FAMILY DILEMMA



by Peter M.

January 2017

 

Characters

Leafy the Redwood. 1,000 years old. Billy’s dad.

Billy the Bald Eagle. 18 years old. Leafy’s son.

 

Setting

High on the Rocky Mountains. Leafy the Redwood overlooks all the other trees.

 

Time

Sunny spring morning, 6 AM

 

At Rise

Leafy is drinking his morning coffee through his roots, reading an article in the morning paper about axe brutality.

 

 

LEAFY

(mumbles to himself) There they go, chopping another tree down.

 

(Billy comes flying down)

 

BILLY

Hey pop you’re up early.

 

 

LEAFY

(looks at Billy suspiciously) What are you doing up so early?

 

(Billy bumps into Leafy

and spills some of his coffee)

 

LEAFY

Dammit, Billy watch them big wings of yours!

 

BILLY

Sorry pop, you should have seen me today I flew like a hundred miles per hour.

 

LEAFY

Who got you out of bed this early.

 

BILLY

I met this girl, she likes to watch the sunrise.

 

LEAFY

You’re telling me you got up this early to watch the sunrise, she must be pretty.

 

BILLY

She is beautiful pop, she travels all over the world. She has these wings, they’re so long and muscular. You should see her fly, she has a perfect melody with her wings, and she is thick in all the right places.

 

 

LEAFY

Sounds like someone is sprung of this new eagle, be careful don’t let her get you into trouble.

 

BILLY

You know she goes all over the world, she is going to Mexico soon.

 

LEAFY

What does her family do, do they travel with her?

 

BILLY

They let her travel alone, they honestly encourage her to see the world.

 

LEAFY

(disapprovingly looks at Billy) I don’t agree with that, you should always stay close to home.

 

BILLY

Don’t you want to see the world, try new food, breathe new air?

 

LEAFY

Billy I’m a tree, my roots don’t move. I’m happy right here.

 

BILLY

But don’t you get bored, just doing the same thing.

 

 

 

LEAFY

It’s not about being bored, it’s about responsibility and taking care of your family.

 

BILLY

But pop, you have to live life. It’s about switching up the routine.

 

LEAFY

I am living life, Billy, I enjoy being a tree, this is my life. Me, you, Piper, and Roger.

 

BILLY

I want to travel, I want to do something new.

 

LEAFY

This is that new eagle hu? She is giving you the ideas.

 

BILLY

No, this is my choice. What have I done besides flying in circles my whole life.

 

LEAFY

You have responsibilities, people depend on you.

 

BILLY

But what about me, when can I do what I want to do.

 

 

 

LEAFY

(starts getting irritated) Look at what you’re saying, it’s all I want this, I want to do that, what about us your family.

 

BILLY

Why don’t you respect any of the things I want to do?! Every day I’m here providing for Roger and Piper, I am an eagle not a tree, I need to fly.

 

LEAFY

Because you don’t know what you want to do, you’re only 18 years old. I’m more than 50 times your age.

 

BILLY

You don’t know what it’s like, you don’t have wings and I don’t have roots. I’m not meant to stay at one place.

 

LEAFY

(rips one of his branches off) Don’t make me ruin one of your wings, then you won’t be going anywhere.

 

BILLY

You can’t ruin one of my wings if you tried!!

 

(Leafy takes a couple deep breaths

and wipes the sap off of his bark.

Billy fans himself with his wings.)

 

 

BILLY

Dad you guys are fine. Piper and Roger know how to take care of themselves.

 

LEAFY

What if something happens with me, who will take care of them.

 

BILLY

Dad, what’s going to happen with you. You’re on a peak of a mountain, there is a million trees below us.

 

LEAFY

That’s what my dad thought and he got chopped down.

 

BILLY

At least he died doing something that made him happy.

 

LEAFY

Everyone told him he shouldn’t grow that fast, he was the biggest tree that ever was. I don’t want you to attract the wrong type of attention. I was too young to remember much of my father, but he always told me to follow my dreams. How should I follow my dreams, my father followed his dreams and died for it.

 

BILLY

(looks at Leafy in the eyes) She is leaving for Mexico in 40 minutes. And she wants me to come.

 

(Leafy stands up tall and cracks his branches)

 

LEAFY

(looks at Billy with disbelief) Why are you doing this? Haven’t you been listening to what I have to say.

 

BILLY

Haven’t you had dreams, didn’t you want to do something.

 

LEAFY

I want to raise a responsible family this is my dream.

 

BILLY

And how else to become responsible if you don’t travel the world and fend for yourself.

 

LEAFY

It’s not about fending for yourself, it’s about fending for your family.

 

BILLY

What about Piper and Roger, when will they learn to fend for themselves. They need to be able to leave the tree and not be scared of doing it.

 

LEAFY

The point is we have to stay together, you don’t know how bad it was growing up by myself.

 

BILLY

I’m not leaving permanently, what if I don’t go, what benefit will that have for me.

 

LEAFY

The benefit that will happen is security for the family. My dad got chopped down for attracting too much attention, how will I know that you won’t get hurt when you’re away?

 

BILLY

I know you’re worried about the same thing happening, but I’m going to be fine. I need your permission. I’m going either way. I don’t want to leave without letting you know.

 

LEAFY

How do I know you will come back?

 

BILLY

I don’t have another home, I will always come back. I only have one branch where I sleep at.

 

LEAFY

Then why do you want to leave so bad. If you leave I will miss my eagle.

 

BILLY

Dad you’re a redwood why are you being so soft.

 

LEAFY

I’m not being soft, I’m speaking from my heart.

 

BILLY

And I’m speaking from my heart too. You don’t know how good it feels when I’m in the sky, especially flying over parts that I haven’t flown over before.

 

(Billy puts his wing on Leafy’s branch)

 

BILLY

If you love me dad, you’ll let me go.

 

LEAFY

Are you sure this is something you really want to do.

 

BILLY

Yes, my whole life I have been dying to see the world.

 

(Billy sees the other eagle on the horizon)

 

LEAFY

I can’t stop you from leaving son, I hope you realize what family is, and how important it is to stay together.


BILLY

I have to go now dad, if I don’t go now I won’t have another opportunity.

 

(Leafy sees the other eagle now)

 

 

LEAFY

So I guess it is really happening then. You promise you will come back?

 

BILLY

Yes dad, I will always consider this my home.

 

LEAFY

Then go son, just make sure you follow your heart.

 

BILLY

Thanks pop!

 

(Billy has a big smile on his face,

as he flies off the branch)

 

BILLY

I love you dad.

 

LEAFY

I love you too son.

 

(Billy flies off into the horizon)

 

LEAFY

(to himself) I guess he is really growing up.

 

 

 

THE END

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