The Happy Prince -
Oscar Wilde's story is about a young prince whose spirit resides in a statue commemorating him after an early death.
The prince had lived a protected, isolated life in the castle while alive; then, as a statue in the middle of the city,
he perceives the sorrow of the citizens. He befriends a swallow, and asks that the swallow bring the gold from his
gilding to the various poor of the city. In time the swallow strips the statue of all its gold and gems, until it is
just a grey remnant. The swallow dies, as its labor prevents its southern migration; at the same time the statue, now ugly, is
also torn down. It is a beautiful story of the
sacrifice of one's ego for compassion.
I proposed an Eastern adaptation in which the prince is the young Buddha. I made a chicken wire sculpture,
based on statuary. The idea was to cover it with some simple objects. Then
the Storyteller (Dr. Sunita S. Mukhi, who adapted the story and performed it) would invite the children to be like the
swallow - to take a part of the statue, and give it to someone as a gift of love.