Exit, pursued by a bear.


  • SON - ideally played by someone with an appearance of between 30 and 50. He does not have a noticeable accent, except for when he's quoting FATHER, in which case he lays on the rural accent thick.
  • FATHER - played by an adult male, old enough to be hunting bear, too young to know better. FATHER must be carrying a toy gun, as close in appearance to a shotgun as possible.
  • FRIEND - played by an adult male who appears to be a contemporary in age to FATHER, and also carrying a toy gun. Both FATHER and FRIEND are not well off, and are less than completely educated, speaking with a "backwoods drawl".
  • BEAR - played by the biggest female you can find. If she has a killer instinct like a real mother bear, all the better. Her only prop is that she's wearing one of those animal snout toys that kids wear when playing zoo. If she has a pants-wettingly scary "bear face", that's a definite plus.

(SON enters, leaving a chair or stool about ten feet from one end of the stage, crosses the stage and begins his monologue. The only illumination on the stage is a single spotlight pointing at SON.)

SON: Well you see, one day Pa got a bug in his butt that he was "gonna go shoot hisself a 'bar". So he went out and bought a "'bar shootin' gun n' some 'bar shootin' duds n' some 'bar shootin' bullets with the big tips to be sure to turn that 'bar inside out".

(FATHER and FRIEND enter carrying the toy gun, pantomiming hunting or tracking game. Stage lighting increases to illuminate the entire stage.)

SON: So Pa and his friend went out into the woods. They were out there one hour...

(FATHER and FRIEND begin showing signs of frustration.)

SON: Two hours...

(FATHER and FRIEND are visibly frustrated now.)

SON: They "wuz out thar a looooong time!" So finally Pa gets the idea to stand up on a tree stump "so's he could get a better look around."

(FATHER gets up on a stool or chair, facing away from BEAR, who enters the stage behind him. Neither FATHER nor FRIEND see BEAR enter.)

SON: Just then, some black bear decided that Pa had gotten just close enough to her cubs, and came out of the woods right behind Pa.
SON: Well, Pa spun around and emptied eight rounds of "punkin' shot" into that "'bar" as fast as he could!

(As FATHER takes each shot, someone off stage should strike something producing a gun-like banging noise, perhaps a 2x4 block of wood against the floor. After the eighth shot, the stage lights go down, and the only light is again the spotlight on SON.)

SON: Pa insisted he had killed a bear, but was never sure because it ran into the bush. Turns out, Pa's friend told me the same story a few years later...

(Stage lights go back up, with FATHER and FRIEND again facing away from the bear, FATHER up on the stool or chair and FRIEND a few feet away. From this point until the conclusion of the reenactment, everything is acted out in "slow motion". The more the actors can exaggerate this, the better.)

SON: You see, once that bear roared...
BEAR: ROAR! (FATHER spins around with a face of total terror.)
SON: Pa spun around like he had never spun around before and proceeded to pump the shotgun eight times as fast as he could (The action is still in slow motion, played for laughs.), but never firing a single shot! Well, it was hard to tell who was more terrified: the bear or Pa.

(Both BEAR and FATHER turn and run off stage in slow motion in opposite directions. FRIEND can't believe what he just saw. Stage lights are dimmed again, leaving only SON in the spotlight.)

SON: That was how I knew I was finally becoming one of the guys. Dad's friends were telling me that he was in fact capable of making a fool of himself... and Dad would only smile whenever I asked him to tell me the story again.

(SON walks off stage taking the stool or chair with him as the spotlight dims.)

This is a story told to me as my father told me, and as my grandfather told dad. It's completely true to the extent that stories told over generations are completely true.