Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Animals and story

I've been thinking this morning about the importance of the role of animals in story. For some people, particular animals have special signficance (for example, for me, seeing a cardinal is like a valentine from God). Others tell stories about the times in their lives by the dog they had ("Back when we had Mitzie...") or by the age of their pets ("When the kittens were little...").

The types of animals may also say something about the nature of the storyteller--not to generalize too much, but a person who loves her iguana is used to being an "outside the box" kind of person; a person who loves fish may be an introvert. :) These are all wild speculations, but it's a fun thing to notice. We love our pets and generally assign our best qualities to them. (Of course we may also project our less stellar tendencies--stubbornness, passive-aggressive behavior, jealousy--onto them as well.)

But as story listeners, asking about and receiving what others have to tell us about the loving animal friends in their lives may be a colorful path worth exploring. And at the very least, it's a great ice breaker. :)


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