Friday Fiction – Ragondin

This week’s picture from Madison is beautiful, but it wasn’t easy to write about. At least not for me. So I branched out, a little, as you’ll see below. The hardest part for me was the title this time. I’m still not happy with it, so I might come back and change it later – any comments or suggestions welcome – whether they are about the title or anything else.

UPDATE: Sandra’s helped me with a new title. What do you think?


Mother says not to watch it, but it is insistent: each one silently growing, then suddenly breaking off. It seems to shrink in the air. It lands with a gentle plink, and melds with all the others before it, in the rising waters of our burrow.

There is a rumour that this is how we will be. That we are growing silently stronger and one day we will have to leave Motherโ€™s warm embrace, to join the world outside with no more than a plink of goodbye. But I watch the waters rise and wonder if weโ€™ll be big enough.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

70 responses to “Friday Fiction – Ragondin

  1. I like the repetition of ‘plink’ and the metaphor and description of breaking off “with no more than a plink of goodbye”. This is a lovely idea, on the whole, and the voice is so romantic about it.

  2. romantic i would say. :). makes me think of baby ducks

  3. A nice metaphor for “leaving the nest” as it were, works really well and, as others have said, has a very romantic feel to it.

    Mine is this-a-way:

  4. Awww, this is so nice. The voice is just right for a young creature, vole I see from the tags and the image of him/her anxiously watching the drops and the waters rising. And I loved the ‘plink’ too. I think the title doesn’t add anything to it, though I don’t readily have an alternative to suggest.

  5. Yes, I am with the others. An adorable tale, well crafted and that no more than a plink of goodbye line is a great touch.
    Maturity is a dull title, although it definitely defines what is happening, perhaps: “Drop by Drop”?

    • I’m glad the plink of goodbye worked for you, Lindaura; I had a devil of a time keeping it in with the word count, but I liked it. The title, I agree, is dull. Not sure if drop by drop is a bit water-focused though, I didn’t want people to get dragged into the vole’s fears about the rising water too much.

  6. I really really liked this one. Nice voice, too. and for a moment I actually pictured spaceships leaving earth to the beyond, but you pulled me back. LOL. Very nice read!

    MIne’s at for those who havent seen it yet:

    • haha, spaceships eh? That’s certainly different from what I pictured, but maybe the metaphor is strong for a lot of species, including humanity. Thanks for your comment, Stacy

  7. that’s the best that i’ve read all day. nicely done.

  8. Lora Mitchell

    Clever POV. Reminds me of a sh. story I wrote a long time ago about the last leaf on a tree.. Love the word “plink” … using it twice worked.. Here’s mine:

  9. TheOthers1

    I liked this story. Made me thoughtful and that’s good. Leaving home is like that. Unless of course you’re part of my family and you have a mother who struggles to let her kids go. That’s just my house though.

    My attempt:

  10. Nicely put. The innocence and ignorance of youth. There is also innocence and ignorance of the aged, but this is often overlooked.

    • I’m sure there is, JK. My novel, Who is Eric deals much more with the senior end of the scale, but I find youth a fascinating subject to deal with in these little pieces.

  11. Russell

    It worked for me. I’m with Gary, and saw it as a “leaving the nest” metaphor. Nice job

  12. I’m loving the quantity and quality of anthropomorphic tales this week. Very well done.

    For once, mine is NOT anthropomorphic:

    • I’m glad you approved, Lupus. I felt a lot of nature in this picture – I couldn’t use my usual human characters so I fell back on a bit of anthropomorphism! I love animal characters anyway.

  13. EmmaMc

    Very cute and sweet. Really liked this a lot and has a lovely voice. Good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I love the unknown of the creature and that POV…and the use of “plink”…you created something so beautifully romantic with so little really known…thanks for your comments on my writing…I always value input, and yours was helpful. Kris

  15. The mystic of the wondering,..what will happen? Nicely staged.

    Here’s mine:

  16. i was thinking even more inanimate, that the water drops themselves were the children growing until they break off, plink, into drops that flow away.

    Nice little piece

  17. I got the impression of little mice or such peeking out at this big, wide world all reduced to the complexity/simplicity of water drops to explain it. Nice!

  18. I had to look “Ragondin” up. Very different and interesting take on the prompt..
    Loved this phrase – “but it is insistent: each one silently growing, then suddenly breaking off” and loved the use of “plink”.

    Very good job with the prompt!


  19. I really love your characters. I enjoyed that the description made it clear that the creature was only just learning about the world. You said a lot with very few words.

    Mine, late as it is, is here:

  20. Ragondin was an evocative piece whose words sounded a somber tone. i read it once a day ago and realized i needed sleep. Now, after revisiting it, I am struck by the inner music of this work. One of the more mysterious and compelling stories I’ve had the pleasure to read this long weekend.



    • Thanks Doug, “inner music” strikes me as a great compliment – it’s not something I strive for of itself, but sometimes I feel like the words capture the tone better than others, and I guess that is a less elegant way of describing the same thing. I’m glad you liked my little Ragondin!

  21. Doug is right – this piece has lovely inner music. My favorite was the imagery of the drops “shrinking in the air” – you are absolutely right! Beautifully done!

    • You and Doug have made my morning, KB. Thank you. It’s true about water droplets – I guess letting go makes them shrink back, like a rodent leaving the nest and suddenly realising how big the world is out there!

  22. Plink, plink plink. Stuck in my head now, and I’ll probably get it in my head again when I wonder if Iโ€™ll be big enough. Wonderful post. Thanks!

  23. Madison Woods

    I love that ‘plink of a goodbye’ line most. a very touching story that captured both the fear of growing up and of not ever getting there at all.

  24. I like how your writing captures so much in a very small moment. The rising waters, drop by drop, remind me of how growing up sneaks up on you.

  25. I could really identify. Great imagery.

  26. Very tender piece. Had to look up Ragondin but that’s okay, the context insinuated everything I needed to know.

    • Yeah – Ragondin was an after-thought as you may have seen, but it’s a cute title and hopefully even without it you get a feel for the kind of creature he is.

  27. Nice piece… I’m thinking an otter baby or some water creature getting ready to leave the nest… er, burrow.

  28. I’m going to be honest and admit I had no idea what ‘Plink’ and ‘meld’ meant. So, I looked it up and then the entire story made more sense to me. I’m thinking the story is about an animal? “To join the world outside” was a great touch. I’m seven months pregnant so it made me a little sad when I read that part. Great Job! I want to read more!!

    • Plink is just onomatopaeia (I can’t spell that, it’s probably wrong) for the sound the water makes, but meld is a cool word and underused, I feel! I’m sure your little guy would be excited and never about the outside world too, but I’m sure you won’t be letting him go the way a rodent mother has to! Good luck.

  29. Michael Fishman

    I thought this was an interesting story from a different point of view. What I liked was the joy of the small animal narrator (beaver?) with the world around him balanced with the desire to stay with his mother.

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