Seventy times Seven by M.A.K.

Allan Kardec Spiritist Society of Massachusetts 52 Broadway Somerville, MA, 02145

INTRODUCTION

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This is the story of a Turtle, its friend Shark, a Denis fish, and four other Fish Friends. All of our characters live in the Sea of Galilee. The Turtle, the oldest, has learned many things about the happenings of that sea from its family, which has lived in the same sea for two thousand years. As our little Fish Friends and the Denis live their adventures, we will learn stories about the life of a fisherman called Simon Peter, the son of Jonas. The story happens in a school. Today they will sing a song about Simon Peter, but many things happen during the day. MR. FRANKLIN (TURTLE) Play and sing the song about Peter. 1. TURTLE AND ITS SHARK FRIEND As the music fades out, the Turtle and the Shark are talking. FRANKLIN (TURTLE) I love this song. It reminds me of my great-grand-mother, who used to tell me beautiful stories about Simon Peter and Jesus, which happened here by the sea of Galilee, more than two thousand years ago. Bruce, the Shark passes by, he is sad and walks with his eyes down. FRANKLIN Hey, Bruce. How are you? BRUCE (SHARK) Oh! Hey, Frank. I am fine... FRANKLIN This must have been the weakest fine I have ever heard. Maybe, the Turtle could play with the kids and ask if they are fine, and wait until they give a very energetic answer. BRUCE Ah..., Frank. Who am I trying to fool? You know me very well.

BRUCE (CONT.) I had an argument with my friend at work yesterday, and I am embarrassed to meet with him today. I know I should forgive him -- he is a good friend -- but he always does the same thing. How many times am I supposed to forgive? 2. PETER LEARNS TO FORGIVE 70 TIMES 7 The Turtle will begin to tell the story of how Peter learned to forgive seventy times seven, but from behind of the “stage”, the real characters will appear and re-enact the story. FRANKLIN Oh, Bruce. I think I can cheer you up with a little story about Peter and Jesus that I learned from my great-grandmother. BRUCE Hooray! I feel better already. I love the stories that you tell about Jesus. FRANKLIN One day, Jesus was walking by the beach, and Peter and James were walking together right behind him, when a poor woman tried to pass in front of them to speak with Jesus. Peter and James walk from behind the “stage” and the woman comes right after them. JAMES Stop! What do you want, woman? WOMAN (With a suffering look) I... I want to speak with Jesus! JAMES Get out of here, woman. What could you possibly understand of the Master’s teachings?

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The woman recognizes her ignorance and turns around, walking to the other way. PETER But, James, Jesus welcomes everyone. JAMES Peter, it is clear that you do not know that it would be impossible to build a kingdom if the Master were constantly wasting time with ignorant people. PETER However, I am a simple fisherman, and Jesus has accepted me. Why would he reject anyone else? JAMES Peter, I do not want to discuss this with you. I told you several times already. You wouldn’t understand. FRANKLIN You know, Bruce. Peter was feeling very sad. His own friend did not consider him very highly. James thought that Peter was too ignorant to understand. Then, surprisingly, Jesus approaches James and Peter, and walks towards the woman. The woman is crying. Jesus comforts her, and then walks back to Peter and James and say: JESUS "Be careful not to despise these little ones. I can guarantee that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven. “Because the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. James looks down and turns around, then Peter speaks with Jesus: PETER Jesus, today James hurt my feelings. “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to 7 times?”

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JESUS “I do not say to you up to 7 times, Peter, but up to 70 times 7 times. The characters disappear behind the stage, and Bruce and Franklin start to talk. BRUCE I see, Frank. What Jesus really meant is that we should always forgive. FRANK That’s right, Bruce. BRUCE Well... I am going to work now. Thank you, very much for telling me this story. I’ll make peace with my friend. FRANK Excellent, Bruce. I am glad for you. Now I need to prepare the classroom, because my students are coming. We sing a song about Peter today. Why don’t you come in the end of the class to watch? BRUCE Ok. That is a good idea. See you soon. Bye, bye. FRANKLIN Great. See you soon. Bye bye. 3. STUDENTS ARRIVE All students arrive, except Denis. ALL FISH IN A SCHOOL SUBMARINE (singing) The waves of the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down. The waves of the sea go up and down, all year round. FRANKLIN Hello, my dear ones. How are you today? ALL FISH (EXCEPT THE DENIS) We’re fine, Mr. Franklin!

FRANKLIN Do you know what we’re doing today? FLOW We’re going to study about Simon Peter! FRANKLIN Very well, Flow. Flow looks at herself in a mirror to congratulate herself. FRANKLIN So, before we start. Is everyone here? ALL FISH Yeah! FRANKLIN I can’t see Denis. Where is he? 4. FIRST ENEMY: FEAR Denis (the TROUBLEMAKER) pretends to be a shark and scares the other fish. Fraidy learns to forgive. Sound effect from Jaws movie “Tu nun”... FRAIDY (SCARED FISH) I know what this sound means. A Shark is near us! Denis waves his fake fin and jumps out of the bushes. ALL OTHER FISH (Screams) Ah... DENIS (Screaming) Ah... hahahaha I got all of you! ALL OTHER FISH (Whining) Oh... No! Ah... Not again... Why? I should have known... All kids are chattering, the class is a mess.

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FRANKLIN Alright, alright. Everybody! Let’s make the friendship circle. FRAIDY (standing,making a fit) I don’t want to sit near Denis. FRANKLIN Oh, lil’Fraidy. I understand. Why don’t you try to sit next to your friend Flow, then? It is important that we forgive our friends every now and then if we want to live surrounded by friends. FRAIDY Ok. I can do that. FRANKLIN Very well, Fraidy. Now Denis, do you want to say something to her? DENIS I am sorry, Fraidy. FRANKLIN Very good, Denis. Do you forgive him, Fraidy? SCARED (timidly) Yeah... FRANKLIN Great! So can put a sea star in front of your name for making such a noble gesture today and forgiving his friend. Because the class today is also about forgiveness. Fraidy puts a star in front of her name.

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5. WHO KNOWS PETER? FRANKLIN Now let’s see who did their homework. Who can tell me who Simon Peter was? All fish raises their fins. FRANKLIN You, Grumpy. GRUMPY (CRAB) Peter was one of Jesus’ apostles. FRANKLIN Good. Franklin may also ask the audience if anyone else knows anything about Peter and want to help us. FRANKLIN What did Peter do? DENIS He was a fisherman and he used to fish with his brother Andrew. FRANKLIN Very good. Who knows where Peter lived? FRAIDY Peter lived right here in Carpharnaum, in the north of the Sea of Galilee. He hosted Jesus in his house many times. FRANKLIN Good job. And who knows how Peter and Jesus met for the first time? GEORGE (THE “CURIOUS” CATFISH) Peter came to this sea one day to work, but the beach was full of people that came to see the new prophet. Then, from the middle of all those people a woman shouted!

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WOMAN Please, help me take my child to the Prophet because she is sick! Please, help me! PETER I’ll help you, woman. I want to see if this Prophet is really all they say he is. Peter takes the child and bring her to Jesus. But before he comes too close, Peter says: JESUS “Simon, son of Jonas. Today you are a fisherman of fish, but from now on I’ll call you Peter which means ‘stone’ and you will become a fisherman of men.“ And then, Jesus cure the little child. And the woman gets her child back from Peter. WOMAN It’s a miracle, my daughter is healed. GEORGE (THE “CURIOUS” CATFISH) Peter is left without words. Peter did not go to work that day, he stayed on the beach until night came thinking “Who was that man? How did he know my name? What is a fisherman of men?” FRANKLIN Wow. Excellent. Anyone else? FLOW Peter healed a man over 40 years of age who had been crippled from birth with the only words “Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” FRANKLIN Fantastic! Last one...

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Taz (the Kaboom-fish) raises his hand. It is his time to speak, but Denis will jump ahead of him. DENIS Peter walked on water, Mr. Franklin! TAZ (Out-of-control rage) Mr. Franklin! It was my turn to speak. Denis has already spoken. He always does that. He has no respect for others and deserves to be punished!! The Denis and the Taz threaten to fight each other. FRANKLIN Oh, come on. Have you forgotten that we are in the friendship circle? Denis, did you forget to raise your hand? DENIS I forgot. I am sorry. TAZ He always has an excuse! FRANKLIN Taz let’s have a pop-quiz. (Looking at audience) If you have never interrupted someone before, raise your hand? If the children raise their hands Mr. Franklyn may say that Jesus was right, we should be like these children. FRANKLIN You see, Taz. Even yourself did not raise your hand. Should we forgive Denis this time? TAZ Alright, alright. I forgive him.

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FRANKLIN Very good. This is an excellent demonstration of charity. You will get a star for that. Taz puts a star in front of his name. FRANKLIN Let’s have a short break now. When you come back we will sing our song. 6. BREAK TIME All FISH leave the stage and the SHARK comes back to talk. BRUCE Hello, Frank! FRANKLIN Hi, Bruce. You’re early. BRUCE I know, I am on my break at work. I came to tell you that I made peace with my friend. We were laughing about what happened. FRANKLIN Good for you. BRUCE So. What time is the show? FRANKLIN The kids are on their break right now. We will start when they come back. BRUCE Oh, my... I might be late then, because I have a lot of work today. FRANKLIN Oh. Don’t worry Bruce, I understand. BRUCE Is there anything else that I can help with?

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FRANKLIN Sure. Can you help me put a sign in that dangerous place. I don’t want the children going near there. BRUCE Consider it done, Frank. I will see you later. Bye, bye. FRANKLIN Bye bye, Bruce. 7. FORBIDDEN ADVENTURE

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During the break-time the Denis take the other fish to a forbidden area and they are almost hit by a boot. They all run back to the classroom scared and learn a lesson about complaining and curiosity. They also forgive Denis for putting them in risk. DENIS Come with me guys, I know a very cool place I wanted to show you. Come… Come… GRUMPY No! Here we go again! Your ideas always get us in trouble. DENIS No, trust me this time! I won’t get you in trouble; it’s a really cool place, I am sure you guys will love it… GEORGE Why should we trust you? Where are you taking us anyway? DENIS Come on… Stop being so scared… I know you are curious! Besides this is an awesome place with a great view. TAZ Alright, ok, ok! We are going with you, but if anything goes wrong, it’ll be your fault.

FLOW Ok, let’s go quick then, ‘cause we have to be back before the break is over – I just don’t wanna get in trouble. DENIS Ok, ok, quick! Follow me then… On their way to this forbidden area, they are almost hit by a boot that fell off from a fisherman’s boat… FRAIDY On my GOD! I knew we shouldn’t trust you. This thing almost killed us... GEORGE What is it anyway? GRUMPY I told you this was not a safe place to be! It’s dirty and those people don’t even think of us, throwing their trash at us, polluting the ocean… This was really a bad idea. It’s all your fault Denis. TAZ That’s it! I am telling Mr. Franklin.

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George, Grumpy and Taz turned their backs and headed back to the classroom… DENIS Oh, no! Please don’t… They finally get to the classroom. FRANKLIN Hey children, why are you swimming so fast? What happened? TAZ Mr. Franklin. Denis took us to a forbidden area! GRUMPY Yes, and he almost got us hurt by a giant boot!

DENIS No! No! They are lying I did not do anything. FRANKLIN Ok, ok. Calm down. It is time to resume our class. Let’s make the friendship circle again. The fish friends make their circle. FRANKLIN Now tell us what happened. Who will start? GEORGE Well... It’s all Denis’S fault. He insisted that we should go to this forbidden area. FRANKLIN Did he? And, by any chance did he have a hook in your mouths? Or did you let your curiosity lead you astray? GEORGE I guess I was curious to see this place too. FRANKLIN I bet you were. You know, Peter once was asked who did he think Jesus was. He was inspired by a good Spirit when he answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." But a few minutes later, when Jesus told them what was going to happen to him in the future, that he would suffer in the hands of men, Peter was now inspired by an evil Spirit and he said: “Never, Lord! -- This shall never happen to you!" ALL FISH Oh... We understand now, Mr. Franklyn.

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FRAIDY We receive good and bad suggestions from our friends, and we need to learn to follow only the good ones. GRUMPY (Ashamed. Trying to change subject.) Mr. Franklin I have something to say. ALL Here we go again. GRUMPY This would have never happened if the humans did not pollute our ocean! FRANKLIN How so? GRUMPY Humans are filthy. They throw everything that they don’t use any more in our oceans. Plastic bags become dangerous traps. And today a boot almost hit us like a bomb. FRANKLIN And what can you do? GRUMPY I will complain! I will complain to the head of the fish school. I will complain to the president of this sea. And I will complain to the supreme whale council! FRANKLIN O lil’GRUMPY. Complaining is like walking sideways. It does not take you anywhere, it only makes the march longer. Why don’t you do instead, like Jesus did. GEORGE What did Jesus do?

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FRANKLIN In Jesus’s last moments, he was denied three times by Peter, he was abandoned by his friends, and yet he said: “Father, please forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.” GRUMPY Oh, I get it. We should forgive the Humans, because maybe they do not know they are harming themselves. Instead of judging them, we should try to teach them how to protect the environment. FLOW That’s right. And we should start with the little ones. (Looking at audience) Because we know kids love this planet and all the animals, and us “fish”, right kids? FRANKLIN Very well. So all of you have really learned something today. There is only one thing missing. GEORGE What is missing? SCARED I think I know. We need to forgive Denis for putting our lives in danger. FRANKLIN Exactly. So do you guys forgive him? CRAB, GEORGE Yes, Mr. Franklin. FRANKLIN So you know what to do. All fish put another star in the score board and come back to the teacher. So now there are seven sea stars on the board.

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8. PETER GIVES THE FINAL MESSAGE The Taz gets angry and refuses to forgive. TAZ What?! I am not going to forgive him this time. Look! This is the seventh time he has caused us trouble, today ONLY. TAZ (CONT’D) I am not going to be weak this time. He is taking advantage of us. Who does he think he is? How many times do we have to forgive him? All the fish are next will say that he does they are weak because lesson from the shark to the teacher, except for the Denis. He not need anyone, that he is strong and they forgive. But then he will learn a and from Peter.

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DENIS You are all weak and coward. I am strong and brave. I do not need you. And I don’t want to know how many times you need to forgive me, because I don’t need your forgiveness. Ha! Imagine that... How many times you need to forgive me? At this moment, Bruce - the shark - arrives, and stays behind the Denis. BRUCE I know the answer for that one! DENIS (without looking) Haven’t you heard? I don’t wanna know! All fish make a face of scare. DENIS You see....

BRUCE Excuse me. DENIS (without looking still) Not now! I am talking. You are all weak and scared of me. That’s why you forgive me. FRANKLIN I’m sorry, Denis, but we are not afraid of you or of anybody. The teacher makes a sign to the Denis and Denis looks back and see the shark behind him. DENIS Aaaaah!! Denis runs away in circles. BRUCE Wait. Excuse me. Calm down. The shark runs after him trying to calm him down. Finally, the Denis runs to the teacher and his friends. FRANKLIN I tried to tell you, Denis. We are not afraid of you or of anybody, because we are all friends. Bruce, and his shark family, has been a friend of my family for a long, long time. DENIS I am sorry, Mr. Franklin. And this time I reeaaly mean it. I thought he was going to eat me. I am sorry, my friends. I should not have done all that I did to you. Please, forgive me. They give a fish-hug to each other altogether. ALL FISH Fish hug. Fish hug. We forgive you, Denis, because we love you.

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BRUCE That is lovely! Now let me tell you something about forgiveness. It takes great courage and real strength to forgive someone. Yesterday, a friend hurt my feelings. Since I am stronger than him, it would be easier for me just to knock him over with my tail. But then, I would not have solved the problem. Instead, he would hate me, and would try to revenge, it would just make the problem bigger. By forgiving him, I had to defeat my self-pride, it took a lot of courage, but in the end, I kept a good friend. FRANKLIN Thank you, Bruce, for sharing. FRANKLIN (CONT’D) We should always forgive whoever trespasses against us because we all need forgiveness for our own faults. I always think about what Jesus said in his last moments on Earth as an incarnated Spirit. He said: Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing. As the teacher says this last words, Peter comes out of the stage, walking over the water. GEORGE Hey look! Who’s that man walking over the water? FRANKLIN He is Peter. I think he came to give us a final message for today’s class.

PETER When Jesus forgave us, I remembered that being his closest friend, I have denied knowing him three times, before the rooster crowed. From that moment on, I really understood that I needed to forgive everyone as many times as necessary, because I also needed Jesus forgiveness and love for ever. Then, Jesus comes to meet Peter. JESUS Peter, ... do you love me? PETER Jesus, you know that I love you! JESUS Yes, I do. Peter, you have fought the good fight. You have tended my sheep. And now, I see you have overcome your fears, you’re walking over the waters. PETER Oh Master, that is because you loved me so much, I just tried to love you back, by loving all these little ones. JESUS You did well, my friend. Looking at the public, Jesus says: And you, all of you “Do you love me?” -- (pause) -- “Then, tend my lambs.” --- THE END ---

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