A Play by Daniel L.

Performance: October, 2004
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo


Characters: Stretchy, the Giraffe, age 17
Feather, the Ostrich, age 20
Time: Winter seasonPlace: Dead trees that have few leaves. Some bushes, and lots of land. You can hear crickets and frogs at night and in the day you hear an eagle speak. You feel the wind and all the rocks on the floor mixed with dirt and leaves. You feel like there’s nothing left for you. You taste dry, humid air. You taste bitterness to a point where you need water. The smell of leaves and dirt and the stench of other animals, including yourself.
At Rise: Stretchy, the giraffe is eating at a dead tree, then stops. He decides he needs to look for better food. He then hears Feather, the ostrich and hides and watches him. Then he follows. Stretchy follows Feather and stops him in his tracks.



Stretchy:

Hey, Feather, where are you going?

Feather:

Hey Stretchy, I can’t talk right now. I really have to get back to my sister.

Stretchy: I know, but I really need to talk to you.
Feather:

Catch me later, Stretchy. I have to go.

Stretchy:

But, it’s important, Feather.

Feather: Make it quick.
Stretchy: You know it’s that time of season where it’s hard to find food and these dead trees don’t seem to quite fill me up.
Feather:

So, what are you trying to say, Stretchy?

Stretchy: I’m desperate for, you know, what you always seem to find.
Feather: And that is?
Stretchy:

Food, Feather. I need food. Is there any way you could just give me some food? I’m starving.

Feather: Stretchy, you know I want to help you but I can’t. It’s the season Stretchy, I can’t.
Stretchy: What do you mean you can’t? Come on, why, Feather, why!
Feather: Because I only have enough for my sister and I. I just don’t have enough to feed another.
Stretchy:

But, I thought we were best friends.

Feather: Stretchy, we are, but you have to understand where I’m coming from. It’s really hard for me. Don’t put this pressure on me.
Stretchy: But Feather, you always promised me that we are friends till the end. Are you going to break that promise?
Feather:

No, I will not break the promise and this is not the end.

Stretchy:

It will be if you don’t give me any food. A raging storm is coming and I’m already hopeless. I’m afraid the storm will be the end.

Feather:

We live in an environment where we strive for survival. I’m sorry.

Stretchy:

That’s all you have to say to me.

Feather: My sister means the world to me and she’s my first priority. I have to take care of her and make sure she survives.
Stretchy: I’m starting to eat dirt, Feather. I eat tree bark, the branches, anything chewable. I need help
Feather: And I need help too. You think taking care of my sister is easy? You try and raise yourself and a loved one at the same time.
Stretchy: I would, but I’m afraid I won’t have that opportunity if I don’t eat.
Feather: But, maybe things were meant to be this way, Stretchy
Stretchy: How about I do something for you. Let me get you worms or something.
 
Feather: No, Stretchy. I can do that on my own.
Stretchy: Come on Feather. I’m going to leave for good.
Feather: Be my guest Stretchy. Family comes first. Don’t you realize that?
Stretchy: Then what happened to us being close like family.
(Stretchy puts his head down)
This is my problem. The food I have access to now only keeps me full for a certain amount of minutes. It’s like I have a knot in my stomach. I get my energy from my will to survive. That’s the only thing that keeps me going. I really need to find more food. This will keep me alive for a certain period of time. I need more resources. I’m tempted to eat things I don’t normally eat, just to put food into my stomach. The amount of water now only moistens my throat for a couple hours but does not quench my thirst. I want to stay alive because I want to start my own family. If I have a family, then I’ll have something to live for. I want to be loved and love somebody. I never had the chance to know my family and that is why it means so much to me. Having a family will not only give me something to love and let me know I did my job, it will keep my kind going.
And I want to be there for my kids because my parents had disappeared.
(Stretchy to Feather)
Look, I know you have a big responsibility, but don’t you think I want a family, or want something to take care of?
Feather: You may and you may not, but you can barely take care of yourself.
(Feather turns way)
This is my problem. I don’t know what happened to my family. One day I wake up, and here I am with my sister crying and I’m left with a big responsibility. We were both very young. I was two and my sister was just born. All that came to mind was that this is all I have left. If I lose my sister, I have nothing else to live for. Since that moment, my goal everyday is to protect my sister, make sure she lives, and feed the both of us. My sister is more of a daughter. The season is bad right now and resources are low. But being that I’ve been on many journeys to find food, I know more about where I can get things at certain times and places. But nothing is guaranteed. And now that Stretchy is begging me for food, I feel it’s too much for me. And I have to decide between my sister and Stretchy. This is very difficult for me to decide. These are two people who really mean a lot to me. I’m afraid if I pick one over the other, then I lose one.
(Feather to Stretchy)
Stretchy, I’m sorry but I really have to get back to my sister. She’s all alone and it’s getting dark.
Stretchy: Feather, I don’t want to hurt you, but please.
Feather: Wait, shhh. What’s that noise? (A lion roars) You hear that Stretchy, it’s a lion. Help me, help me please. I can tell it’s about a mile away. I have to get back.
Stretchy: Oh, so now you need my help all of a sudden. What happened to showing no remorse?
Feather: Stretchy, the lions are my biggest fear. I panic and I go crazy. I have to protect my sister from the lion. Help me!
Stretchy: Shhh! Calm down Feather. Screaming will only bring the lion this way. Quiet!
(Feather moves around, makes noises.)
Quiet Feather, let’s move, let’s go to your sister.
Feather: Uh, wow. Are you sure Stretchy? After all that?
Stretchy: Come on. If I’m going to die, I will die happy, knowing I did something good.
Feather: OK, let’s go.
(On the way, suddenly Stretchy falls and there’s a loud thump.)
Feather: Stretchy! You okay? Wake up, man. I’m sorry. Wake up please.
Stretchy: I’m okay, Feather. Leave me. Go to your sister.
Feather: No! Eat this. Eat this, Stretchy. Eat my food.
Stretchy: I always knew you had tasty food.
(Five minutes pass. Stretchy begins to get back up.)
Why did you do it, Feather? You still have to get to your sister.
Feather: I just couldn’t watch you die. I’m not like that. I gave you my food, and not my sister’s. Listen Stretchy, I fed you now, you will live today, but I will show you where and how to look for food, so you can live everyday.
Stretchy: And that’s all I was asking for.
Feather: I thought I could say no and be on my way. I didn’t believe you at first, but when you have someone you care for on the floor, actually dying, then you have no choice but to do the right thing.
Stretchy: And that is why I came to you for help, because I knew you would. I could count on you. But it’s a favor for a favor. The lions won’t ever come near to you or your sister.
Feather: Thank you, Stretchy. I appreciate it.
(And the two walk off to Feather’s sister and the three chat until the scattered off to sleep.)
     
    The End.
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