Boredom presents a very real, if insidious peril. To quote Blaine Harden from the Washington post:'Boredom kills, and those it does not kill, it cripples, and those it does not cripple, it bleeds like a leech, leaving its victims pale, insipid, and brooding. Examples abound... Rats kept in comfortable isolation quickly become jumpy, irritable, and aggressive. Their bodies twitch, their tails grow scaly." The backcountry traveler, then, in addition to developing such skills as the use of a map and compass, or the prevention and treatment of blisters, must prepare mentally and materially to cope with boredom, lest his tail grow scaly.
Having answered the call, the relief far outweighed the discomfort as the heat and the thin dry air of the new word enveloped her... The demon before her - and she hadn't been told for sure that's what they were, she was taking an educated guess- had a figure pressed against him, one scaly limb securing its prey.
Louise G. White
O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights, What is 't ye do? what life lead? eh, dull goggles? How do ye vary your vile days and nights? How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes and bites, And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles.
Years ago, it was pretty hard to get people to empathize even a little bit with scaly, cold-blooded critters; now, thanks a lot to good PR from television, it is easier to get the message of reptile conservation and tolerance across. We have a lot to be thankful to reptiles for, not the least of which is their control of rodents.
How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas.
One classic American landscape haunts all of American literature. It is a picture of Eden, perceived at the instant of history when corruption has just begun to set it. The serpent has shown his scaly head in the undergrowth. The apple gleams on the tree. The old drama of the Fall is ready to start all over again.
Beneath it all I kept faith with Ithaca, travelled, Travelled and travelled, Suffering much, enjoying a little; Met strange people singing New myths; made myths myself. But this lion of the sea Salt-maned, scaly, wondrous of tail, Touched with power, insistent On this brief promontory... Puzzles.
It seems to me absolutely true, that our world, which appears to us the surface of all things, is really the bottom of a deep ocean: all our trees are submarine growths, and we are weird, scaly-clad submarine fauna, feeding ourselves on offal like shrimps. Only occasionally the soul rises gasping through the fathomless fathoms under which we live, far up to the surface of the ether, where there is true air.
D. H. Lawrence
[Crisco] ain't just for frying. You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair,like gum?...That's right, Crisco. Spread this on a baby's bottom, you won't even know what diaper rash is...shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband's scaly feet...Clean the goo from a price tag, take the squeak out a door hinge. Lights get cut off, stick a wick in it and burn it like a candle....And after all that, it'll still fry your chicken.
Afternoon experience: autographing exposed legs, outstretched in lines like matchsticks. Afternoon epiphany: Those with smooth, hairless legs would soon lose all evidence of my contact when the sweat causes the ink from the marker to run. I am ephemeral. Skepticism would be the reaction to those with thick leg hair, as their curls frazzle the lines of my name outward illegibly. Among the scaly-legged, I flaked off immediately, like I never was at all.
Under the ground seep the toxins of the population that lives above. If you have to, you will eat roots and earthworms. It is always night. Candles burn in lanterns made from tin cans. When it is nighttime up above, you can crawl out, but only for a little while. You feel ashamed of your matted hair, your torn clothes, the dirt on your face. Who would want to speak to you? They are all shiny and pretty. They have parents and house with gardens. What do you have? The earth. Whole handfuls of it. The lizard people with their slit eyes and scaly skin. Your loneliness. Your longing.
Francesca Lia Block
Also another time she had wakened in dead of night, thinking that something touched her, and when she looked she saw that a black scaly tail, tufted with flame at the end, like a fiend's, had switched across her and lay there burning the covers. And when she turned shrieking, to see what manner of thing lay beside her in the bed, she was at first reassured by sight of her husband's face, then saw, to her horror, that horns had risen, black and pointed, from his forehead. After that she screamed again and remembered nothing until Joseph was shaking her awake, and there were neither horns nor tail to be seen. Nor were the bedclothes scorched.
Shark!" I yelled as my feet hit the wet sand. "There's a shark out there! Everyone get out of the water!" Man, you want to see humans move fast? Scream that on a crowded beach and watch what happens. Its amazing the fear people have for a scaly, sharp toothed predator. I watched the water empty in seconds, parents scooping up their children and heading to shore, desperate to get out of the ocean, and found it a little ironic. They were so terrified of the big, nasty monster out in the water, when there was a bigger, nastier, deadlier one right here on the beach.
I thought of what pride would look like, a jowly old guy in a smoking jacket. Vanity was a tall, beautiful woman with a face like a mask. Envy was a treasure-hoarding dragon, dainty and diabolical. As I sketched in the dragon's face, I gave her eyebrows like mine, my turtle necklace around its scaly neck. Xanda drew them as cliffs and valleys, irrevocably linked pride as a mountain, envy as a valley, hating its lowness and longing to reach, overtake, conquer. She drew vanity as a volcano with an abyss at its core.
I should say we'd reach England by Tuesday or thereabouts, with a decent wind behind us. It would be a lot quicker than that if we could just sail straight there, but I was looking at the nautical charts, and there's a dirty great sea serpent right in the middle of the ocean! It has a horrible gaping maw and one of those scaly tails that looks like it could snap a boat clean in two. So I thought it best to sail around that.' FitzRoy frowned. 'I think they just draw those on maps to add a bit of decoration. It doesn't actually mean there's a sea serpent there.' The galley went rather quiet. A few of the pirate crew stared intently out of the portholes, embarrassed at their Captain's mistake. But to everyone's relief, instead of running somebody through, the Pirate Captain just narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. That explains a lot, ' he said. 'I suppose it's also why we've never glimpsed that giant compass in the corner of the Atlantic. I have to say, I'm a little disappointed.
White-crested waves crash on the shore. The masts sway violently, every which way. In the gray sky the gulls are circling like white flakes. Rain squalls blow past like gray slanting sails, and blue gaps open in the sky. The air brightens. A cold silvery evening. The moon is overhead, and down below, in the water; and all around it-a wide frame of old, hammered, scaly silver. Etched on the silver-silent black fishing boats, tiny black needles of masts, little black men casting invisible lines into the silver. And the only sounds are the occasional plashing of an oar, the creaking of an oarlock, the springlike leap and flip-flop of a fish. ("The North")
An ear-splitting screech pierced the silence, followed by another, striking his ears like metal against a hollow bell. The woosh woosh of wind being displaced brought Andrew's attention skyward, and a glacial gust of paralyzing terror raced up his spine. The creature opened its mouth, and a blazing shaft of fire bellowed from above. Andrew barely had enough time to back beneath an awning for protection. Egnatious and Sebastian dove to the side while Firen sidestepped her impending doom, raising the katana in challenge. The screeching returned, except now the howls were coming from every direction. Firen's chest heaved. 'Did you see that?' she asked, her stormy eyes glinting with rapture and daring as she held her katana out, preparing for the next attack. 'Did I see the dragon?' Sebastian asked, hysteria dangerously rising to the surface. He stood and brushed himself off. 'Yes, I bloody well did see that enormous, scaly, fire-breathing dragon.