Monday, December 2, 2013

Why We Love Animals in our Stories

When I was in fourth grade I mainly read two books. If I went into my elementary school now I could walk you right to where they were on the library shelves. One week I would check out Aesops Fables and reread them, loving each story. The next week I would swap it for Grimms Fairy Tales.

I was so drawn to both of these books, but I can still remember eagerly reading stories about a hare, or a turtle or bear in Aesops Fables. Even though these stories were of animals, I was able to relate and learn from them, which was the total intention of Aesop.

Sometimes, it's hard to admit things to ourselves. It is somehow easier to understand someone else's problem than our own. Even as a child, I knew when an animal in Aesops stories were being mean, or not thinking things through, I would get mad at them and wonder why they couldn't see what was going on around them. I think this is why we love reading stories with animals in them. They let us see human problems without all the blame. It's after we have read them that we are able to humble ourselves and realize that we need to take the lessons the poor turtle had to learn into consideration.