Can’t bear the noise

Can’t bear the noise

I don’t blame them either. A delightful recollection of a sensible ursine response to the outrage of war in their habitat. See another lovely account from the same book, of monster lobsters. “Last year, when the hard fighting was going on up there”...
Slit-pupilled eyes

Slit-pupilled eyes

The Countess lives in a sea of white cats who hang upon her every word, here looking up at her lovingly. Even her voice addressing them is likened to a purr. ‘Every luminous slit-pupilled eye was upon her. The only movement lay in the vibration in their throats....
Collective contentment

Collective contentment

Among the most cherished beings in Mervyn Peake’s sprawling, imaginative Gormenghast, are the teeming masses of white cats belonging to the Countess.  She has more love for furred and feathered friends than for humans, even those of her own producing, though...
A cry like …

A cry like …

Williamson pays close attention to the calls and cries of birds and animals, and here he distinguishes between the mutual call of a dog and a bitch otter. I found the description of White-tip’s cry extraordinary. ‘White-tip answered him. Her cry was like...
Big blackberries

Big blackberries

A berry crushed into service as a metaphor for a mud-mark. ‘Tarka’s deep seals in the lower ooze showed like big blackberries crushed in the mud.’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus....
My kinda cats – II

My kinda cats – II

Generally speaking, I’m not a big cat fan, preferring dogs all round. However, although I can be dismissive of the pampered creatures slouching around domestic hearths, some cats with strong characters, or a sassy, streetwise streak, can partially win me over. I...
My kinda cat – III

My kinda cat – III

This is one memorable cat.  Patrick Leigh Fermor had chance to observe the same big tom-cat every night in Athens after the war, performing what was clearly a regular feline routine.  I loved this whole story. For other cat-related Greek tails, see also the naming of...
Crisp-winged flies

Crisp-winged flies

A symbiosis of hovering birds and fly-pestered bullocks, the darting martins hoovering up bothersome crisp-winged flies. ‘Martins twittered along the river-bank, and hovered about the heads of bullocks, taking crisp-winged flies from their muzzles and between...
Hunger-making smell

Hunger-making smell

An undertow of this animal life-loving adventure is hunger.  We must be one of the few species having a significant segment of its global population not living with hunger as a daily driving urge. ‘Food chain’ takes on new meaning as Williamson portrays...

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