© Chris Port, 2004
- THE OLD FINLAND WOMAN. GERDA KNOCKS ON HER DOOR.
Come in, my dear. The door is open.
GERDA ENTERS CAUTIOUSLY.
Oh, and bring your reindeer too.
GERDA MIMES BRINGING IN THE REINDEER.
Tether him by the fire over there and I’ll bring him some nice fish broth in a minute.
WIPING HER HANDS.
Now. First a cup of whale blubber tea. And then, I expect you’ll be wanting to talk about the Snow Queen.
How did you know…?
We old people may look slow and stupid but… don’t forget, we were once young. I know what it’s like to be your age. But you have no idea what it’s like to be my age. Oh, the things I’ve seen…
MIMES OFFERING A CUP.
Here. Drink some whale blubber. You’re far too skinny for these cold climes. You need to put some fat on your hips, my girl. And you, Rudolph, or Red Nose, or whatever your name is, drink some of this nice hot fish-broth.
SHE PLACES A BOWL ON THE GROUND, THEN TURNS BACK TO HER COOKING POT. GERDA SIPS THE WHALE-BLUBBER TEA AND WINCES. WHEN THE OLD WOMAN’S BACK IS TURNED, SHE POURS IT INTO THE REINDEER’S FISH-BROTH.
Thank you for your kindness. What can you tell me about this Snow Queen?
Oh, plenty, dear. Plenty. Didn’t you like your whale-blubber tea, my dear?
SHE TURNS ROUND AND WINKS AT GERDA.
You see. We’re not as stupid as we look. Which is a good thing, sometimes.
Now, the Snow Queen. Let me think. Ah, yes. Little Kay really is with the Snow Queen. He finds everything there so much to his liking. He believes it is the finest place in the world. But this is because he has a piece of broken glass in his heart. And a little piece of glass in his eye. These must be taken out, or he will never be a human being again. And the Snow Queen will keep her power over him forever.
Oh, how awful. Oh wise old woman, can you not give me something to help me conquer this wicked woman’s power?
I can give you no greater power than you have already. Don’t you see how strong you are? How men and animals are obliged to serve you? How well you have got through the world, barefoot as you are? You cannot receive any power from me greater than that you have now. For that is the one thing all old people lose. The purity and innocence of a young heart. You must go to the castle of the Snow Queen, alone and unarmed, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay. I can do nothing to help you. Now, leave your delicious whale-blubber tea and off you go. Quick as you can! Go on dearie, shoo!THE OLD WOMAN SHOOS GERDA OUT OF THE HOUSE AND INTO THE SNOW.