#28PlaysLater2019: Day Five | The Year of the Pig

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The Characters.

Mrs Xu
Mr Huang
Mr Chan
Mrs Mak

Little girl Mak

Stupid Fa
Master Lui
Mayor Cheng
Mr Xiao

Various villagers.

The Play.

A rural village in the Fujian province of China.

 

Mrs Xu sits in the sunshine drinking a cup of tea, on a bench next to her front door.

 

Mrs Mak and her little daughter enter. Mrs Mak is carrying a basket full of food and drink for the New Year celebration.

 

Mrs Mak: 新年快乐 Mrs Xu!

Mrs Xu: 新年快乐 Mrs Mak! Oh, and I have something for your little girl.

 

Mrs Xu produces a red envelope from her pocket and hands it to the little girl, who recieves it with both hands and a little bow..

 

Mrs Mak: What do you say?

Little girl: 恭贺新禧!

Mrs Xu: Delightful.

 

The two women smile at each other and Mrs Mak crosses the stage chatting to her little girl and exits.

 

Mrs Xu sits in contented silence drinking tea.

 

The a pig falls off the roof and onto Mrs Xu. She is squahed under the pig. The pig lies on top of her, dazed.

 

Shouting off.

 

Mr Huang and Mr Chan run in and stand above the body and pig. The pig shakes it’s head and trots down stage where it sits quietly “hu-luu-ing”.

 

Mr Huang: Mrs Xu…?

 

Mr Chan bends down to Mrs Xu and checks her for signs of life. He shakes the body.

 

Mr Chan: Mrs Xu? Mrs Xu!?

Mr Huang: She’s gone.

Mr Chan: Did you see what happened?

Mr Huang: She was killed by a pig from the sky…

 

They both look up.

Mr Xiao enters.

 

Mr Xiao: What’s all this noise?

Mr Chan: Mrs Xu is dead.

Mr Huang: Killed by a pig from the sky.

Mr Xiao: A pig from the sky? At this time of year?

Mr Huang: At the new year…

Mr Chan: The year of the pig…

Mr Xiao: That is unfortunate.

Mr Chan: Is it? Or is it incredibly lucky?

Mr Xiao: Is it incredibly lucky? She’s dead.

Mr Chan: But she was killed by a pig…

Mr Huang: In the year of the pig…

Mr Chan: That must bring great felicity to the Xu household.

Mr Xiao: Apart from the fact that Mrs Xu is dead.

Mr Chan: Yes. Apart from that it must be very lucky.

Mr Xiao: I’m not sure Stupid Fa will see it like that. After all, she was the boys only family.

Mr Chan: Yes.

Mr Huang: True. But it’s still very lucky.

Mr Xiao: We must tell him I suppose and help him move the body. But we can’t start mourning until the new year is over.

Mr Huang: That’s true. No matter how lucky a pig falling from the sky is, crying over a dead body at new year…

Mr Chan: No, no, no, no, no.

Mr Xiao: Mr Chan, we must fetch the mayor and the priest right away.

Mr Chan: Yes, we must.

Mr Huang: They will know if this is good fortune!

 

Mr Chan and Mr Huang exit. Mr Xiao sits down on the bench next to the door. He pulls out a handkerchief and mops his brow.

Stupid Fa enters, whistling.

Mr Xiao looks up, sees Fa sighs and stands. He fixes a grin on his face.

 

Mr Xiao: Stupid Fa… I am afraid I have some grave news.

Fa: Then why are you smiling.

Mr Xiao: Because it’s bad luck if I don’t.

Fa: Oh. So how bad is this bad news?

Mr Xiao: Very grave. Very grave indeed.

Fa: Then you are going to need to change your face, because I don’t think I can take you seriously.

Mr Xiao: Your mother is dead.

 

Pause.

Fa laughs.

 

Mr Xiao: She was killed by a pig.

 

Fa laughs more.

 

Mr Xiao: A pig from the sky.

 

Fa doubles up laughing.

 

Mr Xiao: Stupid Fa! This is serious.

 

Fa is now crying with laughter.

 

Fa: Sorry Mr Xiao, I just can’t take anything you are saying seriously. Your face.

Mr Xiao: It will be nothing compared to yours when you realise I’m not joking. See, here.

 

Fa walks to Mrs Xu’s. He looks down.

 

Fa: So you weren’t kidding. Mother!

 

Fa kneels by Mrs Xu body.

 

Fa: Mother? Mother!?

Mr Xiao: I know, Stupid Fa. I know.

Fa: How could you know the pain of losinb a mother?

Mr Xiao: We all had mothers Fa, at some point. Remind me to explain on day.

Fa: But how? When I left she was sitting drinking tea.

Mr Xiao: A pig fell from the sky.

Fa: A pig? From the sky?

Mr Xiao: So I have been told.

Fa: A pig?

 

At that moment, Mr Chan and Mr Huang enter, followed by Mayor Cheng and Master Lui, as well as a crowd of villagers.

 

Mr Chan: Behold, Mrs Xu!

Mr Huang: Behold the pig that fell from the sky!

 

Fa stands up and staggers back as the crowd gathers round. He hovers at the edge of the crowd.

 

Mr Chan: Our question to you; is it lucky to be killed by a pig in the year of the pig?

Mayor: Well, that is an unusual situation.

Master Lui: Well, pigs that rain from heaven would denote prosperity and a fruitful year to come.

Mr Xiao: But Mrs Xu is dead.

Major: That would indeed seem an omen of ill fortune. At least for Mrs Xu.

Master Xiao: But living pork is better than a cooked rib.

Major: But dead mother leaves more orphans. Even if it is Stupid Fa.

Master Lui: But wise farmers know blessings come in disguise.

Major: And with a sudden drop in taxes. Oneless purse is a huge loss to the village coffers.

Master Lui: It is easy to find a thousand tythes, Mayor Cheng, but rarely a thousand pigs.

Major: Speaking of which, where is the pig?

Mr Chan: Here.

 

Mr Chan carries the pig forward. The Mayor and Master Lui inspect the animal.

 

Mr Huang: So Master Lui, is the pig lucky?

Master Lui: I would say yes. The pig is of good fortune.

Major: Mrs Xu, not so much.

Master Lui: Stupid Fa – the house of Xu is blessed.

Major: And we’ll hold your mother’s funeral tomorrow.

Mr Chan: But first we should prove this pig is lucky, once and for all!

Mr Huang: And if he is not, he shall be roasted for the village to celebrate the New Year!

Villager: Well, that’s lucky for us!

 

Villagers make sounds of agreement.

 

Major: That sounds like an excellent plan. Master Lui, as our spiritual leader what should you suggest?

Master Lui: Hmmmmmm… the pig fell from the sky you say?

Mr Chan / Mr Huang: Yes!

Master Lui: Well, we can’t sit and wait for more pig to rain from heaven. Mr Chan and Mr Huang, you must take the pig up on to the roof.

Mr Chan / Mr Huang: Right!

 

Mr Chan and Mr Huang exit around the side of the house, with the pig.

 

Master Lui: No, Stupid Fa, you sit here.

 

Master Lui leads Stupid Fa to the bench by the door where his mother sat.

 

Fa: Not to be disrespectful master, but I’m not sure-

Master Lui: No, no, fate is on your side. Look your family got a pig.


Stupid Fa sits down.

 

Fa: Now I know why they call me stupid.

Master Lui: Chan. Huang. Are you in place?

Mr Chan: Yes Master Lui.

Mr Huang: We are on the roof.

Mr Chan: And we have the pig.

Mister Lui: Excellent. Drop the pig on the count of three. One. Two. Three.

 

There is an almighty shriek of a pig.

Then them Mr Chan and Mr Huang tumble off the roof. They miss Fa and lie face down on the ground, either side of Mrs Xu’s body.

 

Pause.

 

Mr Xiang: Where’s the pig?

 

All the villagers, apart from Stupid Fa, look to the sky.

The pig trots round the corner of house and across the front of the stage.

 

Pause.

 

Everyone apart from Stupid Fa, Mr Xiao and the Major cheer.

 

Master Lui: That is as the gods will it. The pig is most fortunate! From this day, in honour of the year of the pig, he shall be our new Major.

 

The villagers pick up the pig and carry it over their heads, cheering. They leave the stage.

 

Pause.

 

Fa, Mr Xiang and the Major are left alone with the three bodies of Chan, Huang and Mrs Xu. The Major takes out his handkerchief and mops his brow.

 

Major: Did that just happen?

Mr Xiang:  It’s just New Year high spirits, I’m sure.

Fa: Remember, we must keep smiling.

 

All three of them fix grins onto their faces.

 

Major: What’s luck for the swine, it meat for the hog.. Or something.

Mr Xiang: Fa, from this day I will remove the word stupid from your name. It’s everyone else in this village who is brainless.

Major: Agreed.

Fa: Good. Thank you.

 

All three continue to grin as they lower themselves onto the bench.

Pause.

Blackout.

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