The Mysterious Animal is a new nativity play for kids that tells the story of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of the animals in the barn.
It’s a funny play with a sincere message: the creatures who share the barn with baby Jesus are among the first to receive and understand the Good News of the gospel.
Written by the best-selling playwright of Wow! A New Nativity Play.
Download once, and receive a lifetime license for your organization!
With the download of this play you’ll receive:
✔ The full script (10 page PDF)
✔ Study guide with notes on the meaning of every animal and scripture references
✔ A lifetime license to print/copy as many scripts as you need (for your organization only)
✔ A lifetime performance license (for your organization only)
✔ 30 Day Money Back Gaurantee (if your kids and community don’t LOVE the show, just write us and we’ll give you a 100% refund)
Age: Lower-Upper Elementary/Middle School
Script: 10 Pages (PDF)
Length: 10-15 minutes
Cast Size: 12+
Number of Songs: 1 (The First Noel)
Though the Bible tells us that newborn baby Jesus slept in a manger, or feeding trough (Luke 2:7), there is no specific mention in the Gospels of animals being present at his birth. The tradition of including animals in the Nativity scene comes from St. Francis of Assisi, who created the first “living” tableau of Christ’s birth in the 13th century, including an ox and ass – that is, a male cow and a male donkey. (An ox and ass are also mentioned in the 7th century apocryphal book the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, which may have inspired Francis.)
Animals were a daily part of life in ancient Israel, and Jesus did speak of them frequently. The animals in the Nativity scene serve to remind us that Jesus was born in poverty, and preached of salvation for all – not just the righteous, but the humble, oppressed, and outcast. Their presence also serves to foreshadow Jesus’ life and teachings – for example, his ride on a donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 21), and the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25).
‘The Mysterious Animal’ is a funny play with a sincere message: The creatures who share the barn with baby Jesus are among the first to receive and understand the Good News of the gospels, along with the shepherds, the magi, and Mary and Joseph. Here, a guide to the scriptures and traditions that are referenced by the characters.
GWYNNE WATKINS is a playwright and lyricist. Her work for children includes the musicals Tea with Chachaji (Making Books Sing, NYC) and Space Pirates! (Garden Players, Forest Hills NY), the three-play series In Between Worlds (New Players, Ridgewood NJ), and Wow!, a nativity play for churches. Gwynne is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a member of the Dramatists Guild. A professional journalist, she lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and son.