Stories With Animals That Talk
December 01, 2010
Have you ever stopped to wonder why so many stories have animals that talk? In all our literary experience, animal characters are among our enduring favorites. If you look carefully, the most successful animal characters are ones whose basic nature mirrors those of their human counterparts. The Wind in the Willows remains at the top of the list. Those critters seem to come right out of the books and into our lives. Winnie the Pooh ranks right up there too. You could easily list your own favorites.
The second group, however, are those fictional animal characters that are purely animal: Lassie, Nana (from Peter Pan), Rin Tin Tin, and all the great horses (Flicka, Black Beauty, Black Stallion, and others). I think it all comes down to our basic compassion for the animal world. Two great works along these lines are Kinship with all Life, and Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered. Did you really have to guess why every U.S. President has a dog?