Saturday we did another mini-road-trip adventure. We were headed toward the Topeka Zoo. On a whim, we blew right past it and drove two hours to get to the Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina, Kansas. Why? Why not? We hadn’t been to that one yet, and we always saw billboards for it. We figured, if it was too tiny, inaccessible, or closed, we’d turn around and hit the Wizard of Oz museum in Wamego. Adventure is out there, my friends.
It was a nice little zoo, and it gave us the work out (and the animals) we were looking for, with bonus steep hills we had to climb, upping the effort level. Plus, there was this animal I’d never seen or heard of before, and I thought I’d seen everything American zoos had to offer by now. I grew up studying collectible animal cards from Time-Life Books (that’s probably another post altogether). Anyway, the animal in question is in the picture above. He’s related to goats. That is a huge freaking goat. And for the record, I am not afraid of goats, exactly, but I really don’t like them.
The truth is, not a whole lot scares me, but some of the things that do are weird as hell. It’s a family joke that whenever someone spots one of those weird, wavy blowup things that’s set up to advertise something, everybody tries to direct my attention the other way so I don’t have to see it as we drive by. These things freak me out. Seriously. They’re waving their arms around, whipping themselves into a frenzy, staring at me with those awful flat eyes.
And the Rolling Hills Zoo had one right inside the gates. If I wanted to see the rest of the zoo (and I’d already driven two hours and paid admission), I’d have to walk past him. His back was to me, so that helped. We turned right and looped around the lake behind him. Of course, that meant, he was right there looking at me when we came back around. Reaching for me with his snaky yellow arms, hair standing on end, bowing down to grab me.
But you know what? Screw that guy. I walked up to him (quaking on the inside, I’m not gonna lie) and poked my finger up at him.
“You do not scare me, sir!” I said, frowning.
He glared down at me and snapped in half and up again in an attempt to eat my soul. But I survived. And my husband got a picture of this brave moment in time.
As you can see, this totally happened. But it’s also a metaphor. Right now, I’m writing something new, and it’s kind of scary. But I’m going to look it in the eye and say, “You do not scare me, new novel!”
What scares you? What’s keeping you from doing something awesome because a big scary yellow windsock creature thing is standing in your way?
Figure it out. Then go out and do it anyway.