The Three Camels
A Christmas or Epiphany Play
An adaptation of The Three Camels, a Christmas story about the three wise men and their camels: Erin, Nina, and Penda. The camels asked God to send them on a great adventure and boy did He ever! Saddle-up for the journey of a lifetime. A perfect Christian Christmas or Epiphany play for kids.
THE THREE CAMELS
(Adaptation based from the original short story by Harrison Woodard)
Adaptation by Rev. Shana Johnson with permission from author
NARRATOR: A long time ago, there were three camels named Erin, Nina and Penda. They wanted to travel to distant lands and visit wonderful places. The wise men that owned them rarely left their palace. Instead, they spent their days studying ancient writings, and their nights searching the stars.
NARRATOR: The three camels prayed,
ERIN, NINA & PENDA: God, please send us on an adventure.
NARRATOR: And God answered their prayer.
NARRATOR: Several nights later, the wise men loaded their camels and headed west, towards a bright star. They traveled all through the night and into the next day until they reached an oasis. There, they rested in the shade of the big palm trees.
NARRATOR: Then all of a sudden Erin said…
ERIN: I think I know where we’re going.
NINA & PENDA: Where?
ERIN: My master, Melchior, placed a jar of myrrh on my back. This is a gift given to a great general. (Holding up the jar and admiring it.) A man willing to serve his people and give his life for them if necessary. His house will be large and he will have hundreds of servants and soldiers attending his needs.
NINA & PENDA: (Together nodding.) You may be right.
NARRATOR: At sunset, they approached a large house.
ERIN: See, I told you. (In a bragging tone) This must be the general’s house.
(General Kadar walks up to the 3 Wise Men to greet them.)
GENERAL KADAR: Greetings, what an honor it is to have you in my home. Please do come in, eat, drink and rest up for the journey ahead.
NARRATOR: The three wise men spent the evening with the general who provided them with delicious food and entertainment. The camels were treated kindly as well.
NARRATOR: After dark, they talked with the animals in the stable.
ERIN: (Looking around.) Who lives here? (Then turning to the donkey.)
DOVE: I do!! (She says sweetly while fluttering about.)
SHEEP: (In unison—Baaa-ing.) We do!!
COWS: (In unison—marching around.) We live here too! Welcome to our humble abode.
ERIN: (Laughing.) Well, thank you! But who is the owner of the rather impressive house that met our (pointing to Nina and Penda.) owners. He must be a very great man.
DONKEY: He is my master General Kadar. (Standing up tall and proud.) He is a great warrior and faithful servant to his King.
NARRATOR: The camels went to sleep, honored to visit such a great man’s home.
NARRATOR: The next morning the wise men continued the journey. After traveling all morning, they stopped at another oasis to rest.
NINA: My master did not leave his gift with General Kadar.
ERIN: Neither did mine. (Now looking puzzled.) I must have been wrong.
NARRATOR: Then all of a sudden Penda said…
PENDA: I think I know where we are going.
ERIN & NINA: (Replied excitedly.) Where?
PENDA: My master, Balthazar, loaded a chest full of gold on my back. (Holding up the gold and moving it around in the light.) Gold is a gift given to a king. This king must live in a fabulous palace somewhere to the west.
ERIN & NINA: (Together nodding.) You may be right.
NARRATOR: After several more days, they arrived at King Herod’s palace.
KING HEROD: Ah, I am so pleased to see you. I have heard you too have seen the star and have come to pay homage to the new King. Come in, we have many things to discuss.
NARRATOR: The wise men stayed in the palace as the King’s guests.
NARRATOR: In the stable, the camels were given water, food, and a place to sleep.
PENDA: (Bragging.) See, I knew we were visiting a king.
ERIN & NINA: (Together nodding.) You were right.
NARRATOR: But the next morning, the wise men continued their journey without leaving any of their gifts.
PENDA: I don’t understand. (Shaking head in disbelief.) If not a king, then who?
NARRATOR: Then all of a sudden Nina said…
NINA: I think I know where we are going.
ERIN & PENDA: (Replied excitedly.) Where?
NINA: My master, Gaspar, put a container filled with sweet-smelling frankincense on my back.
NINA: (Holding up the frankincense and taking a big sniff.) Frankincense is the gift given to God. I believe we are going to a great temple. There will be many people offering their gifts and prayers to God.
ERIN & PENDA: (Together nodding.) You were right.
NARRATOR: Later that day, they came to the great temple in Jerusalem.
TEMPLE PRIEST 1: Good morning, fellow priest. Let us go into the temple to make it ready for worship.
TEMPLE PRIEST 2: Yes, I have brought all that we need. (Holding clothes to dust and wipe down the altar.)
(The temple priests walk up the altar and start wiping it down–then stand back to look at their work. They continue to busy themselves by cleaning up papers and stacking books.)
NINA: (Bragging.) See, I knew we were visiting a temple.
ERIN & PENDA: (Together nodding.) You were right.
NARRATOR: The wise men walked around the grounds and admired the beautiful structure. But after a short time, they mounted their camels and continued the journey.
NINA: (Puzzled again.) If the gifts are not for God, then who?
NARRATOR: They had visited a great general, a king, and God’s holy temple, and none were worthy of their masters’ gifts.
ERIN: (Almost in awe.) We must be visiting someone really special.
PENDA & NINA: (Together nodding.) You must be right.
NARRATOR: It was nighttime as they approached a small town called Bethlehem. The great star led them to a very small house.
ERIN: Why did we stop? (Looking towards the house.) Who could possibly live here?
NARRATOR: The three wise men knocked on the door.
NARRATOR: A man named Joseph greeted them.
JOSEPH: May I help you?
NARRATOR: The first to speak was Balthazar.
BALTHAZAR: We have traveled many miles to visit the new king.
NARRATOR: The second wise man by the name of Gaspar added…
GASPAR: We followed his star.
NARRATOR: Then Melchoir hardly able to contain his excitement told Joseph…
MELCHOIR: We want to worship him. Is he here?
NARRATOR: Joseph called to his wife.
JOSEPH: Mary, bring Jesus here. He has some visitors.
NARRATOR: Mary appeared in the doorway, holding a small child.
Then smiling at the wise men she said.
MARY: This is Jesus.
NARRATOR: The three wise men knelt down in front of Jesus and worshiped him.
MELCHOIR: I have a jar of myrrh for Jesus. A gift to honor a great warrior and the life he will give for everyone. (Handing the jar to Mary.)
MARY: Thank you.
BALTHAZAR: I have brought a chest full of gold. A gift worthy of the new king of the world. (Handing the chest to Joseph.)
JOSEPH: Thank you.
GASPAR: Here is a container of frankincense. A gift worthy of the Son of God. (Sets it at the feet of Mary and Jesus.)
MARY & JOSEPH: Thank you.
MARY: God has granted great wisdom to you all.
NARRATOR: The three wise men bowed.
JOSEPH: Will you be returning to your country tonight?
GASPAR: We will spend the night in Bethlehem and leave in the morning.
MARY: God bless you and protect you. (Mary and Joseph wave goodbye as the wise men head out.)
NARRATOR: That night, the three found rooms in an inn. They praised God for what they had seen.
NARRATOR: During the night, the camels couldn’t sleep. They talked about all that had happened. Suddenly, a host of angels appeared before them.
ANGEL 1: Do not be afraid. (With joy.) We bring you great news!
ERIN, NINA & PENDA: What is it?
ANGEL 2: Each of you thought you knew who you were going to visit.
ANGEL 3: Erin said it would be a great warrior willing to give his life to save his people.
ANGEL 1: You were right. Jesus will give his life for all people and he will return and conquer all evil.
ANGEL 2: Penda said it would be a great king. You were right too. Jesus is the eternal king. His kingdom will never end.
ANGEL 3: Nina said it would be God. And this was right as well. Jesus is God’s son.
ERIN, PENDA & NINA: Wow! (With great enthusiasm) There is nobody greater in the world!
NARRATOR: They thanked God for allowing them to see Jesus and be part of such a great event.
NARRATOR: And then the angels told them.
ANGEL 1: Tomorrow morning we will lead you home.
ANGEL 2: Don’t turn to the right or left.
ANGEL 3: But follow us wherever we lead you.
ERIN, PENDA & NINA: We will obey.
NARRATOR: The next morning, the three wise men mounted their camels and tried to turn the camels towards the north, but the camels refused to turn. They then tried to pull them to the south, but they still wouldn’t budge.
NARRATOR: And then Gaspar said.
GASPAR: Last night I had a dream. I was warned not to go back and tell King Herod where to find the child. He wants to hurt Jesus.
NARRATOR: Melchoir was surprised for he too had been warned by God.
MELCHOIR: I had that same dream. How will we get home?
NARRATOR: Balthazar reminded them that the same God that led them to Jesus would lead them safely home.
BALTHAZAR: We are to trust God. He will show our camels the way.
NARRATOR: And then a heavenly host of angels appeared in front of the camels. But the wise men could not see or hear them.
ANGEL 1: Remember all you have to do.
ANGEL 2: Is trust in the Lord.
ANGEL 3: And follow us.
NARRATOR: The camels followed him all the way to their own country.
NARRATOR: Back at their home, they told all the other animals about their trip. For the rest of their lives, they praised God for choosing them for such a great adventure.
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