Playwright: Heather Mac // Director: Heather Mac
Be grateful for what you have today for tomorrow it may be gone
The Magic Bird is the story of the legendary Magic Bird – an elemental being that protects and supports the balance of nature in the forests of Africa. Her path crosses that of a married couple Mandisa and Wanjohi.
Madisa is a demanding, critical and suspicious young woman, whilst her husband, Wanjohi, is a capable, brave, honest, yet compulsive dreamer. They are struggling to survive in the midst of a crippling African drought – their water well has dried up and all their plants refuse to grow.
Wanjohi unwittingly captures the Magic Bird in one of his traps. He is delighted to find that he has caught some food and is about to slaughter the bird when, to his absolute amazement, she pleads with him to spare her life. Wanjohi is so struck by her beauty and wise words that in his heart, he does not have the courage to kill her.
Upon setting the Magic Bird free, she gives him two of her feathers and suggests that everyday he should wish for his hearts desire and it shall be fulfilled. Her only request is that he never tell a soul about their meeting and the wish that she has bestowed upon him. Wanjohi assures the bird that he will hold true to this promise and makes a wish; that he and his wife will have a feast of food and drink on his returning home.
Wanjohi cannot wait to get home and when he enters their hut he is delighted to find his wife dancing and singing around a table filled with delicious treats. For the following week the couple find that their cupboards are never empty and their dry water well now gurgles with crystal, clear, sparkling, fresh water. Life is good!
The curious and controlling Mandisa cannot stop nagging her husband Wanjohi to tell her truth behind their good fortune. When he holds true to his promise and tells her to be grateful for what they have, she only becomes more dissatisfied and plots to discover the truth.
All her plotting and planning finally succeeds and as Wanjohi blurts out the truth all their good fortune disappears. Too late, Mandisa realizes the mistake she has made and promises to change her ways. Once again Wanjohi lays his traps and starts hunting in the forest for food. As luck would have it, he captures the Magic Bird once again but in this instance Wanjohi not only sets her free but also saves her from the ravenously hungry dog that has accompanied him on his hunting expedition. The Magic Bird blesses him for his bravery and kindness with two more feathers and returns to her magical work. Mandisa and Wanjohi live the rest of their lives in comfort, ever grateful for the Magic Bird’s lessons.
Duration: 20 minutes
Age Range: 5 years - 10 years
Grades: Grade 2 (max)
can be performed outside