WHY SO BEWILDERED?

A play by

SHARI WILSON

CHARACTERS: BEWILDERED the elephant; female, 20 years old

                     MS. NOSY the elephant; female, 57 years old

 

SETTING: The jungle of an unknown island. There’s a river in the middle of the island that splits it in half. Half of the island is beautiful with grass that tastes like food from the Sahara Desert. And leaf juice everywhere you turn. The other half is plain. The sand is more mud than sand. The animals sink in when they walk in it. All the smoke from the bon-fire travels over to their side and pollutes the air.

 

TIME: 10:00am with the sun rising behind grey heavy clouds that look like they are ready to “FALL”.

 

AT RISE: Ms. Nosy is prancing around with her tusk in the air like a mouse is up her trunk. Bewildered approaches.

Bewildered

(Whispering and nervous) He…he…hey mom…Hey mom…oh my elephant…I haven’t been home in days and you can’t even take the time out and talk to me!

Ms. Nosy

Exactly! You haven’t been home in days. Why should I talk to you?

 

Bewildered

Well, what if it was a life or death situation? You still couldn’t talk to me!

 

Ms. Nosy

I don’t know…maybe. (Pauses. Her emotions switch up and she’s concerned for a quick second) Well, are you ok?

 

Bewildered

Yeah, I’m fi—

Ms. Nosy

Well then…there’s no reason to be concerned then. Right? Please leave. I mean isn’t that ugly little spider Spazz waiting for you somewhere? He’s probably making webs all around here watching you. (Pauses) Golly elephant, he doesn’t ever give you any space.

 

Bewildered

Well I love him. But that’s not why I’m here.

 

Ms. Nosy

So then tell me why! And it better not have anything to do with your tusks.

 

Bewildered

Well…

 

Ms. Nosy

Well what Bewildered? What is it? You are just like your father Dino, only difference is you took my looks.

 

Bewildered

You always say that! Why can’t you just LISTEN?

 

Ms. Nosy

(Pauses) Look around Bewildered, I am listening.

 

Bewildered

Oh! (Pause) Well…I’ve been thinking…

 

Ms. Nosy

Uh huh…

 

Bewildered

…and I am getting older…

 

Ms. Nosy

Uh huh…

 

Bewildered

…and…

 

Ms. Nosy

Can you stop tapping your hooves before you knock our tree house down? Your grandma would be devastated if this house fell down. We’ve lived here for generations!

 

 

 

 

Bewildered

Blah, blah-blah, blah-blah! Generation, generation, generation – that’s all you ever talk about. Why can’t I just be my own person and not do what you want me to do.

 

Ms. Nosy

Because I know best, that’s why!

 

Bewildered

Well, I came to tell you…(pauses, turns her head and whispers) I’m leaving. And I need my tusks. I only have twenty-five minutes now, since you want to beat around the bush!

 

A loud roar of thunder is heard.

 

Ms. Nosy

(Concerned) I didn’t hear what you said after “I came to tell you.”

 

 

 

Bewildered

I SAID I AM LEAVING out of this elephant’s nest. And I only have twenty-five minutes now, since you want to beat around the bush. DID YOU HEAR ME NOW?

 

Ms. Nosy

Well excuse me! And for your information, you were “beating around the bush.” Well, with that attitude you will not be going anywhere! Maybe you should try that again!

 

Bewildered

(Rolls her eyes) Okay…well, me and Spazz have been talking about moving to the other side with his family. He says he’s not comfortable leaving me on this side.

 

Ms. Nosy

What do you want to go to the other side for? What’s over there for you?

 

 

 

Bewildered

Because! The grass here tastes like zoo food all mushy and stuff. The sand feels like it’s swallowing me when I try to take a peaceful walk. I can’t do anything on this side much more. I can’t even have my own tusks. Mother how could you do something like that to your own daughter?

 

Rain falls heavily on the roof.

 

Ms. Nosy

Okay but what’s so good on the other side? Huh? What makes it so great?

 

Bewildered

Because the grass there tastes like the warmth of the Sahara Desert. Um…that leaf juice! If only I could get a hold of some leaf juice. Since I’ve drank all of it from our tree.

 

Ms. Nosy

That’s another thing you get from your father – always wanting leaf juice.

 

 

Bewildered

Enough about me being like Dad. Do I look like a dinosaur to you? I probably do without my tusks.

 

Ms. Nosy

(Laughs.)

 

Bewildered

And plus that’s where me and Spazz plan to start a new life!

 

Thunder is heard and a very loud gust of wind shakes their tree house.

 

Ms. Nosy

You and who?

 

Bewildered

Me and Spazz…but mom, that’s not the issue right now. Can I please just get my tusks back? You know I need them to cross and protect myself. You are always talking about protecting and keeping your family safe but you don’t want to give me my tusks back. I mean—

 

Ms. Nosy

You must not know how much harm arachnids did to my friend and our ancestors. I don’t know why I haven’t explained to you earlier in your life ti—

Bewildered

You’re so judgmental. I’m in love with Spazz and he loves me more than you will – ever.

 

Ms. Nosy

(Broken hearted she gasps) How could you say something like that Bewildered. I feel that I’ve failed raising you. I had this dream of what I thought you would become and you sit in my face and tell me “SPAZZ” loves you more than me. (Pauses, stops tears from falling) Then you turn your back on your family and try to run off with an enemy.

 

Bewildered

ENEMY?!?! No never. So basically you’re telling me that I’m betraying you and grandma?

 

Ms. Nosy

Well, yes!

 

Bewildered

That’s funny because you went behind MY back and hid the only thing that made me feel valued. While you get to be satisfied with the way you look. Prancing around this mush-hole with your tusk high in the air. At least you knew what was going on in my love life. But you had me searching every tree high and low. Do you want me to end up like you and dad?

 

Ms. Nosy

Stop talking to me like I’m you playmate. To me you’re still my baby no matter what you decide to do but I’m not going to let you walk into something I know will put your life in danger.

 

Bewildered

I know, I know mom, but ever since I’ve gotten with Spazz, it feels like you’ve been distant towards me.

 

 

Ms. Nosy

Well maybe it’s the other way around because ever since you’ve been with him you haven’t been home. Maybe you should stick around for a little while longer and see how things play out. I mean all your family is here.

 

Bewildered

No, no, no, no, no mom, I have to leave today. The river is getting deeper, wider and has risen past the warning mark. Don’t you see these heavy clouds? Its getting ready to come down harder any minute, I have to go! (pauses) Well…why don’t you just come with me?

[ASIDE] Oh my elephant, did I just say that? I forgot Spazz told me that I had to come by myself with my tusks or he was going to leave me.

 

Ms. Nosy

What are you thinking Bewildered? You’re flapping your ears like you are worried.

 

Bewildered

Oh it’s nothing.

 

 

Ms. Nosy

Nothing huh? Then why are you still flapping your ears? I know you way better than you think.

 

Bewildered looks down and twirls her trunk around her hooves.

 

Bewildered

Well…Spazz told me if I didn’t come by myself I wouldn’t be coming at all. He also told me to bring my tusks or else…

 

Ms. Nosy

(Holds her hooves up) Gurl please. I know exactly what you talking about. Trust me, I’ve been through everything you are going to put yourself through.

 

Bewildered

What do you mean?

 

 

Ms. Nosy

Long long ago, before there were dinosaurs, I was in love with an arachnid. (Bewildered gasps.) He explained to me how we should move away to the other side with his family. He promised to love me but he tore my heart into pieces. The only reason he wanted me around was for my tusks. I woke up one night fighting for my life. By the mercy of God, I got away and made it back home. My mother accepted me back with an open heart. That’s where I got this chip on my tusks. You think I “prance” around but I don’t. My tusks are a constant reminder of the pain I went through.

 

Bewildered

Oh my elephant, mom, why didn’t you tell me sooner?

 

Ms. Nosy

How could I let my daughter walk right into her own death? You don’t understand that “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Just because we are not rich and wealthy doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. Once you leave, you’ll never be able to come back. Your whole family is on this side. We’re the ones that love you unconditionally, that love is only temporary.

 

Bewildered rubs her mom’s tusk.

Bewildered

Oh mom, I’ve never meant to hurt you and make you feel like you failed in raising me. From now on I promise I’m going to be the best daughter I could possibly be. There’s no other place on this island for me. I belong right her with you and grandma. (They hug) Oh and I promise not to drink so much leaf juice.

 

Ms. Nosy

Uh huh!

 

The clouds part and the sun beams down on them.

 

 

 

THE END

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