King Solomon and the Baker
script by Leo Heska
based on a traditional Jewish folk tale
Greedy baker gets what he/she deserves.
Narrator/Announcer (male or female)
Baker (male or female)
This play is meant to contain humor. For comic effect, or for
other reasons, you may choose a female to play King Solomon, or a male
to play the old woman.
4 to 5 minutes - the dialogue should move quickly. This play is
basically a setup and a punch line.
2 locations - at the bakery and in King Solomon's court. But you
don't need any set; a bare stage will do fine.
(optional) A cue card or scroll for the announcer to read from.
1 bread roll (or bagel, or flat bread)
1 small loaf of bread
4 coins. Ideally they should be copper. Pennies are fine,
but if you can get larger
"coins" made of real metal, so that they clink loudly, that's even
|| One Agora Motif:
Origin of Motif: Coin issued by Herod Archelaus (4 B.C.E. - 6 C.E.).
Lily; "Yehud" in ancient Hebrew
Origin of Motif: A Judean coin during the Persian period (6th-4th
Depending on your own political leanings, or those of your audience,
you may want to omit or change the last 2 lines. Especially if
one of your benefactors happens to be a greedy, humorless baker!
(may read this
from a cue card or scroll)
Ancient Israel. Generosity and
Justice. Scene 1 - at the
(may read this from a cue
card or scroll)
King Solomon And The Baker. A
story of Generosity and Justice
from ancient Israel. Scene 1 - at the baker's.
I love my
life. (chews bread) Plenty of bread to eat; (stretches) a nice
warm place to work; and everyone comes to see me. (Scowls) Everyone
except those miserable poor folk, that is. (Scornful laugh) They
don't bother me because they don't have enough money to buy my
Please sir, may I buy some of your
(loudly) 2 shekels for a loaf of
bread, Old Woman!
(counting her few miserable
coins) Please, kind sir,
I have only 4 agoras...
(shouting) Get out with your
miserable 4 agoras! I have
nothing for you here!
You are rude and unkind, young man. Since you
insist, I will pay you nothing. But I will also stand here just
outside your door, and enjoy the smell of your wonderful bread...
(enraged, interrupting) You may
not enjoy the smell of my
bread, you miserable old hag! Thief! Police! Take
this old crone
away! Take her to the king!
(quickly): Scene 2 - at King
King Solomon, the law says that what is
enjoyed must be
paid for. This woman enjoyed the delicious, wonderful smell of my
fine bread, yet paid me nothing. I demand payment!
(to old woman) Did you
enjoy the smell of his bread?
Yes, King Solomon, I did. The
smell was so
delicious! And I was so hungry I could not resist.
(to baker) It is true that we are
a people of the
law. And you quote the law correctly; this poor old woman must
pay. But we are also a people of compassion and generosity.
Cannot you find it in your heart to forgive this payment?
No! I demand my payment under the
the law, as you must!
(to baker) As you insist.
old woman) The baker is right. The law is the law, and I
enforce it. I desire to be generous, but I must be just.
How much money have you, old woman?
Only these 4 agoras, King Solomon!
Count them out!
(Old Woman starts to move to baker)
No, not to him. Count them out to
me. Here, in my hand. Baker, listen well!
(counting the coins into King Solomon's
hand, clinking them
loudly): One, Two, Three, Four!
Baker, did you listen well?
I did, King Solomon!
Did you hear the clinking of the
miserable old crone's miserable old coins? 4 puny agoras?
I did, King Solomon!
(sternly, resoundingly) Then, baker,
that shall be your
payment! For the smell of your bread, this old woman has paid you
the sound of her coins!
(commanding) And now, leave here and
bother me no
more, miserable greedy baker!
(hands old woman a loaf of bread)
Old woman, this bread is for you.
Compliments of the baker. (clearly and distinctly, to
I taxed him this morning.
Author: Leo Heska (adapted
from a traditional folk tale)
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