Writing prompt: barking up the wrong tree

Peeling bark on a eucalypt tree

I enjoy the challenge of getting a good photo of many things in nature. One of my minor interests is photos of trees, especially the trunks of trees and in particular those with interesting or arresting colours or patterns made by the bark.

The above eucalypt tree caught my eye while birding in a park near my home some time ago. The colours stunning the bark are quite special. When combined with the light and shadows cast by the sun, this is quite a noteworthy picture in my opinion.

While looking at it the idiom “barking up the wrong tree” came to mind. (For a definition of an idiom click here.) It’s an expression we use, especially here in South Australia, to indicate that we – or another person – is wrong, or misguided in some way. For example, if I was adamant that we had been to a certain restaurant on a certain date, and keep on insisting that this was correct only to find out I was wrong when later my wife produced proof that we were actually interstate on that day, I could be said to have been “barking up the wrong tree.” Plainly, I was wrong.

Writing prompts:

  • Write a story about a time when you were completely wrong.
  • Use the expression “barking up the wrong tree” in a short story.
  • Have a character in your story use this expression – but incorrectly.
  • Write a descriptive piece about how a dog chased a cat up a tree – but kept on barking at the wrong tree.
  • Write an imaginative piece explaining how you think this expression was first used.
  • Write a poem which is an ode to trees.

Good writing.

 

One Response to “Writing prompt: barking up the wrong tree”

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