Animal Calls, an Unlikely Hobby

Submitted into Contest #78 in response to: Set your story at a convention for a hobby most people have never heard of.... view prompt

3 comments

Fiction Friendship Funny

An important event that Kara had hoped to create and host was finally coming to fruition. She had planned out a convention for a hobby that she had explored since she was in middle school. Her classmates and friends thought she was weird and poked fun. Kara didn’t care though, she loved following her passions and thought that the ridicule was not worth worrying about. As she was setting up the decorations in the recreation hall, she thought back to her times in school when people were making fun of her, knowing that they couldn’t keep her down. Something she had done all her life was ignoring the hatred of the ignorant. 

This time she had found a relatively small number of people in her state that were interested in the hobby of making animal calls. A few years prior to the convention she was currently putting on, she had found this group of people on a popular discussion panel online. Where people lamented about similar experiences of being made fun of for what they enjoyed doing. Most of the time these people and Kara annoyed people with the sounds they make but never the less it was enjoyable to them. 

The convention for animal calls was going to be the next day and Kara stayed as late as she could to carry out the preparations. People were coming in from all over Washington and she wanted it to be special. She hung up fun images of beautiful animals all over the room. Her favorite being the Pesquet’s Parrot or better known as the Dracula Parrot. One that she admired because of her love of vampire books and movies. A black and red parrot that she thought was even more beautiful than the rainbow-colored parrots. 

After she put these images up with tape and string, she took a step back from the walls and went into the middle to access her progress. She noticed that a few of them were crooked and hastily tried to fix them. As she did this, she thought about her sister who had died a few years back. Thinking about how much she had loved orangutans when she straightened the picture of one. Kara knew that her sister would have loved to have been there. Since Lane had taken up the hobby at Kara’s persistence. So, Kara knew she had to do this right in her honor. 

At the end of the night, she walked back to her apartment and listened to a few animal calls as she ate a late dinner. Kara wanted to make sure she was prepared for the call competition and the individual displays of calls. She laid down to sleep but first went over every single detail of the day to come. Feeling a bit nervous about how it would all turn out. Finally, she slept and woke up to her alarm at seven in the morning. Although she didn’t feel all that rested, she got up anyway and quickly ate her breakfast. The convention was to start at noon but she wanted to get there early and make sure everything was up to snuff. She also had to go by the catering place to pick up the food she was going to serve. A nice array of food that also took into account everyone’s food allergies or restricted diets. 

A few minutes before noon everything was set up, including the snacks and food that her friend Jason had put together at his catering business. The people started to arrive and she heard sounds of approval at the spectacle of the decorations. There was a podium set up at the front of the rec room on a stage and Kara went up to it to introduce the convention. Where she started her speech.

“Welcome everybody to the first-ever Animal Calls Convention. I want to thank you all for coming and for some of you who traveled to get here. I have been waiting and hoping to put this on for a couple of years now and so I am happy to be doing this. I know that animal calls are a strange and mostly unheard of hobby of a lot of people who just don’t understand. We love it anyway despite what others say. So, let us get started with the animal calls competition. 

I have put all the animal photos in particular groups, coinciding with the types of animals. These groups are mammals, amphibians, birds, and reptiles. I want each of you to pick which group you want to be in. I must say though we can’t all be in the birds’ category. So, try to make it as even as possible. In each group, we will go one by one with the animal calls. Before you sound off please state which animal you are going to be imitating. Let’s begin, starting with the mammal group.”

The first brave person to participate was Robert Hanson who stated that he wanted to do a hyena. Something that Kara and the others thought was very daring. He did a good job considering how hard it was to imitate the somewhat spine chilling laugh they have. Next Rhonda Kits stepped up to do a dolphin sound, another difficult and exciting call. She did it with perfection, stating that she had practiced that one for years. A few others did their calls, including animals such as bears, carnivores, marsupials, and monkeys.

“That was great ladies and gentlemen. Let’s move on now to the reptile group,” shouted Kara.

Hector Garcia started with a gecko sound, one that was the loudest amongst the reptiles. It is known that many reptiles are mute but some make noises and those who imitated them in the group did a fantastic job. Each time a sound was made, people laughed because of how fun they all made it. 

“Next is the amphibians,” exclaimed Kara with a look of pure joy on her face!

Of course, someone named Lisa started it off with a bullfrog noise. It was impressive how low she was able to make her voice sound. Next was Samuel who imitated a frog that had an unusual call, the barking tree frog. He was able to make this unique call but in the end, his voice cracked which caused the crowd to laugh. Which was fine because he laughed at himself. Many other frog sounds were called and everyone enjoyed the various types of sounds a frog or toad could make in the wild. 

“Last but not least is the bird group, the one we have all been waiting for. Also, I will be joining this group but since I am the host, I will not be claiming a prize. Good luck everyone,” announced Kara.

Hans went first and told the group he was going to be performing the sounds of a blue jay. One that he admitted sounded quite annoying but fun to imitate. As he started some of the people squinted their eyes and had a look of uncomfortableness on their faces. He did a good job though as he annoyed everyone who listened. There were some imitations of songbirds, all lovely of course. When it came time for Kara to do her call, the last one. She belted out the sound of the Dracula Parrot and was met with applause. She was so touched being that she had practiced that one for so long. At the end of this, she announced the winner of each group.

“All right, the winner of the mammal group is Sarah Lahey!”

Teeming with excitement, Sarah came up to collect her ribbon and chose a gift card. She picked out the one to Barnes & Nobel. Saying she was such a geek and couldn’t wait to add to her book collection. 

“Next, the winner of the reptile group is Hector Garcia!”

He was met with applause and sounds of improvement. Even some of the people made their animal calls as they had done for Sarah as well. Hector chose the movie theater gift card planning to have copious amounts of popcorn with the movie theater butter. 

“Okay, the winner of the amphibians is Constance Gregory!”

Constance came up with a huge smile on her tanned face and accepted her blue ribbon and picked out a Target gift card. Which she was excited about because as a college student getting essentials was hard to afford. 

“Lastly, we have come to the bird group. As you know I can’t win but wasn’t that a good call?”

Everyone cheered her on and agreed with her.

“Thank you, thank you. So, the winner is Jessica Kelly. Come on up here girl, that was a beautiful rendition of a sparrow.”

Jessica picked the last gift card, which was one for Red Robin, a very fitting pick. She then went back off of the stage and into the crowd and waited to hear from Kara what was going to happen next.

“Well, that was excellent, you should all pat yourselves on the back for doing those difficult and wonderful calls. I want you all to grab yourself some food and pull up a chair to watch a video about animal calls. I know many of you have seen it but I thought it would be fun to watch it together and then discuss it afterward.”

They all made their way to the food station to peruse the choices of delicious food. Some of them made appreciation comments about the cookies decorated like different animals. Then grabbed the metal chairs to find a seat in front of the projector screen. As the video went on everyone was silently listening and loved how many animal calls were covered. At the end, they put their chairs in a circle and started to discuss what they just watched. 

“Okay everyone, I don’t know about you but I really like that video. Who wants to start us off,” asked Kara?

“I’ll go first, I also really like that video, and gets better every time I see it because I catch more calls to try and imitate,” said Lacey.

“I think so too, I watch a lot of videos in order to figure out how to do more unique calls and I am in awe of every single one I hear. This hobby is so much fun,” said Jake.

Everyone muttered in agreement with Jake. 

“I have an opposing opinion. Instead of watching a bunch of different calls in one video. I prefer to watch videos of every type of animal call separately. To really get it right by focusing on animals individually,” argued Louise. 

“I see your point and I do that too. I don’t think you are wrong,” said Kara.

“I just think it is worth it to watch both kinds of videos,” interjected Hector. 

“I agree,” said Kara.

They continued to discuss their opinions and takeaways from the video, which was the last event. Some stayed after and socialized while finishing off the food. Kara stayed until almost everyone had left and started to clean up the place. Luckily two of the convention-goers stayed behind to help her. Of which she was grateful. The three of them talked about their opinions of the convention and told Kara that this had to be a regular thing. Kara was glad to hear this and went home thinking about how successful it was. 

January 27, 2021 22:33

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3 comments

Amy Jayne Conley
09:43 Feb 04, 2021

Awesome take on the prompt! Animal calls! I can actually believe that there's some niche area somewhere that would legitimately host something like this, and I can also imagine it being so much fun to attend! I loved your final paragraph, though, because it's clear that Kara had made a difference to these people - bringing people together to discuss or enjoy a hobby can (and usually is) so enriching, even if that hobby is something as niche as Animal Calls! Great work!

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Morgan Douglas
21:54 Feb 19, 2021

Thank you for your feedback! I really enjoyed writing this one.

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Amy Jayne Conley
22:43 Feb 19, 2021

You can tell! <3

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