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

This seems like the popular answer, but my favorite crow story was about Madrid and the earing.  Not only was the story fascinating, but I thought letting the girls decorate the tree sounded really nice.  I could just picture the decked out tree, sparkling in the sun.  Someone in another post mentioned the girls being "eternal on the river" because the river itself is a constant - it will always be there.  I feel the tree could evoke the same feelings for the girls... they will be able to picture their tree hidden away in the woods for years to come.

 

The story also stuck with me because Cobb calls Mary "Mrs.Blanding," as an affectionate nickname and I thought that was really sweet.

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

I love all the animal stories that Mary tells.  I have never viewed crows in this kind of light before.  I always associated them with horror stories.  This has given me a new way of looking at them.  I would have to say that all the crow stories are my favorite so far just because I can now think of them in a new and positive way. 

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

[ Edited ]

The story of Madrid is an obvious favorite because of the lesson learned. However, I really liked the first story Mary told Cobb about how the crow decided which birds would eat plants and which would eat meat. Being a mother, I think it's a great story to tell children to explain why some birds eat plants and others meat. I do have to say that I'm really enjoying reading all the stories Mary tells. They make me want to research and find more folklore about crows!

 

Mary uses the stories to teach girls not only some science, but also morals and values. The Madrid story is a perfect example. The girls obviously learn about greed and lust, but she does sneak in there different facts about crows. She has such a talent for telling these stories because she's very passionate about crows and ravens. Of course being a teacher helps too, but Mary also seems to have a natural gift for it.

 

 I feel as though Mary identifies with crows because of her illness. When she's telling the story of Madrid on page 113 she says, "...by a trick of light his feathers turned rainbow colored and he died resplendent, a great arching blur of light and blackness and color." Mary goes on to talk about seeing a rainbow reflected off the black colored feathers. She had already described to Cobb what will happen to her physically when she gets sick and is fixing to die. When I read this I felt as though she was comparing her illness (and the illnesses of the other girls) to the black color of the crow (outside appearances), but even as she gets sick and is dying SHE is still there (rainbow reflected off the blackness). I hope that made sense, lol! It's in my head, and I'm having a hard time trying to get it on here!

 

I have no idea why the characters enjoy calling each other "bear". It's like an inside joke that I've been left out of! Hopefully, it's explained later in the story. After I post this I'll read through previous posts and see if anyone had an explanation!

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

I just finished the book because I didn't get it till a few days ago.  I too enjoyed the stories that Mary tells and the relationship that Mary and Cobb have.  It is interesting that we can learn a lot from nature and the wildlife that lives around us. 

 

Toni

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


BaseballMomma wrote:

The story of Madrid is an obvious favorite because of the lesson learned. However, I really liked the first story Mary told Cobb about how the crow decided which birds would eat plants and which would eat meat. Being a mother, I think it's a great story to tell children to explain why some birds eat plants and others meat. I do have to say that I'm really enjoying reading all the stories Mary tells. They make me want to research and find more folklore about crows!

 

Mary uses the stories to teach girls not only some science, but also morals and values. The Madrid story is a perfect example. The girls obviously learn about greed and lust, but she does sneak in there different facts about crows. She has such a talent for telling these stories because she's very passionate about crows and ravens. Of course being a teacher helps too, but Mary also seems to have a natural gift for it.

 

 I feel as though Mary identifies with crows because of her illness. When she's telling the story of Madrid on page 113 she says, "...by a trick of light his feathers turned rainbow colored and he died resplendent, a great arching blur of light and blackness and color." Mary goes on to talk about seeing a rainbow reflected off the black colored feathers. She had already described to Cobb what will happen to her physically when she gets sick and is fixing to die. When I read this I felt as though she was comparing her illness (and the illnesses of the other girls) to the black color of the crow (outside appearances), but even as she gets sick and is dying SHE is still there (rainbow reflected off the blackness). I hope that made sense, lol! It's in my head, and I'm having a hard time trying to get it on here!

 

I have no idea why the characters enjoy calling each other "bear". It's like an inside joke that I've been left out of! Hopefully, it's explained later in the story. After I post this I'll read through previous posts and see if anyone had an explanation!


Hi BaseballMom,

Not only did I completely understand what you were trying to say but I also agree with you about the rainbow colors reflected off the black color of the crow.  Even though the Madrid story was very heartwarming, the story about how the crow turned black was my favorite.  I don't know that I could ever warm up to a crow, but they are very majestic looking decked out in their black attire.  The girls, on the other hand, don't have to be decked out in anything in particular; just being a Chungamunga Girl is special and their beauty shines threw.

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

So many stories.,,its hard to choose...The one I liked the best was with the 'Diamond" earring,and how we hold on to things that are not in our best interest,but one might not discover that until the pain is too great to bear,or never..The complete tone of the story changed for me at the beginning.I knew Mary was gone,but she came Alive for me during the first 8 chapters. The Bears are so like humans,family,protective of the young.and with a great imagination,we can appear bearlike Mary only likes smart Animals(Humans included) That's where the crows come into play,I have learned so much.Mary has opened the minds and imagination of the "Girls" and Cobb as well..I felt that as they began to explore each other Sexually,Intellectually,they did fit well..Both of those go hand in hand in an Evolved relationship.... Bunny,fertility,life can,does,and just maybe their future is not Bleak...... Vtc  

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

I love the crow stories! The story of Madrid and the diamond earring is my favorite, but I love the story of how the crow's color was changed, too.

 

Mary's certainly intelligent and curious like her crows. I have to wonder if she'll hold on to what she loves for too long. And telling the girls these stories is clever way to introduce them to science.

 

Bunny is eternal on the river, too. The girls may be different girls, and the bunny is a descendant of Bunny I, but there's connection and continuity.

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shelley727
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I liked all of the stores Mary told.  I really liked the Bunny story and how it involved the Chungamunga girls.  It's sad, but the girls can relate to it as I'm sure Mary can. 

 

The stories are being used to help teach the girls science and also morals to stories.  They are the focal point for Mary to help her get the girls to be interested.  The Chungamunga girls always seemed to be on the edge of their seat when Mary started telling her stories.  I like how Mary got into character for her students by wearing the crow feather hat.  A teacher will do whatever it takes to get her students interested and excited about learning!   I think Mary has a talent for story telling because it is of something that interests her--crows & corvids.  She has a passion for them.  I think she also identifies with them because they are around death so much and she feels that she is around death even she doesn't really know if she has the disease and if it will eventually take her life.  I feel she has that thought in the back of her mind though.

 

I have never heard of a person being described as a bear.  I don't know if that is something that comes from being around nature so much or something folklorish that is from that part of the country.  We don't use that here in South Texas!  I felt as I read that it had to do with someone who was sort of "one with nature".  Something maybe Mary heard as a child.  Some folklore her family told her from that part of Maine.   It also  just seemed to be something they said because maybe they weren't sure if what they saw was a person or a bear.  I like it though :smileyhappy:     

Shelley
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KateBrianIsAwesome
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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?

They are there to teach us, I think.

 

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

I think that all the stories told are wonderful and are creatively woven into the story.

 

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

I don't know I've been trying to figure that out for awhile now.

 

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls?

Bunny likes to come out of the woods and visit the Chungamunga girls whenever they visit the river. Mary said that Bunny could of once been a Chungamunga girl who choose a life of a bunny than live as a human and die from her sickness.

 

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nymazz
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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 is Madrid's story.It's fun but also has a message for the girls, and I love

the part where they hung the crystals. 

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

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

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?

 

My favorite story is about Madrid.  The moral is timeless.

 

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

 

To me it seems their way of saying this or you are too good to be true.

 

 

 


 

 

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jb70
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I liked all the lessons involved in Madrid's story and how so many people are killing themselves in the name of beauty and from an inability to share with others.  If we all were more able to share in general and less intersted in just making things work for ourselves society would be a much different place.  He also reminded me a bit of the Rainbow fish who didn't want to share his scales (Rainbow Fish is a children's book that is often used in elementary grades to talk about sharing with others just in case other readers aren't familiar with it.)

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

I love the "connection and continuity."  =)

 


Sheltiemama wrote:

I love the crow stories! The story of Madrid and the diamond earring is my favorite, but I love the story of how the crow's color was changed, too.

 

Mary's certainly intelligent and curious like her crows. I have to wonder if she'll hold on to what she loves for too long. And telling the girls these stories is clever way to introduce them to science.

 

Bunny is eternal on the river, too. The girls may be different girls, and the bunny is a descendant of Bunny I, but there's connection and continuity.


 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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McWarren
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Re: Bunny

[ Edited ]

Peppermill wrote:

 


PB684 wrote:

Excerpt from Chapter 8:

 

"Can the spell be reversed? Can Bunny become a girl again?"

Mary thought about it for a moment. Then she answered quietly.

"Yes, if she goes over the falls," she said. "She has to believe she will be a girl again and surrender herself to the falls. That's why she remains here."

 

I'm wondering if this refers to a "leap of faith". Is Bunny, or Mary, afraid to make that leap? I'm interested to hear what others think about this passage.

Paula

 


 

Paula -- Given that we know Mary went over the falls, I read this as sort of a (reverse) foreshadowing as Cobb told his story.  It also seemed to carry a bit of hope or belief in incarnation without being blatant. It was a poignant passage to me.

 

Pepper

 


Pepper,

 

I read it exactly the same as you.

 

Sydney

 

ETA: Mary uses the stories so that each girl can relate to or find common ground in them so that the stories are relevant to their own lives. As a middle school teacher, I use fables, myths, and analogies constantly.

 

I think the author IS Mary and we, the readers, ARE the girls. And we relate to or find common ground in the stories that relate to our own lives. (If that makes sense!)

 

McW

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Kittysmom
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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 that Mary tells is also about Madrid, with the jewels and the crystals that the girls hung - hearing all that made me want to be a child again if only for a little while.  Mary really has a way with a story!

"Open a book and the world is yours"
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Kittysmom
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

Dear Mike, I have to tell you that I totally agree wth you when you say "Is Wally a bear?"   I am also beginning to think so and I really love Wally!

 

 

 

 

 

"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

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girlie0620
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Re: Bunny

I thought the same thing from the lines you cited from chapter 8-

I think it is faith in knowing there are greater things out there and what happens in the unknown- surrendering to the falls. Will Bunny remain there always or will she take the leap- like Mary did in the end??

Michelle

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

I love the crows. It's interesting, I never really thought much about crows until recently watching a David Suzuki special about crows and these studies being conducted on how they can recognize faces and pass this information on to their young, how they are really close (they even mourn their dead).

Crows are much smarter and more fascinating than I ever realized, and I love seeing them in this story.

Me :smileyhappy:
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mediamissy
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I love the way the author intertwines the stories of various animals.  First, I thought the stories of the animals were brought into the story so that the natural aspect of the setting was enhanced.  As I read further I started to see the animal stories being used as guides, ways to connect people with nature to learn from them.  As Mary conveyed the stories to the Chungamunga girls I felt like she was using the myths and folklore to bring them a peace, a way to see the world differently.  

 

When it comes to the bear I am still a little confused but I find it almost a little bit of a checkpoint, and inside joke between  Mary and Cobb to reconnect privately.  Something they shared with each other and with Mary's disease a way to self-check her own memory.

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Lildove3
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

It is very difficult to chose which story Mary tells to be my favorite...I love them all.

 

The animal stories are told to teach the girls of different aspects in life, just like the native americans

do with their young ones, not only are the stories entertaining but valuable lesson are to be learned as well.

 

The accusing each other maybe another form of the game tag your it.

 

Bunny to me is like the mascot for the Chungamunga girls.