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My answers to this week’s question partially depends on your definition of the terms animal and fantasy.
Do modern fantasy myths count?
Where is the line between a plant and an animal?
Where is the line between an animal and human?
I will give you all two responses and let you decide which one you think fits this prompt better. Honestly, I want to pick both of them, but I’m also not 100% sure that either of them will match what all of you think of when you hear the term fantasy animal.
Answer #1: Bigfoot
On the rare occassion I visit a zoo, the primate exhibits are the most interesting portions of those trips to me.
Part of me is sad to see monkeys, gorillas, orangutans, and other primates stuck in cages. Another part of me is fascinated by their body language, facial expressions, and social structures.
It always makes me wish we had some analogous species in North America. For example, what if Bigfoot were real? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a large, intelligent, ape-like creature roaming around our forests and/or mountains?
I like to think about what humans and Bigfoot may or may not have in common if they were real. Would they have a language? Would they have myths about the strange, hairless people that they work so hard to avoid? The possibilities are endless.
Answer #2; Dryads
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might remember how much I like trees. There is nothing like sitting in the cool shade of a mature tree on a hot day and listening to the breeze rustle through it’s countless leaves. It’s so relaxing.
The thought of certain trees having consciousness and the limited ability to walk around (depending on which stories about them you believe) tickles my fancy.
Yes, I know that technically dryads are spirits instead of flesh and blood animals. I’m hoping we can stretch the definition of fantasy animal enough to include them since many other fantasy animals also have features that you’d never find in the species scientists have currently catalogued. (For example, horses can’t fly…but unicorns can!)
It would making walking through the woods just a little more special if I knew that a small number of the trees there were aware of visitors and would maybe even have a conversation with you if you caught them at the right time.
Oh, if only!