Field trip to the Sinai Desert - by James Archer
Scene: a geography field trip to the Sinai desert.
Cast: Moses, a teacher; Reuben, Esther, Zillah, all schoolchildren.
Moses ………… and now we find ourselves in the Sinai desert. Zillah, what can you remember about deserts?
Zillah Well, Mr Moses sir ….. um ….. they’re hot, and they’re dry.
Moses As you say, Zillah: hot and dry. Not a drop of water for miles around. No chance of any plants or animals. And look at that wonderful rock formation; a clear case of ………
Reuben Please sir, I’m hungry.
Esther And I’m tired, sir.
Zillah Do we have to go much further, sir? My feet are killing me!
Reuben Three days without a bite to eat. I’m starving!
Esther It’s all sir’s fault. He should have known better.
Reuben I’d rather be back at school any day.
Zillah What? Pretending to eat Miss Pike’s grotty gristle?
Esther And the lumps in her custard?
Reuben Well, at least we didn’t starve.
Esther No, we didn’t. I think we should go back home.
Moses Hang on a minute! We’ve got roast for supper tonight.
Reuben, Esther and Zillah (together) Roast?
Reuben Oh yeah – that’s a likely story!
Esther I suppose he’s going to get his God to do another of his miracles.
Reuben Well, he’d better get on and do it quick. I’m hungry! (Quail falls like a thunderbolt and hits him) Ouch!!
Zillah Good God! What is it?
Moses Roast quail. It tastes rather like chicken.
Esther But sir, I don’t like chicken!
Moses Oh, for heaven’s sake, stop moaning and be thankful for what you’ve got.
Zillah Sir, what’s for breakfast?
Moses The Lord has promised me there will be bread for breakfast. (Passage of time overnight)
Zillah Uggh! What is it?
Esther It looks like cornflakes all over the ground.
Moses That’s the bread God has given you. Gather as much as you can eat, but don’t keep any for later.
Esther But sir, we can’t eat that! You never know where it might have been.
Zillah Mmmh ….. it tastes like honey waffles!
Reuben Yes, it is good. Hey, Esther, let’s put some in our pockets to nibble on the way. We don’t know where our next meal’s coming from. (Passage of time – wandering)
Moses Stop! What’s that horrible smell?
Zillah It’s maggots! Look at them crawling out of Esther’s pockets!
Moses Can’t you do anything you’re told? Reuben, what are you doing?
Reuben Looking for food, sir.
Moses What day of the week is it today, Reuben?
Reuben Sunday, sir.
Moses And what did I say about Sunday, Reuben?
Reuben You said there wouldn’t be any, sir, because it’s a day of rest.
Zillah Please, sir, I want something more interesting to eat. I’m bored of honey waffles.
Esther I need a drink, sir. I’m thirsty.
Reuben So am I. It’s all sir’s fault that we’re dying of thirst. I want to go home.
Moses Ahhh! Lord, what can I do with these grumblers? Listen: how many days has the Lord fed you in the desert?
Zillah Nine, sir.
Moses And do you think He’s going to abandon you now? Can’t you trust Him?
Reuben I want some water!
Moses (resigned) The Lord will provide. (Exeunt.)
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