bowl of packing peanuts
Note: One person can play more than one part, such as Clive and Earl. Add a hat or a jacket to create separate characters.
SCENE ONE: CLIVE and JOE enter. CLIVE is sweeping. JOE uses a bowl to toss packing peanuts up and down.
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a man who had two sons. One son was older and VERY responsible.
Clive: That’s me!
Narrator: The other son was younger, and… well, not as responsible.
Joe: (JOE spills peanuts.) Oops.
Clive: Don’t worry, Joe. I’ll clean that up. I’m RESPONSIBLE.
Joe: Whatever, Clive.
SCENE TWO: DAD, CLIVE and JOE have a discussion.
Narrator: One day Joe went to his father and demanded that he give Joe his share of the inheritance.
Joe: What’s an inheritance?
Narrator: An inheritance is a large amount of land, money and cows that a child gets when his father dies.
Joe: Ohhhhh! That sounds great. Pay up, Dad!
Dad: But I’m still alive!
Joe: That’s OK. Cash is fine. Clive can have the land and the cows. Those animals are his only friends anyway.
Narrator: The father gave Joe his half of the inheritance and sadly waved goodbye.
(DAD hands JOE pretend money. JOE swings a backpack over his shoulder and waves goodbye; CLIVE looks angry.)
Joe: Don’t bother writing me any letters. I’ll be too busy having fun!
SCENE THREE: JOE arrives in a faraway country. He and his friend wear party hats and hold noisemakers.
Narrator: When Joe came to a country far away from home, he made friends and spent his money on wild parties.
Friend: We’re out of cake.
Joe: That’s OK! (JOE pulls money out of his pocket.) We can buy more!
Friend: (FRIEND takes money.) You’re the best friend ever. See ya! (FRIEND exits.)
Narrator: Not long after that, a great famine struck the whole country.
Joe: (JOE runs back and forth.) It’s a giant fan! Everyone watch out! High winds expected!
Narrator: I said FAMINE, not FAN.
Joe: Oh. Phew!
Narrator: For many days there was no rain. Crops would not grow. Joe, who had spent all his money, became very hungry.
Joe: I’m hungry! (JOE speaks to NARRATOR.) Could you give me a loan?
Narrator: Sorry, I’m the narrator. I’m not actually in this story.
Joe: Well, do you have any chips?
(NARRATOR stares at JOE.)
Joe: Never mind. Hey! Where did all my friends go?
Narrator: Your money was gone, so your friends left. Joe became hungrier and hungrier.
Joe: I’m SO hungry. I know! I’ll get a job!
Narrator: Joe found a local farmer and asked him for a job.
Earl: (EARL enters carrying bucket.) You can feed the pigs.
Joe: Pigs! Ew! Pigs stink.
Earl: I know lots of people who would be happy for this job.
Joe: Like who?
Earl: Well, there’s… uh, never mind. But there’s always…
Joe: (JOE takes bucket.) OK, I’ll take it!
Narrator: Joe sat in the field with the pigs, and he was so hungry he wanted to eat their food.
Joe: Nice piggy, piggy, piggy. (JOE sticks his hand in bucket and then pulls it back like pig bit him.) OW!
Narrator: Suddenly, Joe had a thought.
Joe: When I lived with Dad, I could eat as many delicious meals as I wanted. Even his servants eat better than these pigs.
Narrator: Then Joe got an idea.
Joe: I mean, true, the servants have to take out the trash…
Narrator: (NARRATOR clears throat.) Joe got an idea.
Joe: And they sweep the house, and…
Narrator: (Shouting) JOE GOT AN IDEA!!!
Joe: Hey, I’ve got an idea!
Narrator: It’s about time.
Joe: I’ll go home and tell Dad I’m sorry. I don’t deserve to be his son anymore, so I’ll be one of his servants. I’ll have to take care of Clive’s cows… but at least I won’t starve!
SCENE FOUR: JOE enters with backpack.
Narrator: So Joe began the long journey home. While he was still many blocks away, Joe’s dad spotted his son and came running.
Joe: Wow! I didn’t know Dad could run that fast!
Dad: (DAD runs on stage.) Son!
Joe: Dad! (JOE hugs DAD.) I’m sorry. I have done a terrible thing. I don’t deserve to be your son.
Dad: (DAD to SERVANT) Bring my best coat and coziest slippers. Put them on my son. And prepare some delicious steaks. Let’s celebrate! My son is alive and safe!
(SERVANT puts coat and slippers on JOE. ALL put on party hats and blow on noisemakers.)
Clive: What’s going on in here, Dad? Ever since I was a little boy I’ve taken care of your cows. I’m VERY responsible! But you’ve never had a party for me.
Dad: Clive, you are a good son! You are always with me, and everything I have belongs to you, too. But Joe was gone, and now he’s back! I thought I had lost a son, but I have found him again. Let’s celebrate!
(DAD hands CLIVE a hat and noisemaker. CLIVE puts on hat and blows noisemaker.)
Narrator: Just like the dad in this story, God forgives those who are sorry for their sin and come to Him by believing in Jesus. And that’s a reason to celebrate!