One book leads to another...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Friends of the Famous - P

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. – Khalil Gibran

Much is acknowledged of the benefits of a friend; such as camaraderie, mutual trust, and loyalty. But what of the inspiration they can provide, or lessons friends can teach us?  Here are a few who may have had the experience:

In addition to his talent, he was also gifted with an apparent affinity for animals, dogs especially, as throughout his adult life world-renown painter Picasso had as many dogs as he had women; though the latter was kept one at a time. He was known to have had cats, a monkey, an owl and a goat as well, but dogs were evidently much easier to transport on his frequent one-way flights from human relationships.

 Could his gorgeous Catarina have been the muse behind Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat?
“I wish I could write as mysteriously as a cat” ~ Edgar Allen Poe

 After being told he’d been gifted a wallaby by an adoring fan, the iconic Elvis Presley drawled “Boy was I disappointed when I opened that crate and found a baby kangaroo!”  To his surprise the animal was extremely agile; kicking its way out of the crate, before astonishing Presley with a swift kick while hopping anxiously around the room.  Do you suppose a few dance moves were learned that day?

Already recognized for conducting an overly extravagant papal court, the popularity of Pope Leo X was further tested when he was given the gift of a white elephant named Hanno. But upon Hanno’s arrival folks came from miles around to get a glimpse of the “exotic beast”. And while fields were trampled, roofs caved in, and walls were toppled, it was determined to have been due to the massive crowds and not the mammoth animal. Tragically, Hanno became ill within two years, due to dietary conditions, and the commonly administered gold nuggets only hastened his demise.  Four hundred years later new interest was sparked in the Protestant Reformation when Hanno’s bones were found buried in the Vatican Courtyard.

Have you been inspired by a ‘friend’? Would you keep a kangaroo? Or an elephant?

A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world. ~ Leo Buscaglia


  1. I think I want an owl for a pet. Kangaroo might be interesting, but I'm not sure I'd want to keep one around the house kicking everything over.

    1. Hi Jeffrey!

      I love owls and was thrilled to have a great northern perch outside my window one day and watch me as I worked. They have such a piercing gaze.

      I think I'd be ever mindful of the kangaroo kick;-)

      Have a terrific Tuesday!

  2. I don't have room for an elephant. I read Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time, and have new admiration for them as intelligent, and gentle, giants. I have a cat. His name is Leo, and he's sitting beside me right now. He seems to like literature and music as much as I do. He likes mice more, though!
    Mary at Play off the Page

    1. Hi Mary!

      You don't have room for an elephant - ha! That's funny:-) I'm fascinated by how they can recognize themselves in a mirror and truly seem to enjoy music and dancing:-)

      Leo sounds like a wonderful companion. Does he bring you little gifts? I had a cat named Tara who loved to bring me lizards - then she'd let them go in the house!

      Have a purrfect Tuesday!

  3. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I am inspired by your faithful friendship and, on that subject, I first want to thank you for the superb comment you left on my blog for 104 year old Margaret Schneider. Every year at this time Margaret's daughter Kathleen reads all of the birthday messages aloud to her mother. I know they both appreciated your kind words. Kathleen is one of Margaret's primary caregivers and is therefore understandably busy, but she will be posting a personal reply to your comment in the days to come.

    I have noticed how often pet monkeys and goats have been mentioned in this series of yours. Add to that Elvis Presley's "roo" and the pope's elephant and I get the sense that exotic animals were given and kept throughout history as measure of a man's power, importance and lofty social position. I support animal rights and object to holding animals in captivity unless they are sick or injured or unless they are the type of animal that enjoys human companionship and domestication.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      The pleasure is mine, my friend;-)
      I enjoyed your post very much and by experience I know the importance of letting Margaret and others know age only enhances the enchantment. So many seem to forget how very much vintage folks have to offer; having lived it.

      Well said about pets being kept as status symbols. I agree. Though an often unspoken fact, it quietly reeks like a lemon that rolled under the counter months ago. I hope you know I'm just relaying facts as I find them and not always for justification;-)

      I'm always glad you stop by, dear Shady!

  4. Quite interesting animals to own. I can't imagine feeding an elephant gold nuggets. I also can't believe they put slivers of gold on some sweets and people eat them. Well not regular people, people who can afford to eat overpriced gold.

    1. Hi Ann!

      I've heard of having gold teeth but never of anyone eating it! I can't imagine any benefit from doing so and wonder what in the world these people are thinking;-)
      Good to see you, Ann!

  5. Poe would have loved Salem's Daughters. Sure wish I had a chance to pitch the book to him.

    1. Ha! I bet he would have, Stephen! Though I daresay his influence was a bit mixed and perhaps a bit skewed at times;-) Can you imagine how popular he might have been had he had the tools that you do now? Move over Poe, it's Tremp's turn;-)
      Have a wonderful day!

  6. I adore elephants but I don't think I have space to keep one in my house anywhere.

    I wonder if Poe's cat inspired some of his writing.

    1. Haha, Cynthia you'd need a really big yard for an elephant:-) I wonder if you'd have to have two to keep loneliness at bay?
      I kind of hope it wasn't Catarina that inspired 'The Black Cat'. Poor kitty;-)
      Thanks for coming, Cynthia:-)


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