The Wishing Table, The Golden Donkey and the Cudgel in the Sack

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12-16 characters, flexible casting. Approximately 15 minutes long. Comedy based on the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale-The Wishing Table, The Gold Donkey, and the Cudgel in the Sack. Modern touches make this play perfect for middle schoolers.

Three sons are kicked out of their home only to return years later with magical items. Things don’t go according to plan, but everyone learns a lesson in unexpected ways. Based on the lesser-known but no less odd Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

About the Playwright

Jake Lewis is a middle school English teacher, who has been involved in writing, directing, and acting in theatrical productions his entire life. He was the founder of Jakespeare Theatre Company, and he has published a collection of his short plays, “Tell Me Something.”

*The Fox, Bear, and Bee can easily be double-cast with other characters


NARRATOR 1: Greetings! Today you are going to be treated to a story called “The Wishing Table, The Gold Donkey, and the Cudgel in the Sack.”

NARRATOR 2: (To NARRATOR 1.) That’s a terrible title. How would that fit on a marquee? And, I mean, what’s a cudgel?

NARRATOR 1: (To NARRATOR 2.) I think it’s some kind of pastry. Mmm….

NARRATOR 2: (To NARRATOR 1.) But in a sack? That’d get jelly all over the inside of it. You wouldn’t be able to enjoy eating it.

NARRATOR 1: Well, as for the title, I kinda like it. Tells you right off what to expect.

NARRATOR 2: Unless you don’t know what a cudgel is.

NARRATOR 1: Regardless, this is a fairy tale unlike no other.

NARRATOR 2: Literally. You have never heard a fairy tale like this before.

NARRATOR 1: And if you have, we guarantee you get your money back!

NARRATOR 2: Unless you haven’t paid to see this, in which case, contact the author of this play, Jake Lewis, whose words we’re just reading.

NARRATOR 1: You’ll have to find that out on your own, by the way. But he’s on the Internet.

NARRATOR 2: We should also disclose there are no actual fairies in this tale.

NARRATOR 1: So why is it called a fairy tale?

NARRATOR 2: Again, contact Mr. Lewis on that. I just read the lines.


NARRATOR 2: So let me introduce you to the tailor and his three sons.

TAILOR and SONS 1-3 wave at the audience.

TAILOR: I’m a tailor, who, ironically is named Taylor.

NARRATOR 1: That’s not actually irony.

NARRATOR 2: Yeah, it’s just a coincidence.

TAILOR: (Ignoring them.) Which means I make clothes.

SON 1: Weird, because we never have anything nice to wear.

TAILOR: (To SON 1.) Don’t be an ungrateful brat! At least you have clothes and aren’t running around naked!

SON 2: Yeah, I do not want to see that.

SON 3: Cudgel in a sack!

NARRATOR 2: Anyways, these three brothers and their dad had a pet goat.
GOAT trots on.

GOAT: Bah. Bah.

NARRATOR 1: That’s the goat if you couldn’t tell.

GOAT: Hey! I got a name, you know! It’s Bradley.

TAILOR: And we do not find it strange at all that the goat talks.

SON 1: Nope.

SON 2: Totally normal.

SON 3: Cudgel in a sack!

NARRATOR 1: One day–

NARRATOR 2: A Tuesday, actually.

NARRATOR 1: Ok. One Tuesday–

NARRATOR 2: Whoops, sorry, it was actually a Thursday.

NARRATOR 1: It doesn’t matter what stinkin’ day it was, ok?!

TAILOR: Jeesh. Someone has a case of the Mondays!

NARRATOR 2: Nope, got it, it was definitely a Wednesday. Sorry. Hump Day!

NARRATOR 1: On some day of the week, the tailor said to his sons…


SON 1: Hey.

SON 2: Sup?

SON 3: Cudgel in a sack!

TAILOR: I’m busy doing tailoring things–

SON 1: (Sarcastically.) Sure looks that way.

TAILOR: And this goat–

GOAT: Bradley!

TAILOR: –is hungry. Can you take him to the field over there that he loves oh so very much?

SON 1: You mean the field that is full of lush green grass?

SON 2: The field that does not have any rocks or weeds in it at all?

SON 3: Cudgel in a sack!

TAILOR: Yes, that one that you can’t see from the house.

SONS: Sure.

NARRATOR 2: So the three sons take the go–, sorry, Bradley–

GOAT: Thank you.

NARRATOR 1: To the field that is just out of sight from the tailor’s house and is full of lush green grass and has no rocks or weeds in it. The one he loves oh-so-very much.

NARRATOR 2: Why does everyone keep saying that the field is really far and has lush green grass with no rocks or weeds in it?

GOAT: And that I love oh-so-very much.

NARRATOR 2: Right. Why not just say the field he likes? Who cares about those other details?

NARRATOR 1: Oh, Narrator 2! You clearly don’t know what foreshadowing is!

GOAT: And you call yourself a narrator! Even I know what foreshadowing is! And I’m a goat!

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