A Play by Henry W.

Performance: September, 2003
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Time: 4 o’clock. Rain off and on, sprinklin’.
Place: Hospital for animals called A Vet Pet Co. The room looks very boring.
The only thing to do is eat and sleep and sit there. There is bright paint on
the walls. Patients are loud, doctors give orders. It’s very scary and
At Rise: Mopie the lion is laying down on a bed. He has heart problems from
all the smoke people put in the air. Henry, his son, is standing right by him.


What’s up? What’s goin’ on? How you doin’?


What it look like fool? I’m doin’ ok I guess. How’s the family?

Henry: I don’t know. I never been home. Moms be trippin’. Anthony’s cool though.

I want you guys to stay together because when I leave, the family gonna need you.


Man, I ain’t tryin’ to hear this now. I came here to talk to you and see how
you’s doin’.

Mopie: Boy, don’t make me beat your ass.
(They both laugh)
Henry: Nah, for real? I’m tryin’ to get my life together. I don’t really have time
for Moms and Anthony. They can look out for theyselves.

If I was able to get up, you know we’d be fightin’.

Henry: Yeah, right. You hungry?
Mopie: Yeah. Feed me that food right there.
Henry: What’s this? What is this stuff?
Mopie: That’s what they feedin’ me. Pea soup and crackers.
Henry: I could go to the store for you. It’ll be like old times. I’ll sneak in a
cheeseburger so you can gum it, ‘cos you know you ain’t got no teeth.
(Both laugh)
Mopie: For real, though? I could go for a cupcake. I’m tellin’ you, you gonna need
your family. That’s all you got. Other female animals don’t care.

I know. I want to be with my family, you know. But if I go hang out with
Mamma and Anthony I won’t be able to get my life together. I think I’m ready now– ready to have a family. And plus, Mamma don’t like me anyway. She favors Anthony the most.

Mopie: You wanna know the reason why?
Henry: Yeah.
Mopie: Because you don’t listen. You came from a perfectly good family. We always give you what you want – and you brother – you guys just mess up on us all the time.

What do you mean?


By not coming home. Doin’ what you want to do, stayin’ out late, goin’ to
mess with them cheetah girls. That will get you in trouble in the long run.


Yeah, right. I got hella girls buyin’ me stuff.


Don’t say nothin’ when you catch somethin’.

Henry: Yeah, right. Like what?
Mopie: Anything – Them nasty animals be carrying fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes,
and the worst of them all: Boogers.
Henry: Never that! Because I will slap them polar bear girls if they give me
somethin’. I will be mad!
Mopie: How’s Anthony doin’?
Henry: Well, all right. He’s not really worried about you in the hospital. He knows
you gonna get through this. Guess what Anthony told me?
Mopie: What?
Henry: Man. Anthony told me that he ain’t my brother no more because I don’t mess with a lot of polar bears and cheetahs no more.
Mopie: What? What you doin’? What happened to all that Sexy Hen this, Sexy Hen that?
Henry: Man, I’m tired of that stuff. I listened to what you used to tell me. I alway s listened.
(Mopie laughs)
Mopie: You always listen? Man, let me run it down to you, you never come home. When you do come home, you don’t do me no good. You don’t take care of me. I can keep goin’ on and on.
Henry: Man. I got a reason why I be stunnin’.
Mopie: What’s that?
Henry: Man, I’m 18 now and I see a lot of stuff, like hangin’ with female animals,
with friends, goin to catch-the-ball games and lookin’ for a wifie.
Mopie: So you mean to tell me you ain’t got time for the family?
Henry: No, I didn’t say that. You didn’t hear that come from my mouth. You be
Mopie: Nah, I don’t be hatin’. It just I be tryin’ to look out for you.
Henry: I know you do , but you put too much on it. All the time! You always tellin’ me do this, do that. And I’m tryin’ to do my own thing. Feel me? So, when you comin’ home?
Mopie: Doctor say that I’m gonna be ok and be able to come home. But when I do, you guys gotta promise me that you guys gonna be there – you and your brother –to help me.
Henry: Fo’ sho’. I’ll do anything to make you happy. If that’s what it takes, I
will do that just for you. But I also have to get ready for my family.
Mopie: Yeah, right, what family? You too young for all that stuff. Don’t you know
what you got to do? You can’t even take care of yourself. How you gonna take care of a family?
Henry: What you mean? I know I can. Actually, I can’t. I’m not even really ready.
Mopie: Duh! I coulda told you that. So what’s goin’ on with you and your brother?
You know he look up to you and wanna be just like you.
Henry: I know(Sings) He really, really like my style.
He told me that I’m not his brother no more.
Mopie: Why?
Henry: Because I wasn’t cheatin’ on female animals no more and he got mad because I taught him everythin’ he know.
Mopie: Well, Henry, to tell you the truth, you’re a ho. And your brother – you guys
mess with all these different animal women and now that urge not to claim
each other.
Henry: Man, what you think I should do?
Mopie: Talk to your brother, set him down and talk to him. Slap him a couple of
times if you have to because I built the family and it needs to stay together no
matter what. Orange juice is thicker than water.
Henry: Seriously, when you commin’ home? Because we miss you – especially me. I miss beatin’ you up!
(Mopie laughs)
Mopie: If I were to die today, what would you do? Who would you go to?
Henry: You ain’t gonna die. If you did, I will do what I gotta do to survive in this
wild ozone layer. I would move in with my cousin.
Mopie: What about your brother? Where he gonna go? How you know he don’t wanna live with Mamma?
Henry: Don’t trip, chocolate chip! He can live with our cousin also. But you know
how Anthony is. He’s Mamma’s favorite and she need the company.
Mopie: I look at you face and looks like somebody been beatin’ you up. You look like an old man. Kinda like me. Seriously son, I’m happy to see you.
Henry: I know, I know. Who wouldn’t be happy to see Henry? It was rainin’ earlier today.
Mopie: I know ‘cos I’m cold. Throw that blanket on me over there.
(Henry gets the blanket, puts it on his dad. Next this he know, a black
shadow came walking in the door.)
Henry: What’s that shadow right there at the door? Oh, it’s Mamma. What’s up Mamma?
(Mopie’s eyes get very bright)
Henry: Now that she’s here, I’m leaving. I’ll see you tomorrow,
(He gives his dad a kiss on the cheek)
Mopie: UH! Booger germs! Now I’m really gonna die!
(They both laugh. Henry leaves)
Time: Next day, 11 AM
Place: Henry’s cousin’s home in East Palo Alto.
At Rise: Henry and Anthony in living room, sitting down on the floor talkin’.
(Henry goes outside to get a little walk and the next thing you know, the zoo
hunters catch him with a rope. They throw it on his arms to he can’t run.
Henry gets thrown in the van.)
Henry: What I do? What I do?
(While he in zoo jail, a lot of other animals and young animals in there for
murder and stiff say that he should do what his father said. Family comes
first, all that other stuff second. He goes to animal church and hears another
lion talk about the elephant god. It changes his life. The elephant god tells him to go to his family. The humans treat him real bad. They give him nasty food, yell at hi, and keep him locked in a room. He doesn’t want to come back. The next month Henry gets out because they caught the wrong animal. He goes home)
Henry: Man, I should go to the hospital and check on my dad. See what’s up.
(He goes to the hospital. Turns left, turns right, goes up in the elevator
and walks inside room 21. Sees this old moose. He walks back outside and stops a cheetah doctor)
Henry: What happened to the old lion in room 21?
Doctor: Oh, sorry. He passed two days ago.
Henry: Oh my God!
(He sits down and starts crying.)
Why? Why this has to happen to me of all animals? What do I do now? He’s gone . I can’t believe it. The only man I ever loved. He’s gone. Never coming back. Nothing matters to me anymore. Now I got to do what I got to do. Man, it’s over and I don’t’ care about nothing’ no more. No animal girls, no humans, no food, no playing’, no going’ places or nothing. I know what I have to do and it’s going to be hard, but it’s time to go home.
    The End.