Prompt: The Haven

The following prompt comes from the book “Beasts in My Belfry” by Gerald Durell from chapter 2, “A Lust of Lions.” The following describes an official building at Whipsnade Zoo in the UK, one of the first zoos to attempt to provide “natural” quarters for their wildlife, and his adventures as a young man working there, determined to become a wildlife specialist.

The nerve centre of the section was a small, tumble-down hut hemmed in by a copse of tangled elder bushes. The hut wore a toupee of honeysuckle at a rakish angle, practically obscuring one of its two windows and so making the interior dark and gloomy. Outside it sported a battered notice-board on which was the euphemistic title “The Haven.” The furnishings were monastic in their simplicity – three chairs in various stages of decay, a table that rocked and jumped like a nervous horse when anything was planed on it, and a grotesque black stove that crouched in one corner pouting smoke through its iron teeth and regurgitating embers in quite incredible quantities.

The prompt was to describe something, preferably an inanimate object, using anthropomorphic descriptions. Make us see the character of the thing.


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