Cape Shore Nov. 1961.
you try
design team

Age 5-8


The Lynx
If you could transform into any animal, what animal would you be?

Would you have long black feathers or soft, warm fur? Perhaps your 30-ton body would have a healthy coat of purple-orange scales, protected by the sharpest of quills! Maybe you would choose to turn into a lynx, and crouch as the one painted by Christopher Pratt.

Maybe the animal you transform into would be a raven. Did you know that the raven is a cousin of the crow? They grow bigger than crows - their wingspan reaching four feet during a lifetime and some live as long as thirty years. Another difference between a raven and a crow is the shape of their tail feathers. Ravens' tail feathers grow longest at the middle whereas the tail feathers of the crow grow straight across. It is very common for people to think of ravens as symbols of bad luck because they are not the greatest singers, they seem too intelligent and they're so black in colour that they appear to be blue.

The Crow Raven
Christopher's silkscreen print titled Crow and Raven (1969) displays wonderful patterns of snow on rock. Try to imagine climbing one of these steep cliffs. There does not seem to be many safe places to hang on. The rocks seem too loosely packed to support the smallest person's weight.

What noises can you imagine hearing in this print? Try making the sound of the raven if it were to talk to its cousin the crow. Would there be an echo? Can you imagine other sounds like that of rocks falling, tumbling down into the deep abyss?

Does the steepness of the cliff make you afraid? The angle of the rocks could be a dangerous playground slide. The raven and the crow do not seem too bothered by the height. You may have noticed that these birds are present almost everywhere in all types of weather. You can always depend on them to keep you company.

Most people have animals that they consider to be their favorite. Their choice may depend on the appearance of the animal, or its personality. Other people like animals for their mythical symbolism. What are the reasons why your favorite animal is your favorite?

How do you feel about bats? Not everyone thinks bats are scary creatures. For the early Egyptians, bats symbolized 'the good mother' because they are the only winged creature with teeth and breasts. You may think the owl is an emblem of great wisdom. Some people in Greece however think the owl is one of the most evil birds of all because they have the ability to see in the dark and to remain awake all night long.

The Raven
According to Native mythology, Raven is considered to be the one who brings light and curiosity to the world. The crow is considered to be a clever trickster. Read the Haida account of The Raven Steals the Light. To learn about the cleverness of the crow, read this Æsop's fable The Crow and the Pitcher.


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