The Lion Who Roared Meow by Dor Zweigenbom

This Play is the copyright of the Author, and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author's prior consent

(From offstage we hear clanking noises and movers hollering)

Ollie: (Offstage) Hey, grandma! I can't see a thing.

Grandma: Just a minute. I'll turn the light on.

(The light comes up onstage. From offstage we hear banging noises, shouts, and worried cries from Grandma. She comes onstage with one of the movers.)

Grandma: Oh! Please be careful!

Larry: (Almost shouting) Don't worry, grandma. We know what we're doing.(Shouts at the movers that are offstage) Come on! Hurry up with those frames!

Grandma: (Sees the audience) Oh, hello! You're here already.That's wonderful. I'm glad.We'll begin in just a minute, after they bring everything in.

Larry: Come on already! We're on a tight schedule here.

(Ollie,one of the movers, rolls in a big metal frame, and accidently collides into the wall)

Grandma: Oh, please be careful!

Larry: What are you trying to do? Wreck the stage?! Move it! Run out and get the Trunk! One two, one two.

Barry: Why are you shouting?!

Larry: I'm shouting because I'm in charge. I was put in charge to see that the work gets done. So get to work.(Barry doesn't budge) charge!

(He reluctantly goes out to bring in the trunk)

Larry: (To Grandma) I'm telling you.The only thing worse than a mover with two left hands, is two movers with four left hands. (Suddenly sees the audience) Woah! Grandma, there are kids sitting out there.

Grandma: Of course. They've come to hear a story.

Larry: You don't say. (Shouts to the movers) Would you come on already! Kid's are sitting in the theatre and waiting!!!

(Barry and Ollie come onstage carrying a big trunk. Clearly it's heavy. They start to put it down)

Larry: Lift it up! Lift it up!.... Why did you put it down?

Barry: Because it has wheels.

Larry: Uh I knew that.(The Grandmother looks worriedly at the trunk) If anything's broken, I'm taking it off your salary. You hear me?!!

Ollie: Even my cousin living out in Honolulu heard you.

Larry: What did you say?

Ollie: Nothing

Larry: O.K. lets see what we have here. Three large metal frames.One metal pole, and one trunk. So, if you'll just sign here.

Grandma: Do you want a nice cup of cold water?

Larry: No.

Barry: Yeah, thanks.

Ollie: Sure!

Larry: (Yelling) I said no! We don't have time for this! We'll drink later! At the end of the day! We still have a grand piano to move!

Barry: But why are you shouting?

Larry: I'm shouting because I'm in charge.I was put in charge..

Barry: (Mocking him) to see that the work gets done. So get to work.. charge!

Larry: Barry, you're starting to get on my nerves!

Barry: Well guess what?! You've already gotten on mine.

Larry: I swear,if you weren't my brother I'd fire you.

Grandma: You two are brothers?

Barry: Yeah. Some brother!

Larry: You're just jealous!

Barry: Right, jealous! I want to shout too!

Larry: Barry,watch it.

Barry: What are you going to do,Larry? Yell at me some more?!

Grandma: (Getting in betweem them just at the nick of time) Boys. Boys. Boys.Calm down Drink your water. (To Larry) You too. Drink up.(He reluctantly does as he's told)

Grandma: (To the audience) It seems we've run into a small problem. We'll start in just a minute, O.K?

Barry: That was heavy! What's in the trunk?

Grandma: A lot. It's a story trunk. I brought it for the children.

Barry: What's a story trunk?

Grandma: You don't know what a story trunk is?!..strange. Well, I'll tell you. A story trunk is a special kind of trunk. When I open the lid a story will come pouring out. Any story I want! A sad story.A funny story (Looks at the two brothers and gets an idea) I know! A story about a forest! Yes.Today I'll tell a story about a forest and trees will pop out of the trunk, and owls, and big baboons, even.lions!

Barry: Your kidding!

Larry: Oh, please!

Grandma: Yes. A story especially for you. And you'll help me tell the story.

Larry: Oh no! We've got a long day ahead of us. Come on. On you're feet! To the pianoSo if you'll just sign here.

Grandma: I won't.

Larry: (Totally surprised) What? You have to sign so we can get on with our work.

Grandma: I won't sign until you sit down and hear my story.

Larry: Grandma, you can't do this.

Grandma: Well I just did. What are you going to do about it?..(He's stunned. Ollie and Barry are chuckling) Come on, sit down. Sit down and stop yelling. (He unwillingly sits)

Barry: Yeah, stop yelling.

Grandma: I promise you, this story will interest you both. (To the audience)You too. Ready?the name of the story is "The Lion Who Roared Meow" The story takes place far away from here. Outside the city. Away from the bus noises, the ambulence sirens, and the clanking of the trains. The story takes place in a forest.The Wazubewawa Forest. (She opens the lid just a bit, and a roar of a lion is heard from within. She immediately closes the lid) Quiet, Lionel! (This catches Larry's interest) In order to get to the Wazubewawa Forest you must get on a plane, fly many hours and then land…. (She opens the lid and suddenly drums and other forest sounds come up from within the trunk) In Africa!

The Forest Song

Somewhere in the deep of the forest Beats a drum all through the night It's pace is quick just like a heartbeat Of a hunted animal in flight

The trees here grow within the wink of an eye Sprouting leaves of purple and blue, They bear strange looking fruits called Zukika,Cocoliko,

And the tasty Gortytutiflue

If you stop and listen well, You might hear the wise old Owl hoot, The croaking of a bullfrog in the pond A screech from a red-tailed kakadoot .

Yes, mysterious things take place In the darkness of the night. Whispers, and growls, beaming eyes, Animals shuddering in fright

Suddenly! A horrifying cry pierces the air! (Sounds of terrified animals) And then Silence...and a chill hanging in the air.

Somewhere in the deep of the forest Beats a drum all through the night

(During the song the movers have taken out the scenery from the trunk and set it up. We are now in the forest)

Grandma: The Wazubewawa Forest! In the Wazubewawa Forest lived two big Lions. One was called Cub…and the other , Lionel.

(The Grandmother takes Lionel's costume out of the trunk and hands it to Larry)

Grandma: Put it on.

Larry: What? No way!

Grandma: Fine. But just so you know, I'm not signing anything until you put it on.

Larry: Oh, man! What is it?

Grandma: It's Lionel's costume. (Larry reluctantly puts on the costume.) Lionel the lion was tall and strong He was a brave lion. (Larry gives out a weak roar) I said, a brave lion!!!

(This time Larry roars with conviction .He surprises himself and likes what he hears. Now he sounds off a really fierce roar He is enjoying his role. He gets down low to hunt his prey. Suddenly a rustle is heard, Lionell pounces and disappears behind a bush.We hear sounds of a struggle, a scream , a roar, and then silenceA second later Lionel walks out, he has a wild composure about him. He bites into a zebra leg he has just hunted down.)

(The grandmother hands Cubs costume to Barry, and he starts to get dressed)

Grandma: Cub was very different from Lionell. He was gentle.A nobel soul. A life loving lion!

(Cub picks a cocoliko fruit. He sniffs it , caresses it, and takes delight in it. He sounds off a big meow. Lionel looks at him with disgust)

Grandma: Life in the Wazubewawa forest was beautiful. The leaves on the trees rustled. The tails of the snakes rattled. The frogs became hoarse. But then one day something happened that completely changed all that.

[end of extract]

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