Posted by: wrmcnutt | February 16, 2012

How the King Lost His Feet


This is a play I wrote many years ago now.  It’s actually a puppet show.  I wrote it for the “Iron Laurel” arts competition at an SCA event back in the day.  The goal was to take a box of random stuff, and believe you me, it was random, add whatever you brought, and create Art within a limited period of time.

As puppets have traditionally been made out of whatever castoffs the puppeteer can find, they are well suited to this competition.  So – without further ado:

How the King Lost His Feet

By Master William McNaughton

And Other People Too Embarrassed to Claim This

Concept by Master Saher Faux

 Narrator: 

And now, for our Feeture Presentation . . .

Once Upon a Time, in the happy, sunshine filled Kingdom of Merdies there was a great king.  I really great king.  You know in the biblical sense.  Good King Fundament was sooo great that when he sat around the castle, he sat AROUND the castle.

Each day, just after sunrise [Raise sun]  he would break his fast in quiet contemplation of his greatness.

King Fundament:

Boy, it’s great to be the king.

Narrator:

But today would be different.  A dark day.

King Fundament:

But this is Meridies. The sun is shining.

Narrator:

Hush, now.  We need to get along with the story.

King Fundament:

Right.  Sorry.

Narrator:

After he finished his scrapple, Good King Fundament looked down and was aghast at his discovery!

King Fundament:

Gasp!

Narrator:

For as he looked down, King Fundament beheld a shortage.  An absence of presence as it were.  His companions from his childhood were gone.  His two best friends were missing.  That is to say, they were not in hand.

King Fundament:

My feet!  Someone has stolen my feet!

Narrator:

Feet?  But . . . . .

King Fundament:

Now YOU hush.  I’m only gone to go along with so much for the sake of a joke.

Narrator:

All right, all right.  So, King Fundament in his grief, bewailed his loss.

King Fundament:

Wail!

Narrator:

But Fundament, like all kings of Meridies, was a man of action!  He lept off of his couch and  . . .

Fundament:

They can see me, you know.

Narrator:

Yes, I know.  But I’m a narrator and I get paid by the word.

Fundament:

Right.

Narrator:

Right.  So he leapt off of his couch and called for the greatest of his knights.  Like the good king, the premiere chevalier of the Kingdom was a great man.  A really Great man.  A man of some parts.  A man of some prominence.  A man of gravity, who lent his weight to . . .

Fundament:

All right!  They get he point.  Duke Sir Sweatsox!  Get your white belted keister in here!

Sweatsox:

Yes, my king?

Fundament:

Sweatsox! There’s been a theft! My two best friends have been taken!

Sweatsox:

You mean . . . .

Fundament:

No, you idiot!  Someone has stolen my feet!

Sweatsox:

What happened?

Fundament:

I just looked down, and there they weren’t.

Sweatsox:

Like this?  Ahhh!  Great Leaping Loops of Duct Tape!

Fundament:

What’s the matter?

Sweatsox:

By the rattan, someone’s stolen my feet, too!  Wadda we do your Majesty!  Wadda we do?  If we don’t have any feet, we can’t be Knights in good standing.

Fundament:

Calm yourself, Sweatsox.  We’re both Knights, right?

Sweatsox:

Right.

Fundament:

And so when Knights have to look for something, we do what?

Sweatsox:

Make our squires do it?

Fundament:

Right, we make our . . . no no no!  We go on a quest!

Sweatsox:

Of course, a quest.  We travel, see the world, and maybe find what we’re looking for.

Fundament:

Right.  And if we don’t, at least we have the opportunity for cheap laughs at the expense of the other peerages.

Narrator:

And so it came to pass that King Fundament and Duke Sir Sweatsox sallied forth on the Quest for the King’s Missing Feet.  Onward they journeyed, across trackless wastelands of Ansteorra, over the burning deserts of Atvenvelt, beyond the frozen tundra of Aeldormere . . .  Together they endured harsh conditions, great privation, and the depredations of savage beasts, and dangerous men.

Sweatsox:

Do you feel the slightest impulse to keep up with the narration?

Fundament:

Not in the slightest.

Narrator:

Weenies.  Ahem Until at last, one day, they chanced upon a Pelican busily sorting her underwear by date and color.

Fundament:

Excuse me, milady but . . .

Fussbudget:

Oooh.  Now look.  You’ve made me lose count.  Well, since people are watching . . . . I am Mistress Fussbudget.  How may I be of service.

Sweatsox:

Someone has stolen our feet.  Have you seen them anywhere?

Fussbudget:

Well, no.  I haven’t seen any extra feet around here, but I wonder . . .

Fundament:

Yes?  What do you wonder?

Fussbudget:

Well, it’s just that, I seem to be missing something, too.

Fundament:

Oh, really?

Fussbudget:

Well I just noticed the other day, well, really, someone just pointed out, that is to say . . . .

Fundament:

Get to the point!

Fussbudget:

It seems that I can’t find my own, uh, rear, even if I use both hands, in broad daylight.

Fundament:

Then you shall join us on our quest.  Leave the underwear to be sorted by protégé’s!

Narrator:

And so King Fundament, Duke Sir Sweatsox, and Mistress Fussbudget journeyed on, over stormy seas to the Kingdom of Dracenwald, back again through dangerous waters and savage sea monsters to Atlantia, until they returned to the Northeastern Boarder of Merides.

Fussbudget:

You know, I rather like it here.  It’s peaceful.  Almost serene.  As though we were nearing a place of knowledge and wisdom.

Sweatsox:

I smell flowers.  That scent.  What kind of scent is that?

Fundament:

I think that that’s the sweet odor of Mountain Laurel.

Enter Mistress  Wisdom

Wisdom:

Welcome fair travelers, to our humble Barony.  All who seek wisdom may find their art here.

Sweatsox:

We aren’t seeking wisdom, we want our feet.

Fussbudget:

We wouldn’t be adverse to finding ourselves a little behind, either.

Fundament:

Are you, in truth, one of the Mountain Laurels we’ve heard tell about?  The legendary fonts of knowledge and wisdom?

Wisdom:

You’re too kind.  Actually, you’re all kinds.  But I digress.  Here in the Northeast we make no pretensions to great knowledge or wisdom, but we can occasionally make note of the obvious.

Fundament:

We are on a quest.

Sweatsox:

A quest!

Fussbudget:

A quest!

Fundament:

Someone has stolen our feet!  Oh, and Fussbudget needs a piece of tail.

Fussbudget:

Hey!

Wisdom will now examine Fussbudget, Sweatsox, and Fundament, and note where each puppet falls short.

Wisdom:

Ah.  Something’s afoot.  And I do see your little behind!

Fundament, Fussbudget and Sweatsox:

What!  Where?  Who?  When?  Which?

Wisdom:

Fear not. I think that we can help you.  Wait here.  I must repair to the Temple of Art and Wisdom, But I Repeat Myself.

Wisdom now moves off stage

Sweatsox:

So, who was this Art guy that they would build a temple to him, anyway.

Fundament:

Art was the first Saxon King of Britain after the Romans left.

Sweatsox:

Right, right.  Sorry.

Wisdom Returns.

Wisdom:

Please meet my apprentice, Lord. Hands.

Two hands wearing green wristbands show up.

Wisdom:

He doesn’t say much, but he’s handy to have around.

Lord Hands ties a bumroll to Mistress Fussbudget

Wisdom:

Tush-tush, my dear Mistress Fussbudget, nothing is fundamentally unsound here here.  You have simply worked half of it off.  But . . . .  There are many Peers who are greater asses than you.   But they do have something you haven’t.  A bumroll.  So from now on, remember:  when ever you feel like you’ve worked your ass off, just go out and tie one on!

Lord Hands ties a pair of point-toed shoes on Sir Sweatsox.

Wisdom:

Duke Sir Sweatsox, your um greatness, has, er, overshadowed your other feets.  Other Peers put their feet in their mouths with little or no effort.  And they have no more feet that you do.  But they have one thing that you haven’t.  The order of the Golden Arches.

Lord Hands ties a pair of pointy-toed shoes on King Fundament

Wisdom:

Your Magesty, it boots well that you are on a quest.  For a just and honorable king, can never truly be de-feeted.  Other Kings have achieved your prominence and have been just as outstanding. But they have one thing that you haven’t.  A really good pair.

Fundament:

Don’t go there.  I said we weren’t going there in scene one.  Oh, wait, never mind.

Sweatsox:

What have you learned, Sire.

King Fundament:

I’ve learned that just because something is beyond your reach doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and that there is no joke so cheap that a puppet troupe won’t exploit it.

Sung By All Cast:

Love me tendon, love me feet,
There’s no pun too low.
There’s no joke that we won’t do,
No place we won’t go!

Ol’ Thor’s Mountain’s number one,
Our art is really neat,
Puppet shows are our turf,
Grey Niche shall know de-feet!

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Responses

  1. having just read, and thoroughly enjoyed this, I find myslef glad I wasn’t present to witness it. I think i might still be groaning


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