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Elijah and the raven

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ELIJAH, dressed in a rough tunic, sits with head in hands by the side of a brook (1 Kings 17 v 1-6)


Enter the RAVEN.  He is dressed in a ridiculous bird-costume - made of black plastic bin-liners with gaudy yellow tights and large orange feet.  He wears a large cardboard "beak".  He looks a bit disgusted with himself, conscious of his own silly appearance.


  Flapping his wings half-heartedly.  RAVEN Flutter, flutter ... flutter, flutter.  The things I do for a speaking part.
  ELIJAH does not notice the RAVEN, or if he has, does not acknowledge it.  
  To audience, removing beak.  RAVEN Excuse me, but this gets right up my nose.  Ahem!  Are you from round these parts?
  ELIJAH No, I'm a Tishbite.
  RAVEN Bless you!
  ELIJAH No ... I said, "I'm a Tishbite".
  RAVEN Bless you!
  Getting exasperated.  ELIJAH I'm Elijah - the Tishbite.
  Sheepishly.  RAVEN Oh .. I see ... Sorry.  So it's you!  Tell me, what are you doing out here?
  Disconsolate.  ELIJAH Hiding.
  RAVEN Mind if I ask why?
  ELIJAH Well ... I'm a prophet, you see ... and the Lord told me to go to King Ahab.
  RAVEN What did you say?
  ELIJAH I said I'd rather not go ... 'cause I'm a coward - a craven coward.
  RAVEN Pardon?  What did you say you were?
  ELIJAH A craven coward.
  RAVEN Thought you said "raven".  I mean to say.  Well, what happened then?
  ELIJAH Well, if the Lord says do it - you do it!  I went to King Ahab.  I was a bit scared but I said to him - "There will be no more rain and no more dew until I say so."
  RAVEN Caw!  What did he say?
  ELIJAH He said, "Good, let's book our holidays."
  RAVEN Caw!  The cheek!  And then?
  ELIJAH I didn't stay to find out.  That King Ahab is a nasty piece of work.
  RAVEN And that Queen Jezebel.
  Surprised.  ELIJAH How do you know?
  RAVEN Oh ... a little bird told me.  Anyway, how come you're here?
  ELIJAH It's what the Lord said.  "Go down to the Kerith Brook," he said.  "Be faithful to the Lord and the Lord will provide."  So here I am - sitting by the brook-side.
  Groans.  RAVEN Ooaah.
  ELIJAH What are you groaning for?
  RAVEN "Brookside" - it's enough to make anybody groan.
  ELIJAH Still, I suppose it's not so bad here.  It's better than Spain.
  RAVEN Why's that then?
  ELIJAH Well, at least you can drink the water.
  Looks puzzled.  RAVEN  
  ELIJAH Enough of my problems.  You haven't explained what you're doing here.
  RAVEN No?  Well ... I was sitting around with a few of my mates ... when I gets this message in my mind - "Go down to the Kerith Brook."  Anyway, I told my mates ...
  ELIJAH What did they say?
  RAVEN They thought I was a raven lunatic.
  ELIJAH But you came?
  RAVEN Yeah.  Had to, really.  I may be a raven but I'm no bird-brain.  If the Lord says do it - you do it!  So here I am, on a wing and a prayer, so to speak.
  Thinking aloud.  ELIJAH If the Lord says do it - you do it!  Even if it does leave you feeling hunted and hungry.
  RAVEN Hungry?!  Did you say "hungry"?
  ELIJAH I'm ravenous!

Say no more!

It's here somewhere.

  The RAVEN flaps around, searching under wings, etc.  Raking out feathers, assortment of "bits & pieces" - perhaps an egg? - until, with a fanfare, the RAVEN produces some meat and some bread.   


Be faithful to the Lord and the Lord will provide.

Meat.  Bread.  It's for yoo-hoo!

  Surprised.  ELIJAH That's fantastic.
  Modestly.  RAVEN Oh, it's nothing to crow about.
  Puzzling.  ELIJAH I wonder, what's the best way to eat this?
  RAVEN Well, you could always invent the sandwich.
  ELIJAH Good idea!  I'll just put this piece of bread between these two pieces of meat ...
  Exits, flapping unenthusiastically.  RAVEN See you then ... must fly!  Keep your pecker up!  Flutter, flutter ... flutter, flutter.
  Over shoulder, to the audience.  RAVEN Could you do any better?
- END -