Becoming Animal: Tutelary Animal Spirits

Shortly after we bought our first house seven years ago, I stepped outside into the backyard. The light was bright gold; the air was crisp but not cold. When I turned around toward the house, I saw that slugs had crawled across the screens of the back porch in the night, leaving behind their delicate,…

Magical Animals in European Lore: Horses

I turned Stumbling in the fever of a dream, down towards The dark woods, from the kindling tops, And came to the horses. There, still they stood, But now steaming and glistening under the flow of light, Their draped stone manes, their tilted hind-hooves Stirring under a thaw while all around them The frost showed…

Magical Animals in European Folk Tales and Lore: Chickens

Chickens are humble animals. They’re heavy, mostly earthbound birds, spending their days pecking at the ground, clucking or crowing (not exactly musical), bobbing their heads as they strut around the farmyard. In media, they’re often depicted as fussy and silly — think Foghorn Leghorn and Prissy in Looney Tunes cartoons, or Lady Cluck in Robin…