A Play by Madeline R.

Performance: May, 2002
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Time: Afternoon
Place: Marisella’s tree, an oak tree
At Rise: It is raining, cloudy, dark.  Marisella is standing, looking around, thinking about how she’s going to help the rainforest.


Dear Panthers,
I have a problem! My best friend, Viper, the Snake, as you know, is eating everything. It is causing all the animals and plants to die. It makes me feel nervous. I don’t want everything to die because I want this forest to be the most beautiful, colored, animal and plant-filled rainforest in the Land.
(All of a sudden, Viper is sneaking around, slithering at the bottom of the tree, nibbling at the bottom of Marisella.)
Oh…VIPER!  What are you doing?
(Viper gasps)


(in disguised voice) Uhh. I’m not Viper.

Marisella: Oh, Viper.  Don’t lie to me.  I’ve known you long enough to know who you are, and I  know you are Viper.  Admit it.

You caught me.


What do you mean, I caught you?  I knew it was you the whole time.

Viper:   Oh, you did?  Wow.
Marisella:   Why would you eat me?  You eat everything, and now you want to eat me, too.  Why would you eat your best friend?

I’d never tried moss before and I wanted to know what it tasted like and you’re the only moss around here.

Marisella:   Well just because you haven’t tried moss before doesn’t mean you have to eat me.  You could kill me.  Didn’t you know that?
Viper:   Yeah, I knew I could kill you.
(pause, 10 seconds)

OK, OK, I’ll tell you why I’m eating you.  I don’t want you to grow up and be guardian of the forest because I think that you’re going to forget about me with all the new friends you would have and you’re my only true friend.  And you’d be too busy helping everyone else and you won’t have any time to hang out with me anymore.  I don’t want that to happen.
Marisella:   (gasps)
Gosh, Viper.  Why would you try and ruin my dream?  You know that I want to accomplish my dream.  I’ve thought about this dream ever since we were little, and you said you’d help me, and now you are breaking your promise.  And now you’re trying to kill me.  WHY?
Viper:   I feel horrible for doing this but I feel that it’s necessary because I don’t want to lose you, my only friend.  Oh, and I forgot to tell you, when I tried eating the bottom of your moss, the taste made me energized, it made me feel better-it was a medicine for me.  And now that I’ve stopped eating you, I feel sad again.
Marisella:   Well, gosh, Viper, there’s lots of other ways to have medicine and feel good about eating things and making it feel better-eating your best friend isn’t one of them.   Those buttercup flowers that have honey in them is a good medicine also.  It actually makes you feel soothed and relaxed when you drink the honey from the buttercup.  And the taffy, you save for later-when you start to feel sad, it makes you feel better again.
Viper:   But I can’t just switch medicines, like it’s no big deal, because it helps me mentally and physically, and in my heart I feel your medicine is the best for me.  The other ones just don’t seem to get my attention like yours did.  I’m sorry, Marisella, but I can’t go on without eating your moss.  Please, Marisella, will you die for me, your best friend, so I can accomplish my dream?

OH!  How can you say something like that?  It’s so not like you.  You don’t seem to care about my life at all, but yours.

Viper:   Well!  I didn’t tell you everything.  You are the only thing I can eat without throwing up and I don’t feel comfortable eating anything else but you and my berries.
Marisella:   But you throw up everything.  How can I be the only one you don’t throw up?

Because you are my greatest friend and I am not friends with anything else but you.


But if you eat me and then there’s nothing left of me then you will have to go on without me AND eat something else.


Well, since you will be gone, I will then move on, too.  To another land so I can eat other mosses.  We will still be together and I will always love you as a best friend.


(thinking in her head)
Gosh.  This is a big decision.  What am I going to do?  I love Viper and the whole forest.  They are my life.  But are they important enough to sacrifice my own life?  Maybe this is a sign.  That it’s time for me to go.  Wow, I’m going to miss Viper, the birds, the owls, my family, brothers, sisters, Mom, Dad.  But I’m dying for them, so in a way, I’m happy, because I’m saving my family’s life, and Viper and I will be getting what we always wanted.  Me, the forest to live forever, and Viper getting healthy again.
Wow, Viper…I’m going to miss you soooo much.

Viper:   What do you mean?
Marisella:   I mean that I’m willing to sacrifice my life for you and my family and the rest of the forest.  It’s not going to be easy for me to die, but I will always be with you.
Viper:   Oh my gosh, Marisella, thank you so much.  I, I don’t know what to say!  I’m going to miss you, too, but I’m never going to forgive myself for taking your life away.
Marisella:   Well, I guess this is it.  I love you, Viper.
Viper:   I love you, too, Marisella.
(Viper and Marisella are both crying and Viper is eating Marisella)
The next morning, Viper goes to visit Marisella’s old home.When he gets there, he notices tht something else has taken Marisella’s place. It’s a heart carved in the tree.  Inside of it, it reads:
“In loving memory of Marisella the Moss. She is loved very much by her friends, family, and forest. We love you, Marisella.”                                
    The End.