The Courtship of Miles Standish
Note: the following was written as a flannel board. The numbers signify the pieces that were on the board. For a puppet play, just ignore the numbers.
This is a little play taken from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The characters are: Miles Standish (1) . He is a captain and a soldier. He sometimes wears his golden helmet (2) when he has on his captainís uniform. This is John Alden (3). He usually wears his Pilgrim hat (4) with the shiny brass buckle. Finally, there is Priscilla (5). She is a Puritan who often wears a starched white bonnet while going to church meetings (6). This is their story.
Announcer: Long, long time ago when America was young, there was a town called Plymouth. It was the land of the Pilgrims. They came across the sea on the famous ship called ďThe Mayflower.Ē
MS. (1 & 2) Hello, I am Miles Standish - Captain of the Mayflower and famous soldier. I bring the Pilgrims safely across the ocean to the shores of America. I have fought may battles to keep them safe. Let me introduce you to my good friend and household companion, John Alden.
JA. (3&4) Hello, I am John Alden. I am the youngest man on board the Mayflower. I work for Miles Standish. Whenever he need letters written, I am there to help him. We have became good friends.
MS. Well, John, it is good to see you. I have a special request. Since my wife, Rose died, I have been lonely. I wish to marry the lovely young Puritan maiden, Priscilla. But I am a man of war not words. Will you ask her for me? After all your words are so poetic and elegant.
JA. Oh Captain! Remember what you always taught me - ďYou must do it yourself, you must not leave it to others.Ē
MS. I know, John, but this is different. I fear not being shot by a bullet, but I greatly fear being rejected by the young and beautiful, Priscilla. But she will never turn me down with your elegant words speaking for me. I ask you in the name of friendship.
JA. Since the name of friendship is sacred, Iíll do as you ask.
PR. (5&6) Hello, Iím Priscilla, a Pilgrim who came across the sea on the Mayflower. I am very busy here in Plymouth spinning and going to Church Meetings. But, alas, I am very lonely. My dearest wish is that John Alden, the handsome young poet and writer, will take notice of me. Oh look, here he comes.
JA. (3 ) Hello, fair Priscilla. I picked some May-flowers for you. I am here to ask you an important question from the brave and honorable Miles Standish.
PR. And what, pray tell, is that, John Alden?
JA. He wants to know if you will marry him.
PR. What? You mean he didnít even take the time to come here and ask me himself?
JA. Well, he is very busy. But he is a good man, a true man. He is Captain of the Mayflower.
PR. I donít care if heís Captain Kidd. If he doesnít care enough to ask me himself, then I donít care to marry him.
JA. Oh, Iím so sorry. I didnít ask in the proper way. My words were too blunt.
PR. Donít be sorry. Why donít you speak for yourself, John?
JA. What? Why? Do you mean you would accept my proposal?
PR. Thatís exactly what I mean.)
Priscilla left and went back to her cottage to do some spinning while John went back to the ship to find Miles Standish.
MS. (1&2) I do believe that John is coming aboard the Mayflower. He was gone a long time. I hope he has good news. Hello, John, (3&4) Good news, I hope.
JA. I fear the news is not good. When I asked Priscilla for her hand for you , she refused saying, ďWhy donít you speak for yourself!Ē
MS. This is terribleÖjust terrible news! I thought you were my friend, but you tricked me.
JA. It wasnít like that at all. You must understand.
MS. I understand only one thing. I understand that I never want to see you again!
So Miles Standish left on the Mayflower. He was gone for weeks and fought in many battles. In the meantime Priscilla and John prepared for their wedding.
PR.(5&6) I am so happy to marry, John. Heís nice and kind and his words are so beautiful.
JA. (3) Oh, Priscilla, this is the happiest day of my life. Only one thing could make me happier. And that is, if my old friend, Miles Standish, would give us his blessing.
PR. Why look, John. Look who is coming to our wedding!
MS. (1) Oh, Priscilla and John, I am so glad I made it here before you wed. Iíve been gone a long time, and suffered through many battles. Iíve learned one thing - that friendship is very important. More important than hurt feelings. Forgive me for being angry.
JA. Let all be forgotten - all save our friendship!
As the poem ends John and Priscilla were married. And as for Miles Standish - he remained a true friend to them both.