Characters: Two storytellers, Beggar Man, Mouse, Man, Woman, Daughter, Wizard, Giant Turtle and Buddha.
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there was a homeless man who begged every day for food.
(People pass by and give him food.)
Beggar Man: I’m so lucky that kind people give me food.
(Beggar Man falls asleep and mouse creeps up and steals his food. The Beggar Man wakes up suddenly and sees the mouse.)
Beggar Man: Mouse, why are you stealing my food. I’m just a poor beggar man.
Mouse: I’m doing you a favour because no matter how much you beg or how generous people are, you will never be allowed to keep more than eight items.
Beggar Man: You has decided that I can’t ow more than eight items.
Mouse: The Buddha has decided.
Beggar Man: But why me?
Mouse: Why don’t you go find him and ask him.
(Mouse scampers off with the food.)
Beggar Man: Well, I better go find the Buddha and ask him why I’m not allowed to possess more than eight items.
Storyteller 2: So the beggar man gathered his few belongings and went on a journey to find the Buddha.
Storyteller 1: He travelled all day. As night fell, he grew cold and hungry.
Beggar Man: There is no sign of the Buddha. I’m tired and hungry. There is a light over there. Perhaps if I knock on the door, they may let me stay for the night.
(He Knocks on the door. A man opens the door with a warm smile.)
Beggar Man: I’m cold and hungry, please can I stay the night?
Man: Of course, Please come in.
Woman: Sit down and have some food with us.
(He enters the house and sits down on a table with the Man, woman and their daughter.)
Man: Where are you going at this time at night?
Beggar Man: I’m going to find the Buddha. I’ve a very important question to ask him. I just need a good night’s sleep and I’ll be on my way early in the morning.
(Man and woman look at each other.)
Woman: We have a question for you to ask the Buddha.
Man: Our daughter can’t speak. Please ask the Buddha what we need to do hear her beautiful voice.
Beggar Man: Of course, I’ll ask the Buddha your question. Thanks you for the food and bed.
Storyteller 2: The beggar man continues on his way and his quest to find the Buddha.
Storyteller 1: He comes across a range of mountains.
Beggar Man: Oh dear, the mountains look to difficult to climb but I really need to find the Buddha to ask my questions.
(He starts to climb the mountains.)
Beggar Man: This is very difficult. I will never make it. (he sits downs and starts to weep.)
Wizard: What’s the matter, young man? Why are you crying?
Beggar Man: I’ve a very important questions to ask the Buddha but I can’t climb these mountains. I’ll never find him now.
Wizard: I’ll help you. We can use my magic to fly over the mountain come with me.
Storyteller 2: Wizard used his staff’s magic to fly the beggar man and himself across the mountains.
Beggar Man: Thank you so much, wizard. I’d have never made if it wasn’t for you.
Wizard: You are welcome but can I ask you a favour.
Beggar Man: Of course, I’ll do anything to show my gratitude.
Wizard: Can you ask the Buddha what do I have to do to get to heaven. I’ve been trying to get there for a thousand years.
(The beggar man nods his head and they hug and the wizard hops on his staff and flies off.)
Storyteller 1: The beggar man continues on his journey and comes across a river.
Beggar Man: I don’t believe this. How am I going to get across the river? (he sighs)
(Enters Giant Turtle.)
Giant Turtle: You look sad. What’s the matter?
Beggar Man: I’ve a very important questions to ask the Buddha and I can’t get across the river to find him.
Giant Turtle: Jump on my back and I’ll swim across. (The beggar man jumps on the Giant Turtle’s back and they swim across the river.
Beggar Man: Thank you, Giant Turtle. How can I repay you?
Giant Turtle: Can you ask the Buddha a question for me?
Beggar Man: Of course, what is your question?
Giant Turtle: Ask the Buddha why I haven’t become a dragon. I’ve been trying to become a dragon for 500 years.
(Beggar Man nods and hugs the giant turtle.)
Storyteller 2: Eventually the beggar man finds the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree.
Beggar Man: I’m so glad. I’ve found you. I’ve got so many question to ask you.
Buddha: I will only answer three questions.
Beggar Man: But I’ve four questions to ask and they all very important.
Buddha: Ask yourself, are they equally important?
Storyteller 1: The beggar man thought very carefully.
Beggar Man: Well, the giant turtle is trying to be a dragon for fifty years. The wizard has trying to go to heaven for 1000 years. The young girl will be unable to speak for the rest of her life if I don’t ask her question. I’m just a homeless beggar. I can go back and continue begging. My question is the least important by far.
(Beggar Man goes back to the Buddha.)
Beggar Man: My first question is how can the turtle become a dragon?
Buddha: Simple, he needs to leave the comfort of his own shell, unless he does that he will never be a dragon.
Beggar Man: My second question is how can the wizard go to heaven?
Buddha: He must put down his magic staff as it keeps him on earth. The moment he puts it down he will be free to go to heaven.
Beggar Man: My third question how can the young girl speak.
Buddha: She will speak when she meets her soulmate.
Beggar Man: Thank you for answering my questions.
Storyteller 2: The beggar man turned around and started his journey home. He meets the Giant Turtle.
Giant Turtle: Hey Beggar man, did you ask the Buddha my question?
Beggar Man: Of course I did. The answer is simple. Take off your shell and you will become a dragon.
(Giant Turtle takes off his shell.)
Giant Turtle: I’ve this priceless pearls in my shell. Here take them. I won’t need them anymore because I’m a dragon. Good bye and good luck.)
(The dragon flies off.)
(Enters the wizard.)
Wizard: Did you ask the Buddha my question?
Beggar Man: Of course I did. The answer is simple. Put your staff down and you can go to heaven.
Wizard: Here take my staff, Use its power wisely. Thank you.
(The wizard ascends into heaven.)
Beggar Man: I now I’ve wealth from the turtle and power from the wizard. He hops on the staff and makes his way back tom the family that gave him food and shelter.
Man: Hello, did you ask the Buddha our question?
Beggar Man: Of course I did. The answer is simple. Your daughter will speak when she meets her soulmate.
Daughter: Hello, you are the man that was here last week.
Woman: Looks like you found your soulmate.
(Daughter and beggar man hug.)
Storytellers: The moral of the story if you do good, you will be repaid.
If we’re willing to lend a hand to those who are struggling more than us, willing to help them, it may change the course of your life, your destiny. And the universe may repay you in such a way that you never would have imagined.
For more plays based on Buddha stories click here.