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(Enter Mother Goose with a large Nursery rhyme book. sits in a rocking chair and begins to speak)
Hello there, dear sisters, I'm Mother Goose, you see
Yes, you did hear me right, I'm real as can be.
I'm sure you're wondering why my voice would be reaching
to sisters who are learning of visiting teaching.
Well, just as this program for you the Lord planned
We have visiting teachers in Mother Goose Land.
Yes, Mary Contrary and all of the others
Keep track of the elderly, young adults and new mothers
Although you've heard stories and know all the names
You know Mother Goose Land isn't all fun and games.
We, too, have our problems, both good and bad times
You know, it is rather tiring to speak always in rhymes.
Well, the dear Queen of Hearts and Little Miss Muffet
Go teaching each month and have learned to just love it.
(Enter Queen of Hearts and Miss Muffet with Ensign in hand)
They have a tough district, three sisters to see
And this month has been challenging, I'm sure you'll agree.
Let's follow along as they visit today
And see just what obstacles come in their way.
(Hearts and Muffet walk to a front door.)
Well, they're off now to visit our friend Sister Eater
You know, she's the wife of that stubborn boy Peter.
And although he claims that she's kept very well
Life gets rather boring inside of that shell.
With nothing but pumpkin walls, ceiling and floor
There are days when she's tempted to break down the door.
Poor Peter's inactive--and because it is such
His wife's not allowed to participate much.
An occasional Homemaking Meeting or two
Is just about all he'll allow her to do.
But she still loves the Lord and prays every night
That one day her Peter will come into the light.
(Knock on door, she answers and lets the visiting teachers in. Shespeaks in a depressed voice.)
Oh, my visiting teachers what more could I ask
On a day that I can't find another new task.
Why dear Sister Eater, this isn't like you
You're usually so cheerful with so much to do
You do seem a little unhappy today
What seems to be wrong? Can we help in some way?
There are days that this pumpkin shell gets claustrophobic
It's too small to dance, or even aerobic.
I've tried pumpkin cookies and pumpkin french fries
One can only bake so many fresh pumpkin pies.
The floor of this pumpkin's so slimy and slick
And all of these stringy things make me feel sick.
I don't mean to sound like my home I'm berating
But the color of orange is so nauseating.
(sister Hearts suddenly brightens with an idea)
Hey! I know how to make the old pumpkin look bright
There's a wallpapering class on next Homemaking night.
Some flowers or stripes would relieve the humdrum
I'll pick you up--if Peter will let you come.
Hum, some wallpaper. I think you are right.
I'd sure like to come to your Homemaking night.
But is Homemaking night still on the first? (They both nod yes)
Oh--if I left that night, Peter really would burst.
He's invited some friends to watch the big game.
I really must stay here to help entertain.
He likes me to fix all their goodies you know
Why at pumpkin chip dip I'm really a pro.
Oh, I am disappointed. Were it some other day
I really do think that I could slip away.
Sister Eater, you're such an example to us
You support Peter always with never a fuss.
Your example some day will show Peter the way.
You know that I pray for you each night and day.
The wallpaper class I am signed up to take
I'll pick up extra handouts, just for your sake.
The next day, after baking those tarts that I do
I'll bring over a pattern book you can look through.
I've never put up wallpaper and do have my doubts
But I'm sure that we two could figure it out.
Oh, Sisters, my depression you always can mend.
More than visiting teachers, I know you're my friends.
(While Mother Goose speaks, Hearts and Muffet listen intently as Sister Eater does all the talking. At the appropriate time, they leave for the next house.)
Some sisters are inactive, not by their own choice
They need help from our ears, much more than our voice.
Never criticize those who are worth more than gold
And help them to feel they're part of the fold.
But the greatest of gifts with these sisters we share
Is to remember them always in our daily prayer.
Well, next on their list is Old Mother Hubbard
Who happens to own that infamous cupboard.
She's a widow you know, lives alone with her dog
With no man around to repair or unclog.
But you'll find her home teachers are never complaining
They keep her walks shoveled and all her drains draining.
(Hearts and Muffet arrive at Hubbard's. They knock and she answers.)
Come in my dear ladies, my prayers have been heeded
For some company today is just what I've needed.
Yes, Rover and I were just having a chat
He's in trouble for chasing poor Farmer Dell's cat.
Why dear sister Hubbard, your house is so cold
Is your furnace not working? You know it's quite old.
No, my furnace is working quite well, I would say
(She is hesitant to continue)
It's the Gas company, I've not been able to pay.
My security check is a bit late, I fear
But any day now it is sure to appear.
Now don't worry about us, we'll be fine I am sure
I've a warm sweater and he has warm fur.
I'm sure we could talk about somthing much brighter,
Miss Muffet, are you still bothered by that nasty old spider?
Oh, I'm afraid it is true, though I try to be brave
Mother Goose has tried everything to make him behave.
I guess hearing me scream he just cannot resist.
So I fear in this teasing he'll always persist.
(During the above speech by Muffet, Rover keeps tugging at Hubbard's skirt trying to get her to come with him.)
Now Rover, sit still, you're not acting quite right
We have guests today and you must be polite.
(To Queen of Hearts)
How's the King and the children my dear Sister Hearts?
Did you ever recover those nice stolen tarts?
(Again, while Hearts is speaking, Rover tugs at Hubbard's skirt)
Little Johnny got burned, doesn't quite have the knack
Of jumping the candlestick with his friend Jack.
But other than that, we're all doing quite fine.
The king ordered new drapes with a nice heart design.
And as for the tarts I was trying to save
We suspect that the theif is the burglar, the knave.
Excuse me my friend, I must get to my feet
And see if I can find Rover something to eat.
Now come along, Rover, I know that I'm late
I see that you're hungry and don't want to wait.
(She hobbles over to cupboard with Rover, opens it, and all there is
crust of bread that she gives to Rover. Hearts and Muffet can see this.)
Queen of Hearts did you see that? Her cupboard was bare
All I saw was an old crust of bread lying there.
Sister Hubbard needs welfare assistance right away
I don't think she can wait for that check one more day.
(Again they visit with Hubbard, looking concerned as Mother Goose narrates.)
Well, as soon as they left, they called me as planned
I'm Relief Society President over Mother Goose Land.
With the aid of the Bishop, we helped Sister Hubbard
To get heat in her home and some food in her cupboard.
And since it was too late that day to begin
Her visiting teachers took dinner right in.
And a portable heater they also took over
Along with a package of dog chow for Rover.
In a welfare situation, we always act quickly
To aid all the downtrodden, hungry and sickly.
A visiting teacher has a most sacred trust
To keep things confidential is an absolute must.
(To ladies in the audience)
Hey!! Are you still awake? Well, this rhyme’s almost done
Their last stop is Sister Pig, and she's --well--always fun.
She is rather reluctant, thinks that church is a bore
So when they come for a visit, Pig won't answer the door.
They're efforts to see her have been well directed
They've tried making appointments, dropped in unexpected.
She says on the phone that to visit is fine
But when they stop by, well, she changes her mind.
Today they're attempting just one thing more
To get Sister Pig to unbolt that door.
SISTER HEARTS (knocking)
Sister Pig, Sister Pig, let us come in.
(To Muffet) I hear the TV so she must be in.
(They wait a few seconds then knock again.)
Sister Pig, Sister Pig, do let us come in.
Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.
Whatever you're selling I don't want today
I won't open the door, so please go away.
Oh, Sister Pig, please won't you give us a try?
We've brought you some flowers, they surely will die.
I'm afraid in this cold they are going to freeze
We'll stay but a moment if you let us in please.
SISTER PIG (peaking around the corner of the door)
Well--come in for a minute, if that what you choose
I'm afraid I can't find a convincing excuse.
Well, I'm Little Miss Muffet.
And I'm the Queen of Hearts.
Yes, it was front page news when they ripped off your tarts.
You may think I'm rude for not opening my door
But I've too many problems I don't need any more.
I had a bad experience, so on straangers I frown
A wolf once came by and tried to blow my house down.
We're in hopes, Sister Pig, we'll no longer be strangers.
It's your friendship we're seeking, we mean you no danger.
Miss Muffet, don't you live next door to Bo Peep?
That ridiculous girl with those wandering sheep.
Living by her is a challenge I'd guess
I bet that those sheep leave your front yard a mess.
SISTER MUFFET (Acting embarrassed)
Well actually not, Bo Peep tries very hard
You know that she's building a fence round her yard.
(An awkward silence)
And how are your children these days, Sister Pig?
I've not seen them in ages, they must be quite big.
Oh, the piglets are all gowing up I'm afraid
You know that the baby's now in third grade.
Last month was a mess and I'm glad that it's through
We all were quite sick with that awful swine flu.
Oh, Sister Pig, if we only had known
We'd love to help out if you'd just telephone.
We'd have helped with the shopping or brought over
No you couldn't do that--you know--I'm a sinner.
Why my dear Sister Pig, I'm afraid I am too.
I'm surely not perfect in all that I do.
You'll find that the Savior didn't preach to the winners
But blessed all the publicans, harlots and sinners.
We all have our weaknesses, some small and some big
But it surely won't hamper our frienship, Sister Pig.
You have some faults, too? (They nod yes)
Well, I'm shocked as can be
I thought that you church folks behaved perfectly. (They nod no)
And I do have a weakness now I must confess
I'm afraid Luke and Laura are in quite a mess.
And I know they won't solve it without my observing
Oh, some days their antics are really quite unnerving.
Laura and Luke? Why these can't be your own
I thought that your piglets were Jake and Jerome?
SISTER PIG (Amazed)
You don''t know Luke and Laura? They're those kids on TV
And they get into trouble quite naturally.
It's really been lovely just getting acquainted
But I must turn the set on, yesterday Laura fainted.
(Hearts and Muffet look at each other in amused surprise. Pig turns on TV and a pre-recorded daytime drama comes on. Pig is mesmerized and does not hear another word Hearts and Muffett say.)
SISTER MUFFET (After writing on a paper)
Well, here are our phone numbers, just feel free to yelp
If you, Luke or Laura should need any help.
We know our way out, please don't bother to stir
And we'll see you again, the first week of October.
(They exit entirely from the stage. Then Pig leaves also.)
Well, sisters, I hope that we've helped you today
There are four simple rules that we hoped to convey.
Number one involves service, an important endeavor
A trait that can help bond a frienship forever.
But please keep in mind service need not be a chore
It's the simple and thoughtful that mean so much more.
The second rule points to these two flappy things (points to ears)
That grow on the sides of your head--and aren't wings.
Remember your ear could get so much more in it
If that loud thing in front (point to mouth) would just close for a minute.
To listen with love, understanding and care
Is the greatest of gifts you can give while you're there.
The third rule pertains to those special needs
That cannot be solved by our usual deeds.
A welfare situation needs to be known
To your Relief Society President before it has grown.
Rule number four, and we can't get around it
Is to make sure to leave that home better than you found it.
To gossip or criticize is never accepted
But with tact and empathy, all our comments directed.
Well, I must be off now before it gets dark
Besides that, I've left the old Goose double parked.
(She starts to leave, then stops to leave one last thought)
Remember, you never can measure the hearts you'll be reaching
Through prayerful, sincere visitng teaching.