Down the Chimney by Shepherd Knapp

Down the Chimney


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subjects: Plays, Playscripts

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One of a series of plays set at Christmas time intended for young boys and girls. It is intended, not only for acting, but also for reading. What sort of a Christmas play do the boys and girls like, and in what sort do we like to see them take part? It should be a play, surely, in which the dialogue is simple and natural, not stilted and artificial; one that seems like a bit of real life, and yet has plenty of fancy and imagination in it; one that suggests and helps to perpetuate some of the happy and wholesome customs of Christmas; above all, one that is pervaded by the Christmas spirit.

18 pages, with a reading time of ~0.75 hours (4,500 words), and first published in 1921. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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Now the curtain opens, and you see the Roof of a House, just as Mother Goose promised. Keep your eyes open to see what will happen next, for here comes JACK FROST, who is dressed all in white. He walks with a quick and nimble step, and this is what he says:

Would you believe from the look of things, that to–morrow is Christmas? There is not a flake of snow anywhere. This roof is as clear as it is in summer. These pine trees, whose boughs hang over the roof, are all green. The chimney has not even an icicle on it. I hear people saying that we have no old–fashioned winters any more. Even old Mother Cary said to me the other day, “Jack Frost,” said she, “when are you going to give them a real snow–storm?” But I told her not to be impatient: I would attend to it all in good time. And when I do begin, it doesn’t take me long to get up a fine old storm, I can tell you. Now he walks up to the Chimney, and knocks on the side of it. Say, old fellow. He waits a moment; then knocks again. Wake up there. He waits a moment; then knocks again. Wake up, I say.

And now—would you believe it?—the Chimney opens, first, one of his eyes, then the other; and then his mouth and nose appear together. Each of his eyes is exactly the shape and size of one brick. So is his nose. And his mouth is as long as two bricks side by side. They all turn a very bright red, when they appear, as though light were shining through them.