Saturday Stroll

Published July 7, 2012 by Elsa Pla

Revising for Sound

“Write a paragraph to a page (150-300 words) of narrative that’s meant to be read aloud. Use onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition, rhythmic effects, made-up words or names, dialect – any kind of sound effect you like – but not rhyme or meter.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft

Here’s my attempt:

I stepped out into the cool Saturday morning and went for a brisk stroll around the quiet neighborhood. The fragrance of summer roses and freshly mowed grass, the cheery chirping of warblers, and the hyper chittering of squirrels greeted me. I strode past sleepy rows of townhouses, by the empty blue pool, and onto the children’s play area, where I happened upon a gathering of gray-brown cottontail rabbits. A wee baby bunny quickly hid behind a nearby bush. I stopped, not wanting to disturb the rabbits’ revelry. They eyed me, but didn’t seem too alarmed by my presence; so little by little I approached a nearby bench and sat down to enjoy their playful antics. Bounce here, bounce there. Scurry. Pause. Nibble. Jump. I chuckled and thought, “What sort of crazy stuff goes on in a rabbit’s brain?”

After a while I realized that I was selfishly spoiling the bit of time the rabbits had to enjoy the dewy grass before us humans showed up, so I got up and took my oafy presence elsewhere. This is what I observed during the rest of my stroll: a middle-age couple walking two perfectly-primped, coconut-white toy poodles; a yellow-haired woman dressed as an Arabian princess (probably on her way to a belly-dancing class); and a little boy who kept chanting, “Walk, walk, walk, walk, taking my time, taking my time, walk, walk, walk, walk,” while marching behind his older brother who was riding a bicycle at a snail’s pace. I chuckled as I imagined the rabbits thinking, “What sort of crazy stuff goes on in a human’s brain?”

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