Book 40, Wild Animals I Have Known (1896) – Ernest Thompson Seton
“An immediate success upon its first publication in 1898, Wild Animals I Have Known gave the animal story new credibility and power as a literary genre and remains Seton’s best-loved work.”
Other useful links:
the Wikipedia entry for Ernest Thompson Seton
I’m still working on this, but it’s really tough going for me. I’m not so bad with the stories in which the animals suffer or meet a bad end due to “natural” causes (though I’m still sad), but I really have a problem with human cruelty and disrespect for other animals. Under other circumstances, I’d likely have stopped reading during the story of Lobo and abandoned the book, but since it’s a CanLit Challenge book I decided I had to finish it.
There were a couple of stories I liked a lot (my favourite was about Silverspot the crow), but most were very difficult for me to get through. I can’t stand deliberate ruthlessness in the treatment of animals, and there were plenty of cruel, relentless humans in the pages of this book. I suppose Seton himself felt as though presenting the stories this way, with a proper respect for the animals’ point of view, could change peoples’ attitudes toward our furry and feathered relations (in this respect it reminded me much of Black Beauty), but in me he’s preaching to the choir.