Flash Fiction: “Observations at the Zoo”

This is my entry in the Fairy Ring Flash Fiction contest put on by the blog, Yearning for Wonderland. The guidelines are as follows: “To win, write a piece of flash fiction (300 words or less) on your (fictional or not) first-person encounter with a faery, goblin, or fantastical being of your choice. Post your entry on your blog and paste the link code into the HTML editor to be included.” I hope you enjoy what I came up with as well as all the great stories entered in this contest.


Ornamental grass in wind by E.A. Schneider

“Observations at the Zoo” by E.A. Schneider

“What are you doing out here by yourself?” The fox said. I thought I daydreamed the nine-tailed platinum amber colored fox with the piercing green eyes. One doesn’t expect to see a kitsune anywhere let alone sitting in the ornamental grass by the jaguar enclosure. I tend to daydream strange things too.

“I could ask you the same thing. You don’t exist.”

“Sure I do. We’re talking.” It licks its paw. Would a daydream lick its paw, looking bored?

“I daydream. You are a hallucination. I might have a brain tumor.”

“Piffle. You don’t have a tumor anymore than I have pants.” True. It wasn’t wearing pants.

“You’re still fictional.”

“You still haven’t answered me.” Those eyes. I smell pine trees when it looks at me. I still think I have a tumor.

“Observations at the zoo. I’m in class, it’s a worksheet.”

“Observed anything?”

“Bonobos grooming, a pacing polar bear, and the hornbills play with their food. You.”

“Don’t write me down. I’m not doing anything interesting. I’d be embarrassed.”

“You’re talking to me. That’s pretty interesting.”

“I talk all the time.”

“So why me?”

“You’re alone and you can see me.” I can’t argue with that. But I will anyway. When else will I argue with a kitsune?

“It’s the tumor. I have a CAT-scan Friday, to know. It would explain things.”

“Things like hearing little songs when it’s quiet? Footprints in pollen? Smelling flowers when there aren’t any?” It looks interested.


“Come with me and I’ll tell you.”

“Why me?”

“I like you.” A nine-tailed kitsune likes me and says there is a reason I daydream, a non-tumor reason.

“Okay.” I scribble a note on my worksheet: observed kitsune, we conversed, and we’re leaving. Dropping it, I take hold of its outstretched paw and we go.

300 words 


16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: “Observations at the Zoo”

    • Thank you, Anna! I appreciate your kind comment. I admit, I rather have kitsune on the brain these days so when I saw your contest and I took that grass picture something just clicked. Thanks again for the opportunity, it’s been fun. 🙂

  1. Nine tailed Kitsune…wonde’ruff’ul! This is something that would be a great bit for a ped’s oncology office where children face fears with or without a friend to comfort them.

    • That’s a thought. I just wish brain tumors actually were a non-life threatening faery organ. :-/ One of these days I’m sure I’ll quilt a kitsune. I don’t think I’ll be able to help myself. Thanks for reading and commenting, Dee.

  2. So, what happens next?? I want to read more! I hope you keep writing, I was thoroughly entertained. My favorite line was ‘footprints in pollen’, I’ve never seen those two words together and I liked it!

    • Thanks, Rainyleaf, I’m glad you like it. I was once in a living situation for work deep in a pine wood and there was pollen all over everything, it would turn my purple car yellow. Little tiny fey footprints wood have been visible if I’d had the sight to see them, I think that’s what gave me the idea. I haven’t stopped writing since I was nine but I don’t know if I’ll pursue this idea further or not. It does have possibilities though. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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