The Dog Who Wanted To Be A Bird
Epaphus Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by: Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (12/2022)
“The Dog Who Wanted To Be A Bird” is a fable using animal rhetoric to expose character flaws in human nature and critique society. Dog is a female Labrador retriever born in a puppy mill destined to lead a life of solitude and neglect. Her new owner, being on drugs and constantly in trouble with law enforcement, often forgets to feed and water Dog for extended periods of time. Shackled with a massive chain and only a concrete slab for a bed, Dog faces endless amounts of time dreaming of escaping her reality to fly like a bird to a better life. Lacking human companionship, Dog finds refuge in friendships created with three birds; Crow, Jay and Magpie. It is only through Dog’s friends’ storytelling she is able to find peace.
Author Giuseppe Scarpine masterfully uses the art of Native American folklore to bring political, environmental and moral issues into the light. “The Dog Who Wanted To Be A Bird” is told from an animal perspective, which I believe has a hard-hitting effect demanding the reader to take notice. I could not help but become intrigued as the wise old Crow explains the history of how a wolf became a friend to humans slowly becoming a dog. The banter between Dog and the little Jay bird is touching as he explains what family means and how nature can also be cruel. Magpie has her share of battle scars as well as a lot to say. Each character is unique and creatively written to build a connection for the reader to follow as Dog learns that you must be brave in order to survive.
Mr. Scarpine had my heart in his hands from the first sentence. As I read this story, my emotions were on high alert. Page after page, I had to continue. I cried, I laughed, I became fighting mad. I wanted to become the hero needed to change Dogs’ entire world. Wow! The purpose of a fable is to open the eyes of its reader in order to be taught a life lesson or to correct a moral misstep. I will remember “The Dog That Wanted To Be A Bird” as a short story that made a huge impact. I highly recommend this book.