The Miller’s three sons:
Priscilla, Percival’s wife
Chorus of villagers
The Earl of Easton
Footmen 1 and 2
Courtiers and Servants
Reaper 1, 2 and 3
Mower 1, 2 and 3
Sir Simon de Gruffwit (The Ogre)
The Ogre’s servants and friends
All suggested songs are from the Contemporary Disney Songbook which is available from www.musicroom.com or any good music shop.
In the Village, Outside the Mill
The scene is one of happy village life with villagers dancing and singing on the green in front of the mill. All but two seem to be enjoying themselves, Percival and Priscilla, the late miller’s eldest son and his wife. The magistrate stands aloof, shuffling through his papers and scrolls. Puss is sleeping, one side.
SONG 1 Go the Distance (from Hercules)
MAGISTRATE: Gather round, my good people, and prepare for the reading of the miller’s will.
VILLAGER 1: The miller’s will! At last, the wishes of our dear late miller shall be revealed.
VILLAGER 2: Dear late miller, my elbow! You couldn’t stand the sight of him when he was alive. Not many of us round here could.
VILLAGER 1: That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be respectful now he’s dead, does it?
VILLAGER 2: I have a sneaky feeling that his spirit lives on in that one there. (Points to Percival, the eldest son, who is bossing the villagers around and getting them to stand in line for the will-reading.)
VILLAGER 1: I hope he left the mill to Thomas, he’s a good lad.
VILLAGER 2: He’s the youngest son, you fool. The youngest does not inherit.
MAGISTRATE: Gather round, I say, and be quick about it. I have other more important business to attend to today. (He unfurls a long scroll.)
VILLAGER 1: Look at that scroll, the will must be very detailed.
VILLAGER 2: It’ll take all day to read that out.
PERCIVAL: Silence, you peasants! Let the reading commence.
MAGISTRATE: By the powers invested in me by his royal highness the King, in my capacity as city magistrate and acting as attorney for the late Herbert, Miller of …
PERCIVAL: Just get on with the will, man, never mind the sermon.
MAGISTRATE: Very well. (Clearing his throat) The will is very straight forward…
VILLAGER 1: (Aside) Thank goodness for that!
MAGISTRATE: Post hoc ergo propter hoc…
PERCIVAL: In English, magistrate, in English. You don’t think these ignorant villagers understand Latin, do you?
VILLAGER 2: Why, do you?
PERCIVAL: How dare you!
VILLAGER 1: That means no.
MAGISTRATE: Oh, very well. I, Herbert the Miller do bequeath my estate to my three sons. It shall be divided as follows: Percival, my eldest son, shall alone inherit the mill buildings and the business associated with it; (gasps of surprise) Henry, my second son, shall have my donkey and Thomas, my youngest son, shall have the cat. (Much outrage amongst the villagers at Thomas’s lot.)
VILLAGER 2: Shame on you, Herbert. Is that the best you can do for your younger boys who have worked so hard in the mill?
MAGISTRATE: Silence that man. This will may not be contested.
(Villager 1 clasps his hands over the mouth of villager 2. Percival struts smugly around and gives each brother a commiserating slap on the back. The villagers drift away.)
The title deeds to your mill, Percival. (He hands the documents over.)
PERCIVAL: Thank you, magistrate, you have been most helpful. (He shakes the magistrate’s hand and drops a bag of gold into his palm.)
MAGISTRATE: My pleasure, young Percival. May you have many years of success as the new miller. (He exits, leaving the three boys alone with Priscilla. Puss is curled up one side, regarding the scene.)
PRISCILLA: Right, now let’s get on with things, shall we. You two boys shall work for us now.
PERCIVAL: Priscilla, you may be my wife but I own the mill and I employ the workers.
PRISCILLA: Shall we say five shillings a week?
HENRY: No we shall not. I, for one, have no intention of working for you two.
THOMAS: I neither. I shall make my own way.
PERCIVAL: Pah! All you own in the world is the clothes on your back and a cat. How will you survive?
THOMAS: I can look after myself, thank you. All I ask is that, for the time being, you allow me, and Puss, to sleep in the barn.
(Percival is about to answer when…)
PRISCILLA: You may sleep in the barn for one year, after which time, if you have not left, I will have the bailiffs throw you out. Is that understood?
PRISCILLA: Now come along, Percival, we have work to do. We cannot stand around idling all day.
PERCIVAL: Yes, Priscilla.
HENRY: Farewell, Thomas, my good brother.
THOMAS: But, Henry, what will become of you?
HENRY: I shall take my donkey and offer to work for the miller at Gudrun’s Ford. He will value my skill with the machinery. But what about you?
THOMAS: I will have to wait and see what fate has in store for me, Henry. I will find something.
HENRY: Well, the best of luck, brother.
THOMAS: You too, farewell. (Exit Henry.) Oh woe! What is to become of me?
(Puss wakes up)
PUSS: Don’t be sad, master. You have me to help you. I am a cat of many means.
THOMAS: My goodness, a talking cat. That alone must be worth something. What else can you do? Can you sing?
PUSS: Oh yes, master. Would you like to hear?
THOMAS: Well, I don’t know if now is the time…
PUSS: The boys and girls would like me to sing, wouldn’t you boys and girls?
THOMAS: Well, perhaps just a quick one then.
SONG 2; My Funny Friend and Me (from the Emperor’s New Groove)
Napa, California, USA
Bubwith County Primary School, Bubwith Village, Selby, England
Christchurch Primary School, Padgate, England