free solo stage play script monologue

The Owl, The Bull and the Forest

by D. M. Larson


Cast of Characters

Owl: An actor made up to be an owl whose home in a tree is disturbed by an unwelcome visitor.

Bull: An actor made up to be a bull who knocks down trees for a living so that he may earn food for his family.


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SCENE 1

(In darkness, the audience hears huge thuds like something ramming into a tree. Lights come up on a BULL stepping back to ram once again into a tree off R. OWL comes on from off R, furious)

OWL

What do you think you're doing?!

BULL

I'm knocking down that tree.

(About ready to charge at tree again)


OWL

Stop!

BULL

What?

OWL

That's my home you want to knock down.

BULL

(Puzzled)

That tree?

OWL

Yes, I live in it.

BULL

Really?

OWL

Of course. Owls live in trees, you know.

BULL

(Goes along)

Uh, yeah. Of course. Now, if you'll stand aside. I need to knock down that tree. (Gets ready to charge)

OWL

Will you listen to me a minute?!

BULL

Sure.

OWL

That tree is my home. I live in it. Without it I wouldn't have any place to live.

BULL

I'm really sorry, but I still need to knock it down.

OWL

Why?

BULL

The cat wants me to.

OWL

What does he want with the trees?

BULL

I don't know. I just get my pay. I don't ask questions.

OWL

Well, I'm not about to let you destroy my home because some cat told you to.

BULL

He gives me and my family a lot of grain and feed to eat for every tree I knock down. I can't let my family starve.

OWL

You can't destroy my home either. My family has lived in this old tree for many, many years along with a lot of other animal families. Do you want to make us homeless?

BULL

(Persistent)

I've got to feed my family.

OWL

Can't you earn food for them some other way?

BULL

I don't know. I can't really do anything else besides knocking down trees. That's all I've done my whole life.

OWL

There must be something else you can do. Something you might even enjoy more.

BULL

I like to pull the plow through the fields.

OWL

See, there's something.

BULL

Yeah.

(Dreamily)

I love to drag that plow along and rip and tear up the earth.

OWL

Okay, okay. I've got the idea. You can do something else.

BULL

But, nothing pays as well as knocking down trees.

OWL

There are some things more important than money in this world.

BULL

Like what?

OWL

Like trying to keep nature the way it should be.

BULL

We don't change it that much.

OWL

Remember how the neighboring forest was all knocked down?

BULL

Sure I do. The cat sure was happy.

OWL

But, all those animals that lived there had to move. Their homes were destroyed and they had to go far away to live safely again.

BULL

See. They can always find other places to live.

OWL

What happens when all the forests have been knocked down?

BULL

That won't happen.

OWL

It might.

BULL

So, what if it does happen?

OWL

All the animals will have no place to go. We'll have to move on to a place far away where you or the cat can't find us. Do you want us all to leave, never to be seen again?

BULL

No, I guess not.





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OWL

You have to do something or else all the trees will be gone. Then, neither of us will have anything.

BULL

What do you mean by I won't have anything.

OWL

Once the trees are gone, you can't earn food for your family anymore.

BULL

Gosh. I didn't think of that.

OWL

You need to.

BULL

Wait. There are plenty of trees around. They'll last through my life time.

OWL

What about your children?

BULL

What about them?

OWL

The trees probably won't last through their lives at the rate you're going.

BULL

We'll just plant more trees then.

OWL

It takes a long, long time for trees to get big enough for some of us animals to live in.

BULL

Well, it's something, isn't it?

OWL

Yes, it is.

BULL

That's just what we'll do then. Plant more trees.

OWL

It's not enough.

BULL

Will you stop with all this?! You think too much, owl. That's what's wrong with you.

OWL

You think too little.

BULL

I don't see any of this bad stuff you keep talking about. It's like you're making it all up or something. I don't believe any of it.

OWL

You stubborn bull. You may not see any problems with knocking down trees. But, I do.

BULL

Like what?


OWL

There are not enough homes for them all. Forests will become overcrowded. Animals will have trouble finding food. They need to feed their families, too.

BULL

Yeah, I guess so.

OWL

Trees also make clean air for us to breathe.

BULL

They do?

OWL

Sure.

BULL

How?

OWL

What we breathe out, trees breathe in. What trees breathe out, we breathe in.

BULL

Wow. I didn't know that.

OWL

The air, trees give us, is clean air. If we cut down all the trees, the air will get all bad and yucky.

BULL

Are you sure?

OWL

Look at the smog in cities.

BULL

Yeah. It's pretty gross.

OWL

Without trees, all the air will become so icky no one could even breath it.

BULL

Would that really happen?

OWL

If you knock down all the trees, a lot more than that would happen.

BULL

This is all good to talk about, but I still have to work.


OWL

I guess I'd better start packing.  Come on kids... pack your things. 

(Starts to go)


BULL

Wait.

(OWL stops)


OWL

What?

BULL

(Thinks a moment)

Maybe I could just take part of the trees and leave the forest animals some. That way we both win.

OWL

I don't want to see any trees taken. Every time some are taken, the more danger our Earth will be in.

BULL

I've got to live.

OWL

Yes, you do.

(Thinks a bit)

Maybe we can share, but like I said, every time a tree is knocked down the environment will be in a little more danger.

BULL

I know, I know. The bad air and all that.

OWL

And have you noticed the temperature?

BULL

Yeah. It seems like it's getting hotter every year.

OWL

That's because we're losing so many trees.

BULL

It is? How?

OWL

You know how I was telling you about how trees breathe in what we breathe out?

BULL

Yeah. Sort of.

OWL

If there aren't enough trees to breathe in a lot of what we breathe out, what we breath out just hangs in the air and isn't used.

BULL

What does that have to do with temperatures?

OWL

Heat rises from the Earth. What we breathe out traps the heat and keeps it down around us. If there aren't trees to breathe that air, the heat will stop escaping at all and we'll end up living in a giant steam bath.

BULL

(His brain has had too much to think about)

Oh... but winters are getting colder.

OWL

That's all part of the same problem.  The warming makes all the weather worse... every year we get more hurricanes and tornadoes.  Everything is more extreme.

Bull looks confused.

OWL (Cont.)

This isn't making any sense is it?


BULL

No really...

OWL

Then I've already lost.

BULL

Look... I don't want to destroy your home. Can't we make a deal?

OWL

You can't make deals with nature...

(OWL starts to go)

BULL

Good-bye, Owl.

OWL

Good-bye. Come on kids.

Owl can gather up cute little owl toys or if other actors are available, they can all be crying as they follow Owl out. 

BULL

(Looks around and says to himself)

The forest sure is a beautiful place, isn't it?  Maybe this tree can stay a little longer.  (He smiles and exits L as lights fade to black

END OF PLAY



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