History Main / TheBookOfTheDunCow

1st Mar '13 11:52:24 AM Xtifr
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[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The-Book-of-the-Dun-Cow-B5X523L.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:It won an award, and it's a children's book. [[DeathByNewberyMedal You know what to expect...]]]]

''The Book of the Dun Cow'' is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids children's novel]] written by Walter Wangerin, Jr. It follows the story of Chauntecleer, a rooster from before the creation of man. He's the leader of a small coop and the land that surrounds it, as he tries to get accustomed to an unwelcomed guest, [[TheWoobie Mundo Cani]], and stop somebody who's eating the eggs. But, after that's over with, he receives refugees fleeing from the land to the west, ruled by [[TheAntiChrist Cockatrice]]. Senex, the former ruler, wanted a son, even though he was impotent, and went about solving his problem the [[DealWithTheDevil wrong way]]. Thus, his son, Cockatrice, was born of him and the giant evil Wyrm locked under the Earth by the natural goodness of the animals on the surface. Eventually, Cockatrice kills everything in his land with his basilisk offspring. God sends his messenger, the Dun Cow, to Chauntecleer, and then seals off Earth from the rest of the universe with rain clouds. Eventually, Cockatrice starts attacking Chauntecleer's land with basilisks, and Chauntecleer calls the animals of his land to defend it. Bloodshed ensues.

If the plot above seems [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids a bit complicated for a kid's book]], it's not just you. If anything is reminiscent of [[Literature/TheBible anything from the Good Book]], then don't be surprised. If anything ''isn't'' reminiscent of the Good Book, you're obviously not trying hard enough. [[DeathByNewberyMedal Got the ''New York Times's'' Best Children's Book of the Year, and the National Book Award. A lot of people die]].

A sequel was written titled ''The Book of Sorrows'', which is [[KillEmAll about as cheerful]] [[DownerEnding as you expect]].

Now includes [[Characters/TheBookOfTheDunCow a character sheet]].

----
!!Provides Examples Of:

* AltumVidetur: Wyrm and the Dun Cow both speak in Latin, "the language of the powers".
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The basilisks.
* ApologisesALot: Senex's main problem. He can't stop apologizing, and his animals have no respect for him, which leads to his DealWithTheDevil.
* TheAtoner: Chauntecleer, after he called [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] a traitor while delirious, right before [[spoiler: the dog sacrificed himself to seal Wyrm back in the Earth.]]
** Also his main motivation for staying in command of the Coop.
* BadassAdorable: The Wee Widow Mouse's husband, who makes no secret of his opposition to Cockatrice. His last act is to attack [[TheQuisling Toad]] and ensure [[TakingYouWithMe the death of them both]].
* BattleCry:
--> '''John Wesley Weasel''': [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "Do and do and do! John Wesley will do for you!"]]
* TheBerserker: John Wesley Weasel, as in the above example.
* BigBad: Wyrm, literally.
* BittersweetEnding
* CarnivoreConfusion: The {{Talking Animal}}s do prey on each other, such as John Wesley Weasel and Ebenezer Rat, but predator animals and prey animals can trust one another, as Chauntecleer is willing to leave his children alone with Lord Russel the fox.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Cockspurs]]: Chauntecleer mentions his battle spurs [[NamedWeapons Gaff and the Slasher]] when describing his DarkAndTroubledPast to his animals, and later puts them on [[spoiler: to battle Cockatrice.]]
* CombatByChampion: Chauntecleer goes alone to fight Cockatrice after he is challenged to single combat.
* CunningLikeAFox: Lord Russel the fox is a talkative but well-meaning friend of Chauntecleer.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Pertelote, who was raped by Cockatrice when she lived across the river, and Chauntecleer, who was a thief and rogue until [[spoiler: an encounter with God]] compelled him [[HeelFaceTurn to become leader of the Coop.]]
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: [[spoiler: After killing Cockatrice, Chauntecleer severs his head and parades it in front of the animals, who go out to see the body.]]
* TheDeterminator:
** When he has been [[spoiler: impaled by Chauntecleer's battle spurs]], Cockatrice lunges at Chauntecleer one last time and [[spoiler: [[SelfDisposingVillain kills himself.]]]]
** Also John Wesley Weasel, who keeps fighting even when he loses his ear in battle, and Chauntecleer himself while fighting Cockatrice.
* [[PunchOutAGod Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu]]: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani stops Wyrm from escaping by blinding him with the Dun Cow's horn.]]
* DirtyCoward: Scrape the Otter, and Peck, to a lesser extent. However, the two see the error of their ways and do help fight, if unwillingly.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Subverted. [[spoiler: Taunting the BigBad works.]]
* DontSaySuchStupidThings: Chauntecleer gives this sort of speech to Mundo Cani after an especially angsty moment.
* TheDragon: Cockatrice is Wyrm's representative on Earth, and is the overt villain for most of the book.
* DreamSequence: Chauntecleer has a dream, implied to be sent by Wyrm, in which he wishes death on his animals, who he accuses of betraying him, and sees their dead bodies floating down the river. He is very relieved to find that it was AllJustADream.
* TheEeyore: Mundo Cani.
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: The basilisks' poison kills everything alive in their way, even plants.
* EverythingsWorseWithWolves: Played with. A wolf tormented and eventually killed [[spoiler: Chauntecleer's mother]], but another is one of the animals who is part of the (failed) revolt against Cockatrice.
* EvilCounterpart: Cockatrice, who almost exactly resembles Chauntecleer (except for the reptile parts).
* EvilIsNotAToy: When Senex births Cockatrice, Cockatrice grows unnaturally quickly, does not eat, and eventually, when Senex realizes something is wrong, murders the old rooster.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: The fight with the basilisks and, later, Cockatrice himself.
* FisherKing: As this is before the creation of man, the animals are the rulers of the Earth. Their natural goodness is what keeps Wyrm trapped in the Earth, and his plan of escape naturally involves corrupting and killing them. The corruption of Senex is what allows Cockatrice to be born.
* GagNose: Mundo Cani's #1 reason to [[TheEeyore angst]].
* [[spoiler: GoForTheEye: Wyrm has one huge eye. Of course, that's the only weak point.]]
* GreenEyedMonster: Chauntecleer is jealous of Mundo Cani because the Dun Cow takes a special interest in him. [[spoiler: He finds out why too late.]]
* HeelFaceDoorSlam:
** Senex, and almost all of the animals under Cockatrice's rule. Some of them eventually take a stand against him, but [[spoiler: his basilisks kill almost all of them]].
** Also Ebenezer Rat, who was an enemy of Chauntecleer but no friend to Wyrm. He [[spoiler: in fact dies fighting a basilisk]].
* HeroicBSOD:
** After the final battle, both John Wesley Weasel and Chauntecleer suffer from this. The last chapter is devoted to Pertelote breaking them out of it, Chauntecleer via TearJerker, John Wesley Weasel via CrowningMomentOfFunny.
** Chauntecleer also suffers a HeroicBSOD before the final battle with Wyrm, losing hope and accusing all of his closest allies, an angel of God, and his own wife of betraying him.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani dives into the Earth, piercing Wyrm's eye and sealing both of them under the Netherworld Scar.]]
* HiveMind: Scarce, Chauntecleer's mosquito messenger. All mosquitoes are named Scarce and think of themselves as one being, and their (usually irritating) tendency to be almost everywhere comes in very, very useful for summoning the animals to prepare for war.
* HopeSpot: After an entire winter of heavy rain, Chauntecleer gets married and has kids. Then, there's one relatively fresh day of spring. Then, [[spoiler: basilisks kill Chauntecleer's children.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: The death of [[spoiler: Cockatrice.]]
* InfantImmortality: Subverted when [[spoiler: all of Chauntecleer's children are killed by basilisks.]]
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed
* IShallTauntYou: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] gets Wyrm to look at him and expose his eye by insulting him, insinuating that Wyrm is too cowardly to face such a small opponent.
--> [[spoiler: '''Mundo Cani''']]: Oh, Wyrm! Great Wyrm-afraid to look at a nothing, a nose, a flea! Such evil, to split the earth, but from a Dog-a Dog to hide!"
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Chauntecleer is bad tempered and officious and constantly abuses Mundo Cani, but his efforts to save the Wee Widow Mouse's children and the Beautiful Pertelote from drowning cement his status as the hero of the story.
* LastStand: What Chauntecleer sees [[spoiler: the final confrontation with Wyrm]] as.
* MisterSeahorse: Where Cockatrice comes from. The less time spent thinking about this, the better.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Lord Russel after [[spoiler: he finds Beryl and Chauntecleer's children dead.]]
* NamedWeapons: Gaff and the Slasher, Chauntecleer's battle spurs.
* OddFriendship: John Wesley Weasel and the Wee Widow Mouse. How attached to her he is becomes clear when [[spoiler: she is killed by a basilisk and he charges into battle to avenge her death.]]
* OmnicidalManiac: Wyrm, who is more than capable of doing it, too.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: The Dun Cow, a messenger from God to Chauntecleer, takes the shape of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a dun-colored cow.]]
* PapaWolf: An evil example in Cockatrice, who attacks John Wesley Weasel to stop him from wiping out the basilisks completely.
* ParentalSubstitute: John Wesley Weasel to the Wee Widow Mouse's children.
* PetTheDog: John Wesley Weasel's adoption of the Widow's children, especially since it's implied that his own children are dead, goes a long way to prove that he's not a bad guy at heart.
* PyrrhicVictory: The animals win the battle against Cockatrice and the basilisks, but [[spoiler: they suffer heavy losses and Chauntecleer goes into a HeroicBSOD as a result of it.]]
* TheQuisling: A toad, simply known as [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Toad]], willingly works for Cockatrice, but is eventually RewardedAsATraitorDeserves when the basilisks [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]]
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Chauntecleer after [[spoiler: the death of his sons]].
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Cockatrice breeds his enormous army of basilisks by systematically raping Senex's hens, draining the spirit out of most of them (except for Pertelote, who keeps her sanity by using a stone to break the basilisk eggs in her body) in the process.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Ebenezer Rat]] dies killing a basilisk, which causes Chauntecleer to absolve him.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Cockatrice, unlike a real rooster, has red eyes.
* ReformedCriminal: John Wesley Weasel and his family are implied to be these.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Every villain, except Ebenezer, is a reptile or an amphibian.
* ReversePsychology: Pertelote gets John Wesley Weasel out of his HeroicBSOD by implying that he isn't brave enough to burrow into the Netherworld Scar.
* RousingSpeech: Subverted the first time. Chauntecleer's speech only frightens the animals, and only Pertelote's singing calms them down. The second RousingSpeech is more successful.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Chauntecleer doesn't fight in the first battle, but uses his crowing to disorient the basilisks. Later, he [[spoiler: fights and kills Cockatrice]] on his own. Senex, although old and impotent, tries to embody this trope, but it doesn't end well.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Wangerin's other genre is religion. With that, it doesn't take much to know that this entire book's an allegory.
* SayMyName: Chauntecleer rouses his warriors' outrage by naming their children and screaming the name of Cockatrice.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[DirtyCoward Scrape the Otter]] attempts to persuade the other animals to abandon Chauntecleer and save themselves. Chauntecleer teaches him a lesson.
* SealedEvilInACan: Wyrm is trapped underneath the Earth, but is able to speak with the animals through the ground and through dreams.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially PlayedForLaughs, are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]]
* SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism: Somewhere between PartiallyCivilizedAnimal and TalkingAnimal.
* SnowMeansLove: Chauntecleer marries in the winter.
* TalkingAnimal: All of the characters are talking animals, with the exception of Ebenezer Rat, although he presumably doesn't speak by choice.
* ThirdPersonPerson: John Wesley Weasel often refers to himself as "John Double-u of the Double-us", or some variation of this.
* TooDumbToLive: All of the Wild Turkeys. [[spoiler: In fact, all of them do die before the first battle.]]
* TookALevelInBadAss: Mundo Cani, who at first seems to be a self-hating whiner, is one of Chauntecleer's most faithful allies, saves John Wesley Weasel from Cockatrice, and last of all takes on [[spoiler: Wyrm himself]], with nothing but the horn of the Dun Cow. [[spoiler: [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And wins.]]]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: The story switches from the exploits of Chauntecleer to the events concerning Senex and Cockatrice, then back again.
* UnstoppableRage: John Wesley Weasel during the the attack on the basilisks [[spoiler: after the death of the Wee Widow Mouse]].
* UnwittingPawn: Wyrm preys on Senex's despair and desire for respect to persuade him to cooperate in fathering Cockatrice. Needless to say, this doesn't go well for Senex, who [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realizes]] [[HeelFaceDoorSlam a little too late]] just [[TheAntiChrist what]] he created.
* TheVoiceless: Ebenezer Rat never speaks, and it's unclear whether or not he does this by choice. It's implied that his secretive and criminal nature contributes to this.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: After [[spoiler: the basilisks are driven away and Cockatrice is killed, Wyrm reminds the animals that he is still there, temporarily driving the already exhausted Chauntecleer into delirium and giving Wyrm an escape route in the process.]]
* WhamEpisode: Chapter 11, featuring Cockatrice's oppressive reign, marks a firm transition from a mostly comic Funny Animal story to a dark Epic Fantasy.
** Later, after several months of constant rain and snow, the sky finally clears up and we're treated to a lighthearted chapter wherin Chauntecleer's three sons try to amuse themselves with games, as their overprotective nurse Beryl tries to keep them out of trouble. [[spoiler: And then we cut to the fox Lord Russel discovering their and Beryl's dead bodies.]]
* WickedWeasel: Averted with John Wesley Weasel, who, although violent at times and is implied to be a ReformedCriminal, is also extremely brave and firmly on Chauntecleer's side. He has an extreme distaste for sneaky characters like [[YouDirtyRat Ebenezer Rat]] and the [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] House of Otter.
* YouDirtyRat: Ebenezer Rat, although he is far from the most evil character in the novel.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: The deaths of Senex and Toad.
----

to:

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The-Book-of-the-Dun-Cow-B5X523L.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:It won an award, and it's a children's book. [[DeathByNewberyMedal You know what to expect...]]]]

''The Book of the Dun Cow'' is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids children's novel]] written by Walter Wangerin, Jr. It follows the story of Chauntecleer, a rooster from before the creation of man. He's the leader of a small coop and the land that surrounds it, as he tries to get accustomed to an unwelcomed guest, [[TheWoobie Mundo Cani]], and stop somebody who's eating the eggs. But, after that's over with, he receives refugees fleeing from the land to the west, ruled by [[TheAntiChrist Cockatrice]]. Senex, the former ruler, wanted a son, even though he was impotent, and went about solving his problem the [[DealWithTheDevil wrong way]]. Thus, his son, Cockatrice, was born of him and the giant evil Wyrm locked under the Earth by the natural goodness of the animals on the surface. Eventually, Cockatrice kills everything in his land with his basilisk offspring. God sends his messenger, the Dun Cow, to Chauntecleer, and then seals off Earth from the rest of the universe with rain clouds. Eventually, Cockatrice starts attacking Chauntecleer's land with basilisks, and Chauntecleer calls the animals of his land to defend it. Bloodshed ensues.

If the plot above seems [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids a bit complicated for a kid's book]], it's not just you. If anything is reminiscent of [[Literature/TheBible anything from the Good Book]], then don't be surprised. If anything ''isn't'' reminiscent of the Good Book, you're obviously not trying hard enough. [[DeathByNewberyMedal Got the ''New York Times's'' Best Children's Book of the Year, and the National Book Award. A lot of people die]].

A sequel was written titled ''The Book of Sorrows'', which is [[KillEmAll about as cheerful]] [[DownerEnding as you expect]].

Now includes [[Characters/TheBookOfTheDunCow a character sheet]].

----
!!Provides Examples Of:

* AltumVidetur: Wyrm and the Dun Cow both speak in Latin, "the language of the powers".
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The basilisks.
* ApologisesALot: Senex's main problem. He can't stop apologizing, and his animals have no respect for him, which leads to his DealWithTheDevil.
* TheAtoner: Chauntecleer, after he called [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] a traitor while delirious, right before [[spoiler: the dog sacrificed himself to seal Wyrm back in the Earth.]]
** Also his main motivation for staying in command of the Coop.
* BadassAdorable: The Wee Widow Mouse's husband, who makes no secret of his opposition to Cockatrice. His last act is to attack [[TheQuisling Toad]] and ensure [[TakingYouWithMe the death of them both]].
* BattleCry:
--> '''John Wesley Weasel''': [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "Do and do and do! John Wesley will do for you!"]]
* TheBerserker: John Wesley Weasel, as in the above example.
* BigBad: Wyrm, literally.
* BittersweetEnding
* CarnivoreConfusion: The {{Talking Animal}}s do prey on each other, such as John Wesley Weasel and Ebenezer Rat, but predator animals and prey animals can trust one another, as Chauntecleer is willing to leave his children alone with Lord Russel the fox.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Cockspurs]]: Chauntecleer mentions his battle spurs [[NamedWeapons Gaff and the Slasher]] when describing his DarkAndTroubledPast to his animals, and later puts them on [[spoiler: to battle Cockatrice.]]
* CombatByChampion: Chauntecleer goes alone to fight Cockatrice after he is challenged to single combat.
* CunningLikeAFox: Lord Russel the fox is a talkative but well-meaning friend of Chauntecleer.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Pertelote, who was raped by Cockatrice when she lived across the river, and Chauntecleer, who was a thief and rogue until [[spoiler: an encounter with God]] compelled him [[HeelFaceTurn to become leader of the Coop.]]
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: [[spoiler: After killing Cockatrice, Chauntecleer severs his head and parades it in front of the animals, who go out to see the body.]]
* TheDeterminator:
** When he has been [[spoiler: impaled by Chauntecleer's battle spurs]], Cockatrice lunges at Chauntecleer one last time and [[spoiler: [[SelfDisposingVillain kills himself.]]]]
** Also John Wesley Weasel, who keeps fighting even when he loses his ear in battle, and Chauntecleer himself while fighting Cockatrice.
* [[PunchOutAGod Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu]]: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani stops Wyrm from escaping by blinding him with the Dun Cow's horn.]]
* DirtyCoward: Scrape the Otter, and Peck, to a lesser extent. However, the two see the error of their ways and do help fight, if unwillingly.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Subverted. [[spoiler: Taunting the BigBad works.]]
* DontSaySuchStupidThings: Chauntecleer gives this sort of speech to Mundo Cani after an especially angsty moment.
* TheDragon: Cockatrice is Wyrm's representative on Earth, and is the overt villain for most of the book.
* DreamSequence: Chauntecleer has a dream, implied to be sent by Wyrm, in which he wishes death on his animals, who he accuses of betraying him, and sees their dead bodies floating down the river. He is very relieved to find that it was AllJustADream.
* TheEeyore: Mundo Cani.
* EnemyToAllLivingThings: The basilisks' poison kills everything alive in their way, even plants.
* EverythingsWorseWithWolves: Played with. A wolf tormented and eventually killed [[spoiler: Chauntecleer's mother]], but another is one of the animals who is part of the (failed) revolt against Cockatrice.
* EvilCounterpart: Cockatrice, who almost exactly resembles Chauntecleer (except for the reptile parts).
* EvilIsNotAToy: When Senex births Cockatrice, Cockatrice grows unnaturally quickly, does not eat, and eventually, when Senex realizes something is wrong, murders the old rooster.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: The fight with the basilisks and, later, Cockatrice himself.
* FisherKing: As this is before the creation of man, the animals are the rulers of the Earth. Their natural goodness is what keeps Wyrm trapped in the Earth, and his plan of escape naturally involves corrupting and killing them. The corruption of Senex is what allows Cockatrice to be born.
* GagNose: Mundo Cani's #1 reason to [[TheEeyore angst]].
* [[spoiler: GoForTheEye: Wyrm has one huge eye. Of course, that's the only weak point.]]
* GreenEyedMonster: Chauntecleer is jealous of Mundo Cani because the Dun Cow takes a special interest in him. [[spoiler: He finds out why too late.]]
* HeelFaceDoorSlam:
** Senex, and almost all of the animals under Cockatrice's rule. Some of them eventually take a stand against him, but [[spoiler: his basilisks kill almost all of them]].
** Also Ebenezer Rat, who was an enemy of Chauntecleer but no friend to Wyrm. He [[spoiler: in fact dies fighting a basilisk]].
* HeroicBSOD:
** After the final battle, both John Wesley Weasel and Chauntecleer suffer from this. The last chapter is devoted to Pertelote breaking them out of it, Chauntecleer via TearJerker, John Wesley Weasel via CrowningMomentOfFunny.
** Chauntecleer also suffers a HeroicBSOD before the final battle with Wyrm, losing hope and accusing all of his closest allies, an angel of God, and his own wife of betraying him.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani dives into the Earth, piercing Wyrm's eye and sealing both of them under the Netherworld Scar.]]
* HiveMind: Scarce, Chauntecleer's mosquito messenger. All mosquitoes are named Scarce and think of themselves as one being, and their (usually irritating) tendency to be almost everywhere comes in very, very useful for summoning the animals to prepare for war.
* HopeSpot: After an entire winter of heavy rain, Chauntecleer gets married and has kids. Then, there's one relatively fresh day of spring. Then, [[spoiler: basilisks kill Chauntecleer's children.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: The death of [[spoiler: Cockatrice.]]
* InfantImmortality: Subverted when [[spoiler: all of Chauntecleer's children are killed by basilisks.]]
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed
* IShallTauntYou: [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] gets Wyrm to look at him and expose his eye by insulting him, insinuating that Wyrm is too cowardly to face such a small opponent.
--> [[spoiler: '''Mundo Cani''']]: Oh, Wyrm! Great Wyrm-afraid to look at a nothing, a nose, a flea! Such evil, to split the earth, but from a Dog-a Dog to hide!"
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Chauntecleer is bad tempered and officious and constantly abuses Mundo Cani, but his efforts to save the Wee Widow Mouse's children and the Beautiful Pertelote from drowning cement his status as the hero of the story.
* LastStand: What Chauntecleer sees [[spoiler: the final confrontation with Wyrm]] as.
* MisterSeahorse: Where Cockatrice comes from. The less time spent thinking about this, the better.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Lord Russel after [[spoiler: he finds Beryl and Chauntecleer's children dead.]]
* NamedWeapons: Gaff and the Slasher, Chauntecleer's battle spurs.
* OddFriendship: John Wesley Weasel and the Wee Widow Mouse. How attached to her he is becomes clear when [[spoiler: she is killed by a basilisk and he charges into battle to avenge her death.]]
* OmnicidalManiac: Wyrm, who is more than capable of doing it, too.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: The Dun Cow, a messenger from God to Chauntecleer, takes the shape of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a dun-colored cow.]]
* PapaWolf: An evil example in Cockatrice, who attacks John Wesley Weasel to stop him from wiping out the basilisks completely.
* ParentalSubstitute: John Wesley Weasel to the Wee Widow Mouse's children.
* PetTheDog: John Wesley Weasel's adoption of the Widow's children, especially since it's implied that his own children are dead, goes a long way to prove that he's not a bad guy at heart.
* PyrrhicVictory: The animals win the battle against Cockatrice and the basilisks, but [[spoiler: they suffer heavy losses and Chauntecleer goes into a HeroicBSOD as a result of it.]]
* TheQuisling: A toad, simply known as [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Toad]], willingly works for Cockatrice, but is eventually RewardedAsATraitorDeserves when the basilisks [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]]
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Chauntecleer after [[spoiler: the death of his sons]].
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Cockatrice breeds his enormous army of basilisks by systematically raping Senex's hens, draining the spirit out of most of them (except for Pertelote, who keeps her sanity by using a stone to break the basilisk eggs in her body) in the process.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Ebenezer Rat]] dies killing a basilisk, which causes Chauntecleer to absolve him.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Cockatrice, unlike a real rooster, has red eyes.
* ReformedCriminal: John Wesley Weasel and his family are implied to be these.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Every villain, except Ebenezer, is a reptile or an amphibian.
* ReversePsychology: Pertelote gets John Wesley Weasel out of his HeroicBSOD by implying that he isn't brave enough to burrow into the Netherworld Scar.
* RousingSpeech: Subverted the first time. Chauntecleer's speech only frightens the animals, and only Pertelote's singing calms them down. The second RousingSpeech is more successful.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Chauntecleer doesn't fight in the first battle, but uses his crowing to disorient the basilisks. Later, he [[spoiler: fights and kills Cockatrice]] on his own. Senex, although old and impotent, tries to embody this trope, but it doesn't end well.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Wangerin's other genre is religion. With that, it doesn't take much to know that this entire book's an allegory.
* SayMyName: Chauntecleer rouses his warriors' outrage by naming their children and screaming the name of Cockatrice.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[DirtyCoward Scrape the Otter]] attempts to persuade the other animals to abandon Chauntecleer and save themselves. Chauntecleer teaches him a lesson.
* SealedEvilInACan: Wyrm is trapped underneath the Earth, but is able to speak with the animals through the ground and through dreams.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially PlayedForLaughs, are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]]
* SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism: Somewhere between PartiallyCivilizedAnimal and TalkingAnimal.
* SnowMeansLove: Chauntecleer marries in the winter.
* TalkingAnimal: All of the characters are talking animals, with the exception of Ebenezer Rat, although he presumably doesn't speak by choice.
* ThirdPersonPerson: John Wesley Weasel often refers to himself as "John Double-u of the Double-us", or some variation of this.
* TooDumbToLive: All of the Wild Turkeys. [[spoiler: In fact, all of them do die before the first battle.]]
* TookALevelInBadAss: Mundo Cani, who at first seems to be a self-hating whiner, is one of Chauntecleer's most faithful allies, saves John Wesley Weasel from Cockatrice, and last of all takes on [[spoiler: Wyrm himself]], with nothing but the horn of the Dun Cow. [[spoiler: [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome And wins.]]]]
* TwoLinesNoWaiting: The story switches from the exploits of Chauntecleer to the events concerning Senex and Cockatrice, then back again.
* UnstoppableRage: John Wesley Weasel during the the attack on the basilisks [[spoiler: after the death of the Wee Widow Mouse]].
* UnwittingPawn: Wyrm preys on Senex's despair and desire for respect to persuade him to cooperate in fathering Cockatrice. Needless to say, this doesn't go well for Senex, who [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realizes]] [[HeelFaceDoorSlam a little too late]] just [[TheAntiChrist what]] he created.
* TheVoiceless: Ebenezer Rat never speaks, and it's unclear whether or not he does this by choice. It's implied that his secretive and criminal nature contributes to this.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: After [[spoiler: the basilisks are driven away and Cockatrice is killed, Wyrm reminds the animals that he is still there, temporarily driving the already exhausted Chauntecleer into delirium and giving Wyrm an escape route in the process.]]
* WhamEpisode: Chapter 11, featuring Cockatrice's oppressive reign, marks a firm transition from a mostly comic Funny Animal story to a dark Epic Fantasy.
** Later, after several months of constant rain and snow, the sky finally clears up and we're treated to a lighthearted chapter wherin Chauntecleer's three sons try to amuse themselves with games, as their overprotective nurse Beryl tries to keep them out of trouble. [[spoiler: And then we cut to the fox Lord Russel discovering their and Beryl's dead bodies.]]
* WickedWeasel: Averted with John Wesley Weasel, who, although violent at times and is implied to be a ReformedCriminal, is also extremely brave and firmly on Chauntecleer's side. He has an extreme distaste for sneaky characters like [[YouDirtyRat Ebenezer Rat]] and the [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] House of Otter.
* YouDirtyRat: Ebenezer Rat, although he is far from the most evil character in the novel.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: The deaths of Senex and Toad.
----
[[redirect:Literature/TheBookOfTheDunCow]]
24th Aug '12 8:31:32 PM Raptorslash
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Added DiffLines:

* PetTheDog: John Wesley Weasel's adoption of the Widow's children, especially since it's implied that his own children are dead, goes a long way to prove that he's not a bad guy at heart.
25th Jul '12 11:22:30 AM FELH2
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''The Book of the Dun Cow'' is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids children's novel]] written by Walter Wangerin, Jr. It follows the story of Chauntecleer, a rooster from before the creation of man. He's the leader of a small coop and the land that surrounds it, as he tries to get accustomed to an unwelcomed guest, [[TheWoobie Mundo Cani]], and stop somebody who's eating the eggs. But, after that's over with, he receives refugees fleeing from the land to the west, ruled by [[TheAntiChrist Cockatrice]]. Senex, the former ruler, wanted a son, even though he was impotent, and went about solving his problem the [[DealWithTheDevil wrong way]]. Thus, his son, Cockatrice, was born of him and the giant evil Wyrm locked under the Earth by the natural goodness of the animals on the surface. Eventually, Cockatrice kills everything in his land with his basilisk offspring. God sends his messenger, the Dun Cow, to Chauntecleer, and then seals off Earth from the rest of the universe with rain clouds. Eventually, Cockatrice starts attacking Chauntecleer's land with basilisks, and Chauntecleer calls the animals of his land to defend it. Bloodshed ensues.

If the plot above seems [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids a bit complicated for a kid's book]], it's not just you. If anything is reminiscent of [[TheBible anything from the Good Book]], then don't be surprised. If anything ''isn't'' reminiscent of the Good Book, you're obviously not trying hard enough. [[DeathByNewberyMedal Got the ''New York Times's'' Best Children's Book of the Year, and the National Book Award. A lot of people die]].

to:

''The Book of the Dun Cow'' is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids children's novel]] written by Walter Wangerin, Jr. It follows the story of Chauntecleer, a rooster from before the creation of man. He's the leader of a small coop and the land that surrounds it, as he tries to get accustomed to an unwelcomed guest, [[TheWoobie Mundo Cani]], and stop somebody who's eating the eggs. But, after that's over with, he receives refugees fleeing from the land to the west, ruled by [[TheAntiChrist Cockatrice]]. Senex, the former ruler, wanted a son, even though he was impotent, and went about solving his problem the [[DealWithTheDevil wrong way]]. Thus, his son, Cockatrice, was born of him and the giant evil Wyrm locked under the Earth by the natural goodness of the animals on the surface. Eventually, Cockatrice kills everything in his land with his basilisk offspring. God sends his messenger, the Dun Cow, to Chauntecleer, and then seals off Earth from the rest of the universe with rain clouds. Eventually, Cockatrice starts attacking Chauntecleer's land with basilisks, and Chauntecleer calls the animals of his land to defend it. Bloodshed ensues.

ensues.

If the plot above seems [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids a bit complicated for a kid's book]], it's not just you. If anything is reminiscent of [[TheBible [[Literature/TheBible anything from the Good Book]], then don't be surprised. If anything ''isn't'' reminiscent of the Good Book, you're obviously not trying hard enough. [[DeathByNewberyMedal Got the ''New York Times's'' Best Children's Book of the Year, and the National Book Award. A lot of people die]].



* AltumVidetur: Wyrm and the Dun Cow both speak in Latin, "the language of the powers".

to:

* AltumVidetur: Wyrm and the Dun Cow both speak in Latin, "the language of the powers".



* TheAtoner: Chauntecleer, after he called [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] a traitor while delirious, right before [[spoiler: the dog sacrificed himself to seal Wyrm back in the Earth.]]
** Also his main motivation for staying in command of the Coop.

to:

* TheAtoner: Chauntecleer, after he called [[spoiler: Mundo Cani]] a traitor while delirious, right before [[spoiler: the dog sacrificed himself to seal Wyrm back in the Earth.]]
]]
** Also his main motivation for staying in command of the Coop.



* DarkAndTroubledPast: Pertelote, who was raped by Cockatrice when she lived across the river, and Chauntecleer, who was a thief and rogue until [[spoiler: an encounter with God]] compelled him [[HeelFaceTurn to become leader of the Coop.]]

to:

* DarkAndTroubledPast: Pertelote, who was raped by Cockatrice when she lived across the river, and Chauntecleer, who was a thief and rogue until [[spoiler: an encounter with God]] compelled him [[HeelFaceTurn to become leader of the Coop.]] ]]



** When he has been [[spoiler: impaled by Chauntecleer's battle spurs]], Cockatrice lunges at Chauntecleer one last time and [[spoiler: [[SelfDisposingVillain kills himself.]]]]
** Also John Wesley Weasel, who keeps fighting even when he loses his ear in battle, and Chauntecleer himself while fighting Cockatrice.

to:

** When he has been [[spoiler: impaled by Chauntecleer's battle spurs]], Cockatrice lunges at Chauntecleer one last time and [[spoiler: [[SelfDisposingVillain kills himself.]]]]
]]]]
** Also John Wesley Weasel, who keeps fighting even when he loses his ear in battle, and Chauntecleer himself while fighting Cockatrice.



* DirtyCoward: Scrape the Otter, and Peck, to a lesser extent. However, the two see the error of their ways and do help fight, if unwillingly.

to:

* * DirtyCoward: Scrape the Otter, and Peck, to a lesser extent. However, the two see the error of their ways and do help fight, if unwillingly.



* EvilIsNotAToy: When Senex births Cockatrice, Cockatrice grows unnaturally quickly, does not eat, and eventually, when Senex realizes something is wrong, murders the old rooster.

to:

* EvilIsNotAToy: When Senex births Cockatrice, Cockatrice grows unnaturally quickly, does not eat, and eventually, when Senex realizes something is wrong, murders the old rooster.



** Also Ebenezer Rat, who was an enemy of Chauntecleer but no friend to Wyrm. He [[spoiler: in fact dies fighting a basilisk]].

to:

** Also Ebenezer Rat, who was an enemy of Chauntecleer but no friend to Wyrm. He [[spoiler: in fact dies fighting a basilisk]].



* HiveMind: Scarce, Chauntecleer's mosquito messenger. All mosquitoes are named Scarce and think of themselves as one being, and their (usually irritating) tendency to be almost everywhere comes in very, very useful for summoning the animals to prepare for war.

to:

* HiveMind: Scarce, Chauntecleer's mosquito messenger. All mosquitoes are named Scarce and think of themselves as one being, and their (usually irritating) tendency to be almost everywhere comes in very, very useful for summoning the animals to prepare for war.



* InfantImmortality: Subverted when [[spoiler: all of Chauntecleer's children are killed by basilisks.]]

to:

* InfantImmortality: Subverted when [[spoiler: all of Chauntecleer's children are killed by basilisks.]] ]]



--> [[spoiler: '''Mundo Cani''']]: Oh, Wyrm! Great Wyrm-afraid to look at a nothing, a nose, a flea! Such evil, to split the earth, but from a Dog-a Dog to hide!"

to:

--> [[spoiler: '''Mundo Cani''']]: Oh, Wyrm! Great Wyrm-afraid to look at a nothing, a nose, a flea! Such evil, to split the earth, but from a Dog-a Dog to hide!" hide!"



* TheQuisling: A toad, simply known as [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Toad]], willingly works for Cockatrice, but is eventually RewardedAsATraitorDeserves when the basilisks [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]]

to:

* TheQuisling: A toad, simply known as [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Toad]], willingly works for Cockatrice, but is eventually RewardedAsATraitorDeserves when the basilisks [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]] ]]



* ReformedCriminal: John Wesley Weasel and his family are implied to be these.

to:

* ReformedCriminal: John Wesley Weasel and his family are implied to be these.



* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Chauntecleer doesn't fight in the first battle, but uses his crowing to disorient the basilisks. Later, he [[spoiler: fights and kills Cockatrice]] on his own. Senex, although old and impotent, tries to embody this trope, but it doesn't end well.

to:

* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Chauntecleer doesn't fight in the first battle, but uses his crowing to disorient the basilisks. Later, he [[spoiler: fights and kills Cockatrice]] on his own. Senex, although old and impotent, tries to embody this trope, but it doesn't end well.



* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially [[PlayedForLaughs Played For Laughs]], are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]]

to:

* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially [[PlayedForLaughs Played For Laughs]], PlayedForLaughs, are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]]



* TooDumbToLive: All of the Wild Turkeys. [[spoiler: In fact, all of them do die before the first battle.]]

to:

* TooDumbToLive: All of the Wild Turkeys. [[spoiler: In fact, all of them do die before the first battle.]] ]]



* TheVoiceless: Ebenezer Rat never speaks, and it's unclear whether or not he does this by choice. It's implied that his secretive and criminal nature contributes to this.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: After [[spoiler: the basilisks are driven away and Cockatrice is killed, Wyrm reminds the animals that he is still there, temporarily driving the already exhausted Chauntecleer into delirium and giving Wyrm an escape route in the process.]]

to:

* TheVoiceless: Ebenezer Rat never speaks, and it's unclear whether or not he does this by choice. It's implied that his secretive and criminal nature contributes to this.
this.
* TheWarHasJustBegun: After [[spoiler: the basilisks are driven away and Cockatrice is killed, Wyrm reminds the animals that he is still there, temporarily driving the already exhausted Chauntecleer into delirium and giving Wyrm an escape route in the process.]] ]]
22nd Jul '12 11:44:41 PM Raptorslash
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* WickedWeasel: Mostly averted with John Wesley Weasel, who, although violent at times and is implied to be a ReformedCriminal, is also extremely brave and firmly on Chauntecleer's side. He has an extreme distaste for sneaky characters like [[YouDirtyRat Ebenezer Rat]] and the [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] House of Otter.

to:

* WickedWeasel: Mostly averted Averted with John Wesley Weasel, who, although violent at times and is implied to be a ReformedCriminal, is also extremely brave and firmly on Chauntecleer's side. He has an extreme distaste for sneaky characters like [[YouDirtyRat Ebenezer Rat]] and the [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] House of Otter.
22nd Jul '12 11:39:35 PM Raptorslash
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* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Cockspurs]]

to:

* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Cockspurs]]Cockspurs]]: Chauntecleer mentions his battle spurs [[NamedWeapons Gaff and the Slasher]] when describing his DarkAndTroubledPast to his animals, and later puts them on [[spoiler: to battle Cockatrice.]]
21st Jul '12 11:36:03 PM PsychicTakoyakiPaul
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* [[ChekovsGun Chekov's Cockspurs]]

to:

* [[ChekovsGun Chekov's [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Cockspurs]]
21st Jul '12 11:27:00 PM PsychicTakoyakiPaul
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* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially [[PlayedForLaughs Played For Laughs]], are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]]

to:

* ShooOutTheClowns: The dim-witted Wild Turkeys, whose foolish behavior is initially [[PlayedForLaughs Played For Laughs]], are [[spoiler: all killed en masse by the basilisks, even before the war begins.]] ]]
* SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism: Somewhere between PartiallyCivilizedAnimal and TalkingAnimal.
21st Jul '12 11:18:48 PM PsychicTakoyakiPaul
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* WhamEpisode: after several months of constant rain and snow, the sky finally clears up and we're treated to a lighthearted chapter wherin Chauntecleer's three sons try to amuse themselves with games, as their overprotective nurse Beryl tries to keep them out of trouble. [[spoiler: And then we cut to the fox Lord Russel discovering their and Beryl's dead bodies.]]

to:

* WhamEpisode: Chapter 11, featuring Cockatrice's oppressive reign, marks a firm transition from a mostly comic Funny Animal story to a dark Epic Fantasy.
** Later,
after several months of constant rain and snow, the sky finally clears up and we're treated to a lighthearted chapter wherin Chauntecleer's three sons try to amuse themselves with games, as their overprotective nurse Beryl tries to keep them out of trouble. [[spoiler: And then we cut to the fox Lord Russel discovering their and Beryl's dead bodies.]]
21st Jul '12 11:16:59 PM PsychicTakoyakiPaul
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Added DiffLines:

* [[ChekovsGun Chekov's Cockspurs]]
13th Jul '12 4:59:14 PM Raptorslash
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* GagNose: Mundo Cani's #1 reason to [[TheWoobie angst]].

to:

* GagNose: Mundo Cani's #1 reason to [[TheWoobie [[TheEeyore angst]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheBookOfTheDunCow