Love Bird Jack Rabbit

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  • Scene 1

(At rise: Sun is low. Two high-pitched voices are first heard, before two luminescent figures, prominent noses, become visible as the source.)

B1

Hmmm, don’t you think Jack is cute?

B2

Jack who? Jack the Rabbit?

B1

Of course, Jack the Rabbit, he’s the only Jack we know. We know plenty of rabbits but only one Jack the Rabbit. I saw him looking our way today. He’s soooo cute, the way his nose twitches while he’s chews. And his ears. I love the way they sit up on his head.

B2

Nonsense. Hush.  Now go to sleep, it’s late.

(Dark. Coyote howling, owl hooing, stars twinkling, darkness. Quiet.)

  • Scene 2

(Sonoran Sunrise. Quiet. Cactus wren, Curved Bill Thrush, Quail roosting, Sentinel Quail calling, and Love Birds caucusing.  

Right: Two effervescently colored, turquoise, aquamarine and bright green, nervous and nosy and yes, noisy and shrill as well. Birds, B1 and B2

Left: A single pair of enormous ears, a twinkling, twitching chewer and smeller, bright eyes, solitary, taciturn demeanor. J)

B1

I wish I had ears like Jack. Oh, I would die for ears like that. Do you think he might let me try them? I mean try them on, wear them myself?

B2

Nonsense. The things you say. You’re a bird silly. Or maybe just a silly bird? Is that it? Now stop it. We have to get breakfast. Are you coming? (Flaps nervously.)

B1

I’m going to say hi to Jack first. Ok?

B2

Oh well, suit yourself. You’re not gonna listen to me. One day maybe? Hurry it up.

(Left: B1 and J, B1 leaning over. J nervously oblivious.)

B1

(Sweetly, but in higher register, and somewhat shrill, but sweetly.)

Why, good morning Jack?

(Silence.)

B1

Oh Jack, yoo hoo!?! It’s me. Good morning.

(Pause, J looks around, notices B1 looking at him…and thinks, *What? Is it talking? To me?*)

J

(Quizzically), Are…are, you talking to me? You never talk to me. Surely you have me confused with one of your bird friends? (J stutters, nervously glances about, unable to even look B1 in the eye.)

B1

Stop, Jack, of course I’m talking to you. We meet here every morning and I just thought we should say hello.

(Nervously glancing around, leaning on one big foot and then the other.)

J

Well, ok, if you want to? Is it a good idea? / I’m not sure it’s safe?  I can’t stay long.

B1

…and I adore your ears, and now up close they’re just so cute. Your nose crinkles, but they, your ears, why they twitch when you chew, and you’re always chewing. I love them, your magnificent ears.

(Astonished by B1’s chatter, looks back over his shoulder at his coat, shakes his head, and his ears do twitch, embarrassing him.)

J

I don’t know what you mean? For my fur is mangy and dreary, ugghh in this heat, and my feet are too big, my ears are too long. Now you? Who is this come in to my life, only to say you want them and I say you are crazy. Mark my words, nothing good can come from your wishing.

Besides, I must warn you, I never, never get a moment’s peace. Not a one. I don’t think these ears, they are such as you think even if we could grant you this wish, this nonsense in your head to put these on top of your head? No I must say no, then I must go.

(Turns to go, then hesitates.)

J

But thanks for saying so. Seriously, you like my ears? You think they’re cute? You think I’m cute?

B1

I adore you. And I love them, your ears I mean. You give me an idea. You see how we’ve talked just now? In this peaceful quiet. Thank you for staying. Before you must go if you must, please tell me yes? What if I borrowed your ears, you let me of course, and just for awhile. I’ll return them tomorrow?

J

Pushaw. (Crinkles his nose.) Of course not.

(He scratches his chin, appearing to ponder the idea. Continuing, shyly in a quiet voice, gazing admiringly at B1.)

You’re beautiful you know. Especially your wings, the colors are like the rainbow, except prettier, huh, as if that’s even possible. I didn’t think so until today, meeting you.

(Eagerly, sensing an opportunity. Ignoring J’s compliment.)

B1

I’ll trade you. I’ll trade you my wings, my beautiful wings, these, see? You said they are beautiful, just now, you said so yourself! These beautiful wings for your ears. Please say yes. Please. I wish you would. I wish I could have your ears, even just for a little while.

(Pensive, pragmatic. After a moment.)

J

But, what would I do with your wings? I mean they’re beautiful. But look at these feets? These feets were made for walking, well hopping and running. They were meant to be grounded above all! (under his breath) Unlike you.

(Continuing, curious.)

Why would you want my ears though? You can’t fly with them. They’d flop every which way. They’re not easy to handle, believe me. You would be like an out of control helicopter, a miscellaneous collection of flying parts.

B1

(Horrified,) Why? Why? Why? Because look at me. People say I am beautiful, but look at my ears? Just look at them! Exactly, what ears? You see, I don’t have any ears, not a single one. I can barely hear. Why do you think our voices sound like chalk on the board? Like a bad fork on a cheap plate. We are screaming, to be heard. We don’t mean to?

J

Yeah, don’t remind me. But now that you bring it up, could you please tone it down around here. This is my safe spot. At least it used to be. Now despite, or maybe on account of this pulchritude of yours, you ring in each day with a cacophony, a carefee chaos. It’s madness to me. I don’t like when the earth moves under my feet.

(Shakes his head. His ears twitch. Continues thoughtfully.) 

You see, I am a solitary soul, a quiet one too. Not that you’d notice. But it’s scary you see. There is fear in the air each moment of each day and especially at night. At least for me. I only pretend sleep in the dark of night. When I seem to be playing, hopping and bouncing, seemingly carefree, I must always be listening, I must! I must. Fear is everywhere here on the ground. No, I’m sorry it’s scary. It is. So no, and I really must go, still the answer is no.

B1

Please, pretty please, with a carrot on top?

J

You’re not going to stop are you?

(Irritated, yet softening. Thoughtfully pauses.)  

Well, ok, maybe just for a short while. You won’t quit until I say yes. I know how you fly. How about tomorrow we meet again, and I’ll let you try. Try them on. But just for a minute. And you have to give them right back. Promise?

B1 Promise? Oh, but course I promise, oh I can’t wait, and thank you Jack. You are so sweet. I knew you would be. I can’t wait ‘til tomorrow comes.

  • Scene 3

(Sunset. Darkness. Owls. Coyotes. Quiet. Moonlight. Two solitary figures, glowing brighter as darkness falls, high in the tree.)

B1

What is it like to be scared? Are you scared at night, when we sleep? What is it like to be scared?

B2

I am scared I won’t get any sleep at all with your questions. Go to sleep, we’ll talk in the morning. Please. Shhh, it’s sleep time. Say good night.

B1

But I can’t. I’m too excited. I am meeting Jack in the morning. He promised to let me try his ears. He said I can wear them. / Just for a little bit.

B2

What nonsense you squeak. No. No. No. What will you do with ears?

(Pauses, then horrified,)

Please, please don’t tell me you traded him something of yours.  You’re not giving him your wings are you? Don’t even tell me you’re giving him your wings.

B1

He said he doesn’t want for anything of mine. He seems happy. Just the way he is. But he’s scared.  He speaks of fear. (Looking puzzled,) Why? Why is that? What is ‘scared’? What is ‘fear’?)

B2

He’s a smart rabbit. You would do well to follow his example. Be happy with who you are. What you have. You’re beautiful, and you know it.  Even the rainbow looks up to you. You are a beautiful creature. Perhaps the most beautiful.

B1

But I love his ears so. I would give anything to have his ears. But his fear I cannot comprehend. What is this fear?

B2

Listen to yourself.  Look at all your gifts. You should want for nothing because you’re missing nothing. You have all the gifts that grace could grant. You’re beautiful just the way you are, like I said. Jack knows. Perhaps tomorrow if you try his ears you will hear and understand better. Perhaps tomorrow you will get what you wish, perhaps even more. I hope then, finally, you can be happy. Just the way you are.

B1

But his fear? He’s scared? What is this fear?

B2

Go to sleep. When the sun rises we will talk.

(Quiet. Interrupted after they are asleep as coyotes bark, yelp turning to a sudden frenzy of screams and yips. A plaintive squeal. Then quiet again. Dark.)

  • Scene 4

(Sun rise. Birds singing. Desert sounds. B1 clumsily maneuvering back to its perch next to B2. Carrying something.)

B1

Look at me. Look. Look at these ears. Jack must have left them for me?

B2

(Anguished, sympathetic, resigned look in the direction of its friend B2.)  

Come here. We need a hug.

  • The End

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