Summer Short And Sweets – Week 5

Woo-hoo!  Time for Summer Short & Sweets! 🙂

badge created by Loni Edwards

I am so happy it’s Friday!  Visiting colleges is tons of fun but also tiring and all those donuts that driving is not good for my fitness.  I am learning things, though.  Do you know what the smallest private college in the United States is?  Apparently that distinction belongs to Alaska Bible College with an enrollment of 38 students.  Who knew?  I hope you all feel as enriched by that little tidbit as I do.  We will not be visiting Alaska Bible College (our loss I’m sure) but I cannot possibly put up with Jo-Jilly for that long of a drive!

So let’s have some fun, shall we?  Let’s see what we can think up today…

First, choose an emotion.  Just in case you can’t think of any, here are a few:

Interest, politeness, surprise, anger, annoyance, contempt, disgust, irritation, serenity, relief, relaxation, contentment, calmness, anxiety, embarrassment, fear, helplessness, powerlessness, worry, courage, hope, pride, satisfaction, trust, doubt, envy, frustration, guilt, shame, affection, empathy, friendliness, love, boredom, despair, disappointment, hurt, sadness, amusement, delight, elation, stress, shock, tension, excitement, happiness, joy, pleasure…

Got one?

Second, choose an animal that emotion makes you think of – either similar or opposite – but you can also go random and see what you come up with 🙂  Again, a list for anyone who’s feeling uninspired 🙂

Aardvark, anteater, badger, beaver, camel, cat, chimpanzee, cow, deer, donkey, gazelle, gorilla, hamster, hippo, horse, jaguar, kangaroo, lamb, lion, lynx, mink, moose, monkey, opossum, ox, ocelot, polar bear, porcupine, pony, porpoise, puppy, raccoon, rhinoceros, ram, salamander, squirrel, skunk, tiger, turtle, toad, walrus, warthog, wolf, wombat, yak, zebra…

Got one?

Okay.  Here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Pick an adjective that compares/relates/associates your animal to your emotion (e.g. if you chose angry and cat, you might choose hissing, spitting, or twitchy for your adjective)
2. Write an action filled phrase describing how the animal moves (e.g. if you chose cat you might say slinking, slitted eyes shifting suspiciously)
3. Write a phrase telling where the animal lives (e.g. if you chose monkey you might say in the crown of the rainforest)
4. Write a phrase that either tells readers why the animals acts the way it does, or possibly how others react to it (e.g. if you’re writing about an angry monkey you might say screeching for the baboon’s banana)

Put it all together like this:

is [a/an/the] adjective from #1  animal
action filled phrase from #2
phrase telling where animal lives from #3
phrase telling why animal acts that way or how others react to it from #4

and you have a) a short poem and b) great practice in simile/metaphor!

Here’s mine for satisfaction and cat

is a purring cat
curled warm and soft
on a noontime windowsill,
soaking up sunshine because she can.

Here’s another for bewilderment and penguin

is a tuxedoed penguin
tiptoeing tentatively
at the icy ocean’s edge
wondering where his dinner dove.

How about one for shame and snail?

is a slump-shouldered snail
creeping, head down,
in the shadow of the stone wall
hoping to escape scrutiny.

The fact that I have barely been home for two weeks, I’m cross-eyed from driving, and I’ve been dulled into a creative stupor by innumerable college info sessions and tour guide spiels should make you all feel very brave about attempting this because you can be sure whatever you write will not be the worst thing up here – I have helpfully put my own attempts in that place of dishonor 🙂

Now you try!  Not only will you be sharpening your simile/metaphor skills, perhaps you will inspire a story – for yourself or someone else – or perhaps you’ll read someone else’s and get a great idea!  Do as many as you want – they’re totally fun!  I can’t wait to read what you come up with!!!

Of course, as I will be driving home from Ohio, which is very far away, I will probably not get to read your sterling work until late sniffle sniff…  But that’s just more to look forward to 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!!! 🙂  And remember, if you want to be eligible for Short & Sweet prizes, you must submit at least one entry for each SS&S week’s prompt.  Please see HERE for full details!  So far, 44 people have done at least one, but only a dedicated 9 have done all 4 to date… in case you were wondering 🙂

87 thoughts on “Summer Short And Sweets – Week 5

  1. thefeatherednest says:

    Blind rage
    is a powerful mother bear
    charging, frothing, hackles raised
    in the cool of the forest floor
    toward anything foolish enough to come
    between her and her baby.

  2. Renee LaTulippe says:

    First, I LOVE your snail poem. Just the idea of a shamed snail is hysterical. I mean, what has he done that he must escape scrutiny? Fabulous!

    Here's mine. I added a couple of extras on the end because I just couldn't help it. I may turn this into a longer piece. Thanks again for the AMAZING writing exercises. I've loved them all (and I think I'm one of the nine, right?).

    is a smug sloth
    slouching along in his slumbering way
    in the solace of rain forest trees,
    thumbing his nose at progress
    with a savvy smile
    and his own type of swagger.

  3. Robyn Campbell says:

    Sucko here! *raises hand*

    is a contented horse
    loping, galloping, surefooted,
    through the verdant grassy pasture
    contented it all belongs to HIM.

    Love your cat, penguin, and snail. They made me sleepy, smile, and mortified. Did you say donut?? I'M ON A DIET!!!!!! WAAAAHAAAAAAAAAA…

  4. Kim Murray says:

    It's Friday already?! Yikes, where did my week go?

    is a thorny porcupine
    waddling woefully
    through his lonely forest
    wishing only for a warm embrace

    OK, so I've been fighting with my 9-year-old this week. Where's my little boy who used to freely give hugs? He's left the building…and I'm frustrated!

  5. Angela Brown says:

    You and Jo-jilly keep things safe with all that driving 🙂
    Here's my Short and Sweet:
    is a lazing lion
    stretched out long, head upon his paws
    over a thick patch of grass
    beneath a savanna shade tree
    away from the blazing sun.

  6. Rosalind Adam says:

    What fun! I don't know what an opossum is and that makes me feel stupid but I've chosen a wolf. At least I know what wolves are!

    Is an orphaned wolf cub
    Shivering in the shadows on the hillside
    As darkness descends and hunger bites.

  7. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    I've been thinking about you…driving…I always thought I'd want a GPS…but I drove with my daughter and they can be frustrating (not daughters, although they can be also sometimes)…especially when you've changed your mind about where you are going and the voice says, “turn left, turn left, turn left).
    This was fun, Susanna…thanks again for the brain exercise. 🙂 Sorry I used an ant…which is not an “animal” but an insect, I guess…but it popped into my head (not the ant, fortunately) and I've always been fascinated with them.

    Is a steadfast ant
    Tirelessly laboring with strong jaws excavating
    In the subterranean tunnels under my feet
    Creating a new home for his queen.

  8. Romelle Broas says:

    Is a dark, creepy spider
    Lurking with shifty eyes
    At the corner of the ceiling
    Ready to pounce when threatened.

    ….I need a massage!

  9. Pamela_courtney says:

    It's 2:27am and I have no idea what my words mean. Still, I had fun! Does that make any sense to anyone? Maybe my blood sugar is low. May I have one of those chocolate delights?

    Doubt is a nervous owl
    Jutting and jerking all jittery like
    In the hollow of a fallen log
    The Horns and Masks balked, “How undignified!”

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I'm so glad you had fun, Pam! And yes of course you may have as many chocolate delights as you like – there is always plenty of chocolate around here! Now go to bed and get some sleep – YOU'RE not an owl 🙂

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Jo-Jilly isn't that bad, really. She usually gets us where we're going… eventually 🙂 But I think my husband's GPS is more reliable… and has a British accent which sounds good 🙂 An ant is fine! I love your poem! I commented it on it on your blog already so I won't repeat myself 🙂 Thanks for joining in!

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    This is wonderful, Rosalind! I'm right there with that poor little wolf feeling very worried for him indeed! Opossums are not very pretty (except in picture books :)) They look kind of like overgrown rats – grey and white with soft fur, but their faces aren't that attractive and they have nasty long hairless tails. They are marsupials. You might not have them in England – I don't know – just like we don't have badgers over here. Thanks for joining in the fun!

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, poor Kim and poor porcupine 😦 I know that feeling all too well. My little boy will be 17 in 2 weeks (he's the one who's looking at colleges) and the hugs are few and far between these days while the criticism comes all too easily as he reaches for independence. Here are a few hugs from all of us to tide you over until he comes to his senses.. and he will 🙂 It's hard being a parent and it's hard growing up 🙂 (((((((HUGS!!!!!))))))) And thanks for your wonderful entry! 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You know I love anything horse-related and this is no exception! Great one, Robyn! As for donuts, no more for me either! All this driving and eating out has done me in and I'm going to have to join you on your mission!

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you, Renee, you are too kind! This was actually my third Short & Sweet idea attempt for this post – I discarded two entire posts because I didn't think they were fun enough – so by the time I got to writing this in a hotel room in Ohio in the dead of night I was pretty well asleep at the switch, so I'm glad you liked my snail! 🙂 I love your sloth, and I love the word swap you added on FB – excellent improvement. I'm so glad you're enjoying Short & Sweets – that's the whole point – to have fun! 🙂

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    lol Cathy 🙂

    Cathy Mealey (unregistered) wrote, in response to Renee LaTulippe:

    Oh dear. The sloths got into the Bushmills again…(swaggers – or staggers away)

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  17. This Kid Reviews Bks says:

    I was very excited to be back in time for Summer Short and Sweets!
    Here goes –

    is a calm skunk
    walking through the campsite, looking for food
    Living in the weeds next to the nice family's campsite
    Fed by crazy campers.

    And yes, when we went camping, we were terrorized by skunks that acted like they owned the place. *sigh* Talk about too friendly animals! >:-(

  18. Tracy Campbell says:

    Hi Susanna. Thanks for the fun and easy challenge this week.
    I've posted my challenge on my blog and what prompted the story.

    An agitated, stiff-necked, red squirrel

    Chest thrust in a challenged stance

    Flicking a bushy-tail

    Barring teeth sharper than a razor

    Nattering like an old woman

    Atop a carpeted, grassy drey

    Wedged between steamy pipes

    Under the hood of my BMW

    Guarding winter’s walnut stash

    Yeah! I'm batting 5 for 5.

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I love this, Erik! How great that you were able to combine your camping experience with Short & Sweets 🙂 Skunks are something else, aren't they? A few years back we had a grub infestation of some type in our lawn which lured in tons os skunks. They would hang out in broad daylight on the lawn, and when I wanted to let the dogs out I'd have to try to scare them away without getting sprayed. I used to bang on the garbage can lid with a giant stick and they couldn't care less! It was as if they knew they had the upper hand!

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Tracy Campbell wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Oh, did I say “too” easy? No no no. It was just right. That's what I get for opening my big trap.

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  21. Tiltonph says:

    is a shimmering porpoise
    diving and leaping gracefully
    with speed through the foamy waves
    delighting in his freedom

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