edited: Monday, January 12, 2009
By lili dauphin
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009
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An article about "The Thinking Cow."
THE THINKING COW: A LILIOLOGY
For the past two years, a friend of mine gifted my books to his family as Christmas presents. Three weeks before Christmas, he called me, and asked if my new book was out yet. I had nothing. “What, you decided to do away with the tradition?” he asked disappointedly. I made a few lame excuses and then he interrupted me, “Please, you’ve got to do one.”
His transparent generosity and the gratitude I felt knowing that someone valued my work so much soon inspired me to come up with a unique book idea. The idea came so easily because it was an expansion of the animal allegories I had blogged on a website, allegories that already had sparked laughter, online debate… and favorable ratings. I figured why not a whole book of one page allegories and thus inspire that much more laughter and debate: what the lesson, the moral of the story? A particularly popular allegory was about a cow which loosed some cowpats and didn’t think to clean up after herself, hence the ironic book title “The Thinking Cow.”
With “The Thinking Cow” as a template, an impish demon possessed me and 75 allegories channeled through me during an interminable night of writing. Even I didn’t know what the proverbial morals of the stories were… and that I figured was the overall moral of my vignettes. Get people of all ages and sensibilities talking and writing about my allegories, about morals, and thus the world according to them: what their myths?
Before I proceeded with the edit of the book I collected an eclectic group of friends, a few with their children, all eager to help, to read, to listen, to discuss… well, certainly eager to eat my piquant chicken, rice, and beans, replete with a “lili pie” that mischievously tried to upstage my new book it was so scrumptious.
When my friends finally started patting their bellies instead of feeding them it came time to read my allegories. All my friends took turns reading until one dear friend just sounded too much like “PBS special” narrator, too well breathed life into the stories, and became the designated reader. Most stories evoked laughter and spirited discussions which showed all my friend’s different colors. Though, true , a few of my stories were met with a collective HUH!?? Thankfully I got the notes I needed to polish these little gems. Before leaving the party a friend said, “Lili, you may have started something very interesting.”
That’s all I needed to hear. I held the first polished copy of the “Thinking Cow” on Christmas Eve. I hope my book will delight you and yours, reader, in this new era of hope. I hope that something of the spirit of the rice and beans party will imbrue your reading of “The Thinking Cow.”