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PERSIST  4'2m0f The parable of the persistent friend

FRED -- (enters, wearing long wooly pajamas with feet, carrying 
a blanket, crosses to chair DC, sits, slouches, falls asleep)

ED ---- (enters opposite, carrying candle in candle holder, 
stops short of DC) Knock, Knock.

FRED -- (mumbles) Who can that be in the middle of the night? 
I'll just ignore him. (yawn) Maybe he'll go away.

ED ---- Knock, knock.

FRED -- (groans) Yeah, what do you want?

ED ---- Fred, old buddy, It's me, Ed. A guest from out of town 
just came to visit and I don't have anything to feed him. May I 
borrow three loaves of bread from you?

FRED -- We're all tucked into bed. Come back in the morning.

ED ---- My guest is really hungry. He hasn't eaten anything 
since lunch. Come on, Fred. Open up.

FRED -- I can't. Ah, I hurt my foot today. I can't get up and 
walk on it.

ED ---- Wake up your wife or your kids and have them get the
bread for you.

FRED -- I can't. Ah, we're all sick. (cough, cough) Yeah, that's 
it. We're all sick. (cough, cough)

ED ---- Aw, come on.

FRED -- (cough, cough) We all have a very infectious disease. 
(cough, cough) But, maybe we'll feel better in the morning.

ED ---- I just saw you before bed time. You weren't sick then.

FRED -- (cough, cough) Well, we're all sick now. And, do you 
know how we all got sick? 

ED ---- No. Tell me.

FRED -- Ah, we were all delivering our last five loaves of bread 
to the orphanage. Yeah, that's it. We all caught an infectious 
disease at the orphanage and now we're all out of bread. (cough, 
cough)

ED ---- (holds up candle points) Fred, I'm looking through your 
kitchen window and I can see five fresh loaves of bread cooling 
on the table. 

FRED -- Ah, no you don't.

ED ---- Yes, I do.

FRED -- Ah, that's not bread. It looks like bread but it's not 
bread. That's actually, ah, five dead rats. Yeah, that's it. We 
have a terrible rodent problem and if we open the door now, 
we'll unleash a rat plague on the whole town. Come back in the 
morning, I'm sure that all the rats will be dead and gone by 
then.

ED ---- Fred, I'm shining my light in the window and I can see 
them real clearly. You have five loaves of bread on the table.

FRED -- Oh, those loaves of bread! Yeah, ah, aren't they real 
looking? I made them out of clay as ... ah... decoys for the... 
geese. 

ED ---- The geese?

FRED -- Yeah, that's it, they're decoys for the geese. The geese 
will eat the clay and they'll be so heavy that they won't be 
able to fly. Then we bop them on the head and have them for 
dinner. By the way, you and your guest are welcome to join us 
for dinner tomorrow. We're serving goose. Good night.

ED ---- I don't know how to tell you this, Fred old buddy, but I 
was here tonight when your wife pulled six loaves of bread out 
of the oven. We ate one loaf just before you went to bed and 
left the other five loaves to cool on the table. Remember?

FRED -- Oh, those loaves of bread! Oh, we couldn't possible
give away those loaves of bread. 

ED ---- Why not?

FRED -- Why not? Well, ah, because, ah, the king is sending his 
messenger in an hour to pick up all our bread and bring it back 
to the palace. We wouldn't want to disappoint the king would we?

ED ---- And then you're going to get up when he gets here and 
open the door and give him the bread?

FRED -- In about an hour from now. Sorry.

ED ---- What about your foot injury? What about your infectious 
cough? What about your rat infestation? 

FRED -- (gets up and moves toward Ed) Alright! Alright! You can 
have your silly loaves of bread! (opens imaginary door) Brother! 
Are you ever persistent.

ED ---- That's what this parable is all about, you know.

FRED -- Parable? 

ED ---- Yes, we're in a parable about persistence. 

FRED -- We are?

ED ---- Yes, (points at audiences) for them. 

FRED -- Them? (looks at audience)

ED ---- The audience. (follows Ed offstage)

FRED -- (gasps, covers self with blanket, moves to exit) Ed!
They saw me in my jammies. I will never forgive you for this. 
(shouts to exit) Martha, the people saw me in my jammies. 
Martha! 


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