Friday, October 30, 2009

A very tight hug

Early afternoon found the small bright creature following a path along the edge of a forest.

It was humming to itself as it thought of the very good lunch it had eaten earlier.

Further along the path, it saw movement up in the trees...


The small bright creature was enchanted.

"You have had so many adventures!" it said.

The snake, swaying slightly, slid down from a tree branch and coiled itself around an old tree stump.

"Oh," it said, "I can tell you many things, about many places, and about many strange doings."

Its voice was soft, with a slight ripple to it. The small bright creature found this very, very soothing.

"I love to hear of adventures," it said. "I've been having wonderful adventures myself."

The snake's head swayed back and forth. "That sounds exciting," it said. "When you have seen so much, as I have, soon it can seem--" it paused.

The small bright creature leaned in closer. "Yes?"

The snake smiled, the effect oddly pleasing. "Oh, no matter," it said, "it's easy to get distracted." It paused again, swaying back and forth. "Caught up, perhaps is the word I'm searching for."

"Oh indeed. I can get very easily distracted."

"Is that so?" said the snake and it uncoiled from the tree stump. It moved with smooth grace, sliding in ripples over the ground. The small bright creature watched as it passed, and passed and passed.

"Goodness," it said, "however did you grow to be so long?"

The snake curled back on itself until it was facing the small bright creature. "Being careful," it said. "Watching out for predators."

The small bright creature nodded. "Yes, that's always wise."

"And," the snake said, "eating well."

"That's most important," said the small bright creature. "I've been very lucky that way."

"How so?" said the snake, sliding closer.


"Squirrels?" said the snake. "Squirrels are--", it paused, "--very good."

"Indeed they are," said the small bright creature. "They were very kind and gave me lunch."

The snake was encircling the small bright creature, going very slowly and very steadily. "Tell me about these squirrels."

The small bright creature watched the pattern of the snake's scales moving around it, getting a little dizzy.

"They were very busy, remarkably so. But, they took time off to give me some nuts and berries."

"Nuts. And berries." The snake's voice was very soothing now and its mouth very close to the small bright creature.

"And seeds too. It was very nice-- eeeek!"

The snake's coils tightened around the small bright creature.

"Please, you don't have to hug so tightly."

"Shhhhh," said the snake. "But I do."

"No, please," said the small bright creature. "If you do, this will get squished."

It pulled out the magpie's glossy black feather it was carrying. The feather touched the snake.

The snake giggled.

"Are you ticklish?" the small bright creature asked. It brushed the feather along the snake's scales.

The snake giggled again, its coils losing their tension.

The small bright creature ran the feather along the snake's body.

The snake unravelled, giggling helplessly.

"You are funny," said the small bright creature. "Thank you so much for that hug. It was very nice."

The snake lay on the grass, twitching and giggling. The small bright creature went its way along the path, admiring how the light caught the magpie's feather.


  1. Oh, Kevin. I am rolling on the floor laughing. SBC reminds me of one of my cats - addled, but so sweet. SBC must have as many lives as well. Thank you for the humorous journey with a ticklish snake.

  2. Super fun. I like the ticklish snake, and the polite creature thanking the snake.

  3. Yay! Great animal stories this week. You described the hypnotic power of the snake very well, and I liked it that you didn't specify what the small, bright creature is. Brighter than advertised, apparently.

  4. Very cute - it would make a great kids' book in the vein of The Gruffalo.

  5. I woke up one morning last week and said "The snake giggled." I think I laughed for the rest of the day. I'm happy you're all enjoying this character.

    @Laura - yes, the SBC leads a charmed life, but it is a little addled.

    @Draco Glad you enjoyed it.

    @Cecilia - I have no idea what the small bright creature looks like, so describing it is hard.

    @Lily - My opriginal thought was to have this set of stories in their own little book. Maybe one day.

  6. I love the SBC! I apologize but I love this piece as a writer, not only as a reader-in-a-possibly-weird-mood
    the SBC is very important, and comes acorss very well.

    and the ticklish snake is waiting to give a hug to me. the ticklish snake stuff is very good.

  7. I also want to say that, although your other creatures are real, SBC is pictured in my mind as kind of a yellow pokemon thingy - bright, cheerful, bouncy, nothing-you-can-put-a-label-on.

  8. Kevin,

    I need to carry a feather with me for when evil decides to hug extra tight. Loved this story. SBC geniune sanguine-ness and love triumphs over any near death experiences. LOL. He reminds me of a toddler just barely missing the corner of a table as he runs with pure abandon.

  9. Good stuff and lots of fun, the small creature gets to tickle yet another day

  10. Ugh, snakes give me the creeps. But I have to laugh at the idea that one would be ticklish.

  11. I was wondering how you were going to get him out of this one. The feather was a brilliant idea.

    One small suggestion. At the beginning of the story there are a lot of its in the dialog tags and elsewhere. It might read better with a little less repetition of the word.

    You have got to get an illustrator. This would be a charm in the children's section of any bookstore.

  12. Kevin, I am loving SBC! He's just so charming. I picture him much like Laura does, as a Pokemon-looking fellow, but very shiny. You did such a super job describing the snake's hypnosis!
    Love it! I hope to see this as a children's series someday.....soon.

  13. A winner once again! SBC is awesome with its ability to get itself in and out of trouble, er, adventures.

    The description of the snake with its ripply voice and undulating body was rather soothing and lulling and lovely.

    And I'm afraid of snakes!

    This definitely would make a wonderful book!


  14. One really must be careful of extra tight hugs. SBC brightens my day.

  15. Thanks all for coming along on the SBC's journey - and for your wonderful comments. It seems the Universe is fond of the little creature - whatever it is.

    A toddles careening around with abandon. I love the image.

    Thanks Jon for the notes about the "its's". As soon as you pointed them out, they scream at me. A polished version of this story will not have them.

    Marisa, bring a feather with you. I have it on good authority one will protect you against snakes. :-}

  16. "The snake giggled" LOL, I think I will repeat this phrase anytime I'm having a bad day. Sooo charming!