As one who has flipped through the dozen large volumes of Thoreau's Journals, finding much botanical classification etc., I found this a useful little book for the classroom.Thoreau often writes with humor here, especially when his publisher sends him the remaindered 706 copies (out of the edition of 1000) of his A Week on the Concord and Merrimack River: "I now have a library of nearly nine hundred volumes, over seven hundred of which I wrote myself." His story of chasing the pig is a classic, very different from my own family story.My grandfather had a pig, Delfiney, who had the run of the little house-backhouse and barn, but escaped anyway one day.Gramp enlisted his ony neighbor within a mile, who reluctantly agreed to the futile task.When they got about three quarters of a mile, they sighted the pig and Gramp called, "DelFINEY!!"The pig came running to him.
Thoreau reaches down into a bullhead nest to discover their pattern of habitation. Here's part of his long encounter with a Woodchuck.After a long run, he exhausts the creature: "I sat down by his side within a foot. I talked to him quasi forest lingo, baby-talk, at any rate in a conciliatroy tone, and throughout that Ihad some influence on him.He gritted his teeth less. I chewed checkerberry leaves and presented them to his nose at last without a grit, though I saw that by so much gritting of the teeth he had worn them rapidly and they were covered with a fine white powder, which, if you measured it thus, would have made his anger terrible."
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