Have you ever seen an animal on the discovery channel and thought, “Really? That’s the best design they could come up with?” or “How is that an evolutionary benefit?” Then I think maybe, just maybe the gods might get a bit bored now and again. Can you imagine having to come up with thousands of new and unique animals for the creation of the Earth? That had to get dull. So, what better way to lighten things up then with a few games of Yahtzee – Animal Kingdom version. Rather than numbers, the dice could have animal features…
“I’m way ahead in score…you could concede.”
<clacking of dice shaken in a Yahtzee cup – Animal Kingdom version>
“No way. Common dice, I need an enormous size roll for that 50 point bonus.”
<clatter of dice rolled on a melamine table top>
“Skinny legs, big head, bald looking, herding animal, land and water…What am I going to do with that? <sigh> Scratch.”
“What? You should score it against the ‘elegant graceful water animal’ category. It’s all you have left and aquatic’s hard to come by…”
“What? No way, I totally feel the aquatic vibe in the dice. I’m rolling the perfect platypus next round. Scratch.”
<clacking of dice…clatter >
“Medium-sized, Fins, Solitary, Intelligent…Land-based. Arrrrgggggh!“
I love to read news stories about the strange creatures found by scientists each year. They make me feel that the creatures I create in my writing are possible, if not likely. Seeing the weird and wonderful things that exist make me wonder what else could be out there, and what better to fire me up to write than something that makes me wonder?
Create a creature. Imagine that you’re a scientist, you’ve travelled to some far off land, or deep into the sea to discover new and likely-endangered creatures. What does it look like? What makes it strange? Why does it have that strange characteristic? Will you be rich for discovering it? Spend ten minutes exploring the improbable.
NB. If you’re having difficulty with a place to start, choose a sub-set of animals that has a specific set of characteristics that you must include, then explore from there. For example molluscs are quite varied, but all of them have a mantle, shell and foot.