By Tia

TIME: Early morning. Sun has already risen. It’s very warm. The water looks sparkly from the sun. There’s a cool breeze from the wind.

PLACE: Trees cover the mellow stream. Rocks all around.

AT RISE: GARY, a grass, is along the stream beside muddy dirt. So close along the stream, his roots hang down into the water. TREE, a beaver, comes along through the path and sees GARY wiggling around in the water.

TREE: (Shouts) The volcano’s coming! (Starts to panic – doesn’t know what to do – running around shouting) The volcano’s coming!

GARY: (Shocked) Tree? Are you okay? What’s going on? What’s happening?

TREE: The volcano’s coming. Everyone needs to get out. It’s coming.

GARY: No, it’s not. You need to calm down, Tree. You’re embarrassing me. Tree, you’re scaring me. I’ve never seen you act like this before.

TREE: (Goes closer) Do you trust me?

GARY: Yeah.

TREE: Okay then. Leave. Come with me. Let’s go.

GARY: Well, Tree, I’m a little scared. I don’t know if I could leave.

TREE: I’ll help you. Don’t be scared. I’ll be here. What do you need? How can I help?

GARY: It’s not just that, Tree.

TREE: What do you mean? We have no time for this. Let’s go.

GARY: (Feeling rushed, annoyed, like no one wants to listen to him) I’m not leaving.

TREE: Fine. (Out of desperation – sits down) Let’s talk about it.

GARY: (More calm) Well, Tree, I haven’t ever walked before. I’m nervous. I don’t know what to do. I want to walk, I really do.

TREE: (Worried that GARY’S not going to walk, wonders why GARY hasn’t walked before) Wow Gary, really?

GARY: Yeah Tree.  It’s Daisy.  After seeing her so bright and beautiful and big and tall, it makes me wonder, who am I?  Why am I so small?

TREE: Well, Gary, I’m sorry.  I didn’t know.  You’re strong, Gary.  You can do this.  Gary, I need your help. I need you to come with me and tell people about the volcano. We need to save the other animals. We need to gather food. I need you to help me Gary – please.

GARY: (Doesn’t believe volcano is coming but wants to believe his friend) I don’t see smoke.  I don’t feel the eruption.  Tree, I don’t know. I’m going to lose my home and I’m not strong enough to walk. What if I fall and get left behind?

TREE: I won’t leave you behind. We’re friends, Gary.

GARY: (Aside) Should I believe him? What if it gets so dangerous and he thinks about his life instead of mine? But then again, there was this time when Tree saved my life.  I could have died.  The mud got too slimy, and I began to fall into the stream.  I cried for help, Tree grabbed me by my root, and lifted me out of the water.  He has a home to go back to. Mine will be washed away. But what if the volcano is true and it takes my home away? Can I trust him? (To Tree) Why do you need me to come? Why is it so important for me to go along?

TREE: Gary, I need your help to let everyone know in the jungle the volcano is erupting and it’s erupting soon. We need to help everyone Gary. Why are you being so selfish? Don’t you care about the other animals? Don’t you want everyone to live? What’s wrong with you? You’re wasting time. I need you to help me Gary, please. Let’s go.

GARY: Why can’t you do it yourself? You have a voice.  Don’t call me selfish.  I care about the other animals.  You don’t know what I’m going through.  You don’t understand.  I’m hurt.

TREE: Well, how do you think I feel?  You don’t even believe me.  No one believes me. Everyone’s just like you.

GARY: Why doesn’t anyone believe you? What’s wrong with you?

TREE: Cause I’m little and no one wants to believe a beaver. I don’t look strong.

GARY: I know how you feel.

TREE: Why don’t you help me then? Friends help each other.

GARY: You don’t understand Tree. My home. My life will change. I’m just not sure Tree. I’m scared and worried.

TREE: Gary, you could find a new home. You don’t understand how important this is. Gary, I could help you make a new home. You could live on the other side of the stream where I live. It’s bright and sunny. The water’s sparkling and fresh. You’ll love it Gary, I know you will.

GARY: Are you sure? Are you sure you’re going to help me?

TREE: We always help each other. I’m sure, Gary.

GARY: I really want to trust you Tree. I really want to help you. But how are you so sure the volcano’s going to erupt?

TREE: (Aside; ashamed and a little sneaky. Worried. Needs to decide if he’s going to tell) Oh man. What should I do? I feel like no one wants to believe me. I don’t understand why. Should I tell him it’s all my fault? How do I tell him that I started this? I hope he doesn’t get mad, but that’s the only way he’ll believe me. I feel lost. I just want to help everybody. Maybe I should just rip him out of the ground and just take him with me. We’re running out of time. He’s my friend. I need to help him. (To Gary) Look, I um ... um ... I just need you to come with me. I need you to trust me. Why won’t you trust me? Why is it so hard for you? I’m begging you. If I was you, I would help me. I would help you anytime you asked me. And I do help you. You’re to blame Gary if all the animals die and we have no food.

GARY: How did you find out the volcano was going to erupt?

TREE: (Walking back and forth, a little quiet, hesitating, thinking a lot) Okay, okay. I was looking for sticks, the best sticks, and all the best sticks are by the volcano – the top part. The edge of the volcano and um ... um ... uh ... I shuffled some logs around and when I was done, I noticed the volcano was smoking. I rushed home and on the way, I tried to tell all the animals but no one would believe me. No one had the time to hear me.

GARY: I believe you. I’ll help you. It’s not your fault. You’re a great friend Tree. You want to help everyone. I realize that you came to me and you wanted to save my life.