Storytelling in The Taxidermist’s Daughter

Connie Gifford finds herself among storytellers. Her suitor, Mr. Woolston, asks her questions about her father and a mysterious figure, Cassie, in a critical scene.
Connie says of her father, “He was a wonderful teacher. Although I called him a taxidermist, he himself would use the old terminology. A stuffer of birds is how he would introduce himself. He thought ‘taxidermist’ was too fancy…it took away from what he was doing…[t]elling stories.”

Mr. Woolston identifies with this, since he, too, is an artist and storyteller.

Harry tells Connie, “When I’m working on a portrait, I’m always thinking about everything that made my sitter the person they are, not just what’s visible on the canvas.”

“That’s it,” Connie replied. “It’s the sense that if the bird–jackdaw, magpie, rook…could talk, it would tell you its life story.”

That’s exactly why Connie Gifford desperately needs to know her own story, one that is clouded over with “vanished days.”


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