.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2014
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com


ANIMALS AT THE CHRISTMAS SCENE – written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:        the story and purpose of Jesus’ birth
SCRIPTURE:    Matthew 1:18-2:18; Luke 2:1-20; Zech.9:9
Cast:         COW 1, COW 2, COW 3; PIG; HEN; DONKEY;
.             CAT; DOG; SHEEP 1, SHEEP 2, SHEEP 3;
.             OWL; CAMEL; HORSE
.             (you can disperse the lines differently
.             to incorporate more actors, like adding
.             cows, hens, sheep, camels or horses)
Set & Props:  piece of straw;
.             costumes can be as simple as a big label,
.             or a headband with ears, etc. attached
.             in order to tell the “animals” apart

.             $15.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT
.             
how you receive this & package description


SCRIPT:

PASTOR   Let’s have fun and pretend for a while
.        that animals can talk.  Particularly
.        the animals during the birth of Christ...

(COWS moo and shuffle in from stage right
while staying all bunched together.)

COW 1    Hey, you can stop now.
.        You’re like, cramping my style.

COW 2    It’s dark.  It’s very dark out here.

(COWS stop in bunch and look around using mostly
their eyes, but COW 2 still tries to move in closer.)

COW 1    (to COW 2)  WHAT is your problem?!

COW 3    I think you’re the one with the problem.
.        Perhaps you have a case of claustrophobia.

COW 1    Please!  Do not psycho-analyze me.
.        She’s the one with issues.
.                                                       2
COW 2    I’m scared.  I think I hear something out there.

(COWS all keep quiet in their bunch and look around
using just their eyes.  From stage left, PIG pokes
his head out while oinking.)

COW 1    Where?  What?...  Okay - Who’s there?

COW 2    (panicking)  See?  Do you hear that?

(PIG now does an oinking kind of laugh then snorts.)

COW 3    (in a low voice to COWS)  Sh!  It’s a wild pig.

COW 2    (out into the “dark”)  Get away from us
.        you – you - unclean animal–you!

PIG      (stepping out)  Hey!  You’re on
.        my turf now, man.  Maybe if you’re nice,
.        I’ll let you stay.

COW 3    (to COWS)  We really shouldn’t have
.        anything to do with him.

COW 1    Just ignore him.

(COWS stand closer together, chewing, and looking around
nonchalantly with just their eyes.  HEN comes squawking
and flapping in from stage right and almost “flies”
into PIG.)

HEN      Oh!  Oh-oh, pig-pig-pig, don’t touch the pig!

(HEN back away from PIG, stopping between PIG and COWS.)

COW 2    Did the innkeeper chase you out
.        of the stable too?

HEN      Yes!  How rude is THAT?!
.        Kicked out of our own stable!  Something
.        about a BABY who’s going to be born soon.
.        But, it’s still rude, if you ask me.

COW 3    I quite agree.  When I had my babies,
.        no one was kicked out so I could be alone.

COW 1    So what’s so special about THIS baby?          3

HEN      Nothing!  It’s just going to be a HUMAN baby.

COWS     Ooooooo.

(DONKEY wanders in quietly from stage right and
stands cowering nervously between the COWS and the HEN.
HEN looks at the DONKEY and squawks in fear.  
Backing up, HEN almost runs into PIG again and
squawks loudly from that.  HEN huddles between
the DONKEY and the PIG.)

COW 3    (to DONKEY)  And just who are you?

COW 1    Hey, are you part of the reason
.        we were kicked out of our nice warm stable?

DONKEY   Ahhhh, hee-ahhhh, ahhh...
.        I don’t know.

(COWS take an intimidating step toward DONKEY.
DONKEY cowers some more with arms held straight down
but scrunching them in timidly.)

DONKEY   Ahhhhh, hee-ahhhh, hiiii.

HEN      Yes it is, it’s his fault we were chased out
.        of our nice warm stable!

DONKEY   Wh-wh-why do you say that?
.        A-a-and it’s not THAT warm in there.

(HEN suddenly becomes brave and takes a step
closer to DONKEY.)

HEN      Warmer than out here!  Anyway,
.        don’t change the subject.  I saw you.
.        You were the one who brought those people here.
.        Why would you DO that?  Huh?
.        And why would those people want to stay
.        in our stable, anyway?

DONKEY   Th-th-they didn’t want to.
.        Th-they wanted to stay in the inn.
.        B-but - a lot of people are traveling.
.        Th-th-there was no room at the inn.
.                                                       4
COW 1    So the innkeeper offered them our stable?

DONKEY   Yeeees.

PIG      If I may ask, why are so many people
.        traveling?

DONKEY   Oh, s-something about going to their
.        ancestor’s birthplace.  To - to be counted.

COW 2    Oh!  Been THERE!  

COW 3    People love counting things, don’t they?

(CAT comes slinking in from stage right.  HEN notices
her first.  HEN becomes very catty and prissy-like.)

HEN      Ooooo, if it isn’t the innkeeper’s cat.

CAT      (arrogantly)  Me-ow.

HEN      Ooooo, and so catty.

CAT      (in HEN’S face)  Sh!

(CAT walks in with her nose in the air and turns her head
as she passes PIG.  CAT stops to the right of the PIG
to lick her paws then wipe her face – a few times until -
CAT suddenly spins around at the PIG and freezes,
then claws the air at the PIG with a little hiss.
CAT steps to the left of the PIG to be more in front,
then turns forward again to continue primping.)

CAT      Sh!...  Just YOU stay away from me.

(CAT looks around at all the animals with a yawn,
then stretches luxuriously.  CAT talks with animals,
but continues to look at the congregation.)

CAT      Ssssooo, what’s going on?  Why are YOU
.        all hanging out HERE – with a PIG?

COW 3    We were kicked out of the stable.

HEN      A human baby is going to be born.

CAT      Ooooh.  Well, boo hoo, poor you.               5
.        Isn’t it so very sad that you were all born
.        as OTHER animals.  Now, if you were a CAT,
.        you’d have the opportunity
.        to live inside a HOUSE.

COW 3    So what are you doing out here, then?

CAT      I - just decided to come out for some fresh air.

(CAT tries to hide her shivers and teeth chattering.)

HEN      That’s a first!  I’ve never seen you
.        outside at night.  Except in the summer.

COW 3    Yeah.

CAT      Sh!...
.        (being “found out”, CAT quickly confesses)
.        Oh all right then!  There are so many
.        people crammed into all those rooms.
.        It’s simply overflowing with people.
.        And some of them have horrible little children.
.        I was just tired of them pulling my whiskers,
.        and ears...  and – my tail...

(CAT gently rubs each part mentioned.  For the tail,
she coyly puts her arms behind her back and
looks down mournfully.)

HEN      (sarcastically)  Life must be soooo hard!
.        Poor little kitty-cat.

(PIG snorts out a laugh.  CAT hisses at PIG,
then prowls around while giving her speech.)

CAT      Sh!  Hey, I’m NOT poor.  This PIG – is POOR!
.        And is - dirty and disgusting.  But ME?
.        I’m just ALL that!  You know?  I can’t help it
.        that EVERYONE wants to love me,
.        and feed me, and WORSHIP me.

COW 1    Whoa-whoa-whoa – WHO wants to worship YOU?

CAT      The Egyptians, to name – a FEW.
.        They believe – I - am - a god.

(HEN/S cackle loudly.  COW 1 takes out a long straw     6
and waves it out in front of CAT.)

COW 1    Hey, cat!  Lookie here, kitty-kitty-kitty.
.        Lookie what I have... (etc.)

(CAT becomes super alert.  With keen interest,
CAT’S eyes and head wave back and forth along with
the waving straw.  Finally, CAT skips up to the straw
and playfully starts batting at it with her paws.
COW 1 drops the straw, and CAT pounces
and plays with the piece of straw on the ground.
CAT stops short when the animals all burst out laughing.)

CAT      What?!

COW 3    Well, I don’t get it.  I mean, look at you.
.        You get distracted by a piece of straw!
.        HOW could anyone think YOU were a god?

(CAT hisses, but is interrupted by a brief baby’s cry.
Suddenly, a bright light shines down from stage right.
The animals quietly look up at the light.)

COW 2    All right!  It’s not dark anymore.

COW 3    Where did THAT come from?

CAT      I could go look into that.

HEN      They’re going to kick you out.

CAT      (looks back while rolling her eyes)
.        Please, I’m a cat.  The Egyptians worship me.

HEN      Whatever!

(As all the animals break out into laugher again,
SHEEP and a DOG come bounding in from stage left.
To get out of their way, PIG moves forward and
as far stage left as possible, then sits down.
DOG herds SHEEP in by running behind them
back and forth, barking.  DOG then leaps forward
to stop the SHEEP from moving any further.)

DOG      Stop!...  No.  Don’t move.

SHEEP 2  Are we there yet? Are we there yet?            7

DOG      Yes, I believe so.

SHEEP 2  YES!  Finally!

DOG      The shepherds SAID this was Bethlehem,
.        the city of David.

SHEEP 1  Just like the angel talked about.  Dude!

COW 1    Angel?  What kind of animal is that?

SHEEP 3  Ooooo, there were more than just one.
.        And you should have seen them.
.        Very pretty.  And very bright.  

SHEEP 2  And at first, very scary.

SHEEP 1  But the most awesome part was, like,
.        what they told us.

COW 3    And just what was that?

SHEEP 1  That a BABY was going to be born.

SHEEP 3  Dude.

HEN      Just so happens, a baby was just born,
.        right over there in our stable.
.        But – I mean – so what – it’s JUST a baby?

COW 3    Yeah, lots of babies are born.

SHEEP 2  Dude!  THIS - is an awesomely SPECIAL baby!

SHEEP 1  Yeah, this angel appeared –

COW 1    So you’ve said.

SHEEP 2  And it was very scary – at first.

SHEEP 3  Yeah – at first.

COW 3    So you’ve said.

SHEEP 1  And ahhh, the angel said... – ahhhh...
.                                                       8
(SHEEP all pause to think and sigh.  
DOG shakes his head and steps forward.)

DOG      I remember what the angel said.

SHEEP 3  Well, dude, go for it, then.

SHEEP 2  Yeah, you tell them.

SHEEP 1  It’s really awesome stuff.  It really is.

DOG      The angel said, “Do not be afraid;
.        for behold, I bring you good news
.        of a great joy which shall be
.        for all the people,
.        for today in the city of David
.        there has been born for you a Savior,
.        who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be
.        a sign for you, you will find a baby
.        wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”

COW 1    (not getting it)  Yeah, well, this baby here,
.        was born in a STABLE.

COW 3    Duh!  The manger is IN the stable!
.        (suddenly alarmed)  Wait!  They’re going
.        to put this baby in my manger?
.        Where they put my food?

SHEEP 1  But don’t you get it?
.        This baby is way special.

SHEEP 2  Yeah, because after, like, THAT –
.        a whole bunch of angels appeared in the sky,
.        and said something.

SHEEP 3  Yeah, they said something else.  Like, ahhhh–
.        (to DOG)  Go ahead, tell them what they said.

DOG      The whole sky of angels were praising God
.        and saying, “Glory to God in the highest,
.        and on earth peace among men with whom
.        He is pleased.”

OWL      (from offstage-right)  Who!

DOG      No, I’m pretty sure they said,                 9
.        “WHOM He is pleased.”

(OWL flaps his way out and pretends to land next to cows,
and does some owl-type-stepping to settle down.)

OWL      No-no-no, I just said, “who” as in, what
.        an owl says, and that’s because I’m an owl.
.        But what I SHOULD have said is, “What?”
.        As in, could you please repeat
.        that last part again?

DOG      Ah, sure.  They said, “Glory to God
.        in the highest, and on earth – PEACE
.        among men with whom He is pleased.”

OWL      Outstanding!

PIG      I’d say!  Peace on earth?!  This little baby
.        is going to bring PEACE on earth?
.        That would be nice.

OWL      Indeed.  And it will happen.  I am convinced
.        of it, especially now.  This baby being born –
.        means the prophecies have begun.
.        It’s all starting to make so much sense.

COW 3    What are you talking about?

SHEEP 3  Yeah, like scents, as in odors and aromas?
.        Are you trying to tell us we smell bad?

HEN      If anyone smells, it’s that pig over there.

PIG      Hey!

OWL      Sense, as in reason.
.        The logic that formulates in one’s brain
.        in order to glean knowledge and wisdom.

SHEEP 1  Yeah, that’s not going to help us.

SHEEP 3  At least we don’t smell bad.

(DOG whines a sigh of mild frustration.)

COW 1    Quiet and let the owl explain.
.                                                      10
OWL      Okay, so there are prophecies in the scriptures
.        that have spoken of this very thing.

SHEEP 2  Prophecies?  Scriptures?  All these big words.
.        You’re really blowing our minds here.

DOG      Please, smaller words - for the smaller minds.

OWL      (tilts head thinking, then starts again)
.        The God of creation, who created all of us,
.        has written words to the people, which they
.        can read for themselves.

COW 1    How do you know all this?

COW 3    Owls are wise, haven’t you heard?

OWL      It says in Micah “’But as for you,
.        Bethlehem, Ephrathah, too little
.        to be among the clans of Judah,
.        from you - One will go forth from Me
.        to be ruler in Israel.
.        His goings forth are from long ago,
.        from the days of eternity.’  Therefore,
.        He will give them up until the time
.        when she who is in labor has borne a child...”

SHEEP 3  Okay, so that’s like, talking about
.        the baby that’s just been born,
.        and is in that stable right now?

OWL      Yes, and it goes on to say that when He
.        grows up, “...He will arise and shepherd
.        His flock in the strength of the Lord,
.        in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.”

SHEEP 3  Whoa!  Shepherd.  He’s going to be
.        our shepherd?

OWL      Yes, He will be THE Shepherd –
.        for all the people.

SHEEP 2  Whoa!  People need a shepherd too?

DOG      (ironically)  I believe that.

OWL      And there’s more, “He will be great           11
.        to the ends of the earth.
.        And this One will be our peace...”

PIG      There it is again – peace.

HEN      Why are YOU so hung up about peace?

PIG      You DO realize that everyone HATES me.  
.        But maybe one day, I will be loved too.

COW 1    (to OWL)  Wait a minute!  How can we trust you?
.        I mean, really!  Are YOU – able to READ?

OWL      Well, I don’t read –

HEN      AH ha!  He’s a fake.

OWL      Who?  Me?  No-no-no.  I grew up near
.        Jerusalem.  One night, as I was flying
.        over the city looking for food,
.        I saw candlelight from a window.
.        (ALL become lulled by the story)
.        Needing a rest, I found a tree branch nearby,
.        and I could hear a man reading.
.        He would always read the scriptures aloud,
.        every night at the same time.
.        The words were so amazing,
.        they were like spiritual food.
.        And I was always hungry to hear more,
.        so I would go back, every night,
.        to hear these words again and again.

HEN      And just who was this man?

OWL      His name was Simeon, a rabbi at the temple.

PIG      So what else did it say?  These, scriptures?

OWL      WWHHhhOooo, let’s see... (thinking)

SHEEP 2  Yeah, dude, I want to know why people would
.        need a shepherd.   (SHEEP giggle and agree.)

OWL      Well, in the Psalms, God’s people
.        are likened to being sheep of His pasture.

HEN      So it’s a symbol?                             12

OWL      Yes, and Isaiah uses this symbol further.
.        When people sin, they become like LOST sheep.

SHEEP 2  Oh, that’s so not cool - not cool at all.

SHEEP 3  (understanding)  Ahhhh, so people need
.        to be found and saved from the wolves, too.

SHEEP 1  Oh, those poor lost people-sheep.

DOG      Hey, I’m pretty faithful and always there
.        to help out.

SHEEP 3  Yeah, dude - to HELP, as best as you can,
.        but you’re so not a shepherd.

DOG      (sadly)  Noooo, you’re right, I’m not.
.        I still need some help too, like being fed,
.        and getting attention from the shepherd.

SHEEP 1  Oh, those poor lost people-sheep.

(CAMEL walks in from stage left, and stands there
in the near background, looking aloof from the crowd.
Slowly all the animals begin to notice and wonder
about the CAMEL.  They begin whispering amongst
each other.)

COW 2    Psst.  Who IS that?  WHAT is that?

COW 3    Excuse me, but, what are you?

(CAMEL looks down at COW 3 and looks long and hard
right into the COW 1’S face.)

CAMEL    I - am - a camel.

COW 3    (lightly)  Oh.  Very well.  Carry on then.
.        (turns to others and makes a “whatever” face)

HEN      (to COWS)  Okay, but what is it doing here?
.        This – camel.  I hope the innkeepers
.        didn’t buy that and expect it to share
.        our stable.  Can you imagine how crowded
.        we’re going to be?
.                                                      13
(CAT strolls in and almost walks into the CAMEL.
CAT looks up at it.)

CAT      Excuse me, big guy.

(All the animals take note at CAT’S coolness.)

CAT      There are more of those camels way over there.

HEN      We won’t all fit!  What are we going to do?!

CAT      Relax, they’re just visiting.  Good thing, too.
.        They’re ornery, and they spit.

HEN      Whew!

COW 3    And just who are they visiting?

CAT      The baby.

HEN      They didn’t throw you out?

(CAT is more humble and speaks with a purr-like quality.)

CAT      Noooo.  Well Mrs. Innkeeper
.        wanted to throw me out,
.        but the nice lady said to leave me alone.
.        They were all very nice, but the baby
.        was the sweetest.  I can tell.  THAT baby –
.        is going to grow up and NEVER pull my ears,
.        or my whiskers... or - my tail.
.        It’s the nicest baby I’ve ever seen...
.        Oh, the baby’s name is Jesus, by the way.
.        And, I would have stayed there a LOT longer.

HEN      So why didn’t you?

CAT      Well, all these visitors came.
.        It got very crowded.  Again.

COW 3    (to COW 1)  Hey, you have something
.        in common with the cat...
.        you both have claustrophobia.

COW 1    Sh!

COW 3    See! You’re even starting to SOUND            14
.        like the cat.

COW 1    Sh!

COW 3    There you go again!

COW 1    (whispering with annoyance)  Alright.
.        (back to CAT)  Please, go on cat.

CAT      Well, these very important looking men,
.        from some very strange country,
.        came to give Jesus some very nice presents,
.        and came to worship Jesus.
.        They said - they came to worship – the KING.

COW 1    The KING?  I thought the king
.        was in Jerusalem?

OWL      There IS a king in Jerusalem.

CAMEL    Not THAT king.

DOG      What?  (to COW 1)  Did he say something?

CAMEL    I said, NOT - THAT - KING.

COW 1    Why do you suddenly talk now?

PIG      Maybe he feels like an outsider –
.        like me.

HEN      Or he’s stuck up – like the cat.

CAT      Heeey!

CAMEL    I didn’t know if I could trust you.

HEN      Why?  

CAMEL    When my masters saw this strange new star,
.        that is now shining down on us so brightly,
.        they knew it would lead to someone
.        very important.  So we traveled
.        a great distance, from the Far East.
.        On our way, we stopped in at Jerusalem
.        and saw the king who is there.
.                                                      15
OWL      You mean, King Herod?

CAMEL    Indeed.  King Herod.

(ALL wait intently while CAMEL chews and spits.)

CAMEL    My masters asked King Herod
.        if he had heard about the birth
.        of this very important King of kings.
.        King Herod had NOT heard –
.        and pretended to be very nice.  He said
.        he was very interested in finding this baby,
.        in order to worship Him, as well.
.        So he wants us to go BACK to Jerusalem and
.        let him know where to find this King of kings.  

(CAMEL suddenly looks off to stage right.)

CAMEL    Oh!  It looks like we’re getting ready to leave.
.        (takes a step toward stage right)

COW 1    Are you going to go tell King Herod?

CAMEL    (stopping short, almost spitting)
.        No-of course not!  King Herod
.        wants to KILL Jesus, the King of kings.

DOG      Kill the baby?

CAT      They cannot kill the baby!  They cannot
.        kill Jesus!

CAMEL    I am very happy I could trust you after all.
.        (cryptically)  Be careful.  Beware.
.        (slowly walks off to stage right)

COW 3    Wow!  So this baby isn’t just any baby.

COW 1    This baby Jesus is the KING of kings.

OWL      Yes, yes, I remember in Zechariah - it says,
.        “Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
.        Behold your KING is coming to you;
.        He is just and endowed with salvation, humble,
.        and mounted on a donkey.”

HEN      Hey – that’s YOU!                             16

(Startled, DONKEY jumps to attention.)

DOG      You’ve been awfully quiet.

DONKEY   I-I never actually realized I was carrying
.        such precious cargo.  Now I don’t mind
.        that the lady was a little extra heavy.
.        A-and here I had been whining and complaining
.        about how far we had to go.

SHEEP 2  Dude, sounds like you did something
.        awesomely important.

CAT      Who would have thought God would use a donkey!

DONKEY   Oh, my master is calling me.
.        I guess we’re leaving, also.

CAT      You’re taking Jesus away?  Why???

(DONKEY shrugs and leaves.  CAT turns to everyone.)

CAT      I’ll be back.  I want to say goodbye.

SHEEP 1  Maybe we’ll be going soon, too.
.        Our shepherds were so awesomely excited
.        to visit with the baby King.

SHEEP 2  For sure!  I think they’re still busy
.        telling people about Jesus.

SHEEP 3  Whoa, it just struck me, God sent angels to -
.        the shepherd dudes.

COW 3    Yeah, so?

SHEEP 2  Yeah, so?  I LOVE our shepherds.

SHEEP 3  Yeah, well, but not everybody does.
.        Shepherds are outcasts of society.
.        So not cool, people make fun of them.
.        But God shared His awesome news with
.        the shepherds, and is now using them
.        to spread the awesome news about Jesus.
.        Just like God using a donkey.
.                                                      17
PIG      Maybe God could use a pig.

(ALL stop to look at the pig and think.)

HEN      Maaaybeeee.

PIG      (shyly) I - I’m just saying.

HEN      No-no – I’m just thinking –
.        after hearing all of this,
.        it seems like almost ANYTHING is possible.

COW 3    Well then, my question is,
.        if shepherds are social outcasts,
.        why would God call Himself a Shepherd?

SHEEP 2  Oh, if you knew our shepherds, you would KNOW.
.        Dude, they take such awesome care of us.

DOG      (agreeing)  Ah-um.  Ah-um.

OWL      Yes!  In one of the Psalms it says,
.        “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
.        He makes me lie down in green pastures;
.        He leads me beside quiet waters...”

SHEEP 1  That’s exactly what our shepherds do.

DOG      Ah-um.

OWL      “...He restores my soul,
.        He guides me in the paths of righteousness.
.        For His name’s sake.  Even though
.        I walk through the valley of the shadow
.        of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
.        Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me...”

SHEEP 3  Whoa, He sounds like a VERY awesome Shepherd.

OWL      “Thou dost prepare a table before me
.        in the presence of my enemies;
.        Thou has anointed my head with oil;
.        My cup overflows.  Surely –
.        goodness and lovingkindness will follow me
.        all the days of my life.  And I will dwell
.        in the house of the Lord forever.”
.                                                      18
COW 1    In a HOUSE?  Forever living in God’s house?

SHEEP 3  Whoa, obviously, He’s not just ANY Shepherd.

CAT      (comes from stage right)  I’m back.

DOG      Oh, ah – so what’s up?

CAT      Well, an angel warned them to leave the country
.        for a while.

COW 3    Really?  Wow!

CAT      Yes, the donkey is going to take care of th -

(HORSE steps out from stage left, big and
aggressive-like.  CAT notices and stops.)

HORSE    What are you peons talking about?

SHEEP 2  DONKEY IS –

CAT      Sh!

(DOG quickly puts a paw over SHEEP 2’s mouth and barks.)

HORSE    Be quiet, you mutt.

DOG      Wh - ?  Wh- I didn’t -

HORSE    What about this donkey?

SHEEP 3  Ahhhhh –

(The SHEEP quickly look over to the COWS,
who stand still and look around using just their eyes.
All the animals are scared and suspicious.)

CAT      Well, we just said goodbye to our friend,
.        the donkey.

HORSE    Phrprprpr  (flapping his lips together)
.        Donkeys!  Donkeys are such a joke.

PIG      Oh, and what?  You’re some hotshot?
.        You’re just a wise-guy.
.                                                      19
CAT      Shh!

HORSE    I am one of the king’s war horses.

HEN      The king, eh?

CAT      Shhhh!

HORSE    Yes, King Herod.  Kings like to use horses
.        to show their power.

PIG      What would they use for peace then?

HORSE    Perhaps a donkey.  (laughs suddenly then stops)
.        But we are not LOOKING for any DONKEYS
.        right now!  We are looking for
.        all baby boys under the age of two.

HEN      Ooooh?  Whatever for?

HORSE    There’s one particular child –
.        that we want to – worship.

SHEEP 2  Oh, so you’re here to see -

(PIG grunts and snorts in order to distract HORSE
and cover up whatever SHEEP 2 might say.)

SHEEP 2  So, you’re here –

(PIG grunts and snorts and shakes his head.)

HORSE    And what is YOUR problem?

PIG      Nothing.  Just, something in the air.

COW 3    (now also coughs)  Quite right.
.        There’s nothing here –
.        except something in the air.  (cough, cough)

(All the animals join in coughing.)

HORSE    All you animals are nuts.
.        (charges up and stares deep into SHEEP 2’s eyes)
.        Just exactly WHAT - are you all hiding?

SHEEP 2  (blurts out quickly)  The King arrived        20
.        on a donkey and was living in that stable
.        over there.

(All the animals groan.  HORSE stares at the SHEEP 2
for a moment then bursts out laughing.
Finally HORSE sobers up enough to talk.)

HORSE    All righty, then.  That was good for a laugh.
.        Ha ha, that’s great.  That was just great.
.        Well, if you animals can’t make any sense,
.        then I’m out of here.  I’ve got important work
.        to do.  We’ve got to kill this baby
.        who will someday threaten to take
.        the throne away from our REAL king.
.        (laughs and shakes head as he walks off stage)
.        Ahh, a king on a donkey!  That’s a good one!
.        I really needed a good laugh.

(CAT waits until HORSE is gone before running up
to the SHEEP and glaring at them.)

CAT      Well THAT was close.  TOO close.  We can’t
.        do anything that will get Jesus killed.

OWL      I’m afraid no one can stop that
.        from happening.

(CAT stops in her tracks, then swings around
to stare at OWL.)

CAT      What?  

OWL      Jesus HAS to die.

(CAT paces as it frets.)

CAT      No!  No!  No!  Jesus is the rightful King.
.        I realize, I am nothing CLOSE to being a god
.        that anyone can worship.  I AM NOTHING.
.        JESUS - is GOD.

OWL      And Jesus has come for a purpose.  To die.

CAT      NOOO!

(DOG moans in a howl-like voice to echo the CAT.)
.                                                      21
OWL      It’s been written.  There are prophecies.

CAT      We can ban together and CHANGE THAT.

OWL      Listen, cat, I know you want Jesus to live.
.        We all do.  But He first has to die.

CAT      I don’t get it.  

COW 3    Yeah, what are you trying to say?

COW 1    What ARE you trying to tell us?

OWL      Whoooo, I always seem to communicate best
.        when I quote scripture.

DOG      Yes, we want to know what the Scriptures say.

OWL      Okay, you know how animals, for example,
.        sheep, are used for sacrifices.

(SHEEP all cringe and huddle, shaking with fear.)

SHEEP 2  Yeah.  Dude.

SHEEP 3  Scary!

PIG      What are you talking about?

SHEEP 1  Oh, yeah, the pig here wouldn’t have
.        any clue about this.

OWL      BECAUSE there is sin, there has to be DEATH.
.        Blood must be used to cover sin.
.        So God put in place the sacrificial system
.        as a SYMBOL... so people
.        would understand this law.

PIG      I – have a new respect for you sheep.

SHEEP 1  (turning to OWL)  Are –
.        are WE going to be sacrificed?
.        What are you saying?  What do you know?

OWL      Not you.  Him.  Jesus Christ.  Isaiah talks
.        about the Christ being the Lamb of God.  
.                                                      22
SHEEP 1  Hold up!  I thought you said He was the Shepherd?
.        And the people were like sheep?

OWL      Yes – to both.  You see, God likes
.        to use lots of examples that we can relate to,
.        so we can better understand what
.        He’s trying to tell us.

SHEEP 3  What is He trying to tell us?

OWL      In Isaiah it says, “All of us like sheep
.        have gone astray...”

SHEEP 2  Yeah, we do-we do - We do that a lot.

SHEEP 1  Yeah, what is our problem anyway?

OWL      Anyway, “each of us has turned to his own way,
.        but the Lord has caused the sins of us ALL
.        to fall on Him.”

DOG      Let me get this straight, everyone has sinned.
.        And this Jesus – is – going to die –
.        for all sins?

(ALL fall silent.  CAT sniffs and wipes her tears away.)

PIG      So Jesus, the Shepherd, has become a sheep,
.        and is going to die in the place of all sheep?

OWL      Yes.  Isaiah goes on to say,
.        “Surely our griefs - He Himself bore,
.        and our sorrows He carried;
.        yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
.        smitten of God and afflicted.”

COW 1    We don’t think that.

OWL      We will.  Because this is what WILL happen.
.        Isaiah continues with “But He was
.        PIERCED THROUGH for our transgressions,
.        He was CRUSHED for our iniquities;
.        the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him.
.        And by His scourging we are healed.”

SHEEP 2  That’s horrible.  So horrible.
.                                                      23
SHEEP 1  Yeah.

SHEEP 3  Just so people don’t have to continue
.        sacrificing animals, like us sheep...
.        Jesus is going to be the perfect sacrifice?

OWL      Yes, once and for all.  One final and
.        perfect sacrifice.  Then people
.        just have to believe in their hearts.
.        They just have to accept Jesus -
.        dying for THEM, in their place, so their sins
.        can be forgiven once - and for all.

CAT      But – Jesus will be no more.

OWL      Ah!  Then - there is even better news.
.        In Psalms it says,
.        “For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol;
.        neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One
.        to undergo decay.”
.        And Micah tells us,
.        “the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion”.
.        This will happen AFTER His death,
.        and there will be peace.

SHEEP 2  Whoa!  That sounds super awesome.

PIG      Okay, I want to know –
.        what do you mean by – peace?

OWL      Oh, there are many scriptures on that.
.        Like in Malachi, “But for you who fear My name,
.        the sun of righteousness will rise
.        with healing in its wings;
.        and you will go forth and skip about
.        like calves from the stall.”

COW 1    Oh, I remember those days.

COW 3    Indeed.  THAT will be nice.

OWL      And in Isaiah, “Yet those who
.        wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
.        they will mount up with wings like eagles...”

COWS     (thinking)  Ooooo.
.                                                      24
PIG      I’ve always wanted to be an eagle.

SHEEP 1  But like, dude, that’ll be the day
.        when pigs fly –

PIG      A pig can dream.  I – would like to fly.
.        Just to be able to soar through the air.

HEN      Me too.

PIG      At least you have wings.

HEN      Have you ever SEEN a chicken fly?
.        It’s far from soaring, let me tell you.
.        It’s just enough to get us up off the ground
.        away from the fox’s mouth.  It’s like...

(HEN frantically flaps and drops, flaps and drops around
the stage.)

HEN      (adding after)  It’s pathetic.

(SHEEP all try to be very supportive.)

SHEEP    Nooo, that was cool.  Way cool.  Yeah, dude.

DOG      (back to OWL)  Okay, what else?

OWL      Ah, where were we?

PIG      Peace.  What will peace look like?

OWL      Yes.  Isaiah talks about how the WOLF will
.        live with the LAMB and they will eat together,
.        the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
.        the lion will eat straw like the ox,
.        and the children will play with the calf
.        and the lion –

SHEEP    Whoa.

PIG      (excited)  You mean, all of us animals
.        will get along?  

OWL      Yes.

PIG      So there will be peace for everyone.          25
.        Even me.

HEN      Amazing!  Truly amazing!

(CAT wipes away a tear.  DOG notices.)

DOG      What’s wrong now?

CAT      Nothing.  These are - tears of joy.
.        I am – I truly am - a changed cat.

DOG      I believe.  I feel like a new dog, myself.
.        (getting an idea)  Now, let’s have some fun,
.        just so people don’t think we can REALLY talk.

CAT      What are you talking about?

DOG      I chase you – you run –
.        all the way up that tree way over there...
.        One-two-three–go!

(DOG barks and CAT tears off of the stage
with the DOG following.)

SHEEP    Sweet.

HEN      This I’ve got to see.

COW 2    Me too.

(Agreeing, all ANIMALS follow and exit.)