On Saturday the two cutest dates under four feet accompanied me to Providence to see “The Lion King.” It was a blissful afternoon–short on the bad weather I had feared and long on excitement. When we took our seats, Oscar and Edgar asked about souvenirs. I told them that at intermission we would walk over to the souvenir stand, see what they had, make some decisions, and maybe pick up something on the way out. Simple enough. Time for the show.
At intermission we made our way to the lobby to investigate the souvenir inventory; and of course every other patron in the theater had the same inspired idea. As we waited in the amorphous conglomeration of people that loosely passed for a line, the boys craned their necks as best they could to see what was in the case. When it was our turn, Oscar asked the efficient gentleman behind the counter, “Excuse me. Excuse me. Do you have a stuffed toy of Scar?”
In case you do not know the story of “The Lion King” or the names escape you, Scar is the villain.
The young man, who was clearly on autopilot, stopped in his tracks, looked at Oscar and said, “No. Not Scar.” Then he listed the 85 other plush toys they DID have. Then he asked Oscar, “Why Scar?” to which Oscar replied, “Because he’s the most intriguing character in the play.”
And that was that.
Oscar might have been disappointed by the fact that they didn’t have his choice, but what came next was better than any souvenir–a discussion about conflict, plot development, and motivation that this English teacher could never have imagined having with her six-year-old child. He even wound up making the final point over sandwiches at Subway: “Mom, no story could exist without a ‘bad guy.’ In ‘The Lion King,’ without Scar, everything would just be peaceful. And that would be nice, but there would be no story.”
Oscar, though there is not a villainous bone in your body, as intriguing goes, you, my friend, have Scar beat, and I look forward to (and hope I can keep up with) your future analyses!