DREAM OF THE TORTOISE
BY DAVID M.
Brah* the Sea Turtle, male age 16
Mom, the butterfly, his mother
*this is the Hawaiian pronunciation for “brother”.
On a beach by the Pacific ocean. There is a wooden shack
and near-by a cave. The air smells of saltwater. The wind is blowing, you can hear a loud smack when the waves hit each other. On the sandy brown beach there is litter: six-pack plastic rings for sodas. Lots of cigarette butts sticking in the sand. Lots of paper plates too, and plastic forks and spoons and knives. Dirty
napkins filled with leftovers from people’s lips. Barrels with oil and gasoline leaking into the water.
TIME: Early on a Sunday morning.
BRAH is on the beach in front of his cave, watching the sun rise.
I don’t know. Damn, man. Should I tell my Mom or just go?
What should I tell her…? I mean she ain’t gonna accept this.
She’ll probably make me go home. Well, I mean, my house is like
right there. (slowly turns his turtle head to look back
at the cave.) What am I saying? You know what, never mind,
I’m’ma just go! I’m grown. Man, I’m 16! Shoot she can’t stop
(BRAH starts to crawl towards the water. Suddenly, MOM comes flying in)
(BRAH turns his turtle head to see who is calling him.)
(BRAH stops and pulls his head back into his shell to hide.)
BRAH?! WHAT are you doing? I know that’s you HIDING.
You are not even close to looking like a rock.
I’m your mother, I know what my son looks like.
I’m sorry Ma.
Yea, you betta be sorry. Try and hide from me!
(under her breath) Psss…! And where do you think you’re
going? Huh? (BRAH looks up at his mom like an innocent
little turtle) Are you deaf?! Don’t make me say it again!
(BRAH looks down at the sand feeling very blue)
I’m going to a convention.
What CONVENTION ?!
Just a convention.
Does this “convention” include school?
Well, it’s a convention about helping the environment to be…
MOM (cutting him off)
Environment?! Boy, what you know about the environment?
Ma, it’s everywhere. There’s danger. I want the environment to
be clean so the creatures can live safely, nothing in front of
them, stopping them or to be afraid of, when they are swimming
someplace and swimming back home to their families.
I’m trying to save the other creatures from having fear.
Fear? What kind of fear do you know about down there in the
All those creatures that’s down there has a fear. Every one
of them has some kind of fear to get rid of. And the creature to
help is me. I can help the environment to be safe. I got it. It’s all
here in this folder and here in my heart.
I can’t let you do this, son. It’s very dangerous going down there
Mom…I have to be there as soon as possible. I already said I
would make a speech to the convention of creatures of the Pacific
Ocean. Today. 1:30 p.m. sharp. You know how slow I go, and if I
don’t make it there all of those creatures will stay having fears.
They are depending on me to do this. I don’t want them to think
that I’m a punk turtle, Ma.
MOM (to herself)
WOW! Do you hear this? Man, I can’t believe what he’s saying. I
want my son to grow up and be a wonderful and successful sea
turtle and have baby turtles, now that would make me happy. I
didn’t know he’d want to do something crazy like this. There are
the Thugs who always litter and pollute everywhere and those
Thugs might not appreciate Brah cleaning up their areas. What if
they bring pain on him and our family?
Mom, please. I’m begging you. I want to do this. I’ve been
wanting to do this my whole entire life ever since I first swam by
myself to school, I wanted to do this.
You really want to do this?
Yes Mom, please.
MOM (challenging him)
Let me hear what you’re gonna say. Read me your stuff. I’ll be
the judge to let you go to the Convention and say your speech.
Good afternoon, Citizens of the Pacific Ocean. My name is Brah
the Sea Turtle. I’ve come from a place that’s full of danger and
violence and pollution. I’ve seen many different creatures going
out, to school, to work, to play, going out and coming back home
with fear on their faces and in their hearts. I’m here because I
want to change that situation. I want to help creatures to be safe
and to have fun in the environment, not danger and litter in it. To
enjoy the beautiful things our Heavenly father has created for us.
So, you saying you want to make a change.
Yes Ma, I want to make a change. I want to make things
Do you think you’re really up for this?
Yes. And Mom, time is running out.
What time you have to be there?
1:30 p.m. SHARP.
Son, you know how I feel about you doing this…I don’t feel like I want you to do this…but I can see that you want to follow your dream and you’ve worked real hard on this. If that’s what you see, the fear that’s on those creatures’ faces…But when you go, always keep in mind that if you fail doing this, don’t be crawling back to me crying.
Mom, I’m not going to fail. I know I can do this. I have a huge feeling that I can succeed.
(BRAH crawls into the water and swims away without looking back.)
END OF PLAY