This month’s short story column continues from last month with more stories about animals. All of the earlier stories are of the realist genre. However, animals have also featured in fiction through the ages as sentient, if anthropomorphized creatures — from the speaking serpent in the Bible to the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood to the rather risible snake-woman in Bollywood movies. Between those extremes, there are some fascinating stories that go beyond simply portraying animals as thinking and acting beings; they show us who we are as humans in how we respond to animals — both as fictional human beings in such stories and as readers.
Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Sarah Hall, Robert Olen Butler, Beth Goder, and Jackie Kay explore the humanity of our species and our relationships with other living species.