Our pets are rare treasures, not only for their affection and the lessons we learn in tending them, but also for the founts of inspiration they can provide.
Many authors have used their animals for the basis of stories from John Erickson in his Hank the Cowdog series, which is hilarious even as an adult, to Tad Williams’ Tailchaser’s Song, which has one of the most beautiful beginnings I’ve ever read. Both Mr. Erickson and Mr. Williams drew their ideas from watching real animals: Erickson from a real cowdog he knew with the common sense of a fishbowl and Williams from his cats.
If you sit long enough watching an animal and wondering how the gears turn behind their heads, interesting possibilities arise. Even fish, rabbits, lizards, and snakes can nudge our minds to creative places.
So the next time you’re struggling with finding inspiration, try to figure out, outside of what the textbooks tell you, why your pet or your friend’s pet does something. What could be rattling around in their little brain that we humans are entirely oblivious to?
Are there any ideas from those pets you’d like to share? Do you have any books that you love that were inspired by similar musings?