Animals: Dead Dogs

Speaking of animals...

A surprising number of children's books end with dead animals, dead dogs in particular. As the Friends' clip indicates, Phoebe's well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful mother switched off films before the horrible endings. Phoebe is utterly shocked at Old Yeller's fate!

Maybe, instead, her mother should have put the movie in the freezer.

One children's book with a dead animal that works is L.M. Boston's The Stranger at Green Knowe. Hanno, the gorilla, escapes the zoo and ends up at Green Knowe where his presence is temporarily protected by Ping. The writer pulls no punches. Hanno's capture is detailed. The zoo's inefficiences are clearly presented. The keeper is portrayed as intelligent, kindly, and well-meaning. He knows Hanno's limitations in captivity but there is only so much he can do. The risk to Ping is clear--Hanno is not some cutesy, tamed pet. He may love Ping. He could also easily kill him.

Consequently, as the story moved towards its climax, I was at a loss for how it could possibly be resolved to any degree of satisfaction. 

And yet, the end is satisfactory. 

Finally, yes, yes, it's Cosby. And the clip is fantastic! (Dogs occur at the beginning; gorillas occur at the end.)

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