Canada Can

As we are approaching Canada Day, I am thinking a good old Canadian Moose tale might be appropriate. Then I start to think about other Canadian animals like the Beaver and the Buck, the Salmon and the Trout, the Kermode and the Grizzly. All of that makes me think about Animal Farm and how all the different personalities in Orwell’s novel worked to work together in some kind of harmony, in order to eliminate chaos and establish a productive and peaceful life. In a lot of ways, the animal kingdom is like the human kingdom – they kill and eat meat; they make homesteads and protect their families from trouble; they are territorial and, most often, respectful and tolerant of others.


I wrote a story once, Animal Farm Revisited, and I had given an animal persona to each of the employees of my office at the time. We had a Queen Bee, a parrot, a cow and a pig, and a pesky bull that just did not fit it! I can’t seem to locate that story anymore, but I know my friend Dove has it somewhere on a bookshelf in her lovely Foskett House Bed and Breakfast in Comox, British Columbia. I meant to ask her for it last month while I enjoyed a weekend with her, Michael and Max -- the dog who loves me.


When you think about it, humans have adopted specific animal traits – physical and emotional, but also there are behavioural similarities too. Some politicians, some teachers, some doctors, some lawyers and some businessmen have easily been compared to various animals – snakes, slugs, woodpeckers, octopuses, doves, tigers, rats … leading to great allegories and the use of personification in many novels in all languages everywhere in the world. I think I am most often a dove – peaceful and loving; but, I have monkey traits as well in that I am inquisitive, curious and energetic when it comes to figuring something or someone out! You can’t pull the wool over my eyes!


So, instead of trying to come up with a Canadian Moose story this Canada Day, look around you and see that celebrating Canada is more than just identifying our iconic animals or adopted floral symbols  or naming our provinces, capitals and former prime ministers – it is about looking at ourselves and those around us. It is about our harmony with nature, our relationship with nature, --- all it has to offer us and all we have to offer it, in our clean and peaceful homestead called Canada, where 'Can' trumps 'Can't' and we have figured that out.