Have you ever been to a zoo or a wildlife park? Each enclosure has an information panel something like this:
Lynx has a short tail, characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of its ears, large, padded paws for walking on snow and long whiskers on its face.
The lynx inhabits mountain forests with dense cover of shrubs and tall grass. It can climb trees and can swim swiftly, catching fish.
The lynx is usually solitary. It creates its den in crevices or under ledges.
Do not come too close. It may bite.
But this writing exercise isn’t about animals. It’s about emotions, feelings. How many emotions can you name? Take a piece of blank paper and scribble them down.
Now think. What’s your main emotion today? Anger? Or maybe happiness?
Imagine that emotion was an animal. What kind of animal – or insect or fish or bird – would it be? Make some wild notes!
Now write its information panel.
Here’s an example:
Red and black, it roars like a lion, baring its teeth
shaking the earth, frightening the kids.
It paces behind its bars,
freaks you out with narrowed eyes,
Sometimes it sleeps behind a big black rock of misery,
Then wakes suddenly, its belly rumbling.
It loves fear. It can’t get enough of it.
Likes to strip it with its teeth, spit it out,
A chewed up mess for others to clean up.
Try not to disturb it. Stay well back.
This beast is always hungry.
Got the idea? Good.
Find a piece of paper, pick up a pen, get scribbling.
copyright Magi Gibson 2016