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CJINCA
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎11-28-2008
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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?" 


First, I think they just find it hilarious...me too :smileyhappy:...

 

Second, I think they are more seriously hinting at the real/natural/wild thing under their human skins.  They feel the forces of nature more than the other non-bear human types do.

 

Also, this is part of a specific language that couples -- or girls at camp -- naturally develop.  This shows their link to one other, that they are part of something different.

 

-- C.

 

 

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dclement04
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Registered: ‎09-30-2008
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

 


CJINCA wrote:

 


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


First, I think they just find it hilarious...me too :smileyhappy:...

 

Second, I think they are more seriously hinting at the real/natural/wild thing under their human skins.  They feel the forces of nature more than the other non-bear human types do.

 

Also, this is part of a specific language that couples -- or girls at camp -- naturally develop.  This shows their link to one other, that they are part of something different.

 

-- C.

 

 


 

 

I just don't get this at all...I think its funny but I don't see the symbolism in it and why they are calling each other bears.

 

I also don't see it as such an important part in the story...I think if that portion was removed the story would still be the same as with it. :smileyhappy:

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

The animal stories are used to help the girls learn more about nature and their special time a camp.  Most of the girls have never been camping because of their illnesses, having spent most of their young lives being protected by families and doctors.  They 've taken this leap of faith to go to camp, but still the animals in the wild may scare them.  The stories make the animals and their ways seem less frightening and more magical.  Mary makes nature magical, while at the same time, encouraging the girls to be strong in the days and years ahead.  Mary was a Chungamunga girl years ago, so she knows well the importance of these days at camp.

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

 


dclement04 wrote:

 


 

 

I just don't get this at all...I think its funny but I don't see the symbolism in it and why they are calling each other bears.

 

I also don't see it as such an important part in the story...I think if that portion was removed the story would still be the same as with it. :smileyhappy:


 

When you finish the book, read the pages following where Joe discusses the book and I think you'll learn your answer there.

 

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

I loved the animal stories. Predictably my favorites were the crow stories. Madrid's story seemed particularly appropriate. If you try to hang on to something precious, like life, you will end up killing yourself. You have to go out and live. That's what Mary was doing and what she was trying to get the girls to do. 

 

Whether we are ill or not, we don't know how much time we have. Life is meant to be savored, not hoarded. 

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Buffie24
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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 loved the story of Madrid.  And it has a very valid moral to it too.

 

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 think Mary does this because it helps the girls to learn and understand.  Mary knows that kids learn differently and needs something to keep their attention, which is why Mary developed such a talent for this sort of story.

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dclement04
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations


dhaupt wrote:

 


dclement04 wrote:

 


 

 

I just don't get this at all...I think its funny but I don't see the symbolism in it and why they are calling each other bears.

 

I also don't see it as such an important part in the story...I think if that portion was removed the story would still be the same as with it. :smileyhappy:


 

When you finish the book, read the pages following where Joe discusses the book and I think you'll learn your answer there.

 



Thanks Debbie! I'm almost done so I will def check out that section when I'm done.
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Jo6353
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

It's early Sunday morning.  I'm sitting here enjoying the morning solitude while having a cup of coffee and reading the book club messages. Out of nowhere starts this ruckus of birds out in my yard. We have woods behind our house so I'm used to hearing nature sounds.  However, this was much louder than usual so I got up to take a look, expecting to see some poor downed animal and the carrion having Sunday breakfast. What I found was about 6 crows taking turns flying around a pine tree chasing each other and squawking! I'm not sure if it was a mating ritual or a territorial maneuver but I found it quite ironic that the showed up as I was sittinf here reading about crows!  maybe they knew and just wanted to say hi!  Jo

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nikki824
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Registered: ‎01-29-2009
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I find the amimals story very intersting and that they sometimes have a moral story is a plus. I'm a city girl so the great outdoors itsnt my cup of tea but I am trying to hang on and finsh this book.

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

Everyone seems to be having a problem figuring out the meaning of bears.  Here is my take and it is simple and I may be wrong.

 

We think of bears as predatory animals.  The diseases that these girls are dealing with are predatory.  So, when they ask someone if they are a bear aren't they asking if you are friend or foe?

 

I think the crows have a special meaning to Mary as they have been shown to have life lessons.  The one about the earring and how greed wins but at the cost of death.  The crow carrying the flame and turning black.  But, if you look at a crow in the sun they still have their beautiful colors.  These are just a couple but, the stories can be related back to Mary's philosphy of life.

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Paula_Jean
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Registered: ‎10-24-2009
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

From the beginning of this book, I've felt like the story is here to teach us something.  I can't quite put my finger on it exactly, but even having the end as the start drives home a point:  the journey/the adventure is the story, not the actual death of Mary.  Pay attention.

 

So the presence of animal stories & observations as lessons throughout the story seems natural.  They are teachers and observers.  The interludes are charming and fit in with the whole feeling of "otherness" and "camp trip" that the journey down the Allagash has (I just finished chapter 8).  Mary is a Chungamunga girl - so even if she's not the girl-camper at the time of this story, she's sort of reliving her camp experience, this time with Cobb.  

 

I like the story of Madrid.  I like how she's helping the girls learn a lesson by decorating the tree.  In looking back at this story, it makes me wonder what glittery "want" she's trying to help distract the girls from.  

 

I think Mary identifies with corvids because they seem like they are directing things and going after what they want.  The stories she shares showcase the corvids as wise, hero-type birds.  However, they have to wait for death to live.  To feast on the carcass of a moose, for example, to have food.  Mary is like them.  She's living an adventurous life on the outside, but seems to be holding back from truly living in ways that count (ex.  getting into a close relationship with a man).  The crow stories seem to be a great metaphor for her own life.

 

I think the characters enjoy accusing each other of being a bear in disguise b/c it's a harmless way of saying, "I see you and I know that the life you are living this moment isn't who you really are."  Except that seems a little harsh - maybe it's that the life you are living this moment isn't sustainable.  They understand that the adventure they are having is a fairy tale - that they know there are bigger worries and concerns in "real" life, but they won't ruin their adventure with the truth of what their lives off the river hold for them.

 

Bunny is a former Chungamunga girl.  The Chungamunga girls have to treat her carefully/respectfully.  The Chungamunga kayaking experience is something of the world treating the Chungamunga girls like the bunny they watch over and handle with care.  It's a fun little puzzle.  I like the layers of it.

 

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EiLvReedn
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Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

I agree !  The Bunny story is the best. Usually I don't like it when an author prolongs a story and fills in with extras but the stories in this book are just as interesting as the rest of the book.

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letsread2SC
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

   Mary mentions "sneaking in some science" as she works with the young girls. Story telling can be so alluring. Mary passes on tradition and myth with her teaching style.. I found the early tale from Somalia, East Africa interesting, especially the details about the crow's brain  and per cent of body mass compared to a human's interesting, 

 

  The "detective work" to distinguish the "bears" from the humans is a delightful "game."

 

Sharon

 

 

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend,
a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.
~ Barrow ~

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. ~ Barrow ~
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elemenoP
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Re: Crows and Bears: Animals in the wild and in our imaginations

>>We think of bears as predatory animals.  The diseases that these girls are dealing with are predatory.  So, when they ask someone if they are a bear aren't they asking if you are friend or foe?<<

 

So, is a bear a friend or a foe? This is what is still troubling me. They make it seem like it's not a *bad* thing to be a bear, and yet no one *admits* to being a bear, either.

 

Sheri

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dj5775
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Registered: ‎03-22-2009
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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 story is that of outdoors so it makes sense to use the tales of nature to back it up.

 

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

Madrids story stands out, it seems a favorite of hers.

 

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 used to teach lessons and makes points with nature so they can be remembered and learned from.

 

Why does Mary identify so much with corvids?

Mary has studied the crows for a long time and has found them easily relatable to life and her life. She's leaned the tales they are attached with and shares them

 

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

I associate bears with strength and inside all of us we have strength we may not know of

 

What is Bunny's relationship to the Chungamunga girls?

Bunny was a Chungamunga girl who chose to become a bunny to not suffer her disease anymore. She is always at the River now to remind girls to carry hope

 

ct