The Giraffe: A Writing Exercise

You’re sitting at a bar with a giraffe. What are you discussing? What are you drinking? What is the giraffe drinking? What’s the tone of the conversation? Write a page-long short story giving us the details of this encounter, and, most importantly, let your imagination run wild here.

“I think it’s great, you migrating here from Africa and everything,” I told Gerald, with my paw on a pint of Guiness, readying myself for a swig.

“It wasn’t as bad as you might think,” he said giving me the look where his lengthy, desert sand-hued lashes blink twice.

“Really?” I said, setting my glass on the wood lacquered bar while nodding, sending the bartender for an empty glass.

“Not really. I mean, I didn’t cut it for the ark thing. That guy Moses was adamant he wanted the tallest. Can you believe I missed it by a quarter inch?” He tilted his head and swiveled a short cylindrical stick.

“You don’t say?” I said, shaking my head. “I’ve heard of him only in stories, but he seemed like a decent enough guy.” With my refill in paw, I swiveled my stool towards him, and rested my toes on his rail.

“Well, a story for the ages is one thing; the reality of a person is another. Did you know John Lennon beat his wife?” Gerald took the green olive in his hoof, up three feet of neck, and slid it on his black, curled tongue.

“Yeah, I read that on Wikipedia or something. A guy gets stamped with peace and love and all that, but what do we know?”

“Exactly!” Gerald stomped his hoof on the wood floor. “You get it. But you know that whole flood story wasn’t anything like it says in the book. Sure, it was the rain of the century, no one can dispute that. The architects drew their flood plains off it for Pete’s sake. But as for the the whole world drowning and all that malarkey, none of it happened.”

I loved how Gerald always kept the seat next to him open for me, even on days he knew I’d be late or wouldn’t show. He was the most genuine friend I’d ever had, and his arrival and The Serengeti Slughut on that non-descript day last summer changed my life in ways I was only beginning to comprehend.

Love, Jaclynn

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