Are you a Rhinoceros?

Last week some girlfriends and I were chatting together over a “liquid lunch” when one of my friends asked, “what animal would the people that know you say you are?”. Well at this point, I started to think about all the lovely creatures I “felt” I could be; a lovely butterfly, a peacock, a koala etc etc. After much ribbing and laughter between us, the friend that posed the initial question turned to me and said “Van, I think you are a rhino”! Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. I was absolutely gob-smacked. This was one of my closest friends saying I reminded her of a rhino. However, before I could retaliate, (I think my friend noticed the ghastly shade of green I had turned), she explained herself very quickly. She said, “Van, you remind me of the horn of a rhino because that part boldly sticks out and precedes the body. The horn goes first; it is strong, courageous and relentless. It explores the unknown and dangerous; it removes all obstacles in it’s path so it can move freely and travel safely with greater speed. The horn confronts the problems it has on it’s path; it helps the rhino change direction and protect it from harm. The horn is the teacher, the body the follower. The horn gets scarred so that the body can remain safe”.

Suddenly I felt really happy at being described as a rhino (for the first time in my life I might add!). I wanted to jump up and hug her. What a wonderful description. I didn’t have time to think about the details, and the fact that now, following reflection, I think she was being over-generous, I just felt so pleased that her perception of me had been so strong. Make no mistake I am a real “girlie-girl”, but her description made me feel very powerful and strong.

When I got home I looked up some facts about the rhino, and also found out (by chance!) that when it breaks of part of it’s horn, it grows back as good as new. This I felt really sums up most women; the ability to start over when we have failed. For me this is the best part of being a rhino horn. It’s the part of us that plunges ahead into change even though we may be terrified. The part that feels the way forward in the dark. It’s the part of us that represents courage; courage to question, to be willing to hear answers we may not want to hear, courage to look within, courage to learn more about ourselves.

Suddenly I was really happy being a rhino and not a cuddly koala as I had initially hoped for.

What animal would your friends describe you as, and why?
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  1. I have a very different impression of rhino's now!

    I really think I'm a cat, but not a housecat: a jungle cat. I can be pretty aggressive in things, but I choose my battles wisely and I don't kill for sport. I'm introverted and like to nap in the sunshine. I also like my fingernails to be well manicured at all times.

  2. What an interesting and fun question! And what a great way to look at rhinos!

    My first thought for myself was either a kangaroo or rabbit because I have always kind of bounced through life but I'm quiet too. I don't know much about kangaroos, but I know bunnies are quiet and hop around, so maybe I'm a bunny! :D

  3. I love that she described you this way. :-) I've never met you but I would have to agree with her. :-) Hmmm, a word for me, eh? Maybe an armadillo. They can get knocked down, run over, stepped on, and they just get right up and keep on going. :-)

  4. OMGoodness. Ummmmm ... well, physically, I'm fairly tall .. 5'7 1/2", long legs & arms. I have shoulder-length brown hair with lots of blonde highlights, so I consider myself a blonde ;). I've always been in love with horses (used to pretend I was one on the playground) so maybe I'm a horse ... I like to think I'm graceful ;) I'm loyal ... would that make me a dog? (that sounds awful! haha) Ummm .. I have lots of energy ... I know! Maybe I'm one of those dogs that's tall and sleek and has flowy hair .. an afghan! If I had to describe my personality, I would say I'm not an extrovert but not an introvert, I'm polite and a little shy in crowds or big cocktail parties with my husband, my friends say I'm witty and I'm creative of course ... what do you think with that description, Vanessa?

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  6. Wow! what great descriptions friends.
    @Sandy-definitely a gorgeous, sleek racehorse? Or perhaps an Andalucian horse (I live in "horsey" country here; you would love it!)
    @Ramblingtart-an armadillo is a brilliant description
    @Rebekah-yes, you are definitely a sleek, gorgeous....panther perhaps?
    @b-bunnies have a reputation for something else also. Be careful sweetheart ;-)

  7. The rhino is a great compliment I would be very chuffed by that judgement.
    No hesitation from me - a lone wolf.
    I'm very much an introvert and find social events very stressful, I wish it weren't so but yep solitary wolf here

  8. I really like the Rhino description! I would have never come up with that but it is perfect!

    I am sure I have family who would tell you I would be a mule - as in "stubborn as a ..." But my sleek black cat has a good judge of character and thanks to her six digits (fingers/thumbs) it looks like she walks about in high heels. So I aspire to be her!


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