But isn’t a tree growing like a person, isn't it dressed in skin like him, doesn't it wear leaves and flowers, doesn't it prop...

But isn’t a tree growing like a person, isn't it dressed in skin like him, doesn't it wear leaves and flowers, doesn't it propagate mature fruits as a woman, doesn't cry dew, doesn't it shiver from wind whiff, doesn't it move the branches? Doesn’t it have the same blood in veins eventhough this blood is another color? There are trees which blood is red, as humans blood: it is a bird cherry about which Nivkh say that it is a real person! Water of the Byblos river, red in the spring, was considered as Dionysus' blood. And what about prophetic oak in Dodona? Doesn’t the smallest mote tremble, live and die? And even stones and all that we call inanimate objects don't show it’s animateness? Don’t sand and motes move from place to place, don't they spin in air like flies? Doesn’t a solid stone which is held down in an eternal bulk of rocks remains immobilized? The moment comes — and it flies headlong from huge height, being scattered in thousands of pieces, like the people who are running up in all directions at the sight of imminent danger. Don’t huge glaciers having woken up after a century sleep, move terribly like giant animals to absorb the valley? Don’t whole rocks on ice floes across hundreds of versts to settle on a new place? Don’t a small piece of flint or simple rubbing pieces of wood give birth to a mighty living fire like a mother? Why isn’t a fossil the same living being as a molusc, an imprint that it draws up, a living substance numb in a deep sleep only for a time? Doesn’t a dead egg turn into a living bird and a motionless doll into a butterfly? Doesn't rock make voice, while cracking on frost? And why then everything that seems motionless forever can not be only a temporary shape of death and can not store all properties of the living being in the past or the future? Examples are numerous! Thus all nature in general and in all its parts has to be presented to the primitive human full of animateness as reasonable and strong-willed, as well as his own existence. Only forms of these animated beings are various, but mentally they are identical between themselves. And forms are only the apparent changeable phenomena. Don’t clouds at sunset change their shape every minute? Doesn’t larva turn into a motionless doll dead in appearance and turns back into a living butterfly or an egg into a bird? Isn’t a skinned bear surprisingly similar to the human, a bear with his limbs, five fingers, snow-white color of a track, without speaking about his internal structure any more? And it is so close from reasonings to a conclusion that all these different objects of the nature — are actually not only living beings, as the human, but also real people who only have taken a special form! 

Fragment from the book "Primitive Religion in the light of Ethnography"

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