Welcome to the seventh issue of Honeyguide Literary Magazine. We are thrilled to share this next installment with you and showcase the talented contributors who make up this issue.
One of the ideas I wanted to convey with Honeyguide is respect for all animals, even the ones we consider pests or rivals. We’ve published pieces that carry this message here and there, but this is the first time we’ve seen artists and writers come together to weave it throughout a single collection. The majority of the pieces in this issue bring to light animals who have “invaded” our human space and brought new perspectives and inspiration, showcase human efforts to preserve animal welfare, or tell the story of a cooperative effort between humans and animals to bring balance to nature or circumstances.
Certain pieces also examine how animal behavior tends to supersede our preconceived notions and expectations. We like to think we fully understand animals’ perspectives, but this is often not the case. In Life of Pi, Piscine Molitor Patel says that an animal “inhabits its space the same way chess pieces move about a chessboard–significantly.” Each choice and pattern of being an animal— domesticated or wild — holds is intentional, still baffling us humans who observe and interact with them. Every decision they make, to follow their patterns or to break them, has meaning. Though we may expect to understand the animals in our care more than those we temporarily encounter in the wild, even these animals are specialized to their habitats, creating and building within them to meet secret, specific requirements. And sometimes, we will never know the true reason behind what these, or indeed any, animals do. Thus is the continuing wonder and mystery of nature and its inhabitants.
Reading and curating this collection was a humbling experience, reminding me how easily we underestimate the integral part animal lives play in our own lives — a part just as vital as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the love we have for others. We hope you enjoy this fresh perspective on familiar animals and find insight into the new life their world can bring to ours.
Amanda Marrero and the Honeyguide team