Tag Archives: Animal

What You Can Learn from a Deer

“What You Can Learn from a Deer” by Joan Y. Edwards

In 1990 when I went to visit my sister, Judith Thomson, she told me that Indians chose different animals to be their teachers. To teach them something that would help them survive in life. These could be animals that you see often or sometimes an animal might show up only once. I believe you are allowed to choose nine animals to be your guides during life. They may change with your experiences and needs. One of the animals I chose was a deer.

A deer keeps calm even when facing the enemy. A deer is graceful and can walk or run with ease. A deer only eats what he needs. The mother deer looks after her young. The male has antlers to add to his protection. Each winter the antlers are shed. New ones emerge.

I actually got to touch a fawn that Judith’s friend found and raised after its parents were killed.  It had a strong musky smell to it.

Carl and I found deer in the Grand Canyon. If they were eating and noticed you. They have a keen sense of hearing. The muscles in their ears enables them to turn their ears in any direction to evaluate sounds. They can hear higher frequencies than humans. Unless they sense danger from you, they take a good look at you and keep on eating.

Deer have good night vision which enables them to get around well during the early hours of the day or at dusk.

One day there were deer in our backyard. Woods about 5 miles away had been cut down to build new homes. The deer were searching for food. I didn’t have any bushes or flowers they liked, so they went on. It was funny. Pat, a lady who helped me take care of Mother said, “Do you always have deer in your back yard?”

I said, “No.”

I didn’t have my camera handy. The deer zoomed across the yard in a hurry. I told them, “Come back. I want to take your picture.” I went and got my camera and came back to the window. Low and behold, seven of them came back and let me take their picture. Then they took off to greener pastures in our neighborhood. There were 9 altogether. I only got a picture of 7 at one time.

When I was little, the first movie I saw was Bambi. I hated the fire and the fact that  the hunter killed the deer.

I hope you have animals, people, or objects to teach you what you need to survive. Please leave a comment telling me about your favorite animal and what you’ve learned from it. The Indians believed that animals were there to teach you a life lesson. I think that’s a good way to look at life.

You can add animals to a story to teach your main character a lesson to get him to his goal. You can search for an animal that has a lesson to teach you about survival, too.

To learn more about deer, you might want to look at the following:

  1. Jim Arnosky. All about Deer: http://www.amazon.com/All-About-Deer-Series/dp/0439058740
  2. Walt Disney. Bambi:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736423087/
  3. Wanda Embar http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

Copyright 2012 © Joan Y. Edwards

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? And Other Questions to Put in Your Reader’s Mind

“Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? And Other Questions to Put in Your Reader’s Mind” by Joan Y. Edwards

When I was a little girl, we played 20 questions. Sometimes I needed to play 50 questions because it took me so long to guess. The first questions I would ask were? Is it an animal? vegetable? or mineral? Many times after 20 questions, if I hadn’t guessed, I’d say, “I give up.”
The leader of the game told me the answer and took another turn. Each time, I thought that I should have guessed it.

In writing a story, you want to pose questions to the readers. You are the leader of this “story” game. The answers must be shown to the readers before the end of the book. They can’t be left in the dark. The reader must be able to figure out the answers to all the questions you the author choose to pose by your statements, situations, and actions presented in your stories.

Delila searched her cabin for _______.

Steven always wanted a _______.

_____________ stared Linette in the face.

You can learn things about writing and about survival by studying different animals, plants, and minerals. Native Indians studied different animals to learn ways to survive. These lessons are called “medicine.” Medicine in the Native American tradition is “anything that brings personal power, strength, and understanding.” Sometimes you can choose an animal; other times an animal chooses you.

Lessons to Learn from:

Three animals:

  • Turtles – It’s hard to hurt their feelings because of their strong outer shell.
  • Deer – They are fearless. Even though they are afraid, they stay calm.
  • Butterflies – They relax and enjoy the stage of life they’re in.

What about you? What animals can you learn a lesson from?

Three plants:

  • Peace Lily – It blossoms in the middle of a crowd. (It won’t bloom if it has too much room in the pot.)
  • Kudzu vine – It’s good to be able to thrive in many environments. Be flexible. But don’t make a nuisance out of yourself.
  • Poinsettia – It’s important not to have too much light for a Poinsettia to bloom. In Charlotte, NC a nursery that depended upon selling hundreds of poinsettia plants had a problem. It was the second week in December and none of them were blooming. One of the workers noticed that Duke Power had installed a new street light next door. It never did get dark. Poinsettias bloom when there are more hours of darkness than light. The owner called Duke Power and asked them to turn off the street light. Have you guessed what happened? You are right. The poinsettia plants bloomed. The owner sold them to happy customers. And all ended on a happy note.

Three minerals:

  • Clay – white clay from North Carolina is used to mold into wonderful useful and beautiful ceramic items.
  • Stones – My favorites are small polished stones that are smooth to touch and fun to collect. I love that a man chose a rock to remind him to be grateful for all that he has. He called it a “Gratitude Rock.” These small polished stones make a great “Gratitude Rock” to carry with you every day.
  • Sea shells – They are beautiful shapes, colors, and sizes. Interesting animals live inside them in the ocean.

When you’re writing include an animal, vegetable, or mineral that has special significance to you. It’ll bring life to a character and add emotion to your story.  They may pose a way for you to put a few questions in your story.

Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your being here.

Please let me know your favorite game when you were a kid. Tell me your favorite animal, vegetable, or mineral and why. I look forward to hearing from you in the comment area.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards