(a one act play)
SETTING Some place, somewhere
TIME Some time, now or then
Mollirina’s Dream Horse
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a happy little girl. She was only 8 years old, but she had a smile that was so bright that when she woke up in the morning, the glow from her face lit up the other side of the world where it was still dark. She was happy because she had a mommy, a daddy and lots of sisters and brothers – more than you could count almost — and she loved them more than any child had ever loved a mommy, daddy and sister and brothers before and they loved her more then any mommy, daddy, sister and brothers had ever loved a child before.
Then one day, as the girl was happily frolicking in the meadow near her house, a giant, but very ugly horse walked by and spoke to her. He said in his big, gruff voice, because he had an ugly voice that matched his ugly appearance: “Hello little girl. I have come a long distance. I have walked and walked and I am tired now and need to rest. Would you like to rest with me, as I could use a sweet voice to sooth my restless mind and a warm body to relax my fatigued bones?” The little girl, whose sunny disposition led her to be inclined to grant any request made to her, said: “Of course I will rest with you. I will sing you a sweet lullaby to soothe your restless mind, and I will brush your mane to relax your fatigued bones.”
And so she did. She sang sweetly to the horse and she gently brushed his mane. And the horse, very quickly, fell soundly asleep. During his sleep, he had the most wonderful dream. He dreamed that he was no longer an ugly horse with a big, gruff voice, but rather, he was a beautiful chestnut mare with an enchanting voice that all came to listen to. The little girl, whose name, by the way – I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet – was Mollirina. She was such a good girl that she never wanted to displease her mommy and daddy whom she adored and she never wanted to disappoint her sisters and brothers whom she loved more than even all the gifts that her family bestowed upon her. And in knowing her love for them, she realized that it was time for her to go home. But she was in a terrible conflict because the horse was happily asleep, leaning his heavy weight against her – and she certainly didn’t want to have him wake up and find her gone – and on the other hand, her mother, daddy and sisters and brothers would be looking for her. Mollirina started to walk away, but she realized soon enough that she didn’t know which way was back home. She walked and walked and she got so tired. She got as tired as the horse had been when they had their chance encounter. But she was not as fortunate as the horse; she did not find a warm voice to sooth her anxious mind, nor did she find a sweet body to lean her fatigued bones against. So she sat under a tree, and leaned against the tree pretending that the tree was a sweet body of another and she listened to the rustling of the leaves, pretending that they were the sounds of a gentle lullaby. Soon, too, she was fast asleep. And soon too, she had a dream.
Mollirina dreamt that she lived with a horse. And he was a beautiful chestnut mare who had an enchanting voice that spoke eternal wisdoms that all in the land came to listen to. She and the horse were best friends and they were inseparable.
But one day a terrible thing happened. A strange, strong wind came from the north and blew everything away. All the land’s homes were gone; all the wheat from the fields was destroyed; all the water from the nearby ocean disappeared. The land was barren and dry. And only the bad witch from the North remained. The girl and the horse had nowhere to go, and had to depend on the witch for their sustenance. She was such a wicked witch and the girl and the horse grew to hate her. But they also needed her because without her they had no food.
But it seemed as though the more they accepted their fate that they were stuck with the witch, the more they tried to befriend her. And the nicer they were to her, the more hateful the witch became. She never said good morning; she always wished them a bad morning. She never gave them their food in good humor; she always said that she hoped that they would choke on their food: “Two less mouths to feed.”
So the girl and the horse decided that they would try to escape. The girl remembered that before she had come to live with the wicked witch, when she was still with her loving mother, daddy and sister, that her mother had often told her the tale of the magical horseshoe. The girl had gone to sleep every night in those wonderful days of the past, dreaming of the crystal clear horseshoe made of pure and sparkling diamonds that would enable whatever horse wore it to fly.
So the girl fitted the horse for a new horseshoe, and she began making this exquisite footwear for the horse. And just as she was almost finished pounding the magical horseshoe into its final shape, the witch came upon her and recognized what she was doing. The witch, too, had once been a happy child who had a mother who told her magical stories at bedtime, and she knew all about the diamond encrusted horseshoe that would enable any horse wearing it to fly. But those days of magical bedtime stories told by a melodious voice were over forever for the witch, and all that remained for her was forcing people and animals to be with her against their will; such was the curse that had been placed upon her long ago when she had been captured by the wicked witch of the west. And so the witch was very very angry at the thought that her captives were going to flee. She knew if she let them go, she would be alone once again for many centuries. So she went to grab the magical, sparkling diamond horseshoe. She was almost too late. The horseshoe was affixed already to the horse’s hoof, but the last nail was not yet in. The witch’s powers were weakened because the horseshoe was already on, but they were not completely gone because the last nail hadn’t been hammered in. She was left with only the power of a curse; as horse and girl took flight hurriedly, the witch pronounced upon them:
“Creatures of the night, demons of the day;
Girl and horse shall remain apart
For as long as I shall say. Only in their dreams shall they meet;
Because of their ill-fated crafting of the horse’s shoes for his feet.”
And, as the girl starting falling off the flying horse, separating from him as was the witch’s curse, she suddenly awoke, and found herself in the same meadow, under the same tree that she had fallen asleep leaning against hours earlier.
Mollirina did find her way back home to her loving mother, daddy and her beloved sisters and brothers. They were joyous to see her, as always, but in their time, only a few hours had passed since she had last left the home to frolic in the meadow. They had no idea that Mollirina had had such an adventure with a magical horse that had seemed as though it had lasted months and years.
As the days went on, there was a great discontent in Mollirina. Though her days were filled with happy events, during the nights she longed for the days of adventure and for the friendship of the horse. She longed for the freedom that she felt when she and the horse were flying through the air, fleeing from the wicked witch. Every night she dreamt that she and the horse were reunited and that they were flying together; sometimes over land, sometimes over ocean; sometimes even to other planets and stars and universes. And then, one morning upon waking, she remembered her dream under the tree; she remembered the curse that had been placed on her that she was fated to only meet the horse in her dreams.
And she determined to break the curse. She determined to find her horse and be with him all the time, not just in her dreams.
She carved a diamond horseshoe and she set about trying to find the one horse in the land whose hoof fit the horseshoe most perfectly.
First she tried a wonderfully majestic Palomino pony who was known throughout the land for his very precise prance. But the horseshoe didn’t fit.
Then she tried a fine Arabian quarter horse who was known throughout the land for his gracious gallop. But the horseshoe didn’t fit.
Then she tried a haughty Tennessee walker who was known throughout the land for his . gallant gait. But the horseshoe didn’t fit.
Then she tried a black stallion who was known throughout the land for his sensational speed. But the horseshoe didn’t fit.
Finally, there was only one horse left in the land – an old and gruff horse whose beauty had long ago vanished and who had no particular talents left and who had been alone and neglected for years. But the girl persisted in her quest, leaving no stone unturned. She placed the diamond horseshoe on the horse’s hoof, and it fit perfectly. And the old gruff horse smiled for the first time in decades. And his old arthritic bones suddenly straightened up and he became spry and eager. And his knotted, mangy mane became glistening and lustrous. And his dingy red- brown fur started sparkling in the light.
And the girl recognized her chestnut mare. Mollirina climbed on the horse; the horse whinnied – and off they went. First walking, then trotting, then cantering, then galloping – until finally they took off, flying with the wind – in search of new and wonderful adventures by daylight at last.
They even visited the wicked witch, who was as ornery as ever, but who had, at least befriended some toads to keep her company.
The World Premier (and only performance thus-far) of This Play was Executed on June 3, 2001 on the Occasion of Molly Goldberg’s Birthday Celebration.
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS on that day were:
Mommy: Becky, Willa’s Mom
Sisters & Brothers: Andrea, Madeline, Liam, Robert, Donald, Peter, Jake, David, Matt, Juliana, Brittany
Gruff horse: Isabella Wicked witch: Robin
Palomino pony: Angela
Arabian quarter horse: Katrina
Tennessee walker: Willa
Black stallion: Martha
Director: Cathy, Isabella’s mom
Writer and Narrator: Jane, Molly’s mom