and so they all went off together. Then, after two days, or maybe three days, the whole Holy Family arrived at Jaffa. The white city of Jaffa, with all its tall, wonderful towers.
And all at once the angel flew up into the sky, with a great swoop. And the donkey lifted up its great head. Brrrrrrr! [He imitates the donkey farting]. The donkey farted! Brrrrrr! The donkeyís soul went off to heaven. He spread his legs, and boomp, his belly hit the ground. And the Madonna, sitting on the poor expired beast, looked and said:
"Poor animal! It must be a sign from God. It means that weíve arrived!"
They entered the city, and found a hovel, a rat-hole of a place, which made the manger in Bethlehem look like a palace. Joseph blocked off all the holes with cardboard, and the family settled down to sleep. Then, first thing the next morning, the Madonna took a basket and went round looking for clothes to wash, because she too had to find some way of supporting the family. And Saint Joseph went around with his hammer, his saw and his nails, to try and find a job. And the kid was left out in the street.
That evening, the Madonna arrived home dead-beat, tired and sweating and with her back all aching. Then Saint Joseph returned, furious, because he hadnít managed to earn a penny all day. He sat down there, and with his hammer began to hit his fingers on the table! Whack! Whack! Whack! Because this is the way carpenters like to let off steam. Then Baby Jesus came in, his hair all over the place, his hands dirty, his trousers all crooked, and no shoes on this feet.
"Mum! Iím hungry!"
"Oh, thatís wonderful manners, that is... ! You come home and instead of asking your mum and dad if theyíre alright, or if theyíre tired... Why do you have to be so horrible, eh?
"But mum, Iím hungry!"
And the Madonna said:
"Arenít you ashamed of yourself? Donít forget that you came from heaven especially, that you were born into the world to show others how to be good, and to show love, and to have good words for everyone... And here you are, with the first two Christians, to whom you should show some respect, and you donít even ask them how they are!"
The Madonna was furious. And Joseph too. They sat down at table.
"Boy, go and wash your hands. And wash your face too. And blow your snotty nose. Look at the state of your golden ringlets! Tidy them up a bit. And before you eat, make the sign of the cross. Oh no... wait... itís a bit early for that!"
Then the child went to bed. And the Madonna went to bed, and so did Joseph. In the morning, Jesus woke up, and he found himself on his own again. All alone, with no one around. So, he put on this trousers, ate a bit of bread, and went out in the street, and there he saw all the children playing: leapfrog, and hide and seek, and hopscotch....
"Hey, kids! Can I come and play with you?"
"Iíll be the leapfrog! Letís play leapfrog. And hopscotch!"
"No! Go away...Palestine!"
"Letís play ĎOn Itíí. You can chase me. Iíll be the robber. Can I be the robber?"
"But why not?"
"Go away, Palestinee! Peasant!"
The boy started to cry. He cried with great big tears running down from his great big eyes. And at this point, just for a bit of fun and the chance to amuse himself with the other children, he did a miracle. Despite the fact that his mother had always told him:
"Donít go doing miracles around the place, because if they find you out, theyíll realise that youíre the Son of God...and then Herodís soldiers will arrive, and weíll have to run away again!"
In the middle of the square was a fountain. And all around the fountain there was red clay. The sort of clay which they use to make bricks. Baby Jesus took a handful of clay, and began to mould it with his little fingers. He made a little birdís head, then the birdís little body, with little wings, and then tiny, tiny feathers. He took two twigs, to make its little legs...
" Look, look at this little bird Iíve made! Itís made out of clay!"
"Oh well done, Palestine! He comes all that way to show us how to make a clay bird... Oh well done!"
"Yes, but I know how to make it fly."
"What do you mean?"
"I breathe on it."
He blows the bird.
And the little bird opened its wings, and stretched itself, and beat its wings: chirp, chirp, chirp, chipichip, chipichip, chipichip!
With his hands, he mimes the bird flying around, and then disappearing off into the sky.
"Hey, that Palestine is a genius! Brilliant! Hey! He made a clay bird, and then he made it fly, just by breathing on it. Made it out of clay..."
"I donít believe you."
"What do you mean? I saw it with my own eyes!"
"That trickís as old as the hills. He finds a little stunned bird thatís fallen down from a tree. He picks it up. Then he dunks it in water. Then he rubs it in the earth a bit. Then he cups it in his hands, blows up its bum, and the bird gives a little shiver...chirp, chirp, chirp... and off it flies!"
"But no! I saw it! It really was made of clay! Come on, Palestine, show us again! Come on, another bit of clay. Look, see, heís doing it... Give it its little wings... and now, blow!"
A big lad arrived on the scene, a boy with a big head, and long black curly hair.
"Hang on a minute. I want to check this!"
"Who are you?"
Thomas? That figures!"
He shrugs his shoulders, resignedly.
Thomas took a nail... and tack, tack, tack... He stuck the clay bird full of holes:
"All in order. Off you go!"
"Alright, now Iím going to blow!" [He blows] Whoosh... cheep, cheep, cheep, chirrup, chirrup...
Once again, he mimes the bird flying off.
"Itís flying! The bird is flying! Bravo, Palestine! Hey, I really like you! Where have you been all my life? What fun this is! Now everyoneís going to make a bird. And then Palestine will: Whoomf! Heíll breathe on them, and make our birds fly!"
"Come one, Palestine! Youíre brilliant, you are!"
And all of them began making birds. One of them made a round peacock with a straight tail, and with square wings and a great big head drooping forward and then he put two feet on it. Crash... it fell over . . so then he put four legs on it, then five.
"But you canít have a bird with four legs..."
"Well... it wonít stand up otherwise... Anyway who cares, as long as it flies..."
Then another one made a kind of sausage thing, with twelve wings in a row, with no tail, and with twelve feet.
"Itís a dog..."
Then another child made a big pastry, which looked more like a jam tart, with a head jammed in the middle, with no neck, a break pointing up... and all its wings, all splattered out, all around. And no legs.
"I donít know if that oneís going to fly, weíll have to see..."
Then another kid made several little birds, which looked like little turds. Then another one made a great bit turd. And the last one made a cat!
You canít make a cat fly!"
"If that big turd there is going to fly, then my cat will fly too!"
"No, you canít make cats fly. Thatís not fair!"
"Mum! Palestine says he wonít make my cat fly!"
He mimes the MOTHER, leaning over the balcony and shouting.
"Palestine! Make my boyís cat fly at once! If you donít Iím coming down, and Iíll nail you up!"
He mimes JESUS looking at the palms of his hands, a bit worried.
"Alright, line up all your birds."
"Heís blowing! There they go!" [He mimes the staggering flight of the sundry birds] Whoosh... The peacock. Quack, quack, quack, quack . . Whoosh... the sausage. Chirrup, chirrup, chirp, chirp... whooosh! The tart. Tweet, tweet, tweet... Vrrrm... the big turd. Clunk, clunk, whoomf... The cat! Whoosh... Miaow... Yum, yum, yum! The cat ate all the birds in the sky!
Oh! Thatís great! Iíve never seen anything so funny....!"
"Letís have some more birds. Come on, all together!"
And everybody started making birds. Even children from other parts of town started arriving. The whole square was full of children making their little clay models. Birds of every shape and size. They were playing, laughing and singing!
But at that moment, whammo! The big door on the square swings open. And out comes a black horse, a handsome animal, all decked out, with a little boy on top, all shiny faces, with bright eyes and his hair properly combed... feathers in his had, dressed in silk and velvet, with a lace collar. And he was surrounded by soldiers in armour, and they too had feathers in their hats, and were riding white horses.
The little boy was the son of the lord of the whole city.
He mimes the little boy turning round on his horse and asking the local kids:
"Hey, children, what are you playing at?"
"Ignore him. Heís just a troublemaker. Heís the son of the Lord of the Manor. Ignore him, Palestine. Make out that you havenít noticed him. Pretend heís not there."
"Wonít you tell me what youíre playing? Can I play with you?"
"And why not, pray?"
"Because... Because every time that we want to play with you, rich manís son, you say no! And because every time that we come to your house where youíve got your horses and lots of big toys, you get your guards to chase us away. Well now we have got a lovely game, the best game in the world, but Palestine is in charge of our game, and he belongs to us. You might be rich, but you havenít got Palestine. Palestineís on our side. Isnít that right, Palestine? Splosh, splosh! [He mimes kissing Jesus] Donít go off with the rich boy, eh? Donít be a Judas, will you?!"
"But may I know what this game is?"
"Easy-peasy... Weíre making birds. Then Palestine breathes on them, and makes them fly. Would you like to play too?"
"Alright then, pull out your willy, blow on it, and letís see if you can make that fly!"
He mimes a great guffaw of laughter.
The rich manís son was absolutely furious! With his eyes bulging out of his head. Black with anger, the little boy took a spear from one of his soldiers, and spurred his horse. The horse rode in among the children, and he started shouting like a madman:
"If I canít play, then none of you are going to play either!"
Crunch, crunch... with the hooves of his horse, he smashed all the little clay figures. There they were all over the ground, shattered into little bits. The children were crying... and throwing lumps of clay at him... and the soldier arrived on their horses, and began shouting:
"Scram! Get out of here, got out, go on! Because heís allowed to do anything he wants, because heís the rich manís son!"
All the mothers looked out of their windows.
"Thatís naughty! That was such a good game! Didnít cost anything. .Our children were happy, and you . . "
And the soldiers:
Scram, mothers! Get out of the way, because youíll get a spear in you if you donít!"
Slam, crash, bang, bang! All the windows closed. All the doors closed. The square emptied. The only people left were the little boy, the rich manís son, on his black horse, and his soldiers, who were laughing. And nobody noticed that Baby Jesus was still there, near the fountain. With eyes wide open, full of tears...And he was looking at the sky, which had filled up with clouds.
He mimes the little boy, turning to heaven and shouting.
The clouds opened: Creeeaak, vrooom, vraaam!
He mimes the clouds opening up, and GOD peering out from between the clouds.
"Whatís the matter?"
He imitates the tone of a little boy trying to hold back the tears.
"Dad, itís me, Jesus..."
"What happened, son?"
"Sob, sob, sob... That boyís naughty, he broke all the little clay things that we made to play with. He scrunched them all with his horse. Sob, sob, sob, sob..."
He cries, sobbing.
"But look, son, was it really necessary to give your father such a fright for such a silly thing? Do you realise I was right the other side of the universe, and I came tearing across at full speed... I punctured almost twelve clouds, not to mention running down a dozen cherubims, and my haloís all over the place - itíll take an eternity to get it right again!"
"Yes, but heís been naughty. Heís the rich manís son. Heís got everything! Heís got all sorts of toys, but when he saw that we were enjoying ourselves, he... sob, sob, sob... [He sobs] ... he broke everything... Waaaah... [He cries] ...And I tried so hard . . . "
"Speak up, son."
"And I tried so hard to do the miracle, to get the birds to fly, so that I could have some friends to play with... And it was nice, because we all made friends... but now Iím all on my own again like before. All my friends have run away... Waaaah! [He cries] Iím ever so unhappy, Dad, Iím ever so unhappy... Waaah!"
"Youíre right. I have to say that smashing up childrenís games, destroying their dreams, really is the worst of violence... But heís just a kid, son... What do you expect me to do, eh?"
JESUS lets out a long, thoughtful, weeping sigh, and then, in a very matter-of-fact tone, says:
"Kill him!" [He smiles, looking heavenwards, naughtily] "Eh?"
He mimes smiles and little shrugs aimed to win his fatherís agreement.
"But Son, I sent you down from heaven specially to teach peace between men, and to speak to them of love. The first time someone upsets you, you want to kill them?! Thatís not a very good start, is it, eh?!"
"Is that asking too much? Well, alright then, cripple him... Blind him, eh? Blind him and cripple him!"
"No, you canít do that sort of thing, son. You canít just go being violent to people."
"You canít eh? What you mean is, you canít eh? Can I Kill him, then?"
"Alright then, do what you like. I can see thereís no point my talking to you. But donít go round telling people it was me that did it."
Creeak, vraaam, the clouds disappeared . . . The clouds faded away, and once again the sky was clear. And time had stood still. Once again, there was the rich manís son, laughing, and the soldiers sniggering, and Baby Jesus nearby, calling out;
"Cooee...! Rich manís son!"
He laughs the sly laugh of somebody who is preparing a wicked joke.
"So, youíre laughing, eh? Youíve created all this mess around here, youíve smashed all our birds, broken up our game. And there you are, pleased as Punch, thinking that nobody in the whole world can touch you. Not even your father, eh? Well, how would it be if I decided to get you struck by lightning, eh? Youíre laughing? Donít you believe me?"
Vroooonnch! A terrible lightning bolt flashed from the eyes of Baby Jesus. [He describes the terrible flash of fire] A tongue of fire, like a snake on fire, twined itself all round the boy, picked him up, turned him over, threw him to the ground, and he turned into terracotta as if heíd been made in an over. Blam! All smoking!!
And all the women looking out from their balconies started shouting:
"What is this terrible thing that youíve done?"
The soldiers went white as a sheet and galloped off on their horses.
The Madonna had heard shouting from afar, and came running:
"Whatís happened? What have you done, son?"
"Nothing... Just done a miracle. My first miracle. Look, heís still warm."
"But what... Itís a little boy? Itís a little boy that youíve turned into terracotta!! But what have you done? What is this? Why?"
"Well, he was nasty to me, Mum!"
"I donít want to hear another word! Bring him back to life!"
"No." [In a whining tone of voice]
"Jesus, do as I say! Think of this boyís poor mother... Sheíll have a fit... ! bring him back to life at once... !
"But I donít know how to, Mum. I only learned how to do lightning bolts, and I havenít learned the bit about how to bring them back to life!"
"Donít tell fibs. Bring him back to life, and get on with it! Donít you realise that if the soldiers come, weíre going to have to run away again... And your father, and I have just found work!"
"Alright, but... You know, you canít just do a miracle and then undo it at once! Alright then, I will bring him back to life. But Iíll do it with a kick..."
Blam! A big kick up his clay bum... Vrooom... The little boy turns back to flesh and blood, brought back to life.
He stands there holding his bum with his hands and looking around him, frightened:
"What happened, what was that, whatís going on?!"
And Baby Jesus answered:
"It was me... A miracle... Struck you by lightning...Then brought you back to life! Thatís Ďcos my Mum came... So youíd best thank the Holy Mother! You still feel your bum smarting from the kick, eh... ? Well, remember that, because itís an allegory! Very instructive for all those who took fright and ran off and hid behind their shutters because they were too afraid..."
He points to the windows all around the square.
"Because the day that they started to think for themselves, then youíd better watch out... because youíre going to get such a kicking! Your bum will swell, and swell, and swell, and swell, until blam! Itíll burst! And there youíll be, for all eternity without an arsehole! Amen!"
[Last edited: 6.viii.2012]
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Please be aware that this translation can only be performed with explicit permission in writing from the agency representing Dario Fo and Franca Rame, the Danesi-Tolnay agency in Rome.
Last updated: 6.viii.2012