Play #14: Lupus and the Maiden

The play takes place in the archetypal forest of all our fairytales.  Here, the trees are thick and dark and so tall you can’t see their leaves.  Nestled among them, in a dusky glade, is a small cottage.  The door is open and we hear, from inside, the voice of a young woman.  She is singing a lugubrious song.  As the play opens, a young wolf named Lupus strolls into the clearing.

LUPUS (putting down his knapsack and looking around):  A charming cottage!  And it’s singing!

YOUNG WOMAN (coming to the door):  It is not singing, ingenuous young wolf!  It was I who was singing.

LUPUS (ashamed of his mistake):  I’m dreadfully sorry.  It was an easy mistake to make.

YOUNG WOMAN (greatly irritated):  No, it wasn’t.  It certainly was not. 

LUPUS (observing her closely):  You don’t have very large teeth.

YOUNG WOMAN (acknowledging the truth of this):  I have delicate, milky, evenly-spaced, babylike teeth—like two tiny pearl necklaces.  See? (she grimaces at him).

LUPUS (impressed):  Wow.  Nice.

YOUNG WOMAN (looking him over more carefully):   Listen, would you like to stay to supper?

LUPUS:  Well, I was sort of on my way to my grandmother’s place…. 

YOUNG WOMAN (cheerily):  But you have to eat, don’t you?

LUPUS (eagerly, boyishly): And so do you, I guess.

YOUNG WOMAN (with elaborate casualness):  That’s right, I do. 

LUPUS (even more eagerly): What are we having?