Nda, honey, come here.

This lady has a voice you wouldn't believe.

Leon, I've got singers.

Digit, roll the opening.

Just show him what you can do, honey.

(sings high, piercing note)

(glass breaking)

Does this mean I don't get the job?

Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Good evening, and welcome to our show.

You're not the lion.

No, I'm the dog.

I work with the storyteller.

Oh, yeah.

Later on, the storyteller will tell an eerie tale

Called "The soldier and death."

Is he cheating?

Well, I am, and I'm still losing.

Me, too.

Deal again.

Certainly.

And he did.

And he won.

That was eerie.

So listen, where's the lion?

Your frog got him a job

In front of the public library.

That's strange.

Kermit, is everything okay?

Except for a small monitor problem

I got everything under control.

Our guest stars are the nylons.

Fozzie bear visitsthe today show.

Chief, how did this happen?

Well, I'll show you.

Instant replay.

Here I am doing my introduction.

Then leon shows up with this woman, who went...

(sings high note)

(glass breaking)

Yup, that'll do it.

Harry!

Where are you?

Bora bora?!

Harry...

Yes, I got the flowers you sent me.

Oh, the ftd florist designed them just for me?

How did the florist know what I'd like?

My high school picture... Harry!

(doorbell rings)

Wait, someone's at the door.

Harry!

Oui, madame.

(french accent): oh, zee flowers have arrived.

Are they satisfactory?

They're perfect.

So are you.

The perfect bouquet for that perfect person.

Let your ftd florist design one for you.

Kermit, you're in luck.

The chickens and I have a great act.

Gonzo, I don't need any more acts.

But this is an opening number.

But I've already got a great opening number.

Digit, cue the nylons!

(exotic, birdlike sounds)

(exotic, birdlike sounds)

(band humming "The lion sleeps tonight")

(humming song in full caribbean style)

(singing scat)

♪ aweem-o-way, a-weem-o-way ♪

♪ aweem-o-way, a-weem-o-way ♪

♪ aweem-o-way, a-weem-o-way ♪

♪ aweem-o-way, a-weem-o-way ♪

♪ eeee-eeee-o-wee-um-um-mo-way ♪

(falsetto:) ♪ in the jungle, the mighty jungle ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ in the jungle, the quiet jungle ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ eeee-eeee-o-wee-um-um-mo-way ♪

(lion roars)

♪ eeee-eeee-o-wee-um-um-mo-way ♪

♪ near the village, the peaceful village ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ near the village, the quiet village ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo- whee-um-bum-ba-wayy ♪

(high trilling)

(birdlike, tropical singing)

(harmony)

♪ hush, my darling, don't fear, my darling ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ hush, my darling, don't fear, my darling ♪

♪ the lion sleeps tonight ♪

♪ oh-oh-ay, oh-oh-ay ♪

♪ wom-mom-mom-mom-o-way ♪

♪ oh-oh-ay, oh-oh-ay ♪

♪ wom-mom-mom-mom-o-way ♪

 (lion growls)

I knew it would be a great opening number.

Kermit...

Gonzo, no!

About this chicken act...

No!

It's a roller-poultrysound of music.

Roller poultry?

I'm glad you asked.

I didn't ask...

Gonzo, wait a second...

Aren't they beautiful?

Hey, chickens.

Now, wait a minute...

Yes, just like we rehearsed.

Hold it!

(chickens squawking)

Digit, do we have anything that isn't on roller skates?

Digit: I can't hear you, kermit;

I'm on roller skates.

Digit...

Cue the telethons!

Digit: I'm trying!

Okay--

This is our 78th hour of the monsterthon.

Let's see how we're doing.

Need more!

(monstrous laughter)

Well, as you can see, we need more money.

Yeah!

Hey, tell them why we need more money.

Why do we need more money?

Because wewantit!

Want your money!

And if you don't give it to us

We'll stick a piano up your nose.

(grunting threateningly)

Digit, see what else is on the satellite

Would you?

Yes, sir.

(remote beeps)

Ah, good.

You're tuned in to the time channel

All the time, all the time.

We have late afternoon over the pacific coast

Turning into evening later

And later tonight

The darkness associated with three in the morning

Should give way to breakfast time by early tomorrow.

And the forecast for tomorrow: 3:15 in st. Louis

In hollywood, lunch will last all day

And in ottawa, it will be 1956.

Thank you, and good night.

Do you want to give

Or do we tie your ears in a bow?

I'm sorry, but I don't have the time.

(growling and roaring)

Now, back to the monsterthon.

(remote beeps)

Now, let's look at the phone banks

And see how our volunteers are doing.

Hello, is this the late mr. George hoskins

Or can you send us $20 by tomorrow?

(laughter)

Yes, to save any unnecessary unpleasantness

Call us and pledge at 1-800-555-stomp you!

Yeah!

Okay, all working again, chief.

Boy, those monsters get everywhere.

Hey, that looks like new york city.

Fozzie, how's new york?

Oh, kermit, hi!

 oh, it's great.

I've come to the big apple to showcase my comic appeal.

Get it? Apple, "A peel"?

Same old fozzie, same old jokes.

No, kermit, you're wrong.

I have chosen a new career, with real artistic integrity.

And what career might that be?

I am going to be a tv weatherman.

A tv weatherman?

Fozzie, are you sure?

Of course, kermit.

It is time to move on.

It's time to leave behind the funny nose and glasses;

Time to say good-bye to the childish whoopee cushion

And the tired old banana peel.

Kermit, I am on my way to n.B.C. Headquarters

To meet willard scott.

Yes, wish me luck!

(yells)

Oh, that banana peel... Forget it!

If he can slip up there, he can slip up anywhere.

We'll check with him later.

Hey, digit, cue the soap opera!

Darling?

Yes, sweetiebuns.

I just spoke to mrs. Goldfarb.

Oh, about my operation?

(doorbell rings)

(crh)

Hi! May we come in?

Ohit's monsters!

Actually, we don't like being called monsters.

We prefer the term "Cosmetically challenged."

Have you given yet?

What?

20 bucks!

30 bucks, and we'll give your kidack.

Yeah!

Wait, we don't have any kids.

(baby squawking)

Quiet!

50 bucks, ore leave him here!

Brother...

Gonzo, are you upset about somethin

Well, kermit putthaton the air

Instead of my chickens.

Ugh! I can do better than that.

Sure, but kermit's the guy in charge.

Say, who put kermit in charge?

I don't know.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

No.

Neither am I.

Kermit: okay, digit, stand by with fozzie bear.

Excuse me, kermit!

Kermit: just a second, guys.

Go ahead and cue fozzie!

(remote beeps)

Oh, here it is

The doorway to my future.

He must be right in there, the king of tv weathermen

Willard scott.

My behavior must be dignified, yet casual;

Respectful, yet relaxed.

Hi, there!

Hey, it's the funniest face on television

But fozzie bear, what can I do for you?

Oh, mr. Scott, sir

I am here to be a tv weatherman, just like you.

That's flattering, fozzie.

Thank you.

I've got my very own pointy weather-stick

And a toupee...

Right.

What more could a weatherbear need?

Soon you'll get fruitcakes

From your adoring public.

Fruitcakes?

They don't pay me.

I live like a king on the fruitcake of strangers.

Would you like a piece?

Yes, sir.

I got some real beauts.

They're alst antiques--

Three or four dollars in value.

Wow!

Fozz!

Yes?

The light's burnt out.

Would you hold the door?

, sure

You mean now?

Oh, no.

Do you have the keys?

Willard: yes, sure, fozz.

I got them in my hand.

D-d-don't panic.

I'll get help.

Make it fast, fozz.

Welcome back totoday.

It's time for the weather...

With fozzie bear?

Help, help, willard...

Is that camera on?

It certainly is.

Ah!

Good morning, america.

Watch your language, fozzie.

What were you saying?

Nothing, except, I am your new weatherbear.

I got my pointy stick and everything.

That's very professional

But isn't that willard's job?

No, no.

Willard could not make it.

He told me to take over.

Wait a minute, where's willard?

Hi! I'm your new weatherbear.

(laughs)

And, holy cow...

(laughs)

Well, I guess, as you can plainly see--

There's all this white stuff over here...

Oh, what cute little pennants up here.

There's a giant "L" over here by nebraska.

All you people in nebraska, you stay in your homes

Until we can find a way to get the "L" out of there.

(laughs)

Now, over here...

We have a man with a fruitcake.

Willard: oh, fozzie

You're just not cut out to be a weatherbear.

Oh, I know.

I found some great stuff in my closet

That I think you will love.

Look at this-- a big nose, with glasses

And a slightly used whoopee cushion...

Oh, my old friend.

Yes, but wait--

I saved the best for last, baby.

A hilarious banana peel.

Now,that's funny!

Ooh-- wokka, wokka.

Wokka, wokka.

Wokka, wokka.

Wokka, wokka, wokka.

He'll never go along with this.

Shhh! Ready?

Yes.

Did you guys want to talk to me?

No.

Yes, we do.

Cuz, has anyone ever suggested

More people should run this show?

How do you mean?

Well, letting someone else have a turn.

That's a good idea.

Before you reject this...

What did you say?

That's a great idea.

I could use the time away.

Away?! But where would you go?

Doesn't that look nice up there?

Yes.

Guys, have fun, keep the ratings up

And don't forget to roll the credits.

Okay, bon voyage.

Great! He bought it!

Yes! Yes!

(laughing)

But leon...

What do we do now?

Oh, this is great.

Peace and quiet.

Awesome.

Hi.

How'd you do your hair? Jumper cables?

♪ how do you say I blew it? ♪ ha ha ha!

♪ how do you eat your words? ♪

What'd I say?

Hallmark introduces "To kids with love" cards.

A whole new way to tell kids how you feel.

♪ hallmark has a way ♪

♪ to make somebody's day... ♪

♪ hallmark has a way ♪

New "To kids with love" cards.

What a beautiful spot.

Isn't this a beautiful spot?

This is a beautiful spot.

Look at that water, and that sand

And that water.

I wonder how the gang is doing?

People.

People?

People!

There is no need to panic.

Leon, take over gonzo's responsibilities.

What?

Gonzo, take over my job.

I didn't know ihad responsibilities.

Yes, and I will take over mr. Kermit's.

Now, first we should...

Oh, no, you don't. Oh, no, you don't.

This job requires artistic vision.

Well, I have that.

As my first decision, chickens on roller skates.

No! No!

No! No, no, no!

Well, listen.

We have to do something!

They're watching.

(sheepish laughter)

Digit's the one who puts stuff on.

Well, where is digit?

Digit!

Digit!

Digit: I'm coming.

Whoa!

Digit, do something!

Whoa!

When you're in your new suit, bootsie

Everyone has to listen to you.

I'm sorry, but I can't take any more questions

Because I've got to go shopping for a big date tonight.

Hey, boots, what goes?

Can't you tell?

I've zinged into a whole new thing.

Now I'm bootsie for president.

I come with my own oval office

And a four-year supply

Of swingy bootsie outfits

That take me from war room to ball room.

Wow, bootsie, with you as president

It will be a kinder, swingier nation.

(laughs)

Oh, brad, be serious for a second.

This is a highest office of america.

It's almost more important

Than being a high-fashion model.

Boots! What will I do

While you're rushing to meetings

With soviet leaders?

Brad...

You can be vice-president.

Me?

Would I be good at it?

You'd be perfect.

Well, what would I do?

Well, you could stand behind the podium.

Okay, I can do that.

(applause)

My fellow americans...

(cheering)

This proves what my grandmother always said.

In this country, anyone can become vice-president.

If you have the right look.

That's what we need, a president.

Terrific-- I pick me!

No, no, no!

You have to vote for presidents.

Okay, ivotefor me!

Gee, I wonder how kermit's doing?

Hmmm, "Chapter one.

"Tadpole days.

My earliest memory..."

Uh, "How could I have envisioned the long journey ahead..."

Maybe I'll just play solitaire.

I wish I had some cards.

The handsomest should be in charge.

Oh, brother...

The form of government is irrelevant

Without a mandate from the people.

A democracy...

I know a great form of government.

Presenting his royal highness, prince bean.

As for my first princely decree, let it be story time.

(laughs)

Once upon a time, long ago

There was a kingdom that wasn't a kingdom.

They had a king, but he wasn't really...

Look, let's start over.

(storybook characters screaming)

Okay, so, once upon a time, very long ago

There was a kingdom without a king.

It had been so many years since anyone wanted a king

That he'd gone on to something else.

Now he worked as a hat sharpener.

Meanwhile, the people of the kingdom

Were very much their own boss

Until one day, a stranger came into the hat-sharpening shop...

Thank you.

Next?

I am told

There is a king here that sharpens the hats.

That's me!

Why are you here?

There's the kinging to be done.

We haven't done that king stuff

Around here for years.

Are you nuts?

Don't you realize?

People must be told what to do.

You have a god-given responsibility to act kingy.

What?

Yes, you know, wear the colorful clothes

And put the big thing on the head

And make the-- what you call them--

The proclamations.

Do you really think I should?

Ja,you have a moral responsibility to lead.

Sharpen my point,bitte.

Oh, yes, sir.

That night, in the privacy of his small dungeon apartment

With exposed brick walls

The king thought over the stranger's words.

My moral obligation to lead...

What did he say I needed?

The big thing on the head

The colorful clothing with the proclamations!

Yeah, okay.

Why not?

And so, the very next day

The king put on some colorful clothing

Put a big thing on his head

And made some proclamations.

I proclaim, uh...

Herewith...

Vacations for... Animals.

And... Uh...

More melted cheese on things

And...

And how about...

Forthwith...

All left feet shall be referred to as...

Eric!

Hey, king?

Yes?

You're standing on my eric.

(cheering)

Long live the king!

Long live the king!

Long live the king!

And so, the people of the kingdom decided

They liked being told what to do

And the king moved back into the long-empty palace

And people began to work as slaves and serfs and peasants

And everyone lived happily ever after...

Until one day they blew it all up.

(cheering)

Exactly my point--

Just like that fairy tale.

It was an allegory.

I think we should vote.

How many people think voting is a dumb idea?

Gonzo!

Where you going?

Well, nothing personal, guys, but I miss kermit.

So, uh...

So long.

Wait for me.

Guys!

Gonzo!

Hi!

Vicky!

Hi!

Why aren't you running the show?

Well, we left.

May we stay with you?

Look, you're all here.

We all left.

I skedaddled; it's cuter.

This is fantastic!

Did you do a good closing number?

Actually, we never got to the closing number.

What?

Sir, we couldn't figure out

How to run the show.

It's easy.

Watch.

Cue the closing number!

Whoa!

Ah, he makes it seem so easy.

(island music with steel drums)

♪ even when I'm weary and I just can't carry on ♪

♪ and the world is like an endless debt for me to pay ♪

@@ ♪ even when the neon seems to shine more than the sun ♪

♪ and the secret place I live in feels so far away ♪

♪ still I've got a ticket for a magic holiday ♪

♪ and it's always booked and ready, come what may ♪

♪ whoa, whoa ♪

♪ sweet vacation ♪

♪ recreation ♪

♪ destination, home ♪

♪ my friends can take me... ♪

♪ sweet vacation ♪

♪ recreation ♪

♪ destination, home ♪

♪ my friends can take me home ♪

(saxophone solo)

(singing badly)

(chickens clucking)

♪ still I've got a ticket for a magic holiday ♪

♪ and it's always booked and ready, come what may ♪

♪ whoa, whoa ♪

♪ sweet vacation ♪

♪ recreation ♪

♪ destination, home ♪

♪ my friends can take me... ♪

♪ sweet vacation ♪

♪ recreation ♪

♪ destination, home ♪

♪ my friends can take me...♪

♪ sweet vacation ♪

♪ recreation ♪

♪ destination, home ♪

♪ my friends can take me home. ♪

(cheering)



And now, john hurt as the storyteller

With "The soldier and death."

What's in your bag?

I can smell biscuits.

Imagination!

Let me see.

Certainly not!

I've got important things in this bag

And besides, I need those biscuits

For my story.

Tell your story.

Then we'll eat them.

Is it an old story?

Ancient, antique.

Oh, stale biscuits, then-- yuck.

It begins 1,000 miles from anywhere, after 20 years of war

With a soldier, an honest soul

With nothing but a shilling in his pocket

And three dry biscuits for the long trudge home.

This was his regiment, the royal hussars.

Oh, yes, 1,000 miles the soldier marched

Whistling his tuneless whistle.

And he'd spent his shilling

And was down to the three dry biscuits

When one day, he comes across an old beggar.

(tuneless whistling)

Storyteller: the soldier joined in with the fiddling.

One couldn't fiddle, the other couldn't whistle

And quite happy they both were.

(bad whistling and bad fiddling)

A merry tune!

Isn't it worth a farthing?

More--

Though I have nothing.

I do have a biscuit you can have.

And you're a good man for it, and I'll thank you.

Go on, eat.

You're a good man who deserves a better whistle.

Storyteller: and off the soldier went

And took up with his tuneless tune

But peculiar and strange, indeedy--

He had a whistle like...

(melodic whistle)

Imagine what rubies would sound like if they whistled.

He kept it up all the way down the road

Until he met another old boy down in his luck--

This old man, he played one, he played nick-nack on his drum.

The soldier stood and whistled his ruby whistle

And did a jig in his weary boots

A stumble and a hopping.

Then he swaps a second biscuit, and now look at his dance.

(whistling and drumming)

Oh, yes, a fine terpsichore--

Good as new, a skip and a hop down the road.

At length, he comes to a third old soak

Worn to a whisper and playing a game of cards by the road.

And the soldier looks as the fellow shuffled the pack

And dealt out the cards one after the other

A perfect hand, and gave him a huge clap.

(clapping)

A splendid game!

Worth a farthing?

More, though I have nothing to give you.

Storyteller: now the soldier had but a single biscuit in his bag

And he was hungry as heck, so he thought on it.

But I have a biscuit you can share with me.

Storyteller: and the soldier held out his last dry biscuit

And broke it in two, but it didn't feel good

To give the old boy less than the others.

So he gave him both halves.

You're a good man, and deserve more luck

Than to be on your last biscuit.

Here, take my cards, your honor.

May you never lose.

Take this sack also-- an ugly thing, but remarkable.

Order a bird in, or a beast, or anything you like

And it will be there

In a twinkle.

Off he went, a skip and a whistle

And a light heart and an empty sack.

He walked a warm night and came to a river.

Soldier: geese!

Ahoy!

Get in my sack!

(geese honking)

(soldier whistling)

That's a nice whistle.

I got it off a poor soul.

Home from the war?

Aye.

With a sack full of spoils?

No.

This is three geese I trapped.

If you'll cook it for me and give me a bed

You can have the others

For your trouble.

I like a nice bird.

Be sure to bring back the sack.

And the landlord roasted him the goose in clove and honey

And brought it back with a bottle of best wine

And the soldier ate it all and sucked the bones

And drank the wine and danced until the morning

When he sank, swam, flopped into bed.

Three days later, he woke up and looked out of the window

And there on the hill, he saw a palace.

I thought I heard you.

Slept well, soldier?

Not bad, not bad.

Whose palace is that?

And why are the windows all smashed?

That's the czar's palace.

It was once a place of waltzes

And chandeliers and fabulous parties.

Now the devils have it for their card games.

Devils?

Devils.

Every night, they tumble in

And scream and shout and play at cards.

No decent folk go near.

Someone should deal with those devils.

Innkeeper: an army tried.

In the morning, there was nothing left but shadows.

These are devilish devils, and gamblers, too.

I think I'll take a closer look.

Well, that's folly!

Storyteller: folly or not

The soldier goes, sack on his shoulder

Whistle on his lips, into the palace.

(soldier whistling)

And inside, it's very quiet

As if the walls were holding their breath

And waiting.

(clock stirs)

(clock chimes)

(devils hiss)

We have a visitor.

It appears.

And he's whistling.

That's a nice whistle.

I want to have it!

Hello.

Hello! Hello!!

I hear you like a game of cards.

(devils laugh diabolically)

A game of cards!

So, what shall we play for?

His soul!

His whistle!

His teeth!

I collect teeth!

Fair enough.

And what will you stake?

We've got 40 barrels of gold-- any good?

Very good.

(more laughter)

Fetch the coffers!

(mumbling and grumbling)

Good.

Let's play, then.

Storyteller: and with that, they settled down to business.

The soldier dealt the cards...

And won.

My round, I think.

(growls)

Storyteller: and won again.

(devils grunt and growl)

Is he cheating?

Well I am, and I'm still losing!

Me, too!

Deal again!

Certainly.

Storyteller: and he did, and he won.

And the devils got into the kind of fume

Only devils can get in.

Fume, fume, fume.

He won game after game while the devils cheated

To high heaven and low hell, to no avail.

By the first bells of morning, the 40 barrels of gold

Were stacked behind the chair of the soldier

Who whistled as he won.

(morning bells tolling, soldier whistling)

Well, my friends--

I suppose we'd better call it a day.

No, we will not!

We will call it a breakfast, and you, the meal!

First make sure who eats who.

Huh? Huh?

What do you call this?

Why, it's a sack.

A sack.

Just a sack.

Is it?

Then by the grace of god, get in it!

(devils scream)

(devils whining in the sack)

Ooh!

(devils moaning)

Ow!

(devils groaning)

Oh!

Oww!

(devils cry out)

More?

No, no, no!

Have mercy!

Will that be the end of your mischief

In these parts?

Let us out, please.

We're bashed to bits!

(cries of relief)

Let me down! Let me down!

I won't let you go, my boy

Until you swear to serve me faithfully.

I swear! I swear!

I'll hold you to your promise.

(screams)

Hey!

My foot's come off.

That's right.

Now off you go, and remember where you left it.

The devils rushed to hell and slammed shut the doors

For fear of being followed by the soldier and his sack.

And they trembled and quivered and fumed, fumed, fumed.

But the soldier had no time for devils.

He was the toast of the town and the star of the czar.

But howsoever life smiles on us, the last laugh

Is reserved for death.

Hi, dad.

I heard.

Yeah, two cavities.

It's time for act.

Act flouride rinse can cut cavities

40% more than brushing alone.

'cause act gets to surfaces a brush can miss.

My dentist says, "Brush properly.

Brush properly!"

Finally he's given me the prevent toothbrush.

When your thumb goes here,

Prevent is automatically positioned

To remove plaque at the gum line,

Where it counts most.

Prevent...

I got dirty an awful lot when I was little.

What am I doing here? You know this.

You're playing basall.

That's right.

It came natural to get dirty.

Johnson's baby shampoo has been great for my hair

All through my life.

It's strong. It makes my hair look clean.

It makes my hair feel clean, and it's gentle.

Look at this kid's hair. I think it looks good.

Johnson's baby shampoo.

Now also with conditioners for extra control.

I shower four or five times a day.

It's never made me cry.

Johnson's. For the life of your hair.

Oh! Yes!

Everything is dandy

With our friend the good soldier and his magic sack.

Rewarded by the czar, he's a rich gentleman now

A husband and a father, lives in the castle

Blessed, caressed and couldn't be better.

Until one day, because fate is fickle

One day, because fortune is cruel

His son falls into a terrible fever.

He's worse.

Storyteller: and they calls for quacks and apothecaries and healers.

And soon the boy's room is full with gray beards

And shaking of heads.

But still the fever rages, and the boy passes into a swoon.

And oh, dear, the gray beards are replaced

By priests mumbling and praying

And a man in black comes to measure a coffin.

Oh, what shall we do?

My lips are sore with praying

And my knees are weary of kneeling.

And I've lost my whistle from worrying.

It's the very devil, I say.

The very devil.

Now where the devil is that devil of mine?

I'm here, your excellency.

Where have you sprung from?

Not so much sprung as hopped-- you have my foot.

Cure my son, and you can have it back.

This is my good wife, by the way.

And this is my devil.

Mmmmm, how do you do?

How do you do?

I saw your son was ill.

Let me have a look at him.

Mmmm, mmmmm.

Look in here, your excellency.

Soldier: I see a small creature.

Devil: that's death, excellency.

Where does he stand?

At my son's feet.

Ah, good!

He will recover.

It's when he comes to the head

You must worry.

Sprinkle some water from the glass on your child.

(sobs of joy)

You're a marvel.

Well, we do our best.

Could I have my foot back, then?

Most certainly.

Oh, thank you, thank you.

Will there be anything else, sir?

Give me that glass

And I'll release you from your promise.

Really?

Oh, thank you.

Quite nice, black flowers.

Storyteller: so the soldier set up in his new trade

As miracle man

And traveled the world on a camel with his magic glass.

Show him a sick man, and he would hold up the glass.

If death sat at the foot of the bed

A quick splish-splash

And up the invalid would sit.

If death stood staring at the other end

The soldier would shake his head solemnly and depart

And the relatives would mutter, "What a pity, he came too late"

And pay him all the same.

But as often as not

He left with all happy, amazed and praising him.

It went well for the soldier, until one day, far from anywhere

He gets a message from home

To say the old czar has fallen ill and sends for him.

I've come too late.

You save beggars and thieves

And cats and dogs

Yet you won't save your master.

If death needs a new friend

I cannot fight him.

Then let me go in his place.

No.

The czar has been my friend and father.

If anyone should go, it should be me.

Sir...

Take me and spare the czar, I beg you.

Praise be!

Praise be!

(bells tolling)

Subjects: praise be! Praise be!

Oh, husband--

Is it all up with you?

Soldier: do you know what this is?

A sack.

Well, if this is a sack

Then get in it!

Aha! I caught death in my sack!

Wife, do you see?

I caught death in my sack!

(laughing wildly)

Death, a prisoner.

The news whispered from one of the czar's 50 wives to the other

Spread through the town as fast as gossip

Which is what it was, and nothing spreads faster.

And within 4½ minutes, the whole town knew.

And within 17 minutes, the whole country knew.

And by the following morning

It was the talking point of 1,000 languages--

Death, a prisoner!

"Imuerte, un prisionero!"

"Tod, ein gefangener!"

"Smert', uznitse!"

I've forgot the greek.

"Ekmelititsoume ton thanato!"

Exactly.

And the soldier

To be on the safe side, set off with death in his sack

And found the thickest forest and the highest tree

And clambered up it, and hung death from the longest branch

And promptly fell off--

But there's nothing like death off duty to cushion a fall.

So nothing died?

Nothing.

The oddest battles.

There were wars going on in most places

And they were very strange.

At the end of a day's carnage, flashing swords and explosions

The air thick with arrows and the savage swoosh of axes

Nobody had died.

The armies would look at each other exhausted and intact.

Duels at dawn went on till midnight when the rivals

Would go home confused.

Crossed lovers threw themselves

Off cliffs, and had a long climb back.

The soldier was the most famous man in the world

Because suddenly, everyone could live forever.

He sat in his palace and whistled his ruby whistle.

(soldier whistling)

And then one day, looking down from his window

He sees his courtyard full of poor souls wandering--

Old scrags of folk

Barely held together.

They were waiting, waiting for death, for death's release

And it would not come.

And the soldier could not bear their sorrow

Back he went to the forest.

Death...

I may do a merry dance

But now you must have me

And set the world right.

(wind howls)

Death!

Come back.

Storyteller: but death had fear of the soldier and his sack

And would not come back.

He was condemned to watch while others aged and died

But death would not come for him.

No, the soldier-- old kippered dried beef--

Lived on and on and on

Until he could stand it no longer

And dragged his dust and fragments

Across to the edge of the earth and slowly down to hell.

(wind howls; banging on door)

Yes?

A sinful soul comes to surrender his life.

Yes.

What's that you're carrying?

Nothing-- an old sack.

A sack?! Arrghh!

Let me in!

I beg you!

Go away! Go on!

And take that horrible sack with you!

But where can I go?

We don't care, just jigger off.

I won't go unless you give me

A map to heaven and a way in.

And 200 souls

You've no further use for!

(devil making exasperated noises)

150!

Do you know what this is?

Don't wave that sack around!

All right, 200.

Yech!

Follow the map until you can go no further

And then go directly up

Until you get the sensation

Of standing on your head.

That's the edge of heaven.

After that, follow the church music!

(church music playing)

(booming voice:) who approaches the gates of heaven?

I am the soldier who took death prisoner, and I have brought

200 souls from hell, in the hope that god

Will forgive me and let me in with them.

The souls may enter, but alone.

Go then, and be blessed.

(whispers:) take this, friend.

And once inside, call me into the sack.

Remember, I delivered you from the furnace.

Storyteller: but you see, there is no memory in heaven--

Souls forget.

The soldier waited and waited an inch from paradise

Until after a long time, forgotten

He turned anwlked slowly back to earth

And for all I know, he wanders still.

So sad.

Oh, he's a rare boy, my friend the soldier.

He's somewhere, about his business.

Are you sure?

Come on.

You can have your biscuit.

Mmmmm...

Mmmmmm...

Do you know what this is?

A sack.

Well, if it's a sack, then get in it.

Just checking.

(grumbling)

Oh!

It's not easy being a petite flower.

Sometimes you gotta sweat like a sow!

But you know how I pamper myself?

I drink diet dr pepper.

Ug! I'm glad I pumped up!

It's so unique.

"It's got a taste that'll please

Without the cal-o-ries!"""

And let's face it.

You can't get a body like mine in a bottle...

Unless you push real hard!

Diet dr pepper...

Well, that's our show for tonight.

Oh, you're back from the library.

What have you got there?

Come on, let me see... Let's see.

Oh, it's a library card.

That's good-- everybody needs one of those.

Thank you for joining us tonight.

Come back again next week.

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