The old man and his grandson
PLACE: a certain MAN'S house.
THEIR SON - LITTLE HANS
[The MAN, his WIFE, little HANS, and the GRANDFATHER sit at the table eating the noon meal.]
MAN. Be careful, father! You are spilling the soup on your coat.
GRANDFATHER (trying to steady his trembling hand). Yes, yes, I'll be careful.
WIFE (sharply). Grandfather! You have spilled the soup on my clean tablecloth!
GRANDFATHER (embarrassed). Dear me! Dear me! (Боже мой!)
MAN. Here, father, is your plate of meat.
[The old man takes the plate, but lets it fall.]
WIFE (angrily). There now! Just see what you have done!
GRANDFATHER. My hand shook so - I'm sorry - so sorry!
WIFE. That won't mend the plate!
MAN. Nor buy a new one!
WIFE (to her husband). He should eat from wooden dishes.
MAN (nodding, pointing to a wooden dish). Let him have that one for his meat.
[The Grandfather sighs sadly. The Wife gets a wooden dish and fills it with meat. Little Hans leaves the table and plays with his blocks on the floor.]
WIFE (handing the wooden dish to the Grandfather). Here's one you can't break. Go now and sit in the corner behind the oven. You shall eat there hereafter. I cannot have my tablecloths soiled - that I cannot!
[The Grandfather takes his wooden plate and goes to the seat in the corner behind the oven. His eyes are filled with tears.]
MAN. Come, little Hans, and finish your dinner.
WIFE (turning to Hans). Bless me! (О, Боже!) What are you making, child?
HANS. A wooden trough for you and father to eat out of when I grow big.
[The Man and his Wife look at each other; there is a pause.]
MAN (showing shame). He will treat us as we have treated father!
WIFE (weeping). 'T will serve us right!
MAN (kindly). Father, throw that wooden dish out of the window. I am ashamed of what I have done; forgive me!
WIFE (kindly). Father, come back to the table. I too am ashamed. Forgive me, dear father.