A Play by Matthew H.

CHARACTERS:

THUMP the White Tiger, Male, 15 in animal years old STAR the Koala, THUMP’s Mother, Female, 38 years old

SETTING:

Deep down in the swampy jungle in South America.  The sound of other tigers roaring in the distance and the smell of blood from their prey.

TIME:

2:00pm on a summer day

AT RISE:

STAR is outside watching the summer sky, warming up her skin.  THUMP is roaming outside in the tall, pikey, green grass.


THUMP
Hey Mom, can I talk to you for a second?

STAR
Yes son, just hold on – I got to get Stink in the house.  What is it you want to talk about?

THUMP
I think you need to sit down for this talk we’re about to have.

STAR
Ohhh, what did you get yourself into now?  I hope you’re not out there in the jungle gettin’ into trouble.  I don’t need to hear about that.

THUMP
No, it’s not that Mom.  It’s…(sigh)…it’s just something I need to get off my chest before it gets too late.

STAR
What’s wrong, son?  What you need to talk about?  Tell me, you can tell me anything.  What’s on your mind?

THUMP
This is serious.  I know you want me to stay here in the den with you and Stink, but Nelly, my Tigress, is pregnant with my cubs and she has one week left to have my cubs.

STAR
What’s wrong with that?  You know I love her.  She’s my daughter-in-law and she is making me a grandmother.  I have no problem with that.  I am gon’ have me some grandcubs running around here.  I am happy for you.

THUMP
I know you is, Mom…but that’s just it.  Me and Nelly is movin’ away and getting’ our own place with more room for the six cubs we’re expecting.

STAR
What, I…I thought you was gon’ stay home with me and Stink.  Why you want to leave us, you know me and Stink need you.

THUMP
I know but I think it’s time for me to be my own tiger and start my own family.  No offense Mom, but I don’t want to live my entire life in this den with you and Stink.  I want to live my own life and explore the jungle with my cubs.  I am still gon’ come by and visit all the time and I’m gon’ bring the cubs with me.

STAR
I don’t care if you come back and visit, I just don’t want you to leave yet.  You say you gon’ come and visit but I don’t believe you.  Your father said the same thing when he left but he never came back.  And what about Stink, what he going to do without you, you know he need you right now. Really, after his father passed away he need a male role model in his life.  Because if he don’t have you here for him, I think he going to end up down that road, and I don’t want him like that.  It’s not like I’m the only one who need you, he need you, too.  What am I going to say to him when he ask, “Mommy, where my brother at, huh?”  He look up to you, too.  Don’t do this to him son, don’t.  He’s going to be hurt if he find out you left him, too. Don’t do it to him.

THUMP
I know he need me, I need him, too.  He’s my little brother – I love him.  I know it’s going to be hard on him, but it’s gon’ be more hard on me.  I am feeling sad just thinkin’ about it, but you act like I am not gon’ come back and visit y’all like three times a week.  I love him like he’s my cub.  I just got to live my life – he can come with me if you want him to.

STAR
No, he’s not going nowhere with you.  My baby staying here with me.

THUMP
What you saying it like that for, like he’s not gon’ be safe with me.  Now you really making me feel bad.

STAR
Well I hope you do ‘cause I am going to feel the same way if I let you leave.

THUMP
What you mean, “if you let me leave”?  I am going to leave anyway to take care of my own family on the way to start my own pride, start my own generation of cubs.

STAR
What you mean you’re leaving anyway?  You’re not going anywhere until I say so.  You’re my baby, my child, you’re going to leave when I let you.

THUMP
Why you steady treating me like a lil cub all the time?  I am 15 years old, I am not the same lil cub that used to do everything you tell me to do.  If you forgot, I’m a grrrrrrrrrown tiger now, I am going to do what I want to do and nobody going to stop me.

STAR
If you want to leave so bad with your precious tigress then leave and never come back.  You’re choosing her over us, then go and never ever come back.  I am done with you.

THUMP
What you mean you done with me?  What are you saying, you don’t care about me no more?  You don’t love me?  How can you say that, I am your flesh and blood, your baby!  I understand if you don’t appreciate what I am doing, but I got to start my own family.  You already started yours and you did a good job.  That’s what I want to do, the same thing and make you proud of me.  And when you talk to other koalas, you can say you’re proud of your son.  Please don’t do this Mom, I need you.

STAR
OK.  OK.  I understand what you’re sayin’.  You want to be a better man than your father was.  But I just don’t want you to go out there and get yourself hurt.  I think I can keep you safe – but like you said, you’re a grrrrrrrrrown tiger now.  I understand you gon’ live your life son, just be safe out there.  And don’t forget to bring my grandcubs by here. And…don’t forget I love you and I am already proud of you.

THUMP
Thank you, Mom.  And I love you, too.  And I am not going to forget to bring the cubs by.  And I love you more.

STAR
I love you more than all the eucalyptus trees.

THUMP
No, I love you more than zebra meat.

THE END

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