Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: Satan Is a Reptile Named Kadar
By Sherry Hoffcastel
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Sam stared in disbelief at the creature. She was absolutely certain she was dealing with Satan himself. She reached for it again, only to find it dart behind a table. She loathed it with all of her being.
“Why couldn’t he have just brought home a cat? A cat has fur. A cat has personality. A cat is cheaper than my therapist!”
It stared back at her and if she ever suspected she had psychic tendencies, they were in full force now.
“There’s no way I’m going to let you catch me. How dare you put your hands on me? You think I want to be here? You think I actually enjoy sitting in a glass cage day after boring day with nothing but moldy lettuce to look at? Think again, sister. One more move and I’ll show you my beard!”
Then it did just that. That horrid beast gave her a full-on display of ugly black beard. Its long tail slithered around the couch as his tiny legs danced toward freedom. She reared back the other way and half pounced, half dove toward the reptile. She grabbed it around the neck with both hands, avoiding the sharp protruding scales and all but threw it into the open enclosure. He glared back at her with steamy hatred.
She remembered when her husband, Frank brought him home. He was just a baby and the cutest little lizard she had ever seen.
“He’s called a bearded dragon. Beardies are very docile creatures. If you play with them enough, that is. They don’t bite and the clean up is so easy. You just feed them veggies and take them out of the cage once in while.”
Emphasis on the you. As in, in just a few short weeks, I’m going to be the one taking care of this thing. At least it’s cute, she thought. She joined a bearded dragon message board and started taking pictures of the lizard as if it was a new baby. Occasionally she even took it out of its cage and held it, stroking the tiny body. His diamond shaped head and brilliant muted colors added a sort of exotic look to the house that she rather enjoyed. Having a lizard as a pet could be fun, she thought.
Then the thing grew up. She stood towering over the creature and wished with all her being that someone would answer her ad in the local paper. There had to be someone out there who liked prehistoric, disgusting, reptiles. Where were they? In the months since it grew up, their mutual hatred for each other developed gradually. Come to think of it, the whole thing sort of reminded her of her relationship with her teenagers.
They sure started out cute, didn’t they? What began as sweet little helpless beings gradually turned into the devil. Suddenly they’re snarling and hissing and demanding their freedom. And when you reach for them you get poked with attitude. Only with teenagers, you can’t sell them. Thank God they actually grow out of their freakishness. Some day, she thought, I might even like them again. As for Satan...
As she lay in bed, Sam made a mental note to herself. Just because something starts out cute, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t grow up to be the devil. We’re never buying another reptile again. And I’m running a second ad tomorrow. With new resolve, she quietly got up and went to go hug her teenagers. She might not like them today, but her love was immeasurable and she had no immediate plans to surrender them to the first available buyer. Satan's days, however were numbered. She could hardly wait.
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