June 20, 2009

The FIVE: Animals That Are Smarter Than People

Posted by at 7:21 am in Reads | Permalink

THE FIVESo, lately, I've been doing some research on
talking animals. (Why? Keep your eye on The Splot and you'll see soon enough!) It seems like there are quite a few animals out there in
the literary world that are smarter (or better, or cooler) than
people, and I've taken the time to make a list for your perusing pleasure.
Also, it gave me an excuse to look up LOLCATS — and when is that ever a bad
thing? The downside of this project is that now I laugh uncontrollably whenever
I see a cat. Like . . . anywhere.

Anyway, here's my FIVE list of animals that are smarter than people:

Thelionthewitchandthewardrobe 5. Reepicheep, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Well, maybe
not exactly “smarter,” but definitely more noble, humbler, stronger, and purer of
spirit. I'll never forget this: my dad read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to
me when I was a little kid, and at the end, when that little talking mouse
paddles up that waterfall into the sky, he started crying. I'd never seen that
happen before. Reepicheep has a special place in my heart.

Mrsfrisbyandtheratsofnimh 4. Nicodemus, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
The
eponymous rats in this classic Newbery winner have literally developed their
own civilization with heat, electricity, hierarchy, food storage, etc. A more
cynical person than me might say that compared to these rats and their leader, Nicodemus, we humans have yet to really work the
whole civilization thing out.

7191163 3. Foaly, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Well, he's a centaur . . . does
that mean he counts for half an animal? Whatever. His crazy inventions, as well
as his quick, witty banter with Commander Root, are half (see what I did
there?) of why Artemis Fowl is so much fun.

Coraline 2. The Cat, Coraline by Neil Gaiman
It's well documented by now
that I love Neil Gaiman, and The Cat is one of his cooler characters — sarcastic, wise, sly, and smart enough to know the danger it's in from the
Other Mother. The Cat's moments of fear and hilarious, forced bravery (when
Coraline throws The Cat at the Other Mother) are great grace notes.

Hp3 1. Sirius Black, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Well, again, not really an animal, but he certainly spent plenty of his time in dog form! At any rate, Sirius/Padfoot was a loving
godfather, loyal friend, and awesome wizard. I was speechless at the end of
Book 5.

What do you guys think? Any smart talking animals I missed?
Speak up!

— Jack, STACKS Staffer

  1. Jack

    Good call, Jen! Charlotte is definitely one of the wisest/smartest characters in literature. If I can include a centaur, I should have included her!

  2. Jen B.

    Does Charlotte count as an animal? Or is that more of an insect. She’s not only smart, but wise!

  3. Noel

    i think you forgot somebody:the cats from the Warriors series!! In ranking,i’d say they would be a 6 (they don’t really know much about Twolegs *laughs*,but they’re just so cool!!!).Do you know what i mean??
    P.S.Warriors ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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