It’s a special year here in New Zealand. Hairy Maclary, beloved pooch of literary fame, is thirty years old! Can you believe it? That includes, therefore, Schnitzel Von Krumm, Hercules Morse and Muffin McLay. Not to mention, Scarface Claw, the toughest Tom in town. Stories about animals are a bit hit in our house, as I am sure they are in yours. Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox are bedtime reading staples, Elmer the Elephant on audio book is a hit, Mog is our favourite cat and Come by Chance hosts the best menagerie. Then there is Chilko, master of mysteries and giver of unconditional love, in the brilliant novel, Nobody’s Dog by, ahem,… you-know-who!
So tell me – why are animal stories so appealing? So timeless? I once visited cave paintings in Dordogne, France and animals were the main feature in them too – bison, horses etc. It seems our fascination with telling animal stories is deeply embedded in our DNA and stretches back looooong into our history.
This past weekend we created an animal story of our own. In the (new) tradition of taking weekend adventures, we packed our city-slicker selves into the car for another drive up North. This time to my parents property at a place called Omaha. Next door to Mum and Dad’s digs there are five sheep that graze happily on the long grass, including one “Rambo” – named by my Dad several years ago. He’s the friendliest of the lot and very keen on back rubs. B2 hadn’t met him or any other sheep before so this was a brand, new experience.
Once upon a time there was a sheep. His name was Rambo.
He lived in a place where the sun shone, the sky was blue and there were daisies with pretty faces…
He liked to eat beetroot leaves.
He was curious about small children.
Small children were curious about him.
He sidled up for a back rub and told the small children to come back again soon. And bring more beetroot leaves.
And they said yes, they would.
Do you have family stories about animals? We have a legend about a dog called Sputnik who ate my Nana’s roast, straight off the table. What is your favourite animal story?
HUGS, Hannah x
omg, Rambo + toddlers is too adorable!! My animal stories are not nearly so wholesome – let me just say, my dog Cory (the corgi), he LIVED! Some timeless tales that always get brought out at family dinners are:
– the time Cory ran across a highway and nearly got squashed by a semi – he went between the tires and out the back, then looked back at us, like, “what?!”
– the time Cory ate 3 lbs of spoiled ground beef and his stomach was so distended and hard that you could literally knock on it.
– the time Cory broke his leg and he chewed his cast off so many times that we ended up just duct-taping magazines around his leg.
Many many more examples of how this dog really should never have made it past 3 years old. But hey, this animal story does have a happy ending… he lived to be 19! Atta boy!
Oh, Cory! He was a spitfire of a corgi-huahua, wasn’t he? You should really write a book about his (mis)adventures–or better yet, a blog! nudge, nudge…
We have a family farm in the Valley and when I was little we raised beef, my Grandfather always had cows ‘run away’ in the fall-mysterious how we then had a lot of roast beef during the winter.
Cory is definitely the hero in the story! Love him already!
Once upon a time, a city guinea pig named Marvin came to live in the suburbs. Marvin had a very happy life prior to his suburban adventure. He never wanted for treats or water, but life in a cage lacks excitement. In the suburbs Marvin was taken out to the yard where we was left to munch clover to his heart’s delight. His hosts didn’t have to ever worry about him running off because their herding dog Cory took to Marvin like a Collie to sheep. One day Marvin was in the yard with Cory. They stayed together all morning, but by the afternoon there was work to be done. Cory was put inside and the door was locked. Marvin was left behind! 8 hours later he was still in the same place where he had been left. Oh Marvin! A city slicker through and through.
Awww, is there anything cuter than a guinea pig called MARVIN??!! The name alone sold me….