Explorations: my author blog

Fantastic Natural History, Part 1

As usual, crossposted from my live journal!

“You are not going back out to discover if Louise, magnificent though she be, likes cocoa. Save your experimental zeal for the morning.” (Kate Murry, to her young son Charles Wallace, quoted from memory from A Wind in the Door)

So I’ve been thinking of some beloved books, and real-world equivalents of their plants and animals. I’ll start with Madeleine L’Engle.

What sort of snake is Louise the Larger?

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Well, what do we know about Louise?

She lives in a stone wall near an orchard in Northwestern Connecticut. She is fairly tame and friendly toward the young boys who name her. She is big, and black. She’s got a pretty strong grip, winding herself round the children’s arms and shoulders. Of course, there’s a lot more to Louise than that, as fans of A Wind in the Door will know. But those are the basic facts. She’s a black snake, and that’s what she gets called. As a young teen reading the book for the first time, I was convinced she was a black racer, because that was the only black snake I’d ever heard of.