Currently viewing the tag: "animals"

wed boy and horse

One day, back there in the good old days when I was nine and the world was full of every kind of magnificence, and life was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad, who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up by tapping on the window of my room.

“Aram,” he said.

I jumped out of bed and looked out the window.

I couldn’t believe what I saw.

It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.

My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse. –“The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” by William Saroyan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a boy and a horse.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an experience you had with horses.

Art Prompt: Horses

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about an experience you had with a horse.

Photo Credit: Jo Christian Oterhals on Flickr


Cattle and metal treasure were the main forms of wealth in ancient Ireland—metal because it was rare, and cattle because they were useful. Cattle provided milk to drink and to make into cheese, and hide and meat after they were dead. If a king demanded tribute from his subjects, it would probably be in the form of cattle—in fact, a wealthy farmer was called a bóiare, or “lord of cows.” In the famous poem Táin Bó Cuailnge, a major war starts because Queen Mebd discovers that her husband has one more bull than she does. Celtic chieftains spent quite a bit of their energy stealing cattle from one another. They even had a special word for this activity, táin. (Cattle raiding wasn’t just an amusement for the ancient Irish; modern Irish people were stealing one another’s cattle well into the twentieth century.) –Ryan Hackney and Amy Hackney Blackwell, 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a unique form of currency – legal or illegal – for your story.

Journaling Prompt: What is more important to you than money?

Art Prompt: Cattle

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of currency.

Photo Credit: Attila Terbócs on Wikimedia


Chariot racing (Greek: ἁρματοδρομία harmatodromia, Latin: ludi circenses) was one of the most popular ancient Greek,Roman, and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing often was dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm.
Chariot races could be watched by women, while women were barred from watching many other sports. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panathenaic Games, the sport was one of the main events. Each chariot was pulled by four horses.
In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall. This helps explain why Roman and later Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them.

The sport faded in importance after the fall of Rome in the West, surviving only for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for some time, gaining influence in political matters. Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots, which marked the gradual decline of the sport. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about chariot racing.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about politics in sports? Does it matter to you or not?

Art Prompt: Chariot racing

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of chariot racing and compare to a modern sport involving racing.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia


Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Marc Blickle on Flickr

pony express

The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, mail, and small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri, across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento, California, by horseback, using a series of relay stations.

Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express Company of 1859, in 1860 it became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company; this firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, all of whom were notable in the freighting business.
During its 19 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. From April 3, 1860 to October 1861, it became the West’s most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the Pony Express.

Journaling Prompt: What do you depend on for your news? 

Art Prompt: Pony Express

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the history of the Pony Express.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior on Flickr

Dogs looking through fence

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!
Photo Credit: Bruce Fingerhood on Flickr

Wolf Pack

All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel. …Think about it. There’s escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist. –The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving wolves.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about wolves? Should they be reintroduced into wilderness areas or not?

Art Prompt: Wolves

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about why the human psyche is drawn to wolves and stories about wolves.

Photo Credit: Debs on Flickr

The Brown Dog affair was a political controversy about vivisection that raged in England from 1903 until 1910. It involved the infiltration by Swedish feminists of University of London medical lectures, pitched battles between medical students and the police, police protection for the statue of a dog, a libel trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, and the establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate the use of animals in experiments. The affair became a cause célèbre that divided the country…

Anti-vivisectionists commissioned a bronze statue of the dog as a memorial, unveiled in Battersea in 1906, but medical students were angered by its provocative plaque – “Men and women of England, how long shall these Things be?” – leading to frequent vandalism of the memorial and the need for a 24-hour police guard against the so-called anti-doggers. On 10 December 1907 1,000 medical students marched through central London waving effigies of the brown dog on sticks, clashing with suffragettes, trade unionists and 400 police officers, one of a series of battles known as the Brown Dog riots.

In March 1910, tired of the controversy, Battersea Council sent four workers accompanied by 120 police officers to remove the statue under cover of darkness, after which it was reportedly melted down by the council’s blacksmith, despite a 20,000-strong petition in its favour. A new statue of the brown dog was commissioned by anti-vivisection groups over 70 years later, and was erected in Battersea Park in 1985. Peter Mason wrote in 1997 that all that was left of the old statue was a hump in the pavement, the sign on a nearby fence reading “No Dogs.” –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a protest that takes on a life of its own.

Journaling Prompt: What cause would you like to protest? How would you go about protesting?

Art Prompt: Protesting animal cruelty

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the brown dog affair and persuade them to take a stand for researchers or for anti-animal cruelty activists.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Wolves, though now extinct in Ireland, were once numerous; the Irish were said to be plagued by the animals and bred a special type of dog, the Irish Wolfhound, to hunt them. As late as 1650, Coleraine was said to have been attacked by a pack of hungry wolves.[1] The wolf had a long-standing place in Irish culture, and Irish literature throughout the medieval period associated warriors with wolves. They invoked a combination of ferocity, frenzied behaviour, unpredictable and savage animal behaviour, sexual potency and martial prowess.

In the Irish literary mind, wolves were particularly closely linked with the practices of the fianna, warrior bands of landless young men who lived for much of their time in the wilderness and were thought of as living in close proximity to supernatural forces. Warriors were often depicted with canine attributes and shared a common motif of a wild, dishevelled or naked appearance. They were frequently portrayed as wolves, hunting both animals and humans, and may have worn wolf-skins or a lupine hairstyle as part of a ritual transformation. The wolf-warriors or luchthonn (literally “wolf-skins”) were said to “go wolfing” when they carried out raids. Such associations may have given rise to Irish legends of werewolves. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about the fianna.

Journaling Prompt: What animal do you most closely identify with? Why?

Art Prompt: Wolf Warrior

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about our relationship with the wolf, including ancient legends and practices.

Photo Credit: Caledonian on Wikimedia

Dachshunds, I’ve come to learn, will eat anything. Raisins, ornamental lettuce, grapefruit, even dog poop – I’ve seen a dachshund eat it all. Laverne and Shirley once opened a package of sweet potato pancake mix and ate the entire thing. I found them both lying in the yard, bloated and unable to move. They once intercepted the FedEx guy and polished off the overnight letter containing an employment contract for my husband’s new job. My husband actually had to call the company and tell them the dogs ate his paperwork.
So I suppose it naturally follows that dachshunds like underwear. They sniffed around those stinky gym bags and found a way to get into them. They then proceeded to pull out every pair they could find and had a tighty-whitey orgy in my front yard. –Looks Great Naked by Sandi Hutcheson

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a humorous story or poem about dogs.

Journaling Prompt: What is the funniest thing that one of your pets did?

Art Prompt: Daschunds

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about your pet.

Photo Credit: vagawi on Flickr