The Scene from Polish Folk Nativity Play.

Updated: Mar 16


Rod puppets (Polish ”kukiełki”) from theatrical workshops by Jacek Zuzański.

The same kinds of puppets were used in folk Nativity plays in Poland.


Scene II: Two Shepherds


Shepherd 1: Let’s poke in corners all around so we can see what can be found.


(They walk about in the shed, finding the animals, the crib with the child, Mary & Joseph.)


Shepherd 1: And what is this?


Shepherd 2: This is an ox.


Shepherd 1: And what is this?


Shepherd 2: This is an ass.


Shepherd 1: And what is this?


Shepherd 2: This is a crib with a baby. Let us bow down to him.


Puppeteer (looking over set):


Two old shepherds came together, to honor their new king,

They hadn’t had much, but what they had they brought all.

One had a little doll for the babe to hold,

The other had a block of butter fresh out of the mold.


Shepherd 1: God accept these gifts from us, we’ve brought you all we can,

I offer them with all my heart, for I am an old man.


(Shepherd 2 pulls away Shepherd 1’s gifts to present his own.)


Shepherd 2: God accept these gifts from us, we’ve brought you all we can,

I offer them with all my heart, for I am an old man.


Shepherd 1: I’m old, you’re old. Without a doubt,

We’re evenly matched, so let’s duke it out.


Shepherd 2: Why are you hitting me so madly?!


Shepherd 1: Why are you dancing so badly?


Shepherd 2: Hey, pal, are you retarded?


Shepherd 1: What, you say you want it harder?


Angel: What is this racket that you bring to quiet Bethlehem?

The child cannot sleep when you’re awake to make this mayhem.

Come to terms or pay a fine before you go to bed.

Come now! Spend this holy night sleeping in a shed.



Nativity Scene; collage by Piotr Kondarewicz.


Polish Folk Nativity Play was edited by Henryk Jurkowski.

Translated from Polish by Jacek Zuzański and Jeremy Tagliaferre.




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