By Glenn A. Hascall


The real son of a moderately wealthy family feels slighted when the family adopts two more children. His adopted brothers and sisters have learned the idea of being thankful, now they must help Hinderfella begin to understand how much he has to be thankful for. Setting and circumstances are altered in this revised look at a fairy-tale classic.


NARRATOR 1 & 2, 
VERONICA (A singing part)
Various other parts (none gender specific) that could be doubled or tripled for smaller casts.


(SETTING: Bare stage except for some leaves (real or fake) that need to be raked up.)
NARRATOR 1: The Hinder family are kind, warm and gentle people - at least most of them. They have opened up their hearts and homes to many children through adoption and foster care.
NARRATOR 2: Two new children are coming to stay with the Hinders. Lisa and Sandy have been moved from home to home and the Hinders have agreed to adopt these children in need.
MARK: (On stage with a small plastic rake, in frustration he rakes with a frown on his face) Why did they have to adopt more children? I'm their son and yet they adopt others. Why can't they just be satisfied with me?
(Lisa and Sandy walk onto the stage)
LISA: (Smiles and says warmly) You must be that Hinder Fella.
MARK: (Sarcastic as he continues to rake) Ha - ha! Very funny. (Stops and looks at the girls) My Name is Mark.
SANDY: (Hesitant) It's nice to meet you - Mark. (Pause)  I guess we'll leave you to your raking. (Both girls look sad walking off stage)
MARK: (Talks to himself again) Oh, sure just let the real son do all the work. Why should today be any different. (Mimics parents) "Mark could you clean up your room?" "Mark could you make your bed?" "When you're finished with that, could you run all the clothes down to the washroom?" I'm a slave in my own home.
NARRATOR 1: Mark Hinder continues to work on raking the yard when the adopted children of the Hinder family as well as the foster children...
NARRATOR 2: And a few neighbor kids...
NARRATOR: 1: come to play in the backyard.
1: What a beautiful day.
2. It sure is nice to have a yard to play in.
3. I'm just glad I have a home now.
4. Me too!
5. Me three! (Chuckles)
6. Hey, let's go play in the leaves.
7. Great idea.
8. Cool!
9. I'll race ya!
(The children run to the pile of leaves that Mark has just raked and begin throwing them over their head in reckless abandon)
MARK: (Angry) What are you doing? Do you know how long I've been working on this?
10: We're sorry.
11: It just looked like so much fun to play in.
12: We'll help you clean it up.
MARK: Oh, sure, then mom and dad can say that I wouldn't do what they asked me. Just leave me alone!
13: Come on, Jimmy, let's go home.
14: Suzy, what's wrong with that Hinder fella?
MARK: For your information, my name is Mark!
(Everyone seems nervous around Mark and begins making excuses to leave)
16: I'll see you guys later, I think I hear my mom calling.
17: I think my mom is calling his mom to tell her I need to come home.
18: I'll walk you home.
LISA: Maybe we should go to our room.
SANDRA: Right behind ya.
(Mark is the only one left on stage).
NARRATOR 1: Mark has never told his parents about his struggles.
NARRATOR 2: But Mark has been suffering from Poor Me Syndrome for a long time. Today he will meet a very special visitor.
CLARK: (Walks on stage dressed in a magician outfit) Hello. You must be that Hinder fella.
MARK: (Still raking and not looking at the guest) My name is Mark.
CLARK: Then I guess you are that Hinder Fella.
MARK: (Looks up annoyed) Is there something I can do for you?
CLARK: I'm not sure, but there may be something I can do for you.
MARK: (Sarcastic) Are you my Fairy Godfather. You kinda look like what I would expect for one.
CLARK: Fairy Godfather? (Looks at his outfit) Oh, this? No! (Talks somewhat like Marlin Brando) However, I am here to make you an offer you can't refuse (chuckles as if he has just done something funny)
MARK: What's with the outfit?
CLARK: (raises arms and looks at himself) I was just helping out with a birthday party.
MARK: What, no pumpkins? No door mice? No hound dogs and glass sneakers?
CLARK: (Runs chin thinking) hmmm, let me think.  No, no, no and (pause) no. Now if you will listen for a moment, perhaps you'll understand.
MARK: I'm listening.
CLARK: Good. Our organization is hosting a basketball game in a couple of weeks and I wanted to know if you knew of enough children to put together a neighborhood team.
MARK: (Sullen) We've got enough in this neighborhood for at least two teams, and half of them come from my house.
CLARK: You seem somewhat lacking in the gratitudinal arts.
MARK: You don't have to be so mean.
CLARK: Oh no, I'm just saying that you don't seem very thankful.
MARK: What should I be thankful for, a house full of noisy kids, that I have to make an appointment to see Mom and Dad, that I...
CLARK: Hmm, I think it's time for some help from my assistant - Veronica.
(Music begins as Mark looks around dumfounded)
(Veronica sings this song to the tune of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo from Walt Disney's Cinderella - All the neighbor kids join in at the designated section)
What are you doing - standing there moping - feeling so sorry for you?
Put on a smile and think of some thanks
You'll find out what it can do.
There's reason to smile - and after a while - I hope that's just what you do.
Gratitude's good for those who are down
It's time you learned this is true
The word gratitude it means - To recognize the things
That other folks do in word and in deed
And letting them know as you sing
(All kids except Mark join in and sing and dance around Mark like a musical production number - Mark is still raking feeling sorry for himself - occasionally glancing at the gathering group somewhat nervously)
So, what are you doing  - standing there moping - feeling so sorry for you?
Put on a smile and think of some thanks
You'll find out what it can do.
There's reason to smile - and after a while - we hope that's just what you do
Gratitude's good for those who are down
Someday you'll learn this  - someday you'll learn this - 
someday you'll learn this is true.
(Neighborhood kids and Veronica exit)
CLARK: (Excited) Thank you Veronica - that was just beautiful.
(Veronica smiles as she leaves the stage)
MARK: Beautiful? That was just weird.
CLARK: Don't you ever watch musicals. They always just break out in song like that.
MARK: If I did that in school they'd give me detention.
CLARK: I see. Well, don't do that in school then - all right.
MARK: I don't think you've got a thing to worry about.
CLARK: I'll see you later Mark.
MARK: Hey wait a minute, you talked about a basketball game?
CLARK: Oh yeah, we meet a week from Saturday at the stroke of twelve noon and B. Holden park. There is just one thing you need to know before you agree to play, Mark.
MARK: What's that?
CLARK: Well, this game is part of the Acclamation Conference and all players must exhibit an attitude of gratitude. (Mark looks as if he is going to interrupt) What that means is that if the referee blows the whistle, whoever has the ball must immediately tell everyone something that they are thankful for, if they can't do it they must sit on the bench and watch from the
sidelines as everyone else gets to play.
(Clark leaves the stage as the other children file back onto the stage with a few basketballs, Mark excitedly explains it all to them without actually speaking - Narration begins).
NARRATOR 1: That Hinder Fella...
MARK: You mean Mark!
NARRATOR 1: Mark and the rest of the children began practicing for the big game. Mark turned out to be the best player on the team, but as it turned out, he was practicing for the wrong kind of game.
NARRATOR 2: Soon the big day arrived and the Mark and his family arrived just at the stroke of twelve noon (Sound effects of a clock chiming)
REFEREE: (Shouts) Play Ball!
NARRATOR 1: This game was very different from any basketball games Mark had ever played.
MARK: That's Hinder Fella (exasperated) Now look what you've done - you've got me doing it!
NARRATOR: As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. This game was very different from any basketball game that Mark had ever played. The ball was simply passed from one person to the next and then a whistle would blow.
(Referee blows whistle as each person takes their turn in telling what they are grateful for).
19: A safe place to live.
20: A family who really loves me.
21: Good food to eat.
22: My new parents.
23: Applesauce and graham crackers. (Everyone looks at him) What can I say, I like 'em.
NARRATOR 1: Something happened to Mark as he heard each child tell about the big things and little things that they were thankful for. Suddenly Mark remembered the rather unusual song Veronica had sung...
(Mark should sing the following - the other actors stare in disbelief)
What am I doing - standing here moping - feeling so sorry for me?
I'll put on a smile and think of some thanks 
And find out how good it can be.
NARRATOR 2: Mark, was embarrassed, not just because he just sang at a basketball game, but because he really had so very much to be thankful for, and yet he allowed himself to think that somehow he had been wronged. Mark held the ball in his own hands as the referee blew the whistle.
MARK: (Looks at the ball and then looks at his team - they all begin to encourage him). I am thankful (pause) for my mom and dad who cared enough to make our house a home - not just for me (Looks at his team) - but for all of you, too. I am thankful they had enough love that they could share it with me and then with others. And as much as it would be nice to keep my mom and dad all to myself, I think I can learn to be thankful for the adopted brothers and sisters that I have never given a chance.
REFEREE: (Blows the whistle) That Hinder Fella's team wins.
(Team cheers)
MARK: But how...
CLARK: Remember kid, I told you this team was part of the Acclamation Conference.
MARK: Yeah!
CLARK: Do you know what acclamation means?
CLARK: It means to give honor, and it's part of being thankful. Your teammates helped you today. As a team you began to understand the need to give thanks for what God has given you. Once you understood that, your heart changed. It was so noticeable to the referee that he declared your team the champions. He knows a winner when he sees one.
MARK: Once I started talking about things I was thankful for, I actually felt more thankful.
CLARK: That's usually how it goes, Mark. (Reaches for a shoe box) Oh, by the way (hands Mark the box) don't say I never gave you anything.
MARK: A new pair of shoes. Wow, thanks.
CLARK: No, actually it's Veronica's latest CD, the box was the only thing I could find to put it in. Sorry, kid.
MARK: (Sullen) Thanks.
LISA: I thought you were gonna be grateful, Mark.
MARK: Oh, uh, sorry. I really am grateful. Thanks.
CLARK: That's better.
MARK: I've got to go find dad and mom and let them know how sorry I am for the way I've behaved lately.
(Music for Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo begins playing)
NARRATOR 2: So the house on corner of Maple and Elm continues to grow. It's not been easy; but then again, gratitude has its own rewards.
NARRATOR: And that Hinder fella
MARK: Hinderfella, I like the sound of that (Looking around on the floor).
NARRATOR: Hinderfella lived happier ever after.
MARK: Has anyone seen my CD player.
SANDRA: But I'll help you look for it.
MARK: (Smiles as he looks at Sandra) Thanks!
(Cast sings a reprise of the last bit of the revised song)
So, what are you doing standing there moping - feeling so sorry for you?
Put on a smile and think of some thanks
You'll find out what it can do.
There's reason to smile - and after a while - 
we hope that's just what you do
Gratitude's good for those who are down
Someday you'll learn this  - someday you'll learn this - 
someday you'll learn this is true.
Copyright 2002 by Glenn A. Hascall
If you use this script would you be so kind as to let us know? glenn.hascall<a>gmail.com