In the collections Among the Forest People of of Clara D. Pearson, the story The Young Jay Who Was Not Brave Enough to be Afraid makes use of personified animals. Predominantly, the events in the story center around the lives of Blue Jays in a society of the forest. The narration examines Blue Jays’ lives and exhibits that they are only cordial with other inhabitants of the forest throughout winter. However, the Blue Jays steal and feed on the eggs of other birds to bring up their young ones for the duration of summer. Nevertheless, the Blue Jays are presented as cautious of dangers in the forest. It is from lack of this caution that a young and naïve Blue Jay is almost killed and eaten by a rattle snake but saved by his parents with the help of other Blue Jays.
The narration uses animals to show how inexperience and naivety of youth can lead to various dangers. Furthermore, the story uses the animals such as the Blue Jays to represent multiple human societies. In the use of animals, the story creates interest among readers through association and teaches different moral lessons. One of the significant moral lesson learned in the story is the paradoxical bravely of being afraid sometimes. Furthermore, the use of animals allows the story to breach taboo topics in a community creatively.
Using animals rather than people in the narration allows the story to breach various cultural barriers and address controversial issues among readers. A good example is when it is shown that the Blue Jays survive the summer and raise their young by breaking the eggs of other birds (Pierson 93-4). Through this observation, the story breaches the taboo conversation of how some people pry on the children of others, which would have been difficult if the story featured people in the plot. Furthermore, the narration can discuss how other animals do not like the Blue Jays which breaks the veil of hypocrisy in the human society. The use of animals instead of people in the plots permits the breaking of such conversational and cultural taboos.
Pierson, Clara Dillingham. Among the Forest People. Chapel Hill, NC, Yesterday’s Classics, 2005, pp. 91-99.