Bakus are legendary creatures who eat nightmares. They are rather intimidating looking themselves, having the head of an elephant, the mane of a lion, feet like a tiger's and the tail of a cow. OK, the cow tail isn't that intimidating - but a maned elephant head? Whoa.
Last year, we learned about bakus (bah-koo) first in Legendary Creatures of Myth and Magic, one of Hannah's Christmas presents.
That imagery of a monster who was powerful enough to eat her nightmares was really intriguing to Hannah. I played with ideas of embroidering the symbol for 'baku' or a picture of a baku on a pillowcase for her. I've never embroidered. It never got done.
We ran across it again last month in a new book, Magical Creatures.
Last night, my little girl - who, due to an amazing imagination, has been troubled by nightmares for a long time - decided to take matters into her own hands and drew herself a baku. Its trunk blends in with its mane, but she was very deliberate in her work, constantly checking back with the illustrations - completely self-motivated. It was a sight to see.
This is a child whose only recognizable drawing around Thanksgiving was a flower. She's been a drawing fiend since spending time drawing with a young cousin of hers who is really talented at drawing.
We stuck it on the wall above the bed and this morning she walked out of the bedroom with a big smile on her face. "I had a nightmare last night, Mother, and GUESS WHAT?!?! The baku ate it!"
Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
In searching Amazon for links to the books we have, we came across some books we want. Like this one, and this one, and this one (just for Mother). And many more books to add to our library list.
We also came across a neat video that shows an old baku statue. And, believe it or not, a game with a little baku (also the Japanese word for 'tapir') eating dreams. Whodathunk?