Another way of remembering the twelve animals is to link them together using a story. Each animal is imagined doing some sort of memorable action. In addition, your image needs to trigger recall of the next animal in the series. Here is my story.
- A large RAT jumps on the head of an OX.
- The OX gets really annoyed and charges into a TIGER.
- The TIGER is trying to eat a large grey RABBIT.
- The RABBIT runs back into his burrow and finds a Golden DRAGON hiding inside with his eyes glowing and breathing fire.
- The DRAGON's tail is like a SNAKE, slithering out of the burrow.
- The SNAKE wraps itself around the leg of a HORSE attempting to strangle the horse.
- The HORSE shakes its leg and a GOAT runs to the horse dislodging the snake with its horns.
- The GOAT tosses the snake up into a tree where it is caught by a golden MONKEY.
- The MONKEY laughs and shrieks, imitating a ROOSTER.
- Another ROOSTER is running in the farmyard chasing a DOG.
- The DOG is chasing the PIGS and trying to eat from their trough.
Converting a birth year into a Chinese sign is a process of adding multiples of 12 until 2008 or later is reached. If I wanted to convert a birth year of 1990, I add 24 to get 2014. Recalling my story starting with with the Rat (2008), Ox (2009), Tiger (2010), Rabbit (2011), Dragon (2012), Snake (2013) then Horse (2014).
This process of recall takes time, compared to the Peg System. 2014 gives a peg word of Red Tyre, and my key image was a Red Tyre around a Horse's neck. Once the "milestones" of Dragon and Monkey were remembered, I could recall Dragon (2012), Snake (2013) then Horse (2014).
We have now seen two memory systems in action to memorise the same set of information. Your choice of system depends on how you want to recall the information. The story method is great for recalling the animals in sequence, and the peg system is faster for converting years into animal signs.