What are popular animals in Chinese literature (specifically myth-like stories)?
What types of animals would come up in traditional Chinese literature (specifically animal myths) and what are the symbols or associations of these animals? (i.e. Fox is cunning, Hare is a trickster, etc.)
This is a fun question. Did you know the Chinese have an animal for every year in a 12 year cycle? For example, 1976 was the year of the dragon. And they have a year for the dog, rat, snake, pig ... And I can't remember the others. Supposedly, your personality will match the animal of the year you are born in, and they consider it to be a lucky year for you when your birth-year animal has another year. I think 2013 is the year of the snake. Their New Year is different from ours, so the dates don't exactly line up, but it is close.
Yes I took a look at that to complete my assignment. They have respect for animals and nature and there is much symbolism. I wish I could share the myth I wrote-turned out to be a good story! Non-disclosure agreement forbids me from doing so...
The one I remember as a child was The Cricket In Times Square. The old Chinese man saw a cricket to be sacred and put him in a cage so he would be safe. But then everyone realized he didn't belong in a cage. He needed to be set free.
It's not mythical except that I think Asian cultures respect all living things. Especially rabbits, goats, and even a cricket in Times Square.