Where should we put it?

SIMON, 5 years old
TOM, 9 years old
MOM, 40’s, SIMON and TOM’s mother

A living room. Evening.

(Lights up on the living room. TOM sits on the couch reading. SIMON comes running through the front door.)

SIMON Tom! Look what I found.

TOM Go away Simon, I’m busy.

SIMON Just look.

(SIMON presents a dead rat to TOM who shrieks and jumps away.)

TOM Get that thing away from me!

SIMON It can’t hurt you, it’s dead.

TOM Like hell it can’t! Those things carry diseases of all sorts.

(SIMON moves closer to TOM.)

SIMON Like I said, it’s dead. It can’t carry anything.

(TOM backs away from SIMON.)

TOM That isn’t how it works you dummy. Now get that thing away from me. I’m not trying to catch a case.

SIMON Would you relax? I’ve seen you try to catch. It’s sad.

TOM I mean a case of the rabies, you dummy.

(SIMON inspects the body.)

SIMON It doesn’t look like he’s got rabies to me. Besides, like I said, he’s dead, he can’t give you anything even if he wants to. Which he probably doesn’t because he’s dead.

TOM Would you shut it? I get it, it’s dead. Doesn’t make it any less disgusting. Go throw it back out to the cat where it belongs.

SIMON But I just saved it from the cat.

TOM Well, you sure did a real bang-up job.

SIMON I guess you’re right, I thought it was alive when I grabbed it.

TOM Well, what are you waiting for? Throw it out.


(SIMON walks towards the door. Before he gets there the door opens. MOM enters the front door, on the phone.)

MOM Don’t be ridiculous Suzan, of course you’ll look good.

(TOM pulls SIMON away from MOM.)

TOM(Whispers) You can’t let Mom see that; she’ll throw a fit.

SIMON If you can’t catch, she definitely can’t throw.

TOM That’s not what I meant, you dummy. She’ll faint if she sees a dead rat. When she wakes up, she’ll probably have our heads.

SIMON She can’t have mine, I need it.

MOM Well, you tell your man that the least you deserve is flowers, it’s your anniversary!

TOM Hurry, put it somewhere, we can’t let her see it.

MOM (To the boys) Simon, come help me with the groceries. Tom, go get your father.

SIMON But Mom-

MOM You can do that later, come help me now. (Into the phone) That is absurd! You send that boy my way, I’ll set him straight.
(To SIMON) Let’s go.

(MOM exits.)

SIMON Here, take this. I’ll be back.

(SIMON throws the rat to TOM then exits up right. TOM catches the rat in horror.)

TOM I’m going to kill you, Simon!
(TOM runs around looking for a place to hide the rat.)
Come on, put it somewhere, put it somewhere.

(SIMON enters the front door, laden with bags. TOM dives onto the couch, putting the rat between the cushions. MOM enters front door with two bags, no longer on the phone.)

(MOM piles her bags onto SIMON who moves to exit to the kitchen.)
MOM Simon, run these to the kitchen. Tom, go tell your father to call the Riley’s and tell them dinner is going to be a little later. I’m going to start cooking.

(MOM exits to kitchen. TOM pulls the rat back out.)

TOM Time to put you where you belong.

MOM(From off stage) Tom! Go tell your father.

TOM I’m on it. Simon, come here!

(SIMON enters.)

SIMON Where did you put it?

(TOM hands SIMON the rat.)

TOM Here, take it outside. I have to go get dad.

(TOM exits up the stairs)

SIMON(To rat) Sorry about this, little guy.

(MOM enters from kitchen.)

MOM Simon, I need you to come to help me in the kitchen.

(SIMON stuffs the rat in his pocket.)

SIMON But Mom, I have to go talk to the cat. Have Tom do it.

MOM I asked you, now come help me. Come on.

SIMON(Reluctantly) Yes, Mom.

(MOM exits up left. SIMON looks around and puts the rat in TOM’s book then follows MOM to kitchen. TOM enters upstairs.)

TOM Mom, I told him!

(TOM sits on the couch. TOM grabs his book and opens it. The rat falls out and TOM screams and throws it towards the kitchen. MOM enters from kitchen, stepping over the rat.)

MOM What is it, Tom?

(SIMON enters from kitchen.)

SIMON What is it Tom?

TOM Nothing. I just read something scary in my book.

MOM If your book is that scary, you should probably be reading a different book. Did you tell your father like I asked?

TOM Yeah.

MOM Great, thank you honey. Come on Simon, we better get back into the kitchen.

(TOM grabs MOM and pulls her away from the rat.)

TOM Actually, Mom, I have something to show you.

MOM Can it wait? I’m making dinner.

TOM No, you can’t go to the kitchen. I really need to show you my rock collection.

(SIMON picks up rat.)

MOM I’ve already seen your rock collection. I don’t have time for this, Tom. The Rileys are coming over at seven. I’m sorry, but it will have to wait.

(SIMON puts the rat behind his back.)

MOM What was that, Simon?

SIMON What was what?

MOM You just put something behind your back.

TOM No, he didn’t.

MOM Why are you trying to hide it from me? Let me see it.

TOM Sorry Mom, but you can’t see it.

MOM Now I’m getting worried. Simon, show it to me.

SIMON I can’t. If I do, you’ll try to throw a fit, and you’re not very good at throwing.

TOM(Whispers) Shut up, you dummy.

MOM That’s enough. Hand it over, Simon.


MOM Now.

TOM You can’t see it because it’s a present.

MOM What?

TOM Simon is holding a present we have for you. It was supposed to be a surprise.

SIMON But you said –

TOM Shut up. You. Dummy. Go get the rest of mom’s present outside.

MOM You got me a present?

TOM We thought it would make you happy. Go back in the kitchen and we’ll get it ready for you, ok?

MOM Alright, but there better not be any funny business.

(MOM exits to kitchen.)

TOM Come on, we’ve got to get rid of that thing.

SIMON But I thought we were giving it to Mom as a present.

TOM Don’t be a dummy. Come on, let’s go.

(TOM and SIMON exit front door. After a moment, they enter again. SIMON has something behind his back.)

TOM Mom, we’re ready!

(MOM enters from kitchen.)

MOM Do you want me to close my eyes?

SIMON But then you couldn’t see.

TOM Don’t be a dummy, just give it to her.

(SIMON gives MOM a handful of flowers)

SIMON Here Mom, it’s not a dead rat.

MOM Thank you so much. They’re beautiful. I’m so glad it’s not a dead rat Simon, thank you.

(All hug.)