The animals in that Country

by Margaret Atwood

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author who is best known for writing short stories and poems. Her poems and stories have been translated in over 40 languages, and she still works to this day.
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"In that country the animals

have the faces of people:

the ceremonial

cats possessing the streets

the fox run

politely to earth, the huntsmen

standing around him, fixed

in their tapestry of manners

the bull, embroidered

with blood and given

an elegant death, trumpets, his name

stamped on him, heraldic brand


(when he rolled

on the sand, sword in his heart, the teeth

in his blue mouth were human)

he is really a man

even the wolves, holding resonant

conversations in their

forests thickened with legend.

In this country the animals

have the faces of


Their eyes

flash once in car headlights

and are gone.

Their deaths are not elegant.

They have the faces of


Themes and Messages

The animals in that country follows on many themes recurring in Margaret Atwood's work. Such as comparisons to nature and role reversal of animals and humans.