© Chris Port, 2004
- GERDA, LOOKING NERVOUSLY AROUND THE CAVE. THE ROBBER-GIRL APPROACHES AND GRABS HER AROUND THE WAIST.
Oh please don’t hurt me!
STROKING HER HAIR.
No-one shall harm you my pretty little doll. A golden coach, eh?
LOOKING AT HER OWN FEET.
And these lovely leather boots of yours. I suppose you must be a princess?
No. Just a poor little forest girl searching for her lost love. He’s been bewitched and run away to the north. I’m sure there’s a woman at the bottom of it all.
We may behave the fairer sex
But still we shave our hairy legs.
Don’t worry, my pretty. My mother shan’t kill you, even if I get tired and angry with you.
SHE TOYS WITH HER KNIFE AT GERDA’S THROAT.
For I shall do it myself.
Oh your face is pale as porcelain with fear.
I’m not such a villain for you make me shed a tear.
You shall sleep with me and my little animals tonight.
SHE WALKS AROUND THE CAVE.
These all belong to me. See this pigeon?
SHE MIMES GRABBING IT AND HOLDS IT IN FRONT OF GERDA’S FACE.
GERDA RELUCTANTLY KISSES IT. THE ROBBER-GIRL LAUGHS AND LETS THE PIGEON GO.
And here is my old sweetheart, the reindeer.
SHE MIMES GRABBING A REINDEER BY THE ANTLERS. SHE TOYS WITH HER KNIFE AT HIS THROAT.
I tickle his throat every evening with my sharp knife. Which frightens him very much.
SHE LAUGHS AND LETS HIM GO.
I feel very sorry for you.
Sorry! For me? How sweet and stupid. I’m the one with the knife, my little doll.
SHE TICKES GERDA’S THROAT WITH THE BLADE.
LESS AFRAID NOW.
Yes. But you won’t use it on me.
And why not?
Because your heart isn’t in it anymore.
STOPS LAUGHING. LOWERS BLADE.
Yes. You’re right. I’m bored with all this.
SHE GESTURES ALL AROUND WITH HER KNIFE.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a good person or anything. Stealing is fun and I’m never going to settle down. But a girl shouldn’t live under her mother’s skirts for too long. It’s not healthy. And men can’t be that bad. I’m going to run away. And so are you, my dear. I should kill you but I’ve taken quite a shine to you. Perhaps you’re the girl I could have been. So, I’m going to help you. Look. Mother has drunk herself stupid and fallen asleep. Reindeer. Come here. I should like very much to tickle your neck a few times more with my knife. For it makes you look so funny. But never mind. I will untie your cord, and set you free, so that you may run away to Lapland. But you must make good use of your legs, and carry this little maiden to the castle of the Snow Queen, for that is where her play-fellow is. You have heard what she told me, for she spoke loud enough, and you were listening.
The Snow Queen!
Yes. She is the one who has stolen your playmate, Kay. She was most likely travelling to the North Pole where her castle of ice and reason is built. Who knows what strange games of the mind she has played with your friend.
Oh I must go to him now. Thank you for all your help, little robber-girl. You’re not quite so bad as you think.
Please! I have my reputation to think about! Now. Off you go.
AS GERDA LEAVES.
There’s an old woman who lives in Finland. She can tell you more about the Snow Queen.
AS GERDA MIMES LEADING THE REINDEER TO THE START OF HER JOURNEY, THE ROBBER-GIRL TENDS TO THE COOKING-POT AND BECOMES –