Into the Woods, 36: The Thirteenth Fairy
Our one-eyed girl

The Dog's Tale

The Dog's Tale 1

The Dog's Tales: a series of posts in which Tilly has her say....

All these fairy tale posts are well and good,  but I admit to feeling neglected this week. I am, after all, the Muse of the studio (a role I perform to perfection, I think), yet for all the attention I've had here lately, you'd think I was just a dog.

Ah, but I must be patient. My People are artists, and artists are odd, absent-minded creatures, easily distracted. It is my job, as Muse, to take them in hand when they've strayed too far into imaginary bring them back to their physical senses, their animal bodies (why do People have so much trouble with this???), to the present moment and the everyday magic of the good smelly world around us.

So I push my cold nose into their hands and give them the stare that means: "Let's go for a walk." (My People cannot resist The Stare.)

The Dog's Tale 2

"Okay, okay," they say at last, laughing, closing the computer, putting down the book or paintbrush, and we head for the woods. People, I've learned, must be walked at least twice a day if they're to stay happy, healthy, and creative. (Use The Stare if your People resist it.)

I leave you with these words by Lao Tzu, which sums up my life philosophy:

"In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”

People know this. They just need to be reminded. And that's where we come in.

The Dog's Tale 3


Listening to the Animal Self

The dog reminds me,
the cat reminds me,
the little wren
on the rose bush
reminds me:
go into the green.
Look past your feet,
see the busy small natures,
even they stop from gathering
the green bounty,
to admire what is around them.
Let your feet feel the grass,
let your hand brush the rowan
red in its fruiting,
let your eyes rest
on the curling leaves of autumn,
let your ears hear the rilling stream.
Do not forget the ancestors
in your eagerness for the new.
There is old magic here
on every branch, beneath each bole,
behind the scrim.
Let you vision be peripheral,
let your hearing be alternative,
let your tongue taste the wild.
Then the dog can show you.
Then the cat can show you.
Then the wren can show you
how to walk out into the world.

©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Yes and yes and I love how the animals teach us about ourselves *miss having them here in NY)--in recent Massachusetts no internet retreat, the cats taught me cat ways, the dog took me out of my serious self laughing, and the trees...and the bees...and the birds and the wind...all, plus old friends, gave me back to myself.

Ah the beasts--they deliver us back to our beastly selves

I am honored, Auntie Jane. A true understanding of my world.

What a gorgeous creature. Who could resist the stare? My old Boxer used to do this little dance when he wanted a walk. It was the funniest thing, and of course it worked every time.

Ah, lovely...I will play with my cats right now as they are insistent when I stare at the computer screen. Hugs to Tilly!

And I read all this around the impressive large silky orange body of my cat Marlowe. Is he aware of
irony? You betcha. As soon as I got his message along with Tilly's, he hopped off to other schemes
of keeping me aware.

I've been out all day exhibiting work at an art event. I left our two monstrous cats enough food to feed a pride of lions in the naive hope they would eat as and when they needed throughout the day. Needless to say when we got back the bowls were empty, and on top of that the food cupboard had been broken into and an unopened sack of cat food had been dragged across the kitchen, disemboweled and the contents spread far and wide over the floor. The cats lay amidst the carnage, legs in the air, burping contentedly and with the sort of expressions that said "It's your fault for neglecting us, now sod off and get me some food!"

So what do my animals teach me? I'm not really sure, but it looks like they have a good time doing it.

P.S. I'm going to the art event again today so in an attempt to protect the house and appease the monsters, we're leaving twice as much food for them as yesterday, as well as barricading the cupboards, oh and firmly closing the bathroom door. They tend to show their disapproval by getting as muddy and slug-infested as possible and then playing in the bath. The mess is sometimes so breath-taking it's almost artistic!

Ahhh, you are wise Tilly, and I completely agree with yours and Lao Tzu's life's philosophy. Along with MY people, I am a simple dog. Ginny, the kelpie. woof woof

Oh, this made me laugh!

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