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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 Page i

Characters (in order of appearance):

• Narrator – Tells the story.

• 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. Non-
speaking 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.
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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.
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Beat 1) 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: I’m Ginger, a yellow cat.

PICKLES: I’m Pickles, a terrier.

GINGER and PICKLES: We keep the shop.

SFX: CRASH OF GLASS JAR BREAKING.

GINGER: Ah, pickles.

PICKLES: What’d I do?

GINGER: 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.


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LUCINDA: Hello, Ginger. Hello, Pickles.

GINGER: Hello, Lucinda.

PICKLES: Greetings, Lucinda.

JANE DOLL-COOK: We’ve come to buy our groceries.

LUCINDA: Which is frightfully silly since no one ever

cooks dinner.

JANE DOLL-COOK: But we must be prepared in case we

should.

LUCINDA: Might we put our purchase on credit?

PICKLES: 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 pocket-

handkerchiefs 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


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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.

THE RABBITS: BOING! BOING! BOING! Might we make our

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?
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PICKLES: 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: Who is going to Tabitha Twitchit’s

shop?

PICKLES: No one, Samuel.

SAMUEL WHISKERS: It is certainly more preferable

shopping here than at Tabitha’s.

GINGER: Thank you, Samuel.

SAMUEL WHISKERS: I require some modest amount of bacon.

Might you wrap a parcel of your best?


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GINGER: This is freshly wrapped. For your convenience,

the bill is attached to the top.

SAMUEL WHISHERS: Might I buy your good food on credit?

PICKLES: Yes, dear friend. I shall enter it into my book.

ANNA MARIA: I, too, wish to buy some items. Might you

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: (RATHER HAUGHTILY) I do not give

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,


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PICKLES: 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.

SAMUEL WHISKERS: Might I secure an ounce and three-

quarters of snuff? On credit?


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PICKLES: 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: (RATHER HAUGHTILY) I do not give

credit.

Beat 10) No money means . . .

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: PURR! PURR! PURR! The dried haddock is delicious.

SFX: CRASHING OF METAL CANS.


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GINGER: Ah, pickles.

PICKLES: What’d I do?

GINGER: Nothing. That’s what I say when I knock over

cans.

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.


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PICKLES: (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: You have eaten them yourself.

PICKLES: 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: PICKLES BARKS FEROCIOUSLY. UNDER TO BED.

GINGER: 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.


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PICKLES: What’d I do?

GINGER: 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


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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: Oh, but I am so very snug sitting in my

chair.
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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!


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MRS. GEORGE GOOSE: 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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