EXT. ZOO — TIGER EXHIBIT — DAY

MARTIN the meerkat sky-gazes in the tiny enclosure’s sun. FRÄULEIN the tiger lounges in background shade.

MARTIN
…Why is it, do you think, that we
have these visits? How do predator
and prey prove company? You ever
thought?

FRÄULEIN
You be not for thinking. You be
only for protection. No other
housemate would have you.
Luck do not push.

MARTIN
No, really. Think on it. Who else
will give such thought? Why the
hard exterior if not holding on to
things?

A beat.

MARTIN
(looking around)
…Like your own company, for
instance?

Another. Awkward.

FRÄULEIN
This pen be fitting me.

MARTIN
(gesturing)
As they fit theirs…?

FRÄULEIN
Be no room for more.

MARTIN
Which explains me

FRÄULEIN
Rodent is not full knowing it.
He being just new.

MARTIN
Try me.

A sigh. A beat.

FRÄULEIN
Being cat comes with stigma. And
not worth disproving it. The less
they think her door open, the
less work for Fraülein. This be
quite simple.

MARTIN
Have you ever stopped to think you
might enjoy the misconception?
After all, who are we to deserve
good company?
(a beat)
Hmm?

No response. Then after a moment…

FRÄULEIN
Why is rodent even being here.
Even Fraülein does not like being
here. There’s no use for this
antagonizing—not as if she
killing you.

MARTIN
But isn’t that the curious part?
How it’s the obvious that surprises?
Tell me, how many animals have
you said two words to?

Silence.

MARTIN
And is that their fault? …Or would
you rather it weren’t so you can
play solitaire?

Nothing. A beat. Finally…

FRÄULEIN
Rodent should no more be
welcome—he is not knowing what
good come of fear. He’s lucky
Fraülein is not for bothering with
pest. Now… Go be quiet somewhere.
Your voice be giving headache.
And your words are what giving
temper. Away with you.

Grinning, Martin exits.