One Act Play
OG A young caveman
Ounu An older caveman
Narrator A man or woman
A shallow cave at the top of a hill. Behind it is the sky. It will be red with morning light, blue and then black at night. Before it is a slope. The audience would be the valley unto which this cave over looks. At the center is a fireplace, the charred logs of past fires. This is a build up such that it will hide Ounu’s body when it falls from the ledge. The fire never goes out so there is always a glow within. There are two straw beds. One is up on the ledge behind the fire. It is the more comfortable of the two. It may have the hide of an animal to signify this. The other is on the ground beside the fire. Against the wall are stout sticks used for hunting. And on the wall itself there are pictures, etched in with the charcoal of the burned sticks of the fire. A stack of sticks is off to the side. There are some hand sized rocks used for crushing nuts, roots or bones. A couple thin sticks serve as skewers.
The idea behind this play is that Og, as an early man, doesn’t have the concept of individuality. The rabbit he killed and ate yesterday is the same rabbit he hunts today. If he saw a dozen crows, each would be simply the crow. With the absence of the concept, Og does not know death as an ending.
[IT IS NIGHT. THE FIRE CAST A REDISH-ORANGE LIGHT ON THE TWO SLEEPING MEN. OUNU IS SLEEPING ON THE LEDGE. OG IS ON THE FLOOR. ]
[A DRUM MADE OF WOOD TAPS AS THE SCENE OPENS]
OUNU GASPS, BOLTS UP TO A SITTING POSITION GRASPS HIS HEART, BREATHS NOISILY, GASPS AGAIN, JERKS AND FALLS BACK ON THE MAT. HE GROANS, GURGLES AND IS SILENT. HIS ARM FALLS DOWN ALONG THE SIDE OF THE WALL. HE IS DEAD.
OG SLEEPS. HE TURNS, MAKES A SMACKING SOUND, SAVORING SOME LAST MORSEL IN HIS MOUTH, SIGHS AND CONTINUES TO SLEEP.]
[THE FIRE RETREATS TO A FEW SMALL GLOWING AMBERS AND THE SET BECOMES DARK. ]
OG RUSTLED AS BEFORE. HE CURLS UP, HUGGING HIMSELF AS THE AIR BECOMES COLDER.]
[THE SKY LIGHTENS WITH THE RED AND YELLOW OF MORNING. IT SLOWLY BECOMES BLUE. THE SET BECOMES FULLY ILLUMINATED.]
OUNU LIES ON HIS BACK, HIS EYES OPEN, HIS MOUTH OPEN, ONE HAND ON HIS CHEST AND THE OTHER HANGING DOWN AGAINST THE WALL.
THE NARRATOR WALKS ONTO THE SET. HE STEPS OVER TO OUNU, LOOKS DOWN AND SHAKES HIS HEAD SADLY. HE LOOKS TO THE AUDIENCE.
Ounu is dead.
THE NARRATOR LOOKS DOWN AT OG.
OG MUMBLES. HE IS ABOUT TO AWAKE
THE NARRATOR QUICKLY MOVES TO THE FRONT EDGE OF THE STAGE. HE WATCHES OG.
OG AWAKES, SITS UP, YAWNS AND STRETCHES. HE RUBS HIS EYES. HE LOOKS TOWARD OUNU BUT HAS NO REACTION. OG STANDS UP. HE SEES A BIRD PERCHED CLOSE BY. HE LOOKS AND FINDS A ROCK. HE MOVES CAREFULLY CLOSER, FLINGS THE ROCK AND MISSES. OG GRUNTS HIS DISAPPOINTMENT.
OG IS HUNGRY. HE GOES TO THE FIRE AND ON HANDS AND KNEES HE POKES HIS FINGERS INTO THE ASHES. HE PICKS UP SPLINTERS OF BONE. HE LOOKS AT THEM. HE PUTS ONE IN HIS MOUTH AND PULLS IT BETWEEN HIS TEETH TO REMOVE WHATEVER MEAT IS ON IT. HE FINDS ANOTHER, LARGER RABBIT BONE. HE GRINS. HE TAKES A HAND SIZE ROCK, SETS THE BONE ON ANOTHER AND SMASHES THE END OPEN. HE SUCKS OUT THE MARROW AND LICKS AROUND THE BONE. HE TOSSES IT BACK IN THE FIRE AND LOOKS FOR ANOTHER. HE DIGS. HE BURNS HIS FINGER, GRUNTS AND PULLS IT BACK, SUCKS IT. HE LOOKS MORE. HE FINDS NO MORE.
Og need food. It’s been a long time Og eat.
OG LOOKS OUT ONTO THE VALLEY. HE SHADES HIS EYES. HE SEES MOVEMENT AND FOLLOWS IT. HE LICKS HIS LIPS AND RUBS HIS BELLY. THEN GOES TO THE BACK WALL WHERE HE TAKES A HUNTING STICK.
Ah ga ma, Ounu. Ah ga ma. Haka, haka. [HE POINTS TO THE VALLEY] Ounu, ah ga ma. Taka, uma. [HE SHAKES THE STICK. HE IS ANXOUS TO GET OFF HUNTING]
OG LOOKS CLOSER AT OUNU. THEN HE LOOKS AROUND AS HE FOLLOWS THE STARE OF HIS DEAD COMPANION. HE LOOKS IN THE AIR A LONG TIME. THEN HE LOOKS BACK TO OUNU AND FOLLOWS THE STARE AGAIN. AGAIN HE SEES NOTHING.
Ounu, ah ga ma. Haka. Haka.
OG PUTS HIS HAND ON OUNU’S SHOULDER AND SHAKES. THE DEAD MAN’S HEAD SHIFTS AND THE EYES STARE IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. OG FOLLOWS THE STARE AND LOOKS THAT WAY. AGAIN OG LOOKS CLOSELY AT OUNU.
Og does not know why Ounu sleep. The light has come. The light has come and Ounu is not up.
Na, num. Na, num. Na num. Ahka. [OG SHAKES AND SCRATCHES THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. HE STEPS BACK. SHRUGGES HIS SHOULDERS. OG WAVES HIS HAND AT OUNU. HE TAKES HIS HUNTING STICK IN BOTH HANDS, TURN AND LOOKS INTO THE VALLEY. HE SWINGS THE STICK LIKE HE WERE HITTING AN ANIMAL, PRACTICING THE KILL OF HIS GAME. HE DECENDS THE SLOPE
Ah ga ma, haka, haka.
THE NARRATOR STEPS OUT TO THE CENTER OF THE STAGE AND HE WATCHES OG MOVE INTO THE VALLEY. THIS IS THE AUDIENCE. AS THE NARRATOR WATCHES, HE RELATES WHAT OG DOES. HE ALSO ACTS IT OUT.
Og want to catch the hare. The hare has much meat. There now. Look. [HE POINTS] Og see the hare. Og know: run the hare, run the hare. Og run. The hare run. Og run this way now. Hare run that way, to the stream. Ounu be there. Og look, but Ounu not there. Ounu not there to down the stick. Stop the hare. Og down the stick, down the stick.
[THE NARRATOR ACTS THE PART NOW, SHOWING HOW OG SWINGS DOWN THE STICK. HE TURNS HIS
HEAD TO SEE THE RABBIT BEHIND HIM. HE RUNS THE OTHER WAY NOW WITH THE STICK RAISED. HE STOPS TO DESCRIBE OG’S ACTIONS.]
The hare run. Down the stick, down the stick, down the stick. No. the hare gone. Down the hole. Hare gone. Og turn. See. He see the hare. Og run. The hare run. Down stick, down the stick. The hare go under bush. Og kneel look under bush. No hare. Og get up. The hare is at the top of hill. Og run, the hare run and is gone. Og pants. He needs to get more air. Og need to sit.
[THE NARRATOR HIMSELF IS OUT OF BREATH. HE SITS FOR A MOMENT AND THEN GET BACK UP]
A long time ago Ounu and Og lived
with tribe. His people made huts of sticks and mud. They slept
inside. They had fire and sticks to roast and make soft the meat.
Men hunted and brought back the hare, the deer, the bird, the fish. The women
picked the root, the berry, the leaf. Then no rain. [PALMS UP AND LOOKING
UP] No rain, and the ground become dry.. The hunters brought back no the
hare, the bird, the deer, no food, and then hunter no come back .Og fed from
his mother then. But he sucked and sucked and no milk came. His mother did not
Ounu take Og. He walk far, far away, and they come here, to this valley. Soon little Og know how to run the hare to Ounu. Ounu down the stick. Some days Og run the hare, run the hare, run the hare. And they eat the hare, the hare, the hare, much meat. Once Og run the deer and Ounu push the stick to stop the deer. Much meat. Og see the deer again, but this time the deer run to Ounu. The deer did not come back. The hare come back. The hare come back and come back and come back.
Ah, there. Og get up now. He go to the stream. See, [HE POINTS] The water is cold. Og lay on belly, put his mouth to the water and suck. He drink and drink. It make his belly full. [STANDING HE DEMONSTRATES THIS] But it is not food. Og need food. The fish is here. Ounu show him the way to take the fish out of the water. Slowly move to the fish. The fish doesn’t run away when slow. Ounu go on other side of fish. Fish turn Ounu catch the fish. Fish turn, Ounu not there. Og run in water. Fish is gone. Og look the other way. But fish not there.
[THE SKY DARKENS AND THE NARRATOR LOOKS UP TO IT]
The time to get food will be done. No more look for fish. Og look under the rock. He find the snail and bites. It cracks. It is open. [DEMONSTATES] Ah, so little meat. Og look under the rock, the rock the rock and find the snail again. He eat the snail. He find the snail under the log. Now he do again. The rock, the rock, the log, the log. But no the snail. Og need more food.
[ THE SKY DARKENS MORE.]
Og must come back here before not see. He leave stream. Og find the root. He pulls the root. [DEMONSTRATES] He bite in. The root has many strings. He need to chew and chew and chew, and the strings won’t go down. He puts them through his teeth to get the meat off. The leaves do not chew. Og find the root again. He pull it out.
Og come now.
[THE NARRATOR BACKS AWAY ]
[THE NARRATOR EXITS]
OG ENTERS. HE CARRIES HIS STICK AND THE ROOT, WHITE, CARROT LIKE WITH BITS OF EARTH CLINGING TO IT. HE GOES TO OUNU HOLDS IT UP FOR HIM TO SEE. LOOKING AGAIN AT THE DIRECTION OF OUNU’S EYES. HE PUTS THE ROOT IN THE WAY.
Ga um pa. Ounu. Ga um pa. Nah, Nah.
OG DROPS THE ROOT. HE SWINGS THE STICK LIKE HE IS HUNTING, DOWN ONCE, DOWN AGAIN. HE LOOKS TO THE END, REACHES DOWN AND LIFTS TO SHOW AN EMPTY HAND.
Nah, Ounu. Ga um pa. Ga um pa. Ounu.
OG PUTS HIS HAND ON OUNU’S SHOULDER AND SHAKES HIM. AGAIN HE LOOKS CLOSELY AT OUNU AND FOLLOWS THE STARE OF HIS EYES. HE BACKS AWAY THEN. STARES, SCRATCHES THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.
[THE SKY DARKENS AND IT IS ALMOST BLACK]
OG PUTS HIS STICK AGAINST THE BACK WALL. HE GETS STICKS FROM THE PILE OF WOOD, ADDS THEM TO THE FIRE, KNEELS AND BLOWS TO MAKE THE FLAMES COME ALIVE. HE GOES TO HIS MAT AND LAYS DOWN. HE CURLS AND HUGS HIMSELF.
[AGAIN THE DRUM BEATS ITS TUM, TUM. THE FIRE RETREATS INTO THE LOGS AND DARKNESS FALLS ON THE SET. THE SKY LIGHTENS. THE RED-ORANGE GLOW COMES TO THE SKY AND THE DRUM STOPS. IT BECOMES LIGHT]
OG AWAKES, YAWNS AND STRETCHES. HE RUBS HIS EYES
THE NARRATOR ENTERS FROM BEHIND AND WATCHES OG AS HE STEPS TO THE FRONT OF THE STAGE.
OG LOOKS ABOUT. HE SNIFFS. HE LIFTS HIS HEAD AND SNIFFS AGAIN TRYING TO LOCATE THE SOURCE OF THE SMELL. IT IS OUNU AND HIS SNIFFING TAKES HIM TO OUNU. OG PUTS HIS HEAD DOWN TO OUNU’S BUTTOX AND SNIFFS.
Na ga ba. Na ga ba? Ga ah, Ga ah
OG GRINS AND GOES TO THE FIRE. GOES ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES AS HE ANXIOUSLY LOOKS, DIGS AND PRODS FOR THE MEAT HE BELIEVES IS THERE. HE EXPECTED THE MEAT AND BONES OF THE DEER .
Og think Ounu smell of the deer. He think Ounu eat the deer. He look for meat, bones in the fire.OG GOES BACK OUNU AND SNIFF AS HIS BUTT. THEN IS BACK TO THE FIRE AND DIGS. HE FINDS NOTHING. HE BURNS HIS FINGER LOOKING. HE PICKS UP A HANDFULL OF DIRT AND THROWS IT DOWN. HE EXPECTED
HE GETSUP AND GOES TO OUNU.
Ounu, ah gak ka. Ah gak ka. Ounu.
OG POINTS TO THE FIRE. HE MAKES
MOTIONS OF EATING. HE THEN SHAKES OUNU TO WAKE HIM.
Ounu. Ah ga ma haka. Haka. Ounu.
OG STEPS BACK AS OUNU’S BODY FALLS FROM THE LEDGE DOWN TO THE CAVE FLOOR. IT IS HIDDEN HERE BECAUSE OF THE THE FIRE LOGS. OG STARES. HE STEPS BACK. HE SHRUGGES, SCRATCHES THE BACK OF HIS HEAD. HE THEN PICKS UP THE ROOT HE DROPPED LAST NIGHT. HE BITES IN AND PULLS AGAINST THE STRINGY FIBER. CHEWS. IT IS NOT ENOUGH. HE THROW DOWN THE ROOT, TAKES HIS HUNTING STICK AND MARCHES DOWN TO THE VALLEY TO HUNT.
THE NARRATOR STEPS OUT TO THE MIDDLE OF THE STAGE NOW AND WATCHES OG.
Og is very hungry. He eat only the root and the root has little meat. He eat the snail, the snail, the snail but the snail, snail the snail the snail isn’t the meat of the hare. It is more little than the marrow sucked from it’s bone.
Ah, there. Og see the hare. It run over grass. Ah the hare again. Og watch the hare and the hare. Og run. The hare run. Og down the stick, down the stick. No, the hare too far. Og stumble and lay on the ground. Og is panting. He can not stop the hare. He need Ounu, run the hare to Ounu. Ounu down the stick.
There the hare again. Og get up. Og watch. Og do as do with fish. Og move slow. Very slow. Og get closer. The hare run. Og run, down the stick, down the stick. No stop the hare. The hare gone.
[THE SKY DARKENS]
Og find the root again. he chew, he chew, he chew. He spit out the strings. He pull the string, the string, the string from his teeth. Og chew more. Go to stream. He need to drink water.
THE NARRATOR JUMPS BACK.
It is the frog. Og put down stick. Og watch frog. He crouch. Put out hands like this. Follow the frog. Jump, jump. See. [THE NARRATOR DEMONSTRATES] Now, the frog jump, Og catch. [HE PUTS IT TO HIS OPEN MOUTH CHEWS AND SWALLOWS] Og eat the frog. Og smile now. There, there the frog again. Og crouch, follow the frog. Jump, jump, jump Og catch the frog.
THE NARRATOR INTERUPTS HIS ENACTMENT TO LOOK QUICKLY BACK AT THE CAVE.
HE WATCHES AND THEN TURNS THE AUDIENCE.
The big black bird, the big black bird, the big black bird, the dog, the dog, the dog have come. Eat Ounu. Look. Big black bird fly up piece of Ounu in his bill. See. Dog, dog has Ounu’s arm. See. Dog go to eat someplace else. There, the dog again.
THE NARRATOR MOVES CLOSER AND GOES UP ON HIS TOES TO LOOK OVER THE FIRE.
Ounu only bones now.
[THE SKY DARKENS. THE NARRATOR LOOKS UP TO IT. HE THEN LOOKS IN THE VALLEY FOR OG. HE STEPS BACK ]
Og, he come back.
OG COMES UP FROM THE VALLEY. HE RUNS TO OUNU, CHASES AFTER THE DOG, LOOKS UP TO SEE THE BIRDS FLY AWAY. HE THEN LOOKS DOWN AT OUNU. HE REACHES DOWN, PICKS UP A BONE AND HE GRINS AND LAUGHS
Ounu, ah ga ma. Haka, haka.. [HE LAUGHS] Ounu ah ga haka haka. [HE LOOKS UP AS IF FOLLOWING THE BIRD LIFTING INTO AIR. HE MAKES THE MOTION OF EATING HE LAUGHS AGAIN AND PUTS DOWN THE BONE]
Og think to laugh. Ounu is the hare. Ounu is the hare. The bird the dog eat Ounu as Ounu eat the hare.
[THE SKY DARKENS. THE NARRATOR LOOKS UP TO IT]
THE NARRATOR EXITS
OG PUTS WOOD ON THE FIRE AND BLOWS TO MAKE IT COME ALIVE. HE PUSH THE STRAW OF HIS MAT TO MAKE IT SOFT AND THEN LOOKS TO THE MAT ON THE LEDGE. AS IF TO SEE IF OUNU IT THERE, OG WALKS TO THIS MAT. HE LOOKS AROUND ONCE AND THEN AGAIN. AND HE LIFTS HIMSELF ONTO THE LEDGE. OG PULLS THE HIDE OVER THIS LEGS. HE SIGHS CONTENTLY AND FALLS ASLEEP. HE MAKES A SMACKING SOUND WITH HIS MOUTH AS HE SAVORS THE FOOD HE LAST ATE.
THE FIRE BECOMES DIM. IT IS DARK. THE TOM TOM OF THE DRUM SOUNDS. IT STOPS AND THE SKY LIGHTENS WITH MORNING LIGHT.
OG AWAKES. HE SLIDES DOWN FROM THE LEDGE AND GOES TO THE FIRE. HE HUGS
HIMSELF BECAUSE IT IS COLD. SLAPS HIS SHOULDERS TO MAKE HIMSELF WARM. HE WALKS
TO THE LEDGE AND GET THE FUR WHICH PUTS OVER HIS SHOULDERS.
HE GOES TO THE WOOD PILE AND TAKES DRIED BRANCHES AND PUTS THEM ON THE FIRE. HE GOES ON HIS KNEES TO BLOW AND MAKE THE FLAMES GROW. HE GOES FOR MORE WOOD. AS HE PICKS UP A STICK, HE SEES A CATERPILLER. HE PICKS IT OFF
AND EATS IT. HE LOOKS OVER OTHER STICKS AND FINDS ANOTHER CATERPILLAR AND HE EATS IT
THE NARRATOR ENTERS. HE LOOKS AT OG.
Og find the fuzzy worm. And he eat it. He find fuzzy worm and eat it. But the fuzzy worm is small and will not stop hurt in stomach.
THE NARRATOR SHIVERS AND HUGS HIMSELF.
The air is colder. It will be colder and colder. Og will not find the fuzzy worm. He will not find the frog, the snail. The root will be dry, only string. Og need to stop the hare. Even the deer. But Og can not do this. He need Ounu. Ounu show him where to put wood so it burns. Ounu show him dig the hole, put the root, the root, the root in. Ounu know where the red root, the white root, the yellow root is. Og need to do that now. But Og only cold now. Og doesn’t know….
THE NARRATOR IS DISTRACTED. HE LOOKS INTO THE VALLEY. HE PUT HIS HAND OVER HIS EYES TO SHADE THEM.
OG STOPS SEARCHING THE STICKS FOR CATERPILLARS AS HE TOO HAS SEES SOMETHING IN THE VALLEY. OG STANDS AND PUTS HIS HAND OVER HIS EYES TO SHADE THEM. THEN OG JUMPS EXCITEDLY UP AND DOWN
Ounu! Ounu! [HE POINTS. HE GRINS] Ounu, ah ga, ah ga.
It is Ounu again. He has come into the valley. Soon he will be close.
OG WAVES TO THE MAN APPROACHING. HE GOES BACK TO WALL AND PICKS UP HIS HUNTING STICK. HE STARTS TO GO OFF STAGE AND HE STOPS.
Og see Ounu not have hunting stick.
OG GOES BACK AND GETS OUNU’S HUNTING STICK. HOLDING IT OUT, OFFERING IT. OG GOES DOWN INTO THE VALLEY.
Ounu, ah ga.
Yes. And when the hare comes, Og will run it and Ounu will stop it. The
hare has much meat.