This is a fun, active version of Jesus' statement "if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into." Enjoy the characters and the physical actions. It is taken from Dave's book "Telling Tales", which you can get hold of from online bookshops and his own website here.

Extract from the parable:

Teach the following responses to the audience/congregation before you being the story. Encourage them to join in with the responses when they hear the key words (in bold). You could also invite a few people up to the front to help lead the responses as you tell the story. You could rehearse these beforehand, or just invite folks up as you present the story.

Thief/thieves - Scowl and look menacing
Head - Pull mask on
Tiptoed - Mime tiptoeing
Catapult - Hold a catapult at full stretch
Karate - Take up a karate stance

Once there were three people living in three houses full of wonderful things. And there were three thieves who were planning to break into these three houses and steal all the wonderful things. The first thief waited until eight o'clock, pulled a balaclava over his head and tiptoed down the garden path of house number one. He found an open window and slipped it up. Then he crept inside and got a shock, because the owner, a sweet old lady called Mrs A Lert, was sitting inside with a catapult, two Rottweilers and a stick of dynamite, and the moment he broke in she called the police and held him at catapult point until they arrived.

The second thief waited until nine o'clock, then he pulled a gorilla mask on his head, tiptoed up the garden path to house number two. He slipped open the kitchen window, climbed inside and also got a shock. The owner, a gentle ex-nun called Miss V. Sharp, had been taking karate lessons. As soon as the thief landed in her kitchen sink, she put him in an arm lock, flung him over her shoulder, swung him round by the neck, tied his feet around his elbows and knocked him out with a karate chop. When he woke up he was in a police cell with back ache, head ache, leg ache and bottom ache...

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