Bag of Nails

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MRS. MARIANO –  (Christian’s Mother)

MR. MARIANO – (Christian’s Father)

JEAN (Christian’s Friend)






(Christian and Mrs. Mariano are in the living room.  He is doing his homework.  The door bell rings)


MRS. MARIANO: Christian, open the door.




MRS. MARIANO: Just open the door.


(Christian stands and opens the door. Jean enters)


JEAN: Good afternoon, Mrs. Mariano.


MRS. MARIANO: Hello, Jean.  How are you?.


JEAN: I’m fine thank you.  Mrs. Mariano, can Christian come to the park to play baseball?.


MRS. MARIANO: I’m sorry, Jean, but he hasn’t finished his homework.


CHRISTIAN: Mom, let me go.  I’ll finish it when I came back.  I promise!.


MRS. MARIANO: No.  This time you will do as I say.


(Christian takes a lamp and breaks it)


CHRISTIAN: Nooooo!.   I want to go to the park!.  I told you, I’ll finish my homework when I come back!.


MRS. MARIANO: Go to your room immediately!.


(Christian leaves)


MRS. MARIANO: I’m sorry Jean.  But Christian’s behaviour hasn’t been good lately.


JEAN: Don’t worry, Mrs. Mariano, I know.  The other day he broke my pencil and pen.  He just gets mad so easily.


MRS. MARIANO: I know, and I’m sorry to hear that.  Good-bye Jean, and say hi to your mother.


JEAN: I will.  Good-bye.


(Jean leaves.  Mr. Mariano enter.  He sees the broken lamp)


MR. MARIANO: And now what happened?.


MRS. MARIANO: He broke the lamp, yesterday he broke a dish, and on Saturday he broke the mirror.  I just don’t know what to do!.  I mean, he’s a nice boy, but he’s so impulsive. We have tried everything.  He can’t play with his video games, and he can’t watch television.  What else can we do?.


MR. MARIANO: Mmmm, I’ll teach him a lesson.


(Christian enters)


CHRISTIAN: Mom, I’m sorry.  I won’t do it again.


MRS. MARIANO: How many times do I have to listen to your apologies?.


MR. MARIANO: Christian, we have work to do. Come with me.


CHRISTIAN: Where are we going?.


MR. MARIANO: To the garage.


(Christian, Mr. and Mrs. Mariano leave)




(Mr. Mariano and Christian are in the garage.  Mr. Mariano holds a hammer, and a bag of nails in his hand)


MR. MARIANO: Now listen to me Christian. Your mother and I have seen that you lose your temper very easily. So, from now on, every time that you lose control of yourself, you’re going to hammer a nail into the wooden fence.


CHRISTIAN: But, dad.


MR. MARIANO: No excuses.


CHRISTIAN: No, I don’t want to do it!. (He takes a bottle and drops it to the floor.  The bottle breaks)  I will not do it! No, no, no!.


MR. MARIANO: And you’re starting right now. Come on, let’s go.



(Christian and Mr. Mariano go to the wooden fence. Mr. Mariano gives Christian the hammer and the bag of nails.  Christian kneels down and starts hammering the nails)


MR. MARIANO: Oh, I can see that you are really angry. How many nails have you driven?.


CHRISTIAN: Thirty-seven!.


MR. MARIANO: Do you feel better now?.


CHRISTIAN: Yes, dad.  I’m sorry.


MR. MARIANO: Remember, every time that you feel that you’re loosing control, come to the fence and hammer a nail, until you calm down and feel better. Now, let’s go inside. It’s time for dinner.


(They leave)




(Mrs. Mariano and Christian are in the living room. Christian is doing his homework.  Mr. Mariano enters the room)


MRS. MARIANO: Oh, you’re home early.


MR. MARIANO: Yes, there wasn’t too much to do at the office, so I decided to come home. (to his son) Christian. How many nails did you hammer yesterday?.


CHRISTIAN: Only ten dad.


MR.MARIANO: That’s an improvement. What about today?.


CHRISTIAN: Only two.


MR.MARIANO: I can see that you are controlling your temper.


CHRISTIAN: It’s easier to control my temper, than to hammer those nails into the fence, dad.  I really feel proud of myself.


MR. MARIANO: Well done, son. Now, you have another assignment.


CHRISTIAN: What is it?.


MR. MARIANO: Starting tomorrow, you will have to pull out one nail for each day that you can hold your temper.


CHRISTIAN: No problem, dad, I’ll do it. And you will too, be proud of me.


MR. MARIANO: Good, let’s go to the kitchen, I’m really hungry.


(They leave)




(Christian and Mr. Mariano stand in front of the fence)


CHRISTIAN: I did what you told me, dad.  First I hammered the nails when I was angry,  then I took off one nail for each day I could control my temper.    It took time, but I did it.


MR. MARIANO: I see that you have done very well son, but look at the holes in the fence.


CHRISTIAN: I’ll fix it.


MR. MARIANO: The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you’re sorry, the wounds will still be there.


CHRISTIAN: I understand.  You have taught me a great lesson.  Thank you, dad.


(They hug)


MARIANO: I love you, and I’m proud of you!.




Author:  Unknown Folktale


Adapted by: K I D S I N C O


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