Green Frog Cafe

"Living in nature, listening to the rain, Green Frog Cafe, that's where I want to be. The hemlocks are green, the creek is tricklin, there's geese on the pond, the forest sighs. Green Frog Cafe that's where I want to be, home of my soul, spirit of the mountains." Ruminations of Rhona McMahan

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, and Wolves

The fox and wolves in "The Legend of Narnia" are great characters. The fox is hard for me to figure. He seems to be a double agent, with allegiance to the lion (Aswan??) and to the Evil Witch Queen. Both are beautiful characters, but the Evil Witch Queen does not seem to be socially functional with her present behavior. Maybe if she would stop turning people to stone she is less threatening, although her powers are powerful and broad. She makes "Turkish Delight" which is bewitching.

The fox is also brave, and is twice bitten by fierce wolves before he is turned into a beautiful statue of a beautiful fox. I thought that he ultimately had allegiance to Aswan the Lion. I was sad when he died, and he certainly deserves resurrection.

The wolves of Narnia in the service of the Witch Queen are scary, but with a macabre sense of humor. They are beautiful, but their cold killer propensity makes a relaxed relationship with them unlikely. It would be nice to have them transformed into more "civilized" former predators, but still with their essence as wolves. Of course there are the sexy swain zoot suit wolves of 1950's cartoons. Edgy lover boys. Maybe that is the type of personality that comes to my mind.

Jackals have a poor image with many species it seems. But there are some great jackal figures recorded in human history. It seems to me that jackals are very intelligent, but cynical, and coldly ferocious. I am trying to think of positive characterizations of jackals in art.

Dogs are the branch of this "family" that have the greatest variation from small to large, and in other characteristic.

Read the Ethno Biology Series in the New York Times, starting today.

Olivia Judson, ethnobiologist, crack journalist.