“Parts. It has to have lots of parts,” Elvira Madden was flicking through a stack of play scripts regarded as being suitable for small children to perform. “Christmas is easy, even if someone complains about the Nativity play being religious or not their religion or not religious enough. With shepherds and angels you can easily get twenty five year olds on stage at some point during the proceedings.”
“That is the point, after all,” agreed her friend the fifth grade teacher, Dorothy James. “At least your lot will still hold hands with the opposite sex. Half the boys in my class don’t even want to stand beside the girls. The Shrimptons’ mother seems convinced that she’ll be a grandmother by next year if either of her daughters is within a yard of a boy and no matter how she’s cast, Melissa Wright’s parents will hire a professional costume for her.”
“Both our lot are too young for musicals,” Elvira put a number of books to one side, “perhaps there’s something in here based on a fairy tale?”
“How about this one?” Dorothy picked up a slim volume and handed it to Elvira, “The Prince of Cats?”
“Let me have a look,” Elvira opened the text pamphlet to look at the cast. “There’s Tom, his mother, the mice, the cat, some dogs, and more cats. This could work. Is it okay if I take this one to read through?”
“Go ahead,” Dorothy waved a hand at her, “I need to find something that won’t upset any of my parents. All the vocal ones hate something different!” With that she turned back to the stacks of the school’s accumulated drama resources.
Six weeks later, the school drama night was a great success. The kindergarten play had gone first and was greeted warmly, with the tallest girl in the class playing the mother and the five smallest children being the mice. Joe Grimolochin, a happy boy, played a surprisingly cat-like rescued cat who turned out to be the Prince of Cats. Elvira sought him and his father out at the beginning of the intermission, the first of twenty families she needed to see in the break.
“I think that very well, don’t you?” The tall, olive-skinned man who was Joe’s father smiled at her. Every time he did that she found herself wanting to curl up in front of a fire somewhere and stroke him. That was totally inappropriate.
“Yes, it did Mr Grimolochin,” Elvira smiled politely back at him. “At least partly because Joe,” she smiled down at her student, “was so good as the Prince of Cats.”
“Please Miss Madden I’ve told you before, I’m Tybalt.” That smile again. “I must agree with you, Joe is a most excellent Prince of Cats.” Father and son looked at each and Joe smothered a giggle as if they had shared a joke.
After a few more words Elvira moved on to the next family with the odd feeling she’d just missed something important.