writing prompt

Some days, I miss teaching English 115. Occasionally, when I'd come across a rather bizarre headline, I could bring it in as a writing prompt. We could do that back in my writing group that I was in many, many moons ago before everyone finished grad school and moved on with life and out of the state. Okay, so there were only a few times when we actually did little writing exercises; usually we just dove into a discussion of one another's writing. And, come to think of it, I think that was a different writing group anyway. I forget. Isn't 31 supposed to be too young for Alzheimer's?

Anyway, I digress.

Apparently there is a battle raging in the Everglades. That's right . . . It's the Pythons v. the Gators. This time, both lost, but not before the gator made the python explode.

Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator

By DENISE KALETTE, Associated Press Writer
Wed Oct 5, 4:04 PM ET

The alligator has some foreign competition at the top of the Everglades food chain, and the results of the struggle are horror-movie messy.

A 13-foot Burmese python recently burst after it apparently tried to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole, authorities said.

The incident has heightened biologists' fears that the nonnative snakes could threaten a host of other animal species in the Everglades.

"It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top-down predator," said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

Over the years, many pythons have been abandoned in the Everglades by pet owners.

The gory evidence of the latest gator-python encounter--the fourth documented in the past three years--was discovered and photographed last week by a helicopter pilot and wildlife researcher.

The snake was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection. Mazzotti said the alligator may have clawed at the python's stomach as the snake tried to digest it.

In previous incidents, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

"There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons," Mazzotti said. "This indicates to me it's going to be an even draw. Sometimes alligators are going to win and sometimes the python will win."

It is unknown how many pythons are competing with the thousands of alligators in the Everglades, but at least 150 have been captured in the past two years, said Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker.

Pythons could threaten many smaller species that conservationists are trying to protect, including other reptiles, otters, squirrels, woodstorks and sparrows, Mazzotti said.

Wasilewski said a 10- or 20-foot python also could pose a risk to an unwary human, especially a child. He added, however, "I don't think this is an imminent threat. This is not a 'Be afraid, be very afraid' situation."

So the challenge I would give to my students or to my writers group would be to write a scene in which you incorporate the exploded python.

Since I don't have students or a writers group, I'll let any of my three blog readers (okay, maybe there are more, but I don't know about them) take on this challenge. Come on . . . You know you want to do it.

tangential sidenote: When you spellcheck your blog, shouldn't it know that blog is a word?


Nemesis said...

Okay, I'll write a scene:

"There was this one time when I went on a blog and saw a picture of an exploded python with half an alligator sticking out of the exploded bits.

And then I threw up all over my computer."

Edgy said...

Now that's the spirit. But let's be honest . . . Is my pythonator really that much more disgusting than the spider someone-who-shall-remain-nameless posted a few days ago?

When you started out your scene, I thought you were going to go into "This one time at band camp . . ." I was looking forward to that.

Regardless, I commend you for saying "the exploded bits," because I read it with the cool British accent I have decided you have now acquired, and it makes me jealous that I'm in Utahr.

Th. said...


I feel the same way about blogcheck.

I think this is actually a fascinating environmental story as well, two top-down predators in a duel to the death. That would make for great Animal Planet.

And that photo...

I love the challenge and must come back to it. But now I must drive to San Francisco before my wife realizes I am dallying on your blog.

Edgy said...

I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Th. said...


It's up.