No Sheepskin for Thee

July 29, 2009

[Scene: one-room school house in 1738, Gracie is playing her great-great-great grandmother who is struggling to complete school.  It is graduation day and she has come up hoping that she would have earned her diploma.  Edward Everett Horton plays the principal, later playing the administrator of the trust fund that supports the school in 1938.]

Principal: Tut tut tut, child.  I told thee not to come up here.  Again there is no sheepskin for thee.

Gracie: Why?

Principal: Why, because this is the ninth year that thou hast failed in all thy studies.

Gracie: Why?

Principal: Why, why hast thou failed?

Gracie: Yes, why?

Principal: Because in all branches of schoolwork, thou art hopelessly puzzled by the questions.

Gracie: Oh, nay doctor ’tis not the questions, ’tis the answers that puzzle me.

Principal: Nevertheless, I can only repeat: there is no sheepskin for thee.

Gracie: May I suggest-eth a suggestion?

Principal: Thou mayest. It would make no since but let us hear it.

Gracie: Well, rather than sit at my desk year upon year, wouldst it not be better that I should raise a sheep of my own and thus getteth a sheepskin for my diploma?

Principal: Even if thou were to raise thine own sheepskin it would be a blank diploma for thou canst not even write.

Gracie: Varily, but ‘t would be silly to have a diploma with writing on it on account of I couldst not read it… or couldst I?

Grandfather: Hush, thee, hopeless child and harken unto thy grandfather.  Thy grandmother and I didst first meet in this very school.  We did send our children here.  And they, in their turn, sendth their children here.

Gracie: I seeth, then if I haveth any children you wanteth me to bring them to school here with me?

Grandfather: Fiddlesticks, a diploma is what thou shouldst be thinking about.

Principal: Thy grandfather knoweth whereof he speaketh.  ‘Twould be nice if thou hadest a diploma before thou havest any children.

Gracie: ‘Twould even be nicer to haveth a husband.

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