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COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER:

All of the characters mentioned in this play that have appeared in the syndicated series "Xena: Warrior Princess" are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended. This play may be freely distributed in unaltered form, provided that no profit is gained from such distribution. Of course, it is awfully decent to ask my permission first.

OTHER STUFF DISCLAIMER:

No profanity. No sex. No real plot. One act of violence (in act one). Joxer. Gratuitous (ab)use of the iambic pentameter.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

This work is dedicated to all bards everywhere, but especially to one very special Bard (note the capital letter). No, not the one youíre thinking of.

The Simpleton of Athens

A play in one Act (with one Scene).

By Ukki

Dramatis Personae:

XENA, warrior princess

GABRIELLE, warriord bard (not The Bard)

JOXER, warrior poet

SCROGIUS, warlord

SCENE: A road near Athens, and the woods adjoining.

Act the First, or, Act the Last.

Scene I. A forest road near Athens.

Enter Xena and Gabrielle.

XENA:

In this daybreak we have received a gift,

The singing birds, the ruddy clouds adrift,

They stimulate my body and my mind,

Now that weíre leaving Athens far behind.

The city life Iíve never grown to love,

I need the open air, the sky above.

GABRIELLE:

To this unending path we both submit,

Although, to be sincere, I must admit:

This wandíring life is not what I like best.

But while I know weíre far away from rest,

With only this long, heavy road ahead,

Thereís nowhere I would choose to be instead.

XEN:

Hold on, my friend, I think I hear a sound!

Another on this path, and this way bound.

GAB:

Why not? This is an often trodden track,

With lots of people going there and back.

XEN:

Youíre right, I may be slightly paranoid,

Not every noise is something to avoid.

Now as the source comes nearer, I can tell

My worry had no ground, dear Gabrielle.

What waits ahead we do not need abhor,

Itís just our old friend Joxer, nothing more.

GAB:

His presence I just simply canít abide,

Have pity on me, Xena, let us hide!

Gabrielle hides herself behind a tree.

XEN:

How does this man deserve such intense hate?

Myself, I find thereís room for some debate.

Xena hides as well.

Enter Joxer.

JOXER:

Now this is odd! Thereís no one here but me,

Although I swear that someone did I see.

But wait! Indeed, a figure does approach,

On foot, without a riding horse or coach.

Enter Scrogius.

SCROGIUS:

Who is this man who rudely blocks my way?

Get off the road, I will bear no delay!

JOX:

Such man of grace and polish we have here,

His charms and courtesies inspire fear!

Of course, theyíre powerless against my will,

For me, they hold no menace, threat or thrill.

GAB (in hiding):

Please, Joxer, learn to use your feeble brain,

You could improve your couplet and quatrain.

SCR:

My patience ebbs like quickly dying flames,

Now stand aside, and cease your foolish games!

JOX:

Before you lose your temper, know one thing,

A tiny fact you may find interesting.

If you should make me draw my final breath,

I have a friend whoíd hunt you to your death!

You know of Xena, of that I am sure,

Not many men could her revenge endure.

SCR:

Yes, Xena, thatís a name I recognise,

A female demon in an angelís guise.

But do not, for a moment, think you can

Scare me by mentioning this harridan!

JOX:

You voice now such opinions of my friend,

I doubt you would repeat, should she attend.

XEN (in hiding):

Am I a mere bystander in this scene?

I feel a sudden need to intervene.

The question here at stake is my own pride,

An issue I would fain myself decide.

SCR:

That puny former warlord would not dare,

Against me with her sword and chakram fare.

Backstabbing hussy, worthy of no praise,

Iíd gladly see her hometown burn ablaze.

JOX:

No slander quite as vile befell her name,

Until you with your accusations came.

As now, in this context, you use this word

All just and noble hearts find it absurd!

So now, foul fiend, I drive you from my sight,

By using powers only Joxer might!

SCR:

This insolence, it forces me to swear,

And hastily my dirk and bodkin bare!

A fool such as yourself one rarely sees,

Prepare to fall before me, if you please!

They do battle.

SCR:

You have the spirit, but not quite the skill,

You will not be the one to score a kill!

JOX:

Quite lucky are the ones I simply slay,

Disgrace makes wounds much deeper than swordplay!

They do some more battle while Xena and Gabrielle watch.

GAB (in hiding):

While much he has to learn in arts of war,

That attitude one simply must adore!

Oh, Xena, we canít let this brave man die!

XEN (yes, sheís still hiding too):

You tell me that your scorn was just a lie?

A thing that alters like a weather-vane,

One moment love, but on the next disdain?

GAB (remaining hidden):

No time have we to argue in this way!

Just do what you do best, and join the fray!

Xena throws her chakram, which buries itself in Scrogiusí chest. He falls down.

SCR:

Oh, cursed spite! My luck has failed at last!

There is no future for me, only past.

A ring of steel from my chest now protrudes,

It brings me death, with all things it includes.

Iím only happy that Iím not struck down

By all the thrusts and slashes of this clown.

My hourglass, it is not by his hand

Allowed to drop its final grain of sand.

He dies.

JOX:

Behold, my foe is vanquished and undone!

Who was behind this deed, can be but one.

Come out, no need to hide, come skin thy game,

This weapon leaves no doubt of your true name!

Xena and Gabrielle reveal thems… their presence.

GAB:

Good morning, Joxer! Nice to see you there,

This time your presence gives me no despair.

JOX:

Because itís you, I feel heartfelt delight,

Despite that you did interrupt my fight!

I thought I had a chance to prove my worth,

But no, Iím still the dunce I was at birth.

XEN:

Do not demean yourself, my Joxer dear,

You took the risk, I made it disappear.

It was a truly brave thing that you did,

You stood your ground, while we two merely hid.

GAB:

I do agree, in this case you did great,

Your boldness we must both appreciate.

But please, restrain your tongue and be discreet

The next time strangers on the road you meet.

Before you once more in this language cuss,

Youíd better learn to fight as Xena does!

JOX:

Thereís no one telling me which moves to make,

In battle, I will choose which arms to take.

Content myself this deadly sword to swing,

What need have I for some round killing thing?

Now go, dear Xena, you too, Gabrielle,

To you, my warrior chums, I bid farewell.

May all the gods of earth and heaven bless

The journeys of the warrior princess.

Exeunt omnes.

- - - - - -

Well, I hope this short tale was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. It grew from one of those ideas that are too insane to be ignored.

I truly would appreciate it if you could send me your comments via email, to:

ukki@geocities.com

 

I always reply. May the Bard be with you!