Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Speaking of elephants and sentient animals

All this talk of sentient animals (see previous book mention: The Hidden Life of Dogs ) reminds me of one of my favorite books of all time: The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy.

This is a novel about a herd of female elephants in Africa: "A thrilling journey into the minds of African elephants as they struggle to survive."

The author spent a good deal of time studying elephants before writing the book about "Mud," the protagonist, and her family. The author has developed a language for the elephants and much of the communication among the elephants is in this language.

This book made me fall in love with elephants....and even more helped me, for the first time, to understand that animals are sentient beings. There is a scene in the book that has become one of my favorite metaphors for traveling. If you read the book I hope you'll let me know if you can identify it.

This book is so beautiful and poignant. In fact, I think I'm going to read it again, now that that photo below made me think about it.

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