"The Little Mermaid" is a play written by Wade Bradford, adapted from the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Schools and non-profit organizations may use this material, free-of-charge.
LATCHKEY: My Prince, this girl needs care and assistance. She is shivering. I think she has been washed ashore in a storm.
PRINCE: Oh so was I and I'm fine! big deal! But this dog is an amazing scientific discovery! Say something, show my servant and this beautiful girl that you can speak.
The Kid, unsure, looks at Kira, who shakes her head "no."
KID: Uh... Ruff, ruff.
PRINCE: No, speak human words.
KID: Bark, bark!
PRINCE: He was just speaking moments ago!
LATCHKEY: Sire, perhaps you just imagined a talking dog. After all, you have been under a lot of stress since the shipwreck.
PRINCE: Oh, that was a long time ago.
PRINCE: Hours and hours ago. Young lady, does this dog belong to you? What's wrong, can't you talk either? Latchkey, perhaps this lady needs our help.
LATCHKEY: Precisely, sir.
(Off stage: The Prince's mother, Queen Gertrude, calls.)
GERTRUDE: Where is that Princely son of mine? Your mother needs you, Prince Darling!
LATCHKEY: Queen Gertrude, your mother--
PRINCE: I hear her. I am on the beach, mother!
GERTRUDE: Stay of away from the waves, my son. You of all people have learned how dangerous they can be. (Note: Gertrude is probably played by the same actor who lays King Poseidon.)
PRINCE: I will deal with Mother. Will you tend to this poor girl?
LATCHKEY: Certainly, sir.
GERTRUDE: Son, why must you spend your time near this dreadful ocean?
PRINCE: Mother, why must you be so bothersome?
GERTRUDE: Oh, I'm not bothersome. You're just feeling melancholy again.
PRINCE: I am not melancholy. I have never been melancholy. I don't even know what Melancholy means.
GERTRUDE: Oh, do cheer up, my Little Prince.
PRINCE: The only thing that gives me cheer is the ocean air and the voyage of scientific discovery.
GERTRUDE: Now, you know I have discussed this with you many times before. We don't want you to spend so much time with this scientific nonsense. That's precisely what killed your father. Why, you don't even study anything practical like alchemy, you just spend your days peering into that dreadful sea and its disgustingly salty creatures. Therefore, I have decided, you shall be married!
GERTRUDE: Yes, as soon as possible. That will settle you down, keep you away from these flights of fancy you are so prone too.
PRINCE: they aren't flights of fancy, they are amazing discoveries. i just found a talking dog!
KID: Ruff ruff!
PRINCE: Shut up!
GERTRUDE: Today it's a talking dog, last month it was the ghost of your father. Sometimes I think you're mad.
PRINCE: Well, I don't want to be married. I want my independence.
GERTRUDE: Well, I want grand children! You get married by the end of the week --
PRINCE: Or else what?
GERTRUDE: I take away your crown and all of your gold.
PRINCE: Then let's have a wedding! Who's the lucky girl?
GERTRUDE: Do you see that young lady, yonder?
GERTRUDE: Notice how she stands with such purity and innocence, as if she were taking her first steps upon the world. (Latchkey is helping her stand.) Take note of her beauty; gaze upon those eyes that reveal only honesty and goodness. See how her hair shimmers in the sun light, and her smile beckons you? See how she is patient and quiet and wise and wholesome and enchanting?
GERTRUDE: Find someone like her except rich. (Exits.)
PRINCE: (Awkwardly laughing, now embarrassed around Kira.) Mother, you must be reasonable, why can't I simply defy custom and... (Exits.)
LATCHKEY: The Queen is correct. You are all of those things. I wonder from where on earth did you come?
Kira pantomimes swimming.
LATCHKEY: From the ocean? (Kira nods.) Then it's true. You were lost at sea! (She shakes her head "no.") No? Then, I don't understand.
KID: She's a mermaid! A sea witch cast a spell on her and turned her into a human!
LATCHKEY: My goodness! A talking dog! Wait, did you say she is a mermaid?
KID: She was--
LATCHKEY: Your eyes, yes, of course, I caught a glimpse of them when I was exploring below the surface. And I heard the most heavenly voice singing to me. (Kira nods.) But, but mermaids have tails. This sea witch gave you legs? I don't understand. Why?
KID: She fell is in love with a handsome human. Someone she saw on board your ship.
LATCHKEY: She has fallen in love?