Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License

By William E. Spear Adapted from Beatrix Potter’s

The Tale of Ginger and Pickles

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License Characters (in order of appearance): • • Narrator – Tells the story.

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Ginger – A graceful yellow cat. One half of the shopkeepers, Ginger and Pickles. Always eating. When she gets mad she says, “Ah, pickles.” Pickles – A beautiful terrier. The other half of the shopkeepers, Ginger and Pickles. Needs a dog license. When she hears Ginger say, "Ah, pickles” she says, “What’d I do?” Lucinda- A Doll. Mistress of Jane Doll-cook. Jane Doll-cook – Also a Doll. Cooks, but not very often, for Lucinda. The Rabbits – BOING! BOING! BOING! We’re a little bit afraid of Pickles. The Mice – SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! We’re a little bit afraid of Ginger. Samuel Whiskers – He owes a bill as long as his tail. Shops three times in one day. Anna Maria – Who pockets things. Tabitha Twitchit – The owner of the only other shop in the village. She does not give credit. The Policeman – Pickles is afraid the Policeman has come to give him a summons for not having a dog license. Nonspeaking role. Timothy Baker – Sells "seed wigs", butter-buns, and the best sponge-cake. Squeakella Dormouse – Daughter of Mr. John Dormouse. Refuses to address complaints about her candles. Mr. John Dormouse – Father of Squeakella. He is “so very snug” sitting in his chair.

• •

• •

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License •

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Sally Henny Penny – She opens a shop after Ginger and Pickles close theirs. Mrs. Henry Hen and her Eleven Chicks – PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! Mrs. George Goose and her Five Goslings – HONK! HONK! HONK!

• •

Notes for the Readers and Actors 1. Pickles must buy a license before the day is over and vows to do so as soon as one customer pays in cash. 2. Samuel Whiskers buys several things during the story. 3. Ginger eats the cream crackers and accuses Anna Maria of pocketing same. 4. The Policeman, believed to be delivering a summons to Pickles, has left a tax bill.

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License
Beat 1)

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Introduction to Ginger and Pickles

NARRATOR:

Once upon a time there was a village shop. The name over the window was "Ginger and Pickles."

GINGER: PICKLES:

I’m Ginger, a yellow cat. I’m Pickles, a terrier.

GINGER and PICKLES: We keep the shop. SFX: GINGER: PICKLES: GINGER: CRASH OF GLASS JAR BREAKING. Ah, pickles. What’d I do? Nothing. That’s what I say when I break something. PICKLES: Ginger, please remember that I must buy a dog license today. GINGER: After we have some money in the till you may buy a license.
Beat 2) The Dolls – Lucinda and Jane Doll-cook

NARRATOR: Their little small shop was just the right size for Dolls — Lucinda and Jane Doll-cook always bought their groceries at Ginger and Pickles.

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License LUCINDA: GINGER: PICKLES: Hello, Ginger. Hello, Pickles. Hello, Lucinda. Greetings, Lucinda. We’ve come to buy our groceries.

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JANE DOLL-COOK: LUCINDA:

Which is frightfully silly since no one ever cooks dinner.

JANE DOLL-COOK: should. LUCINDA: PICKLES:

But we must be prepared in case we

Might we put our purchase on credit? With pleasure, dear madam. I shall enter it into my book.
Beat 3) Special customers at the counter

NARRATOR: Ginger and Pickles had many delightful items in their shop. They sold red spotty pockethandkerchiefs at a penny three farthings. They also sold sugar, and snuff and galoshes. In fact, although it was such a small shop it sold nearly everything—except a few things that you want in a hurry—like bootlaces, hair-pins and mutton chops. The counter inside was a convenient height for

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License

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rabbits. But the rabbits were always a little bit afraid of Pickles.
Beat 4) The rabbits

THE RABBITS:

BOING! BOING! BOING! We’re a little bit

afraid of Pickles. PICKLES: Don’t be afraid. Although I am getting hungry. BOING! BOING! BOING! Might we make our

THE RABBITS:

purchase on credit? PICKLES: Yes, dear friends. I shall enter it into my book . . . next to my recipe for stew.
Beat 5) The mice

NARRATOR: The shop was also patronized by mice . . . THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! We’re a little bit afraid of Ginger. GINGER: Friend mice. You have nothing to fear. In fact, my good and esteemed partner, Pickles, will assist you. THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! Might we make our purchase on credit?

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License PICKLES:

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Yes, dear friends. I shall enter it into my book . . . next to Ginger’s dinner menu.

GINGER:

I cannot bear to see them going out at the door carrying their little parcels. It makes my mouth water.

PICKLES:

I have the same feeling about rats. But it would never do to eat our own customers; they would leave us and go to Tabitha Twitchit's.

GINGER:

(RATHER GLOOMILY) On the contrary, they would go nowhere.
Beat 6) Samuel Whiskers

SAMUEL WHISKERS: shop? PICKLES:

Who is going to Tabitha Twitchit’s

No one, Samuel. It is certainly more preferable

SAMUEL WHISKERS:

shopping here than at Tabitha’s. GINGER: Thank you, Samuel. I require some modest amount of bacon.

SAMUEL WHISKERS:

Might you wrap a parcel of your best?

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License GINGER:

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This is freshly wrapped. For your convenience, the bill is attached to the top.

SAMUEL WHISHERS: PICKLES:

Might I buy your good food on credit?

Yes, dear friend. I shall enter it into my book. I, too, wish to buy some items. Might you

ANNA MARIA:

direct me to your cream crackers? PICKLES: Yes, Anna Maria. They are next to the snuff and galoshes.
Beat 7) Tabitha Twitchit and credit

NARRATOR: Ginger and Pickles gave unlimited credit to their customers. Tabitha Twitchit, who kept the only other shop in the village, did not. And, as she liked telling customers in her rather haughty manner . . . TABITHA TWITCHIT: credit. NARRATOR: Now the meaning of "credit" is this—when a customer buys a bar of soap, instead of the customer pulling out a purse and paying for it— she says she will pay another time. And Pickles makes a low bow and says, (RATHER HAUGHTILY) I do not give

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License PICKLES:

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With pleasure, madam. I shall make an entry in my book.
Beat 8) The rabbits, mice, and Samuel Whiskers

NARRATOR: The customers come again and again, and buy quantities, in spite of being afraid of Ginger and Pickles. THE RABBITS: BOING! BOING! BOING! We’re a little bit

afraid of Pickles. THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! We’re a little bit afraid of Ginger. THE RABBITS: BOING! BOING! BOING! Might we make our

purchase on credit? THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! Might we make our purchase on credit? ANNA MARIA: I am unable to locate the cream crackers.

Have you any others? PICKLES: They are on the pickle barrel, Anna Maria. Might I secure an ounce and three-

SAMUEL WHISKERS:

quarters of snuff? On credit?

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License PICKLES:

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Dear friends, I shall make your entries in my book.
Beat 9) All credit means no money

NARRATOR: With all the purchases being made on credit, there was no money in what is called the "till." The customers came in crowds every day and bought quantities, especially the toffee customers. But there was always no money; they never paid for as much as a pennyworth of peppermints. But the sales were enormous, ten times as large as Tabitha Twitchit's. TABITHA TWITCHIT: credit.
Beat 10) No money means . . .

(RATHER HAUGHTILY) I do not give

NARRATOR: As there was always no money, Ginger and Pickles were obliged to eat their own goods. Pickles ate biscuits and Ginger ate a dried haddock. PICKLES: CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! These are delightfully good biscuits. GINGER: SFX: PURR! PURR! PURR! The dried haddock is delicious. CRASHING OF METAL CANS.

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License GINGER: PICKLES: GINGER: Ah, pickles. What’d I do? Nothing. That’s what I say when I knock over cans.

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Beat 11) . . . Pickles cannot buy her license

NARRATOR: With no money in the till, Pickles was not able to buy her license. Without a license, Pickles was quite afraid of the police. PICKLES: I am quite afraid that without my license the police will come and give me a summons. GINGER: It is your own fault for being a terrier; I do not require a license, and neither does Kep, the Collie dog. PICKLE: It is very uncomfortable, I am afraid I shall be summoned. I have tried in vain to get a license upon credit at the Post Office but the place is full of policemen. I saw one walking in front of our shop not too long ago. GINGER: Let us send in the bill again to Samuel Whiskers. He owes twebty-two and nine for the bacon. And more for the snuff.

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License PICKLES:

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(GLOOMILY) I do not believe that he intends to pay at all. And I feel sure that Anna Maria pockets things—Where are all the cream crackers?

GINGER: PICKLES:

You have eaten them yourself. And I shall be summoned for not having a license.
Beat 12) Ginger and Pickles add up their accounts

NARRATOR: Ginger and Pickles retired into the back parlor did their accounts. They added up sums and sums, and sums. PICKLES: Samuel Whiskers has run up a bill as long as his tail. He has had another ounce and three-quarters of snuff since October. And what is this entry for seven pounds of butter at 1/3, and a stick of sealing wax and four matches? GINGER: Send in all the bills again to everybody 'with comps'.
Beat 13) Pickles’ worst fear . . . a policeman!

NARRATOR: After a time they heard a noise in the shop, as if something had been pushed in at the door. They came out of the back parlor. There was an

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envelope lying on the counter, and a policeman writing in a note-book! SFX: GINGER: PICKLES BARKS FEROCIOUSLY. UNDER TO BED. Bite him, Pickles! bite him!

NARRATOR: The policeman went on writing in his notebook; twice he put his pencil in his mouth, and once he dipped it in the treacle. Pickles barked till he was hoarse. SFX: LET PICKLES BARK.

NARRATOR: But still the policeman took no notice. He had bead eyes, and his helmet was sewed on with stitches. At length on Pickles’ last little rush . . . SFX: PICKLES STOPS BARKING.

NARRATOR: . . . He found that the shop was empty. The policeman had disappeared. But the envelope remained. PICKLES: Do you think that he has gone to fetch a real live policeman? I am afraid it is a summons. GINGER: Ah, pickles.

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License PICKLES: GINGER: What’d I do?

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It is the rates and taxes. We owe three pounds, nine eleven and three quarters.

PICKLES:

This is the last straw, let us close the shop.
Beat 14) They close the shop

NARRATOR: They put up the shutters, and left. But they have not removed from the neighborhood. In fact some people wish they had gone further. Ginger is living in the warren. I do not know what occupation she pursues; she looks stout and comfortable and there seem to be fewer mice about. And Pickles is at present a gamekeeper searching for rabbits. The closing of the shop caused great inconvenience. Tabitha Twitchit immediately raised the price of everything a half-penny. And she continues to tell customers . . . TABITHA TWITCHIT: (RATHER HAUGHTILY) I, still, do not

give credit.
Beat 15) Mr. John Dormouse and his daughter, Squeakella

NARRATOR: Of course there are the tradesmen's carts—the butcher, the fish-man and Timothy Baker. But a

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License

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person cannot live on "seed wigs" and sponge-cake and butter-buns—not even when the sponge-cake is as good as Timothy's! TIMOTHY BAKER: (CALLS OUT) Seed wigs today. Seed wigs and butter-buns. And the freshest sponge-cake in all the village. NARRATOR: After a time Mr. John Dormouse and his daughter, Squeakella, began to sell peppermints and candles. But they did not keep "self-fitting sixes"; and it takes five mice to carry one seven-inch candle. THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! This is a very heavy candle. And they are melting in the warm weather. Really, you must do something Squeakella. SQUEAKELLA: I shan’t. They are now your candles.

THE MICE: Surely, Mr. John Dormouse, father of Squeakella, you will address our candle concerns. MR JOHN DORMOUSE: chair. Oh, but I am so very snug sitting in my

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Beat 16) Henny’s grand opening

NARRATOR: So everybody was pleased when Sally Henny Penny said: SALLY HENNY PENNY: I shall re-open the shop. And I shall

send out a printed poster proclaiming Henny’s Opening Sale! Grand co-operative Jumble! Penny's penny prices! Come buy, come try, come buy! ALL: Hurray. Hurray. Hurray for Sally Henny Penny.

NARRATOR: The poster really was most enticing. And there was a rush upon the opening day. ALL: (DELIGHTFUL EXCLAMATIONS OF THE TREASURES IN SALLY HENNY PENNY’S SHOP.) NARRATOR: The shop was crammed with customers, old and new, and there were crowds of mice upon the biscuit canisters. THE MICE: SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! We like biscuits. Might we purchase some on credit? MRS. HENRY HEN: I’m Mrs. Henry Hen and these are my

eleven chicks. MRS. HENRY HEN’S ELEVEN CHICKS: PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!

Ginger and Pickles and the Dog License MRS. GEORGE GOOSE:

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I’m Mrs. George Goose and these are my

five goslings. MRS. GEORGE GOOSE’S FIVE GOSLINGS: HONK! HONK! HONK! SALLY HENNY PENNY: Oh, dear, I have lost my count. I

really must quite insist that you pay for your purchases. What was I counting? I’ve rather forgotten. Oh, my. Oh, dear. NARRATOR: Sally Henny Penny gets rather flustered when she tries to count out change, and she insists on being paid cash. TABITHA TWITCHIT: (RATHER HAUGHTILY) I, too, insist on

being paid in cash. And I do not give credit. NARRATOR: But Sally is quite harmless. And she has laid in a remarkable assortment of bargains. There is something to please everybody. ALL: (DELIGHTFUL EXCLAMATIONS OF THE TREASURES IN SALLY HENNY PENNY’S SHOP.)
Beat 17) # 30 # - The End

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