Evan Baughfman
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The Lion in Love

This was adapted into a play from the classic fable--some modern humor added in for effect.

I have used this in my classroom to introduce "theme" or "personification".

 

The Lion in Love

 

(In a living room: a fierce-looking LION sits in a chair across from a middle-aged MAN and a middle-aged WOMAN who sit on a couch. All three of them sit in awkward silence for a while.)

 

LION

So…this is weird.


WOMAN

Yes. We weren’t expecting company.

 

MAN

Well, just the pizza delivery guy. We haven’t had dinner yet.

 

LION

The Domino’s guy or the Pizza Hut guy?

 

MAN

Actually, we ordered from Papa John’s.

 

LION

Oh, man, that’s too bad.

 

WOMAN

What’s wrong with that? Papa John’s is our favorite! What’s yours? Pizza Hut? That place is so overrated!

 

LION

I’m a lion. I don’t eat pizza.

 

WOMAN

Oh, no, I guess you wouldn’t.

 

LION

I eat pizza delivery guys.

 

MAN

Wait. What’re you saying?

 

LION

Your pizza’s not coming. I skipped lunch, so when I saw that guy walking outside your house, I just did, you know…what lions do. I ripped him to shreds and ate him.

 

WOMAN

No wonder it’s taken so long. I was about to suggest we didn’t tip him when he got here.

 

LION

You don’t have to worry about that anymore. He’s not coming.

(pats his fat belly)

Or should I say, he’s already here.

 

(The MAN jumps up, very angry.)

 

MAN

You see, this is why we don’t want to let you marry our daughter!

 

LION

But Ursula is so beautiful! She’s the finest girl in the whole jungle!

 

MAN

She is, and you’re the King, and we’re flattered that you want her hand in marriage, but…

 

LION

But what?

 

(The WOMAN stands next to her husband.)

 

WOMAN

But we don’t know if it’s her hand in marriage you want, or just her hand!

 

LION

What’s that supposed to mean?

 

WOMAN

We mean, do you want to hold her hand softly like a gentleman, or do you just want to bite it off and chew on the bloody fingers? Are you going to rip her to shreds like you did to the pizza delivery guy?

 

LION

Well, no…I love her. I wouldn’t ever eat her…unless she cheats on me. If she cheated, I wouldn’t be very happy.

 

MAN

She wouldn’t ever cheat! How dare you say that about our little Ursula! She is the most beautiful, loyal, and sweet young lady in the whole jungle!

 

LION

That’s why I came here tonight to ask your permission to marry her!

 

MAN

We don’t give you our permission.

 

LION

I’m the King! I don’t need your permission, you know!

 

WOMAN

She won’t ever say “yes” if you pop the question. You frighten her.

 

LION

I don’t!

 

WOMAN

How do you know?

 

LION

She said hi to me once…I think.

 

MAN

No, your pointy teeth and razor-sharp claws give her nightmares! They give us nightmares!

 

LION

Don’t be afraid of me! Please! I’m not hungry anymore! I ate Papa John!

 

WOMAN

What if you do marry Ursula, and when you hug her, you accidentally end up scratching her to death with your claws?

 

MAN

Or, when you go to kiss her, you accidentally bite off her face with your fangs?

 

LION

I wouldn’t ever do that! I would be careful!

 

MAN

All it takes is one accidentally deadly kiss, and our Ursula’s beautiful face will be gone!

 

LION

No! Don’t say that! I don’t want to even think that!

 

WOMAN

We’re sorry, but unless you get your big teeth removed and your claws trimmed, we can’t let you marry her.

 

LION

I can’t be without my fangs and claws! That’s like asking LeBron to give up basketball!

 

MAN

No deal, then. Sorry, but it’s the only way.

 

LION

But zebras and giraffes would laugh at me.

 

WOMAN

You’re the King. If you told them to stop laughing, they would.

 

MAN

If you truly love Ursula, you’ll lose your teeth and claws. If you don’t truly love her, you won’t.

 

LION

I do truly love her!

 

WOMAN

Then you know what you have to do.

 

LION

This is horrible.

 

WOMAN

Love requires sacrifice and pain.

(points to her husband)

I should know. I married him.

 

THE NEXT DAY...

 

(The MAN and WOMAN sit on the couch again. There is a knock at the front door.)


WOMAN

The pizza’s here!

 

(The MAN answers the door. There is no pizza delivery guy, but the LION is there, holding a pizza.)

 

MAN

Oh. It’s you.

 

LION

Can I come in?

 

WOMAN

You ate the pizza delivery guy again!

 

LION

No, I didn’t. I saw him outside and paid him for the pizza.

 

WOMAN

That was awfully nice of you. Come in, please.

 

(The LION hands the MAN the pizza and steps inside. The MAN closes the door.)

 

MAN

Pizza Hut. Ugg. I guess it’s worth a try. Because of what you did last night, Papa John’s refuses to deliver here anymore.

 

LION

I’m sorry about that, I really am. And I wanted to eat the Pizza Hut guy, I really did. But I did what you asked. I took out my big, sharp teeth and trimmed my claws. I couldn’t hurt anything if I wanted to.

 

WOMAN

You did that for Ursula?

 

LION

Yes, I love her that much. Will you let me marry her now?

 

(The MAN and WOMAN look at each other for a second, and then they laugh loudly.)

 

LION

What’s so funny?

 

WOMAN

We can’t let you marry our daughter!

 

LION

What! Why not?

 

MAN

You’re a lion! An animal! Our beautiful daughter is going to marry an animal? That’s just too weird! It could never work out!

 

LION

You were never going to let me marry Ursula?

 

WOMAN

No way! We want her to marry a very successful, very human doctor.

 

LION

That makes me so angry!

 

MAN

What’re you going to do? Eat us? You don’t have fangs or claws anymore. Do your worst!

 

(The LION realizes this, sits on the couch, and cries.)

 

WOMAN

So much for being the King of the Jungle!

 

MAN

It’s more like the Wimp of the Jungle! What a dummy!

 

(They laugh more at the poor LION.)

 

WOMAN

Thanks for the pizza, your Highness…I mean, your Wimpiness!

 

The End.  Poor Lion!