QLeft.png Mourning the premature loss of its young prince, a statue called "The Happy Prince" was built in a town. Unfortunately, what the statue could see was a town filled with unhappiness. From "The Happy Prince". QRight.png


A Tale of Self-Sacrifice and Tears

Junna (icon).png Junna:
Nana, something smells great. What are you making today?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Oh, Junna-chan.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I thought I'd make something that will put a smile on everyone's face — my banana muffins ♪


Junna (icon).png Junna:
You're in unusually low spirits, huh.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
What? Really?


Junna (icon).png Junna:
How about I try and guess the reason?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Huh?


Junna (icon).png Junna:
It's that we're taking on "The Happy Prince" for the "Performance without movement" themed assignment, right?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
H-how did you know?


Junna (icon).png Junna:
I mean, you're not really a fan of "The Happy Prince", right?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah... I borrowed the picture book when I was little, but I was shocked to find out it's not a happy story at all.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
It's a story with a strong emphasis on self-sacrifice.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
The beginning was really good though. A beautiful statue of the prince in the town center, adorned with gemstones and gold leaves...


Nana (icon).png Nana:
People wishing to have the same good fortune as the prince, and that's why the townspeople called it "The Happy Prince".


Junna (icon).png Junna:
You remember it really well.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah, that's how much it shocked me.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
...But, as winter approached the town, a swallow on its way to the warmer climate of Egypt stopped for a rest on the statue of the prince, thus beginning the tragedy.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
The statue asks the swallow to give its gemstones and golden leaves to the poor.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"O swallow, remove the gold leaves from my body and take them with you. Take the jewels from my eyes too."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
The statue of the prince deciding it for itself is okay, but for the swallow to just carry its wishes without hesitation was frightening.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
It's as if to say that those willing to hurt themselves for others are considered great...


Junna (icon).png Junna:
That might be a scary story through the eyes of a child. The swallow froze to death for it, instead of flying overseas, and the statue of the prince became shabby...


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah... I understand what the story is trying to convey. The prince didn't consider his self-sacrifice to be self-sacrifice, and I think that was splendid.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
The swallow was charmed by the prince, choosing to fulfill the prince's wishes over travelling to someplace warm — that's another thing I can understand.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
But that isn't what put me off. The prince and the swallow received praise from no one, and only a handful of people were saved with the gemstones.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
The story grew darker and graver, and I wasn't even able to read to the very end.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
That means you never saw the ending, did you?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yes, but I know the synopsis. Only God knows of the swallow and the prince's actions, and calls them one by one to Heaven.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
It's a very sad story... That's why, if we are to perform it in class, I'd like to make it an ending where more people are saved.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
...I see. I suppose if you read it in a picture book, it could certainly look that way.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
...? Is there a different ending outside of the picture book?


Junna (icon).png Junna:
No, it's the same. Although, the points leading up to it leave a different impression in the original.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
What if you read the original, Nana? If it's still no good after that, let's choose something else to perform.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
...Okay, I'll give it a shot. If you say so, I'll try reading it.

A Tale of Free Will and Happiness

Junna (icon).png Junna:
All right then, let's start with the swallow scene from the first act. I'll play the part of the swallow and you will take on the role of the statue and the narrator.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Okay.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"A swallow who fell in love with a reed, but grew bored of her inability to sing and her flirting with the wind because she was a plant."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"O cute reed, you just play around and leave me alone. It's about time I give up on you and make my way to Egypt."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"I am sorry, but I love travelling, and my companion, consequently, should love travelling also."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"The swallow bids goodbye to his lover and arrives to the town with the statue of the happy prince."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Under this magnificent statue of a prince will be a fine place to rest. This will do nicely."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"In that moment, a drop of water falls, and another... A strange rain has come down on the swallow."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"What a curious thing, there is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Oh, you startled me. It was only raining here because you were crying, dear prince."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"The swallow wanted to complain to the prince, so he flies from under his foot to his shoulder."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"But the crying face of the prince was so pitiful that the swallow felt too bad to complain."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Um... Who are you?"


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"I am the happy prince."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"The happy prince you say? Aside from happy tears, if you're happy, then there should be no reason for me to be drenched."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"I was once a prince, who lived happily, and died happily."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"But my soul moved to this lead body built in memory of my death."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Then you have a lead heart, right? Does that mean you're sad and crying about that?"


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"More importantly, I wish for you to hear my request, swallow. would you take the gems from my body with your beak, and deliver them to those suffering from poverty and those stricken by sadness?"


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Whaaat?! If I take such fine jewels, it will cause you pain. I don't want to make you any sadder than you already are."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Swallow, swallow, little swallow, you will go somewhere warm, will you not? Please, do as I ask before you go."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Prince, I have left the ruby from your sword in the house of a poor family, just as you asked."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Thank you, swallow."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"I yearn even more for my journey to Egypt. After all, the moment I placed that ruby, I felt very warm."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"That is because you did a good deed."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"I see, when you do a good deed, it fills you with warmth. Something nice to bring with me to Egypt. With this I will take my leave."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Swallow, swallow, little swallow. I have one more thing to ask of you."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Really? It grows colder and colder, and I will freeze to death unless I go."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Swallow, swallow, little swallow. I want you to do one more thing. This time I want you to take the sapphire that's in my eye."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"I cannot do that. If I do that, you will be blinded!"


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Swallow, swallow, little swallow, do as I command. This is the only gift that I can give to everyone."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Please forgive me, prince. I do not wish for you to be saddened even more. "


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"The only one who can do as I say, is you, swallow. I beg of you."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Dear prince..."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Dear prince, in the end, not only your eyes, but the gold leaves from all over your body have been taken, you have become quite the pitiful figure."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"You have done as I asked. Thank you, swallow. You must make your way to Egypt."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"This town has grown oh-so cold. The days you will spend singing in Egypt will be happy ones, swallow."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"...Good-bye, dear prince. Will you let me kiss your hand?"


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"You love me, even the way I am now. Do not kiss me on the hand, you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"The swallow staggers up, climbing from the feet of the prince, to the knees, to the hips, and finally to the shoulders."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"Dear prince. It is not to Egypt that I will go."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Happy Prince)
"Why not? You have stayed for too long here. You should fly right away."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
(As Swallow)
"I have already forgotten the warmth of Egypt. I am happy with the warm feeling that you have taught me."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"The swallow kissed the happy prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"In that moment something cracked from inside the statue, as if something had broken."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
(As Narrator)
"It was a cold night of winter in a town in which a gentle prince once lived - a place where no swallow should have been..."


Junna (icon).png Junna:
What do you think, Nana? Even without a god, this tale can end with the prince and the swallow being saved.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah... "The Happy Prince" that I read was arranged to be an easy read for children.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
That's right. I like how the swallow's admiration for warmth changes.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah, it wasn't all for nothing... It wasn't a bad ending. They created their own happiness in each other.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Junna-chan, I want to practice more for "The Happy Prince" play. I'm sorry for seesawing back and forth.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
"Man always wavers. While I waver, I'm always looking for something."


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Heh heh... The words of Goethe.


Junna (icon).png Junna:
I'm glad my feelings were able to get across. Let's do our best together at rehearsal!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yeah!

Nana (icon).png Nana:
I think the mentality of self-sacrifice is very noble. I wonder if I too can grow closer to the prince's mentality...?

Nana (icon).png Nana:
Long ago, I read "The Happy Prince" picture book, but was shocked to find out it wasn't a happy story at all.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
But when Junna-chan told me that it's not a story of sadness alone, it turned into a story that I really enjoyed.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I'm really grateful to Junna-chan. The best way I can show my thanks, is by playing the role of the happy prince with all my heart.

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