A Boy Named Abe From Easy Plays for Preschoolers to Third Grade By Amorie Havilan and Lyn Smith

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1 A Boy Named Abe From Easy Plays for Preschoolers to Third Grade By Amorie Havilan and Lyn Smith Characters: (3 boys, 2 girls, narrator, store customers) Narrator Abraham Lincoln Mr. Lincoln, his father Sara Lincoln, his new stepmother Sarah Lincoln, Abe s younger sister Mr. Wells, owner of a general store Elizabeth Wells, daughter of store owner Mrs. Moore, a customer Mr. Moore (her husband) Matthew Moore (their son) SCENE I NARRATOR: The time is an evening in early spring. The place is inside a log cabin in southern Indiana. (Open curtain) (At rise: Mr. Lincoln is seated at a table, working on a piece of wood. Sarah Lincoln is seated near fireplace w/ sewing basket in her lap. Young Abraham lies sprawled on the floor opposite Mrs. Lincoln.) Sarah Lincoln, Abe s sister, is sitting near Abe, sewing. (Mr. Lincoln stops working, stares at young Abe. Speaks gruffly.) MR. LINCOLN: Abe, are you just goin to read all the time? (Abe continues to read. Not looking up, replies politely) ABRAHAM: No, sir. MRS. LINCOLN: Oh, let him read, Mr. Lincoln. Out here in the wilderness, reading books is the only way he can get an education. MR. LINCOLN: You don t need booklearnin to plow.

2 MRS. LINCOLN: I know that, but books help his mind to grow the way all that plowing he does helps his body to grow. (Mr. Lincoln rises, picks up wood, moves toward door.) SARAH LINCOLN: Abe sure does like to read! Sometimes he reads late into the night by candlelight. MR. LINCOLN: Well, if you ask me, he d be better off if he got more sleep and did less readin. (Turns toward Abe.) MR. LINCOLN: We got plowin to do tomorrow, Abraham. You better get to bed. (Abraham closes book, places it aside.) ABRAHAM: Yes, sir, I m going right now. MRS. LINCOLN: You too, Sarah. It s time for bed. SARAH LINCOLN: Yes, ma am. Goodnight. (Tom Lincoln exits. Sarah exits out the other door. Abraham watches father leave. Draws knees up toward chin, look up at Mrs. Lincoln.)_ ABRAHAM: Pa just can t seem to understand why I like books. (Stands up). I m glad you brought your books with you. Now, I have something to read besides the Bible. Till you came, that was all I had. And I ve read it so many times it s almost worn out. (Mrs. Lincoln puts sewing basket on floor, rises, places arm across Abe s shoulders.) MRS. LINCOLN: Abe, someday soon, I hope you can go to school. But meanwhile, new land has to be cleared so that we can have a good farm. And your Pa knows how much work has to be done to feed all of us. ABRAHAM: Yes, ma am, I know---- But

3 MRS. LINCOLN: But you re still going to read all the books you can, aren t you? ABRAHAM: Yes ma am, I am. MRS. LINCOLN: Well, that s an honest answer, at least. Abraham, you re a fine young boy and you re going to grow up to be a fine man.

4 SCENE II NARRATOR: The time is early morning a few years later. The place is a general store in southern Indiana. (Open Curtain) (Mr. Wells, the store owner, is busy taking candy from a box and filling jar on counter. At tapping on door, he stops, goes and unlocks door to let Abraham in, then relocks door.) MR. WELLS: Mornin, Abraham. Are you here earlier than usual? ABRAHAM: It s about the same time I come everyday, Mr. Wells. MR. WELLS: Oh, well, that s fine. Go on back and read. I ll holler when it s time to open up. (Abraham goes to back of store, picks up a book, sits on a stool and begins to read. Mr. Wells goes back to filling candy jar. Elizabeth Wells enters.) ELIZABETH WELLS: Good morning, Pa. May I help you in the store today? MR. WELLS: Hello there, Elizabeth. Certainly you can help us. Please finish filling up these candy jars for me. (Mr. Wells looks at clock) MR. WELLS: A-A-Abe, time to open up now. (Abraham leaves book on stool, takes work apron and ties it on.) ABRAHAM: Yes sir. Coming. (Mrs. Moore flings door open, strides to center stage, looks around.) MR. WELLS: (bewildered) How do, Mrs. Moore. (Mr. Moore enters w/ son Matthew) MRS. MOORE: I m fine, thank you. But I m in a hurry.

5 (Abe moves quickly behind the counter. Elizabeth is beside him.) MR. WELLS: Can Elizabeth and Abe help you? MRS. MOORE: Why, yes. That ll be fine. MR. MOORE: Hello Elizabeth. Here is our list. We also need some wheat flour. ELIZABETH: How much? MR. MOORE: Five pounds, please. (Mrs. Moore places shopping basket on counter in front of Elizabeth. Abe is adding up the cost.) (Other customers come in to shop.) MATTHEW: Mother, this is Abe. MRS. MOORE: Abe. Abe. Could you be the young Abe I ve been hearing about? ABRAHAM: I don t know, ma am. MRS. MOORE: Well, my boys say you re strong enough to lick a bear. Is that true? MATTHEW: It s true, Mother! ABRAHAM: Well, ma am. I don t know but what I d be inclined to run the other way if I saw a bear coming toward me. (People laugh.) ELIZABETH: Here are your things, Mrs. Moore. MR. MOORE: Thank you Elizabeth.

6 MRS. MOORE: That certainly didn t take long. Now you re sure you have everything? ABRAHAM: Yes ma am. I believe so. MRS. MOORE: Well, that s fine. Now, what do I owe you? (Abraham hands her the receipt. She pays him, picks up her basket, and walks with Mr. Moore and Matthew toward the door.) MRS. MOORE: You watch out for bears, now, young man. ABRAHAM: Yes ma am. SCENE III

7 NARRATOR: The time is the same day, just after store closes. The place is in the same store. (Open Curtain) (At rise: Mr. Wells is counting money in cash box at counter. Abe is sweeping near front of store.) ABRAHAM: It sure was a busy day. MR. WELLS: Yes, it was. But busy days are the kind I like. Abe, come here a minute. ABRAHAM: (worried) What s the matter, sir? MR. WELLS: I think there s a mistake on Mrs. Moore s ticket. Come take a look at it. ABRAHAM: Here s the mistake right here, Mr. Wells. I charged them a penny too much. ABRAHAM: (Untying his apron) Can I take a penny back to them right now? MR. WELLS: Yes, of course, if it will make you feel better. But don t worry: anybody can make a mistake. (Hands Abe a coin.) Here. Go on. Take this penny back to the Moores. I m sure they ll understand it was an honest mistake. ABRAHAM: Thank you sir. I m awfully sorry, Mr. Wells. I ll be back to finish sweeping. (Walks toward door) MR. WELLS: Don t worry, Abe, just sweep in the morning when you get here. ABRAHAM: Yes, sir. (Exits) MR. WELLS: There goes Honest Abe. The End

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