Stag Patronus in Forest of Dean!

by John on April 17, 2008

Hard as it may be to believe, we have live footage.

Your thoughts?

I’ve heard the saying “life imitating art” before — but “nature echoing art” is a first for me. Any precedence for this sort of thing in your experience?

Or should we be thinking that as a child Ms. Rowling saw an albino stag in the Forest of Dean? It would certainly have made seeing the St. Godric icon with white stag or reading about the Narnian albino a different experience than most of us had.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

sdurnil April 17, 2008 at 7:35 am

What a beautiful albino stag! The albino gene must be prevelant in the Forest of Dean, if there’s more than one, as the comments to the original post suggested.

inked April 17, 2008 at 7:36 am

A bit too corporeal for a patronus, what?! I suspect that the door to Narnia opened briefly and the lucky videographer has the first photos of the White Stag chase that led back to the Wardrobe. Would that the videographer had held on a bit to have seen the Queens and Kings!

Fabulous albino animal! Te Deum gloria!

SeaJay April 17, 2008 at 8:45 am

I was reminded of a quote and found this extract on http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde :

CYRIL. …. I should like to ask you a
question. What do you mean by saying that life, ‘poor, probable,
uninteresting human life,’ will try to reproduce the marvels of
art? I can quite understand your objection to art being treated as
a mirror. You think it would reduce genius to the position of a
cracked looking-glass. But you don’t mean to say that you
seriously believe that Life imitates Art, that Life in fact is the
mirror, and Art the reality?

VIVIAN. Certainly I do. Paradox though it may seem–and paradoxes
are always dangerous things–it is none the less true that Life
imitates art far more than Art imitates life. We have all seen in
our own day in England how a certain curious and fascinating type
of beauty, invented and emphasised by two imaginative painters, has
so influenced Life that whenever one goes to a private view or to
an artistic salon one sees, here the mystic eyes of Rossetti’s
dream, the long ivory throat, the strange square-cut jaw, the
loosened shadowy hair that he so ardently loved, there the sweet
maidenhood of ‘The Golden Stair,’ the blossom-like mouth and weary
loveliness of the ‘Laus Amoris,’ the passion-pale face of
Andromeda, the thin hands and lithe beauty of the Vivian in
‘Merlin’s Dream.’ And it has always been so. A great artist
invents a type, and Life tries to copy it, to reproduce it in a
popular form, like an enterprising publisher…

The Decay Of Lying: An Observation (1889) Oscar Wilde

Gladius Terrae Novae April 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm

It was a very beautiful creature. I wish there had been some better shots, though. Imagine what it must look like up close!
I seem to remember a quote from C. S. Lewis saying that perhaps everything in all our stories are really true, they just exist somewhere else. I like SeaJay’s quote. I don’t think Wilde was too far off the mark. God is, after all, the ultimate artist and the source of all art. Why should we not be able peer into what may be created, as we are made in his image? Why couldn’t what we create be an image of what God may create? As an artist of a sort, this idea greatly excites me.
As for some of those comments- well, I’m generally fine with hunting, but at least keep it to more common creatures. We ought to be able to enjoy something like that, even if only in brief glimpses.

korg20000bc April 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Here in Tasmania I regularly see albino deer in the wild- about 8 eight in the past two years. In fact, there is a farmer here who has a herd of about 40 albino deer that he has captured from wild (though introduced) stock. He just likes them, apparently.

Perelandra April 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Narnia aside, the White Hart is a famous figure in English emblematics, being the personal symbol of Richard II, as seen on the Wilton Dyptych. A White Hart Inn appears in Shakespeare and in THE PICKWICK PAPERS.

austen_n_burney April 17, 2008 at 7:36 pm

What a beautiful quote by Wilde. Through the very act of creating we are somehow bringing about a sharper reality, maybe getting closer Eden than is normally possible. Art shows the beautiful perfection and stirs humanity to long for our original Edenic state. Somehow creating art becomes a type of communing with God, a type of worship. Although I doubt that’s what Wilde intended from the comment with the little I know of his background. But, it is an interesting to think that maybe this is why, in part, we love stories like Rowling’s, because they show us a sharper reality.

Westel April 18, 2008 at 4:49 am

To say that Life mirrors Art is indicative of the pride and self-centeredness of Man; in saying that, we attempt to place ourselves on God’s throne.

There are white deer in Albemarle County, Virginia, in the woods near a small community called Antioch. One is seen nearly every year, and for the most part, the hunters leave it/them alone. I have seen it myself, though many years ago.

Chosen66 April 18, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I’ve always seen life and art as reciprocal. After all, people who create art are living in the world, and thus influenced by life, so we can say that art imitates life. At the same time, we also know that art is terribly influential. How many people have been transformed or lived differently after a beloved piece of art has wormed itself into their souls? So art impacts life, and therefore life does imitate art to a degree.

Speaking of life imitating art, I have the back of another wardrobe to tap. I’ll never give up hope. :p

Arabella Figg April 21, 2008 at 7:02 am

I’m sorry, but my meadow-muffin detectors are quivering.

I don’t doubt the existence of albino deer as some of you above have attested to personally seeing them. What makes me suspicious, in these days of Photoshop, is how startlingly white this deer appears to be, why even Patronus-like. Even white horses are not this bright.

Does anyone else percieve a bit of hocus-pocus?

Little Flako is giving me the evil eye, as HE is certainly bright white, albeit with that little blond streak…

P.S. We certainly know life imitates art, as teens imitate stupid and dangerous stunts and acts they see in films, sometimes killing or dying in the process.

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