I enjoyed my Yes Chicken art so much, I decided my chatty rooster needed a buddy. So I considered other spokesman animals and what one-word wisdom they might offer. (It’s a fun exercise… Give it a try!) In the process, however, the animals I imagined didn’t want to say the words they were usually known for. “Nothing too boring or cliché,” they protested, like Fish says “wet,” or Sloth says “slow.” I also remembered that a few weeks ago, a woman who owns a small flock told me that chickens are a whole lot more than their stereotyped fearful startle-response. I loved it when she said, “Chickens are actually quite curious.” Yep, they say, “Yes!” But what would their other animal friends say?
Because I’m a spirituality geek, of course this got me thinking about the (imaginary) spiritual practice of animals. For example, what inner qualities would the Fox have to really work on? We already consider the Owl as a model of wise discernment, but maybe Owl has a really hard time with frivolity or meaninglessness. Who knows, Hyena might wake up each morning longing for subtlety. Or what would Whale want to offer as his soulful learning curve?
And so, the Wait Rabbit stepped forward as the Yes Chicken‘s ally. Not so surprisingly, he just happens to embody one of my tougher spiritual challenges– the invitation to WAIT when I’m twitching to go FAST. I definitely feel that tension more than usual this winter. My body really needs a season of rest just as American culture pushes holiday hustle and bustle. So creating a jack rabbit icon for patience helped me relax a little. He sits at the end of the hallway with the Yes Chicken now, and makes me laugh… at myself mostly.
Meanwhile, I’m musing about another few critters to make this an official series… I think the Go Turtle might be shuffling around on my creative margins. I could use her empathetic guidance, for sure.
What animals with ironic wisdom would you like to see?