Friday, July 6, 2012

Spirit Animal

It's always a great icebreaker if you're socially awkward like me and you're just trying to get people to talk: ask them what their spirit animal is. And if they don't know, because they're grown-ups and they've never considered it, just throw a few crazy ones out there until one takes. Also there's that funny scene in Palahniuk's Fight Club where the character confronts his penguin spirit animal during a meditation.

My spirit animal is a bunny rabbit. I'm not necessarily very tiny, timid or scared all the time. Nor do I procreate rapidly or have a particular fondness for parsley. But I think they're fluffy and cute and I like it when they scream. It's kinda badass. There's a really great bunny spirit animal in Paasilinna's Year of the Hare, where the main character Vatanen rejects his material comforts (job, girlfriend, city apartment) to take up with a bunny in the Finnish wilderness. Here's artist Fabrice Backes' interpretation of the book:

Wouldn't you want to cuddle with that bunny?!

Just this last week in the UBC we got a ton of great books with awesome animal-themed covers, and it sort of blows the whole spirit animal business open. Like, why just be exemplified by a piglet, classic symbol of virility and strength, but instead choose to be a pig with a pierced nose and big bow tie, like this fancy dancer on the cover of a Wodehouse novel that is now on the top of my to-read list:

Maybe you're this wacky bird with long legs and a confident gait:

But really, if given the choice, the only animal from all of literature to truly emulate is Behemoth from Bulgakov's Master and Margarita. He's my favorite cat in literature. He's one of Satan's henchmen. He has a proclivity for chess, vodka and firearms, and he wears fancy pince-nez glasses. And he's super sarcastic and hardcore.

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