A few months ago, I told a friend that if I had to liken her to an animal, I would say she is a meerkat: social and comfortable around close friends and family; very cautious where strangers are concerned. And just like a meerkat will be excommunicated (and often left to die) if it breaks the rules of the pack, she will cut off friends who betray her. (Needless to say, I like to try to stay on her good side.)
The conversation continued over several days. I likened one of our classmates from high school to a Great Dane (strong, loyal, loveable, but not all that bright) and another classmate to a deer (beautiful, selectively cautious, lets down her guard when she’s in familiar territory, extremely protective of her children). Then she posited the question towards me: What animal do I think describes me?
This was a tough one, and I really had to think about it. I like to think I’m intelligent, and I’m a social person but I do well on my own, too. People also either love me, tolerate me, or cannot stand me. I’m protective of my offspring but also want him to be self-sufficient. I’m industrious and resourceful, and I have a bit (okay, more than a bit) of obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
And then it occurred to me: I’m a racoon.