Anthropomorphism has been part of western literature since Aesop’s fables were shaped into verse by Socrates. In eastern cultures, animal stories have been shared via the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Panchatantra.
Animals instruct us in biblical stories and the bestiaries of medieval Europe. The Brothers Grimm frighten us with big bad wolves, and the birthday of anthropomorphic storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen, is celebrated as International Children’s Book Day. Australia has its own rich history of anthropomorphism as well as fabulous ‘otherness’ characters; bunyips, bottersnikes, banksia men and even pyjama-wearing bananas.
What does it mean to be human? Perhaps only the animals can know – Boria Sax