Dog Days – Tuckahoe School (2010)

Sarah Ryder and Gregory Nanos in Jeremy Schwartz's play, "Dog Days." Photo by Jessica Adamowicz.

“Dog Days”

By Jeremy Schwartz

Tuckahoe School, Southampton, NY.

Scene 1. The living room of the Schwartz house. Scene starts with dogs fighting over a dogbowl.

Cashew: Give me the bowl!

Scruffy: Why?!

Cashew: Because you owe me that food.

Scruffy: For what?

Cashew: Remember yesterday?

Scruffy: A little bit.

Cashew: I let you borrow my teddy bear, Mr. Snoogums. As you played with it, you put a splotch on Mr. Snoogums.

Scruffy: So you are stealing my food for me ruining your stupid bear?!

Cashew: Yeah! No amount of licking would clean him up.

Scruffy: (Furious) You know what? Take the food. I’m going to bed. (Storms offstage)

Cashew: (Screaming) You still owe me for that pillow.

Scruffy: (Screaming back) No way!!

Scene 2. The next morning. Cashew wakes up and gingerly picks up the pillow.

Cashew: Why did you do that?!

Scruffy: What did I do?

Cashew: During the night, you tinkled on my pillow.

Scruffy: (Sheeplishly) Sorry, it sometimes just comes out.

Cashew: (Throws the pillow out of his hand) Now clean that up and pay me back!

Scruffy: No!

Cashew: What?

Scruffy: If you have a problem, then take care of it yourself.

Cashew: But you made the stain.

Scruffy: Nope.

Cashew: You do it!

Scruffy: Non.

Cashew: Take care of it!

Scruffy: O-nay!

(Scruffy leaves. Cashew sits down with Mr. Snoogums and talks to him. Lights focus on the conversation in the middle of the stage)

Cashew: I can’t believe that dog! He hurts you and stains the pillow. He doesn’t pay me back! He is a mean mutt!

(Mr. Snoogums just stares at him)

Cashew: So maybe I’m a little bossy, but that doesn’t make him able to vandalize my personal property. That pillow was the pillow I slept in when I first came here. That is an artifact of sentimental value!  I remember the past. Life was great. I was pampered and I got everything I wanted. It was amazing until now!

When he showed up, I lost those privileges. He sucked my happiness like a vampire! He is the spawn of Kujo!!! (Pause. Cashew points at Mr. Snoogums, who is still just staring) I can’t believe you are siding with that piece of fur off the street! And I thought that you were my friend?  (Thinks) Uh, I guess you’re right. Maybe I need to be more friendly towards him. Thanks.

(Hugs the bear, than walks off stage with Mr. Snoogums in his hand)

Scene 3. The afternoon.

Cashew: Hi Scruffy.

(Scruffy just stares into space)

Cashew: Want to play?

Scruffy: (Ponders the thought) Sure.

Cashew: What should we play?!

Scruffy: Hide and Seek.

Cashew: I’ll count!

Scruffy: Okay.

Cashew: Let’s start! 1, 2, 3, 4…

(During the counting, Scruffy runs offstage)

Cashew: 30! Ready or not, here I come! (looking around) Where is he? Scruffy! Where are you?  (pause) He left. (A couple of random seconds of thinking) He hates me! (Picks up Mr. Snoogums) What did I do wrong?

(Bear is staring randomly)

Cashew: Okay, so maybe I was harsh before, but he seems like a nice guy. He tells the truth.

(Random staring from the bear again)

Cashew: When? Remember the time you were stuck in the tree?

(Light change. Flashback.)

Cashew: (Crying) I want my bear!

Scruffy: What happened?

Cashew: While I was playing, the evil squirrel that lives in the tree stole my bear from me and hid it!

Scruffy: (Thinks for a moment) I’ll get that bear for you.

Cashew:  Yay!

(A few minutes later, Scruffy comes limping back with Mr. Snoogums)

Cashew: What happened?

Scruffy: I got the bear back from the evil squirrel. He said he was sorry.

Cashew: Thanks Scruffy!

Scruffy: You’re welcome.

(Back to the present)

Cashew: Thank God for that.  Maybe I was a little mean, but that will change.  Bye, Mr. Snoogums!

Scene 4.  The next afternoon.

Cashew: Hi Scruffy!

Scruffy: (Speaks in a “Stay away from me” kind of voice) Hello, Cashew.

Cashew: How are you doing?

Scruffy: Fine, how are you?

Cashew: Amazing! I feel like a butterfly!

(Random staring from the dogs at each other)

Cashew: You know; you are a nice puppy.

Scruffy: Thanks.

Cashew: Maybe we should be friends.

Scruffy: Maybe, but if we become friends, you would have to say good-bye to your bear.

Cashew: Why?

Scruffy: Because it seems like you like him more than me. The only way I would be friends with you is if you lose that anchor. By anchor I mean that stupid bear.

Cashew: I can’t lose him.

Scruffy: That’s the hardest part to making new friends. You have to let go of the past, and be with the present.  (Thinks for a couple seconds) Look, I know you were great friends with him, and you can still keep him. But you have to be less obsessive about him. Instead of devoting your time to toys, you could be with friends.

Cashew: Good point.

Scruffy: I have a past of being given up by others. I know the pains of losing what you love. It’s not easy, but you get used to it.

Scruffy: Here’s what you can do. Choose the bear or choose me.

(Scruffy walks off)

(Cashew sits down and talks to Mr. Snoogums)

Cashew: I don’t know what to do. I’ve had you ever since I came here. You were my guidance and best friend. I can’t decide what to do.

(Bear randomly stares off)

Cashew: But you always told me to follow my heart. You told me my decisions are my own. So I will follow my heart.

(Bear is still staring)

Cashew: Thanks!

(Hugs him and goes offstage, leaving the bear on the ground. Lights focus on the bear, then fade out)

The End

The Company of Brian Schwartz's (center) play "Dog Days." Photo by Jessica Adamowicz.


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