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Rachel-K
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Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

 

We are hearing stories about animals all the time as the novel progresses, both through Cobb's observations, especially of moose and of crows on the river, and also from Mary's teaching and storytelling. Even when they meet, Mary identifies their behavior as if they were animals in the wild.

How are these stories and observations of animals being used in the novel?

 

Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?

 

In what ways are the animal stories being used with the girls? Why do you think Mary has developed such a talent for this sort of story?

 

Why does Mary identify so much with corvids?

 

Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"

 

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls?

 

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ambika22
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?

 

I really liked how the author mixed the crow stories with the book and also how they fit perfectly in the whole sotry. I would really like to know where he got all those legends and stories, if they invented it or if they really exist.

 

I have to say that of all the crows stories, the one that touched me and i liked the most was the Madrid's story. Even if it has a sad ending, i really liked it. And also how Marry uses it so the girls spread in the woods more earrings so all the crows can have one and dont have to die to protect their posessions.

 

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babzilla41
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?

 

My favorite story so far is Madrid's story.  I think it is timeless in that the moral of the story affects every age group.  I also liked the way Mary took the story a step further and had the girls hang the prisms in the tree.

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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Zia01
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I find that I love all the little animal stories that are woven into the story. I don't think I have a particular favorite but it add's so much to the storyline. I'm a bit a nature girl myself so maybe that helps, but It's a very enjoyable part of the story.

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vpenning
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

In what ways are the animal stories being used with the girls? Why do you think Mary has developed such a talent for this sort of story?

 

I closely identify with Mary's statement about telling stories to sneak in Science. As an educator in a world of fast food, fast tv and twitter...it is often difficult to teach students today when they are in a rapid bombardment of electronics and instant gratification. Often, having fun and making learning a game is the best approach to making students learn. When one is enjoying the experience, one absorbs and often retains more information. I too, learn this way. I learned much in this story about the wild and crows that I never knew before I read this book. And, it was an enjoyable story at that.

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dhaupt
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

The stories being told throughout the novel is a unique way that the author is telling us the story by inserting, myths, folklore and stories told around the campfire to express who the characters are and to show us their personalities.

 

Mary's imagination is ripe with this kind of information and I think she uses the tales to make the information easier for the girls to understand. 

 

 

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melisndav
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

We are hearing stories about animals all the time as the novel progresses, both through Cobb's observations, especially of moose and of crows on the river, and also from Mary's teaching and storytelling. Even when they meet, Mary identifies their behavior as if they were animals in the wild.

How are these stories and observations of animals being used in the novel?  The stories of the animals are sort of metaphors for Cobb's and Mary's lives.  Mary - the crow stories and how they have progressed over the history of time and how she is overcoming her illness.

 

Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?  I liked the story that she told that the crows used to be rainbow colored and then proceeded to carry a flame around and became black from the smoke and fire.

 

In what ways are the animal stories being used with the girls? Why do you think Mary has developed such a talent for this sort of story?  The stories are being told with the girls as part of a 'tribal' experience so that they can see how the animals how progressed and how the stories have helped different tribes have incorporated the stories into their lore.  Mary has a passion for crows and I believe that is why she loves telling these stories.

 

Why does Mary identify so much with corvids?   I think the use of corvids in this story show that Mary uses them as a metaphor as her own live.  Again, the crows in her stories seem to have overcome several issues/problems and she uses her vision of life in accordance with the corvid stories.

 

Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"  I think that this started as a joke so long ago, as if maybe someone had scared someone when they were in the wilderness and they weren't sure that it was a human or an actually bear.  And from that point on, it just became a standard question whenever the Chungamunga girls meet a new person.

 

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls? 

 

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maxcat
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I think they fit into the outdoor setting very well. The stories Mary tells are from her research on corvids. I especially liked the story about Madrid and the earring. That showed that greed won out but at the cost of death. My thought is that Mary tells these stories from fiction or folktales and they have a moral behind each story.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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lg4154
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I loved the references of the bear and the bunny. It added to the story and as a nature lover myself had a greater appreciation of what the author was saying. I really liked the references about the bunny and the girls.

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Fozzie
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations


Rachel-K wrote:

 Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"

 


I wish I knew the answer to this!  I just don't get it.  It's like an inside joke, but being on the outside of it is making it a bit tiresome for me.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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emmagrace
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I like how the characters accuse other characters as being bears! I think my husband is a bear now!

 

My favorite animal story so far is the story about Bunny possibly being a former Chungamunga girl! It was both sweet and sad.

 

I also enjoy how Mary tells the stories to the girls. She is a good story teller and I like how she had the girls hang the replica earrings on the trees.

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ambika22
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?

This is something i dont fully understand, the bear thing. Can someone try to explain it? I mean, they joke around being bears and the honey... but... Does it represent something more than a simple joke?

 

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls?

 

I also loved this story, i really think (and hope) that bunny used to be a Chungamuna girl.

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fordmg
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

My favorite annimal story is the one about Madrid and the earing.  It reminds us that we need to be careful where we put our trust and emphasis in life.  That earing was so important that Madrid couldn't eat.  Do we ever want something so bad and then find out that it wasn't so important after all?

MG

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Peppermill
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

How are these stories and observations of animals being used in the novel?

 

I don't think I am getting at the center of what Monninger is doing with these stories, but one thing they did for me was to introduce continuity with culture, myth, spirit, and storytelling itself into an environment set in modern wilderness nature and with plot elements that could readily morph towards technology and medicine. They create a look at the role of myth and story in human lives.  I like their presence very much and am picking up fables and folklore I have never encountered before, but which is increasingly being documented and brought to the fore from many cultures.  Like other readers, I wonder which are from such lore versus which have been created by Monninger -- I rather hope he is giving us gifts of his research and experiences as much as of his imagination.

 

I did wonder if the sparkles the girls hung posed any danger to the birds that might be attracted to them.  Anybody know?

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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hookedonbooks09
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I love the stories that are interwoven, especially the crow stories, as they are favorites of mine, too.

 

My feeling is that Mary loves the creatures, therefore she loves to talk about them and tell their tales.  But I also think she is using the stories to make the various animals more real to the girls and thereby make them easier to remember, more real.

 

Barb

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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LindaEducation
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I liked the bears and the part about them being similar to humans.  A human's footprints in the woods are similar to a bear's track.  Theyare told stories that a human will often den with a bear to survive the winter. The girls only half believe it but at the same time it makes them less fearful.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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msw888
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

How are these stories and observations of animals being used in the novel?

 

The stories and observations assist in explaining Mary's life experiences.


Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?

 I love all her corvid stories.

 

In what ways are the animal stories being used with the girls? Why do you think Mary has developed such a talent for this sort of story?

 The animals stories are how she copes with her condition and also to help her teach.

 

Why does Mary identify so much with corvids?

 Corvids are always near death and Mary is always near death with her diagnosis, even though she doesn't acknowledge it.


Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"

 As others have said, I think it is a habit that developed. It's a way to make oneself feel better when meeting new people, ice breaker.

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls?

The bunny is part of the Chungamunga girls. It represents a possible outcome of their diseases. The story told to the girls is that the bunny used to be a Chungamunga girl and comes to visit with them and reassures them somehow.

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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

We are hearing stories about animals all the time as the novel progresses, both through Cobb's observations, especially of moose and of crows on the river, and also from Mary's teaching and storytelling. Even when they meet, Mary identifies their behavior as if they were animals in the wild.

How are these stories and observations of animals being used in the novel?

  In many Native American rituals, animals and birds are utilized to symbolize something or some one in their culture.  Here is why I think Mary uses the crow or corvid.  Mary has studied these birds for what appears to be many years, and as a result, she has grown attached to them as well as having a great respect for them.  She uses the crows in her stories as she has seen them in her studies. 

  Have you ever really looked at a crow and watched as they hunt for food or just adapt to their surroundings?  If you look close enough, you won’t see just one.  One crow will stand guard as another eats, or in the case of a hawk, crows will attack in pairs.  Crows will also mimic a hawks movements and mannerisms. 

  This same theory goes for Bears.  Bears are one of the most symbolized in the Native American culture, and a bear will cover some 300 square miles as its territory.  So I’m not surprised that animals are used in a story that to this point is taking place in the out of doors. 

  I have spent many days and probably months in the outdoors while camping and leading scouting activities.  We’ve studied the actions of animals and learn what not to do, as well as what to do around animals.  Animals can teach us a lot about ourselves and about each other. 

 

Do you have a favorite story involving animals that Mary tells so far?

  My favorite story involving animals that Mary has told so far is that of Madrid.  She weaves the story around shining objects that the girls can relate to and she brings it together in such a way that everyone within earshot of the story is pulled in. 

 

 

Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"

  Rather than try to answer this question, I can only raise another.  Is Wally a Bear?  I’m personally beginning to think so.

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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Bonnie824
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations


Fozzie wrote:

Rachel-K wrote:

 Why is it that the characters seem to enjoy accusing each other of "being a bear in disguise?"

 


I wish I knew the answer to this!  I just don't get it.  It's like an inside joke, but being on the outside of it is making it a bit tiresome for me.


Me too, Laura. I LOVE the crow stories and they add to the book for me, but the bear inside joke from 2 people who just met and have no way of having inside jokes is annoying.

 

 

Bonnie

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kch
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I Love the stories---myths that are being told in this book. I homeschool my 10 year old daughter and sometimes story telling is the only way to get something into her head.Animal stories really work with her.

 

Myths are spiritual in nature--they have to do with the how and whys of the world we live in. Science can be so dry and well, scientific, it really does nothing for our souls. But thinking of our world and the things in it as being created by things we can know and understand....

 

I have known that my husband is bear for a long time---it sure explains some of his behaviors...

Karen