Likely Stories -- West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
Rutledge has written a wonderful, exciting, thrilling, and electrifying story.
I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
Lunda Rutledge is the author of an exciting story of traveling giraffes facing all sorts of obstacles. West with Giraffes: A Novel is a story I could not put down in its 390 sum pages. Animal lovers will love this one. The story is part adventure, part saga, and part coming-of-age love story. It explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals. It is a story every animal lover should recognize.
Lynda is a lifelong animal lover. She has had the joy of petting baby rhinos, snorkeling with endangered turtles, and strolling with a tower of giraffes. She lives with her husband and their resident dog live outside Austin Texas.
The story begins with a brief part of the Prologue. “Woodrow Wilson Nickle dies in the year 2025, on a usual day in the usual way, at the rather unusual age of one hundred and five years of age. A century and a nickel.” The rest of the prologue will be mentioned as the story unfolds. “He wrote, … I’m older than dirt. // And when you are older than dirt, you can get lost in time, in memory, or even space. // I’m inside my tiny four-wall room with the feeling that I’ve been … gone. I’m not even sure how long I’ve been sitting here. All night I think, since stirring from my foggy mind to find myself surrounded by other old farts staring at a fancy TV. I remember the man on the screen talking about the last giraffes on earth and rushing over my wheelchair to punch him” (3).
The main story begins. “Boats were flying through the air, streets were flowing like rivers, electric lines were exploding like fireworks, and houses of shrieking people were being blown out to sea—the sate was September twenty-first, the day of the great hurricane of nineteen-thirty-eight.
The entire coast from New York Harbor to Main got smacked so hard it was the stuff of legend, seven hundred souls gone to their final reward as wet as mackerels. // Back then, you got no warning. You’d notice a storm over the water, and you’d be worrying how bad that cloud looks when the banshee wind and rain hits and you scrambling for your life. The dock piling I’d wrapped my scrawny young self around got whipped airborne. Next thing I know I’m waking up in a ditch with a tramp yanking on my cowboy boots. See me rise from the dead, he yelped and ran. I was still in one piece somehow, if black, blue, and bloody, with only my suspenders popped off and gone. So the rest of the living world began hollering for help or hearses, I wiped the dry blood off my face, grabbed hold of my trousered, and struggled to my feet” (6). […] I’d say I was lucky, but I hadn’t had enough of a relationship with the word to use it. I’d say it was the worst day of my life, yet was far from it. I can say this. I never thought I’d see a bigger eyeful than that hurricane as long as I lived. // But I was wrong. // Because the last thing you think you’re going to see in the middle of flipped boats and buildings, afire and bodies dangling, and sirens wailing is a couple of giraffes” (6).
As you will find, the story is filled with adventures galore. Lynda Rutledge has written a wonderful, exciting, thrilling, and electrifying story. West with Giraffes is a story of all that and more. 5 Stars!
Likely Stories is a production of KWBU. I’m Jim McKeown. Join me again next time for Likely Stories, and happy reading!