Elijah and the raven


Elijah is sitting in a depressed state after his victory over the Baal priests, when a raven comes to minister to him.


1 Kings. 17 v.1-7




(ELIJAH, dressed in a rough tunic, sits with head in hands by the side of a brook. Enter the RAVEN. He is dressed in a ridiculous, black bird-costume, perhaps made of black plastic bin-liners with gaudy yellow tights and large orange feet. He wears a large cardboard "beak". He looks a bit disgusted with himself, conscious of his own silly appearance.)

RAVEN: (Flapping his wings half-heartedly) Flutter, flutter flutter. Flutter (aside) The things I do for a speaking part.
(ELIJAH hasn't noticed the RAVEN, or if he has, does not acknowledge him.)
RAVEN: (to audience, removing beak) Excuse me, but this gets right up my nose. (to Elijah) Ahem! ... Are you from round these parts?
ELIJAH:  No, I'm a Tishbite
RAVEN:  (as if Elijah had sneezed) Bless you!
ELIJAH:  No ... I said "I'm a fishbone".
RAVEN:  Bless you!
ELIJAH:  (getting exasperated) I'm Elijah - the Tishbite.
RAVEN: (sheepishly) Oh ... I see ... Sorry ... (realising) So it's you! Tell me, what are you doing out here?
ELIJAH:  (disconsolate) Hiding.
RAVEN:  Mind if I ask why?
ELIJAH: Well ... I'm a prophet, you see ... and the Lord told me to go to King Ahab.
RAVEN:  What did you say-
ELIJAH: I said I'd rather not go ... I cause I'm a coward - a craven coward.
RAVEN:   Pardon!
ELIJAH:  A craven coward.
RAVEN: Thought you said "raven" ... I mean to say ... Well, what happened then?
FLIJAH: Well, if the Lord says do it - you do it! I went to King Ahab. I was a bit scared but I said to him - "There will be no more rain and no more dew until I say so."
RAVEN:  Caw! What did he say?
ELIJAH.  He said, "Good, let's book our holidays."
RAVEN:  Caw: The cheek! What happened then?
ELIJAH: I didn't stay to find out: that King Ahab is a nasty piece of work.
RAVEN:  And that Queen Jezebel.
ELIJAH:  (surprised) How do you know?
RAVEN:  Oh ... a little bird told me. Anyway, how come you're here?
ELIJAH: It's what the Lord said. "Go down to the Kerith Brook," he said, "Be faithful to the Lord and the Lord will provide." So here I am - sitting by the brook-side.
RAVEN:  (groans)
ELIJAH: What are you groaning for?
RAVEN: "Brookside" - it's enough to make anybody groan.
ELIJAH: Still, I suppose it's not so bad here. It's better than Spain.
RAVEN: Why's that?
ELIJAH: Well, at least you can drink the water.
RAVEN: (looks puzzled)
ELIJAH: Enough of my problems. You haven't explained what you're doing here.
RAVEN: No? Well ... I was sitting around with a few of me mates ... when I gets this message in me mind - "Go down to the Kerith Brook." Anyway, I told me mates ...
ELIJAH: What did they say?
RAVEN: They thought I was a raven lunatic.
ELIJAH: But you came?
RAVEN: Yeah. Had to, really. I may be a raven but I'm no bird-brain. If the Lord says do it - you do it! So here I am, on a wing and a prayer, so to speak.
ELIJAH: (thinking aloud) If the Lord says do it - you do it! ... even if it leaves you hunted and hungry.
RAVEN: Hungry?! Did you say "hungry"?
ELIJAH: I'm ravenous.
RAVEN: Say no more!
RAVEN: (flapping around, searching under his wings.) It's here somewhere. (He rakes out feathers, perhaps an egg, an assortment of odd bits, until ... fanfare) Tarah! Be faithful to the Lord and the Lord will provide. (Triumphantly, he hands over the items to Elijah.) Meat! Bread! It's for you-hoo!
ELIJAH: (surprised) That's really great.
RAVEN: Oh, it's nothing to crow about.
ELIJAH: (puzzling) I wonder, what's the best way to eat this.
RAVEN: Well, you could always invent the sandwich.
ELIJAH: Good idea' I'll just put this piece of bread between these two slices of meat ...
RAVEN: See you then ... must fly! ... keep your pecker up! (Starts to exit, flapping.) Flutter, flutter ... flutter, flutter. (Looks over his shoulder to the audience) Could you do any better? (Exits.)
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