Friday, September 5, 2014

Menagerie Stories

The earliest artists used animals as their subjects.  Images of beasts dominate cave walls of Lascaux and Altamira.  They tell stories of the prehistoric world.
Teaching stories and fables arrived later. Through the actions of animals, they showed children how to behave and the consequences of bad choices. Native American stories of coyote and raven abound.
Which menagerie could you create to tell a story of collaboration?

Consider two animals.

An elephant waded into the pond at a Wild Animal Park. With the sound of a trumpet, it tossed water from its trunk onto its back. Ripples from its skin sent droplets over its frame. A bluebird happened by and noticed this refreshment in the heat of the day.

“Hello,” the bird sang as it flew above the trunk.”How do you do that?”

“Ah, it's easy, “ the elephant responded. “ Would you like a spray?”

“Yes, I have flown for days from the north and would like a drink and bath.”  The bird flapped in motion just above the gray trunk. Soon the water sparkled from its feathers.

“You’re fortunate also to have wings,” smiled the elephant.

“I’ve always admired birds in the sky and how they can travel.

“It looks like we have ways to share our experiences,” said the bird, drying one feather at a time with its beak.

“So many animals here have talents to learn about,” said the elephant.

“Aren’t you frightened by the fierce ones?”

“Each has his or her own specialty,” the elephant moved deeper into the water. “Ah, this feels good.”

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