Story Wonders: The Reptile Zoo and Precious Chastity

Topics: AdventurescreativityInspirationWriting
Two tortoises

“That anaconda’s body is as big as two of my thighs,” said my teenager.

Walking away from the creature in the glass enclosure, we agreed that snakes don’t bother us but this snake–this anaconda with the two-thigh-sized body? She made us think of Kaa from the Jungle Book. And made us feel like Mowgli in a tree.

So if you don’t like snakes, avoid the Reptile Zoo. And don’t promise your seven-year old that you will go if he manages to get that tooth out after six months of letting it stick straight out into his gums. Don’t do that if snakes give you the willies.

If you are a mom like me though–the kind who doesn’t mind reptiles after decades of living with boys who gather bugs and reptiles–the Reptile Zoo is the place. (Because I like you, I shrunk this photo of the anaconda.)

anaconda with thigh body

Quinton took the photos for this gallery with future plans to make a book. It will be like a tooth fairy reward he gives himself.



Writing Notes

I wrote the words above the gallery for the chastisty exercise in Steering the Craft where I write a narrative without using adjectives. I cheated on the first line. Le Guin specifically said no dialog.

It just made such a good opener that I couldn’t help myself. And I suppose I didn’t write much of a narrative either. It’s more of a description or a warning. If you look, I even snuck in a few adjectives. Maybe an adverb even. I guess I’m not that chaste.

But here it is. Warts and all. It looks like my theme for this year will bedon’t be precious about it.‘ I saw that in the video below about a stone cutter and then again yesterday posted by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, the writing and illustrating hero I wrote about last week.  

I make the stuff. I send it out. I move on. Fortunately, it doesn’t take me nearly as long as it takes this lady to crack out her chisels and concrete bits for her art.


About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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