Today is the day to celebrate that old-fashioned treat of edible miniature animals in a box with National Animal Cracker Day (also called National Animals Crackers Day). In 1902, these crackers were dubbed “Barnum’s Animals” in honor of that most popular circus and since that time over 54 different animals have been depicted. Though more cookie than cracker as they are not something you’d think to top with cheese, they’ve been a bit hit for years. Looking at the original packaging now, though, I feel sorry for those poor animals crammed into small cages. The current packaging puts the bars behind the animals so its like you’re in the cage with them, which really isn’t much better.
But it was a fun memory of childhood to get a box of these as it was like having your own personal cookie jar you could carry around. The little box with a string was originally just a marketing gimmick for the first Christmas season to suggest them as ornaments. The little holiday boxes sold for five cents back then and were so popular they’ve stuck around until this day. I liked this brand best because of the extra little details, which came around 1958 when they changed the production method to include more intricate dies. I’m not a fan of the other brands that look all undefined and bloated, like they already have the diabetes they’re about to give you.
As a kid I used to love digging through the box to see which animals were there. Before you knew it, monkey would be having quite a conversation with elephant, as tiger laid there looking on nearby. They were all friends in this miniature cracker world, so the tiger was not getting ready to pounce. He was just waiting for his turn in the conversation since I only had two hands. Once all the animals had met each other, they would then join in an awkward little parade that resembled the world’s worst stop motion movie as they were lined up and shoved slowly across the table. Worse still, is that this movie had the same horrific ending each time. I would then bite their little heads off and eat them. The End.
Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on doodlewash.com at the end of the month!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, Azo Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!