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8 Remarkable Stories and Poems About Animals

Animals in Literature

We love animals, we love reading. Let’s combine the two!

 Poems and Short Stories About Animals

Animals have long been a source of inspiration for writers. Throughout literary history, countless poets and authors have crafted works that celebrate the animal kingdom. 8 stories and poems about animals penned by renowned writers who beautifully capture the essence of animals in literature.

From cute to ferocious – let’s get to reading!

“The Tyger” by William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop


The Fox and the Grapes is one of Aesop’s most famous fables, dating back to ancient Greece. In this short tale, a hungry fox encounters a vine laden with ripe grapes that are just out of reach. Despite his efforts to reach the grapes, the fox ultimately gives up, dismissing them as sour. Through this simple yet profound story, Aesop imparts a timeless lesson about the human tendency to minimize what seems unattainable, offering a cautionary tale about the dangers of sour grapes and the importance of humility.


Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller

Sam J. Miller’s short story Blackfish City is set in a floating Arctic city plagued by corruption and environmental degradation. Against this backdrop, the story follows a young woman named Soq, who forms a deep bond with a genetically engineered orca whale named Mudd. As Soq and Mudd navigate the complexities of their shared existence, they confront the forces that threaten to tear their world apart. Miller’s exploration of the human-animal bond and the consequences of environmental exploitation makes Blackfish City a compelling and thought-provoking read.







The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro

Alice Munro’s short story, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” follows an elderly couple, Grant and Fiona, as they grapple with the challenges of aging and memory loss. When Fiona is admitted to a nursing home, Grant must confront his feelings of guilt and jealousy as Fiona forms a close bond with another resident, a man named Aubrey. Through the metaphor of a bear in a zoo, Munro explores themes of love, loss, and the enduring power of human connection.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Next up, we have Edgar Allan Poe. You don’t think we would talk about animals in poetry and not mention The Raven did you?

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is a haunting narrative poem that tells the story of a man who is visited by a mysterious raven late one night. As the man descends into madness, the raven ominously repeats the word “Nevermore.” While the raven itself is a symbolic representation of death, it also serves as a reminder of the uncanny intelligence and presence of birds in our lives. “The Hunter’s Wife” by Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr’s short story “The Hunter’s Wife” follows a young woman living in the wilderness with her husband, a skilled hunter. When a wolf begins to stalk their cabin, the woman forms an unexpected bond with the animal, leading to a series of revelations about her own desires and fears. Through Doerr’s lyrical prose and vivid imagery, “Hunter’s Wife” offers a haunting exploration of the primal instincts that lie beneath the surface of civilization.




H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald’s memoir “H is for Hawk” chronicles her experiences training a goshawk named Mabel in the wake of her father’s death. As Macdonald immerses herself in the ancient art of falconry, she finds solace and healing in her relationship with Mabel, who becomes both a companion and a mirror for her own grief and transformation. Through Macdonald’s lyrical prose and keen observations of the natural world, “H is for Hawk” offers a moving meditation on the bond between humans and animals and the power of the wild to heal and transform.







To Build a Fire by Jack London

Another notable work by Jack London, To Build a Fire is a gripping short story that follows an unnamed man’s struggle for survival in the unforgiving wilderness of the Yukon Territory. Accompanied only by his loyal dog, the man faces the harsh realities of nature as he battles the extreme cold and navigates treacherous terrain. London’s vivid descriptions and keen observations of the natural world offer a compelling exploration of the relationship between humans and animals.









The rich tapestry of short stories and poems about animals, spanning from classic works to modern-day gems, reflects the enduring bond humans have with animals. Through the lens of animals, writers explore profound themes of human existence, from love and loss to freedom and the search for meaning. As we journey through the pages of these stories and poems, we are reminded of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the timeless power of storytelling.