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Writers are told over and over and over again to “show, don’t tell.” This weekend, while eating at a Thai restaurant, I got a fortune from a fortune cookie that made me realize that most fortune cookie fortunes don’t follow this age-old rule. The difference in this fortune was so startling that I had to share it with you, dear blog readers. Whoever wrote this fortune deserves a hearty pat on the back.

Before I reveal my unusually visual fortune, here are a number of typical fortunes for contrast:

Rely on your own good judgement to lead you to success.

You will be showered with good luck.

Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.

Follow your heart and you will find happiness.

Wish you a good health!

Most success springs from an obstacle or failure.

There is nothing permanent except change.

You feel restless – change is just around the corner.

And all for love, and nothing for reward.

Yawn. Now for my fortune:

Mend the first break, kill the first snake, and conquer everything you undertake.

The snake is what makes this fortune. Because it’s a show-don’t-tell word, it made me go back and reread the first part of the fortune and think about the juxtaposition of mending a break and killing a snake. I like it when reading surprises me, which can be particularly tough to do in the short space of a fortune cookie fortune. (We should to be getting better at that with Twitter, shouldn’t we?)