A Play by Justin W.

Performance: September, 2003
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

Characters: Simba, a lion
Sylvester, a lion, Simba’s dad
Time: it’s dusk, the sun’s setting
Place: Simba’s in the African jungle. He’s in the middle of nowhere by a lake, it looks cold. Simba sits by the lake, in the grassy field. He sees other animals roaming around. Lions and tigers. He smells dead carcasses.
At Rise: He’s lying on his stomach looking in the cold sky. He puts his paws on his face.


Dear God, please help my Dad to understand that I want to become king now. I know what he’s talking about. I realize what my mom and dad are talking about. They just want me to become king. I still wanna hang out with my friends. I still wanna enjoy my life, living with out having to take care of anything, having to worry about anything. But I know I have priorities and becoming king is one of them.
(He hears something. He hears something coming. He doesn’t know if it’s an animal. As the terrifying sound approaches he makes a mad dash, in fear, not knowing what lies behind him. His dad is in the area. Simba lets out a loud roar. Sylvester knows it’s Simba. He hesitates to go help him. Simba begins to panic as he runs through the jungle, not knowing if anyone is going to help him.)


I hear a loud noise start to approach. I sense it’s Simba. But I hesitate to help him out. He needs to realize that all I was trying to do was help him. By pushing him to become King.
(As Simba and the cheetahs get closer, Simba’s dad waits and attacks. Taking on the group of cheetahs one by one. Screams. Yells. Simba helps his dad fight back the group of cheetahs, defeating and killing all of them. Blood rushes down Simba’s face. Simba’s scared as he lets out a loud roar. Sylvester slowly walks away.)

Simba:   Dad, Dad, please come back! I wanna talk to you.
(Sylvester just continues to walk.)

I’m ready to be king.
(Sylvester slowly turns around and looks at him.)


Now you finally wanna become king? Have you finally realized why I’ve been helping you?

Simba:   Yes. Yes. I understand why you’ve been pushing me now. Since I’ve been gone this past week, I’ve realized what you’re talking about. I know you don’t want me to fail, but all the pressure was building up and I just wanted to leave to be with my friends. Knowing you were right when you said my friends weren’t going to help me with my priorities, I should have listened to you. If you were more easier on me, if you yelled less… just talk to me as a son, without screaming, then I might have listened. I never would have left. I never would have worried you and mom by leaving. I would’ve listened.
Sylvester:   You’re not a little kid anymore. Grow up. I’m hard on you because you’re becoming a man. That’s how men are treated. It’s called tough love. You’re lucky me and your mother look after you, protect you. Because we love you. Sometimes I might yell, but when I yell that’s just me being encouraging. That shows my love. That’s why we traveled for long periods of time, to meet other animals, and interact. Because they are the ones that want you to become king. I’m not the only one that wants you to become king. They want you to become king.

But to me, I’m still young and young means hanging with my friends.

Sylvester:   The reason I’m pushing you to become king –NOW- at an early age is because many older, wiser animals of the jungle know you are a natural born leader. They’ve seen you grow up. And if a new generation comes in, they will not understand why you should become king. They wouldn’t understand, cause they haven’t seen you grow up like many animals have. The respect and the joy that you bring to the older animals, is what they see in you.
(Simba stands there speechless.)
If you still wanna be young, then you shouldn’t become king. Me and your mother talk a lot about you and see where we went wrong in raising you.
Simba:   I loved how you raised me.
(Sylvester slowly walks away; tears start to run down his face.)
Sylvester:   I guess you still don’t understand what I’m trying to do. I want everyone in my family to succeed. Is there something I did wrong? I had the opportunity to become king. Due to me being negative, not taking people’s words of encouragement and not putting them into actions is the reason I push you so hard. Cause I don’t want you to fail and make the same mistakes I did. I want you to take your chance at becoming king. You still wanna hang out with your friends and miss your opportunity then all I can do is be happy for you.
(Simba shows a frown as he becomes sad.)
Simba:   I know what you’re talking about! I feel ashamed. All I was thinking about was myself. At first I didn’t understand why you push me so hard. Now I understand why you and mom do the things you do. (Loud voice) I do wanna become king!
(Dad turns around.)
Sylvester:   If you realize it now then you should be ready to move on. If you’re ready to take the challenge of becoming king, show me that you’re ready. Emotionally ready. Mind set. Show me that you’re determined. When you’re ready to move on, that’s when I’ll know you’re serious about becoming king.
(Simba stands, rubbing his chin as he thinks.)
Simba:   O.K., I’m ready. I’ll still keep in touch with my friends but I’ll hang out with them less often, take this king thing more seriously. I’ll be more devoted in becoming king. That’s my word. I know it’s my destiny, that’s why I want to follow it. And all the animals know that I am the chosen one.

If that’s your word, let’s go out there and show the jungle that you’re ready.

    The End.