A One Act Play by Malachi B.

Performance: September 2005
Instructor: Dave Garret
Youth Guidance Center, San Francisco


Names:   Red The Lion and Simone the Lioness, his sister.

Ages: 6 and 7 years old

Time : Spring, sunset, 5:00   p.m.

Setting: In a den, in the Kingston country of Jamaica. It smells of bittersweet musk and has bones from Zebras scattered around. There are paw prints and scratches on the walls around them from fights within the family circle. Also there is the hollow sound of an echo whenever someone moves.

At Rise:   We see Red the Lion and Simone, his sister Lioness, circling each other. We see Red’s mom being helped up after passing out from not eating. She is being helped up by Kera and Sarah, his other sisters.


Red:

Back Off Simone! I am going to take over as provider of the family. Black is gone and mom is sick. You know Black’s been there since Dad died. I told you, it’s my time to shine.

Simone:

Ay Red, you know what? I am tired of hearing all this talk. Nothing is gonna change if you take over as head of the family.

Red:

Well, mom can die and I am not going to allow my mother to die of your selfishness! I am willing to bet that you haven’t eaten in days either, Simone.

Simone:

I am none of your concern. If you take over the family, then you won’t have time for me anymore and we won’t be able to do the things we used to do, like cause mischief. Like roughing up baby cubs and stuffing them in coconut trees and watching them when they try to scram down and eating when we want to.

Red:

Simone, I promise that I will try to spend more time… (Simone cuts him off)

Simone:

That’s the same promise that dad made to us when we were cubs, but it didn’t happen. He got killed…
 (Red Cuts her off)

Red:

I don’t have time for this. (He turns to walk away)

Simone:

Red, where are you going? I am not done with you yet! Don’t you walk away from me!
She puts her paw on his shoulder, grabbing him

Red:

(Turning around, hissing)
Get off of me.
He starts to turn around again and then Simone Strikes him with all her might.

Simone:

( in an aside to audience)
He has so much fire in his eyes I have never seen such a furious stare from him in my whole life. I’m very scared. He has a look of death.
She turns back to Red
Hey, I am so sorry. I have never hit
Red hits her with his big paw across her face. She falls and slides across the ground
.

Red:

This is stupid! We are sitting here fighting when our mother is dying. I love you, Simone. I am so sorry, but I have to go out and be the provider for the family and if that means my relationship with you going down the drain then so be it.

Simone:

(still on the ground)
I don’t want the royal life anymore. Dad was the ruler of this kingdom and if you step up to be the provider of this family, the whole tribe is going to look at you as the ruler of the kingdom. And I don’t want that ’cause dad had it for so many years. I just want a normal life, Red. Like when put the baby cubs into trees, we should get punished for that, but instead we get away with it because of who King was. It makes me feel like I am getting over, like life is too easy. I want struggle like everyone else.

Red:

That doesn’t matter. What matters here is the family needs to eat. Kera is about to have a liter and mom can die from not eating. Do you want that honestly? I want to carry on our father’s name. I’m going to carry on our father’s name.   If I don’t carry on and step up as provider and protector of this family then….You think that because we get treated royally it’s too GOOD? Wait until I don’t step up , if I don’t step up, then we will get treated like outsiders. The other lions know that mom passed out. We’ve been mourning for so long. Dad’s been dead for over a year, and everyone showing sympathy that’s soon going to come to pass. They are going to think that we’ve lost our bravery, our integrity, and basically the way we’ve lived.

Simone:

( jumping up off the ground)
You can die, Red! If you die, I’ll feel lost without you. You my everything. You’re my baby brother and if you die, mom will die because she can’t take another death in the family. The family will deteriorate!

Red:

Simone, let’s at least go out and get two zebras, me and you, and bring it to mom , so she won’t pass out, so she can eat and we can talk tomorrow.

Simone:

No, we can go get food and after mom eats, we gon’ talk about this shit now. Now let’s go!

 

 SCENE II

Time: Midnight
Setting: In the high dry grass . we hear crickets   and hear the antelope eating grass quietly.
At Rise: we see Simone and Red camouflaged by the tall grass and about to get their kill, two zebras. They leap out and grab them thangs.

Red:

Alright, c’mon , let’s go back. We got our food there’s no time to just sit around. How do you wanna carry it?

Simone:  

(sarcastically )
Red, of course , any other time , we drag it back. Get to moving! Go! What are you waiting for?

Red:  

I’m tired. I’m gonna put my zebra on my back. You make your own way.

   

SCENE III

Time : 12:30 am
Setting: Back in the den, main quarters
At Rise: Red is dropping the zebra   in front of his mom. His mom is making her way up because she is so weak from not eating. Simone is just now walking in.

Simone:  

(huffing and puffing)
Oh Red, Are you happy now? I just managed to get a zebra a quarter mile home on my own with no help from the big macho lion you are!

Red:  

It’s not me that you are making happy, it’s the family. Now you said when we get back you wanna talk about this now. I’m telling you, Simone, my mind is pretty much made up, but I honestly need your input-the positive side and not the negative. Now drop the zebra for mom and let’s talk.
Step into my office.
They go outside to the rock where he frequently goes to talk to the spirit of his dad.

Simone:  

Why bring me up here? Are you trying to punish me? This is the same thing our father did, when he gave us one of those deep lectures. So you should know that it really hurts my heart to be up here. You’re not the only one who feels dad when you’re up here! Before I get too emotional, let’s begin….

Red:  

See, I been dreaming of becoming king since dad died. I don’t quite understand why you would want to just throw dad’s name away, like he never mattered to you.

Simone:  

I’m not just throwing his name away. I think his name should be put to rest.With him.

Red:  

What do you mean?

Simone:  

How everyone goes around saying “King this, King that” Now if you become the ruler of the kingdom, they’re gonna say, “King’s baby son–following in his footsteps”. Now what’s gonna happen if the same thing happens to you that happened to King? Is it gonna be the domino effect—on and on?

Red:   What do you mean? I have no cubs.
Simone:  

Are you deaf , dumb and blind? Kera is about to have a liter in the next five days or so, so that means you’ll have nieces and nephews. At least, I know for a fact that the boys in the liter will look up to you.

Red:  

My point exactly. If something happens to me, by inconvenience, then one of my nephews can take over in his generation….’cause neither you nor I will be here forever, Simone.

Simone:  

Don’t start with the smart talk, okay? I was just using that as an example, but the real reason why that is I do not wanna lose you out here in the wild. Now Black’s been gone for a number of days and no one has seen him. When stuff like that happens, it freaks me out. I mean that’s our brother and he’s grown and everything but you know he is very aggressive…so what if he brings a beef to our family and you have no idea that it’s out there, then you get killed?

Red:  

That’s nonsense! You know how I know it’s nonsense, Simone? Because Black is very sick. He is down by the water well, in the other cave, and if he comes around before he eats almost an ARMY of zebras, he can and will eat anything and kill anyone who gets in his way, meaning if Kera goes into labor, he can eat one of the cubs!

Simone:   Oh my God. This is deeper than I thought. What can I do?
Red:  

What kind of question is that? You know what you can do!
For the longest, I have been helping Black get the prey, but no one knew because it was me and Black’s secret. We didn’t want to discourage the family because you guys thought Black had it all on his own. He doesn’t want to be the provider of the family anyway. Since Black got sick he hasn’t been wanting any contact with the family because he went from 550 pounds to a mere 225…soaking wet…Haven’t you noticed it hasn’t been any prey around here?
Open those big eyes of yours and look around! Pay attention! Stop thinking about yourself! It’s a drought, Simone and a new herd of animals is coming in   the next few days. I need your help because we have to kill at least six or seven zebras or antelope just for Black to gain his full strength again.
If I didn’t need you, do you think we would be having this conversation?

Simone:  

Red, I didn’t have any idea…

Red:  

 (cutting her off)
No , Simone. Let me finish. I know that one of your biggest fears is losing me-that’s also a fear of mine-I don’t wanna die like dad, getting ran over by a   herd of antelope and I definitely do not wanna lose you , Simone.
Go see our brother and think about my proposition. Here it is. Are you ready for it?

Simone:  

All this time you have been doing so much for us and I never realized how much you’ve done. We have a lot of fun together, but family is a lot more important than play time because we can always have fun, but we only have one life to live and the family that we have left, we have to cherish it. I’m willing to let you become ruler of the kingdom on one condition, that on every hunt, I come along with you.
Red growls

Red:  

I am not a baby cub anymore seeking guidance. I know you mean well, but this is something I want to do on my own.

Simone:  

AHH   Red, you just said you needed me. Let’s compromise. Why can’t I go with you on hunts? We will still have each other and as we are hunting prey, we can have fun at the same time. Don’t you get it Red? You’re my other half!

Red:  

I never thought of it like that, but look at it like this, if you’re with me, then if I get hurt, you’ll get hurt too.

Simone:  

No, look Red. I will be there to protect you and you can protect me. So what do you say?

Red:  

A team , huh? You mean you wanna be a team with me ruling the kingdom and hunting? You gotta be crazy! There is no lioness to run a kingdom!

Simone:  

No, no no, Red. I don’t mean rule the kingdom. I told you. I really don’t want that life anymore. I’m saying me and you, a team, hunting for prey together.

Red:  

I like your wit.
If I let you come along with me, can you promise not to get in my way    of hunting and I will not get in your way. I know that you hunt like Mom with your speed and I hunt with patience, like Dad. Can we make that deal, Simone?

Simone:  

AHA! Yeah Red!
She jumps on him
So you do agree?!!

Red:  

Do you think I forgot about what I told you earlier? Go see Black and spend some time with him and then you can get your answer.

Simone:  

Red, it’s well past midnight. I promise at the crack of dawn, I will go see Black.

Red:  

I promise we will be able to work as a team. Now come on, let’s go back in the den.
They walk off together. In the darkness, their mom is looking at them and smiling.

     
The End
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