The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play ctd.

Somehow I’ve forgotten to write a post yesterday, so I’m making up for it. Mak comes with a stolen sheep home, and asks his wife to open the door. At first she doesn’t want to do it, grumbling about how a woman’s work is never done because she is constantly interrupted. But when she realizes it is her own husband, she complies. They are both very happy about the sheep and make plans for eating it, but are afraid of being found out. [Can’t they butcher the sheep on the spot and hide the meat? Are they waiting for the sheep to grow, or is it too time-consuming and they couldn’t do it before the dawn? There are some aspects of medieval farm life I’m ignorant of.] Gill, being the smarter half of this couple, suggests to hide the sheep in the cradle. If the shepherds should come, she will lie in bed and pretend the sheep to be her newborn baby boy. Mak thinks it’s excellent advice, they put the sheep in the cradle and then Mak returns to the shepherds and lies down quietly. In the morning, when the shepherds wake up, Daw says he’s had a dream of Mak stealing a sheep, but others don’t believe him, seeing Mak sleeping sweetly. Mak makes a big show of being woken up: “Oh, my neck is so stiff”, and so on. Then he says he’s had a dream that his wife has been delivered of another child, about which he is not very happy, as it is one more mouth to feed. Nevertheless, he wants to go home, but before he leaves, he asks the shepherds to search him in order to prove that he hasn’t stolen anything.


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