A Play by Jesse L.

Performance: March 2005
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Character #1: Zeus, a white tiger with lightning stripes. Age: 12
Character #2: Rose, a red lion with a white stomach and white paws. Age: 12
Setting: The jungle, an hour before sunset.
At Rise: Rose and Zeus are sitting next to each other silently on his favorite branch of his favorite tree.





Rose: So what did you want to show me?

Well…I wanted to show how the colors change in the sky at sunset. I can’t wait, they’re amazing.


Sunset…Oh no I got to get home before sunset!

Zeus: Huh…you mean you have to leave?
Rose: Yes, as much as I want to stay I can’t…you see…my dad’s the king. If I’m not home he’ll send the guard to come looking for me. I have to leave.

I thought you said you wanted to be free. You said that you felt free with me. I can’t be without you. You have to stay. You make me complete. You fill the emptiness that lies in my heart. (Tears fill his eyes.) Please, I need you to stay.

Rose: I-I j-just can’t. Please don’t do this to me. I have to go back. I still have a family (by the word “family” Zeus looks to the ground) – who I still love.
(Zeus is still looking down and play freezes.)
Zeus: (Aside)
I don’t know what to do. She says she has to leave. Why does she need to leave? Why does this luck always have to come my way. Why can’t I keep the happiness that’s in my heart. Why can’t I keep the joy I feel when she is near. Why can’t I keep her smile. Her touch. Why can’t I keep her. I don’t know what I’ll do when she leaves. I’ll probably go back to the same old stuff, but now I will have a bigger hole of being depressed. I need her in my life……I know what I’ll do…I will go with her. Yeah I will go with her. I need a family, if only they would accept me, but these are the ones who took mine when I was young. What if they recognize who I am and try to kill me? (and with a deep thought says) I am willing to die for the chance to have a family with the one and only one I ever loved.
(He looks up with confidence.)
I think you should go.
(Rose looks puzzled.)
I think you should go…and I’ll come with you.
Rose: No…oh no no no. My family will kill-
Zeus: As they killed my family. Yes I know, but I am willing to die to express the love I have for you. I am willing to take that chance if it means that I have a chance to be with the one I love.
Rose: What do you mean they killed your family. (looking insulted)
Zeus: Well…not your family but the red lions, when I was a baby. My mom was murdered by one of them. Then my father and my brother went to avenge her death and then I never heard from them again. They put me on this tree on that branch where we were just sitting. I was still a baby, but old enough to remember.

Well…why didn’t you tell me this before? (looking sorry)

Zeus: I don’t know. I didn’t want you to feel…I don’t know…bad.
Rose: Well I’m glad you told me. I just can’t have you come with me. I love you that’s why I can’t have you come.

Please, listen to me. Give me a chance. Even if it’s a one in a million, that’s still a chance for me…for us. I can’t risk not ever seeing you again, but I can risk my life to be with you forever.


Please, the sun is starting to set, and I can’t have that on my conscience.
(Then she starts to cry Play freezes.)

I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I love him and he says he loves me. He said he would go with me, but how is my family gonna take it if I show up with him. I don’t want him hurt. I love him. He lets me be a free spirit. He can tell when I need space, and around him I don’t need much. He taught me so much, even how to hunt. I am my own cat around him. I fear that my family won’t accept him being around me and will kill him if he comes. I wish my family would understand. I know I would be happy with him. I could explore with or without him even though I think I would prefer him around. He makes me feel open. He makes me feel special. (and with a deep thought says) If they think they’re going to kill him…I will gladly die before him.
(still crying, now says to Zeus) Okay…but if you think you’re gonna die before me you’re wrong!!!


What do you mean! (he says worried)


I mean, they’re gonna most likely kill you, but they are gonna have to get through me. You can come.

Zeus: (Aside) So does this mean if I take the chance of being with her and go with her, then I’m putting her life at stake as well?
(to Rose) So your family would kill their own.
Rose: Red lions have been known to kill their own if they show feelings for a different kind of cat.
Zeus: Well…I don’t want your life at stake.
Rose: Yeah but now I need you to come. I don’t know my way back, and the sun is already setting, which means the guard will be sent out to search for me. And if they pick up my scent and you have a little of it then you’re dead anyway. Then I will probably die too.
Zeus: Okay…are you sure? Maybe if you leave now your life could be spared.
Rose: No…they could find you and if they do you won’t survive. It’s now or never. I don’t want the guard to find us on our way back.
Zeus: Okay…let’s go, but if anything does happen on the way back I want you to know, we will be together forever with or without life.
Rose: I love you too…let’s go.
    The End.