Steering the Craft :: Exercise 3

Part One

  • 1 paragraph
  • 100 – 150 words
  • complete sentences of no more than seven words
  • no fragments

At first he stayed near. He was unsure, uncertain. What did it mean? He wore no leash. He had just had his sixth birthday. For all six years he’d been leashed. He’d been contained, limited. But now, he walked by his people. He had a collar only. He looked up. He looked out. He sniffed the air around him. He experimented. Looking over his shoulder, he trotted. Initially, he went only a few yards. Quickly, he returned, looking up for affirmation. It didn’t take long. Soon he was dashing out and back. And then he was gone.

Part Two

  • 1 page
  • up to 350 words
  • one complete sentence

He fled, further and further, leaping, trotting, rolling, faster and faster – and then slower, stopping as he wished to sniff and to dig, to investigate, to claim his territory – because it was all his territory, the entire field – every wild flower, every weed and blade of grass which parted to let him through, every small creature hurriedly hiding, hoping to camouflage herself from this new, exuberant, invader who seemed only to want to take it all in, to swallow it whole – to absorb every single scent and sight, to claim it as his own and to have it for his own for now and forever – and for when he would eventually return home with his family – but – would he return home, or would he remain forever free, a creature of the wild, like those irritating, teasing squirrels and bunnies who mocked him from their suburban trees; now he was one of them, so unexpectedly free, even as he heard his name called from far away over his shoulder, in his periphery, like distant birds whose calls sounded only minimally familiar to his ears, so easy to ignore for a time.

Exercise is from Steering the Craft : A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, Ursula K. Le Guin (1998)
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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