The Scene from Polish Folk Nativity Play.


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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