Mark Twain's Book of Animals (Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain)

Mark Twain's Book of Animals (Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain)

Mark Twain, Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Language: English

Pages: 344

ISBN: 0520248554

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain’s career and elucidates his special attachment to and regard for animals. What may surprise even longtime readers and fans is that Twain was an early and ardent animal welfare advocate, the most prominent American of his day to take up that cause. Edited and selected by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who has also supplied an introduction and afterword, Mark Twain’s Book of Animals includes stories that are familiar along with those that are appearing in print for the first time.

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buffalo hunt for the entertainment of an English earl—that, and to provide some fresh meat for his larder. They had charm  ing sport. They killed seventy-two of those great animals; and ate part of one of them and left the seventy-one to rot. In order to determine the difference between an anaconda and an earl—if any—I caused seven young calves to be turned into     the anaconda’s cage. The grateful reptile immediately crushed one of them and swallowed it, then lay back satisfied. It showed no

you, soon it will distress you; and before long each thump will hurt your head; if this goes on, you will lose your mind with the pain and the misery of it, and go crazy. I am bringing some of these birds home to America. There is nothing like them there. They will be a great surprise, and it is said that in a climate like ours they will surpass expectation for fecundity. I am bringing some nightingales, too, and some cue-owls. I got them in Italy. The song of the nightingale is the deadliest

fluid of that color. And so, at last we said they undoubtedly procured it at night. Then we took turns and watched them by night. The result was the same—the puzzle remained unsolved. These pro  ceedings were of a sort to be expected in beginners, but one perceives, now, that they were unscientific. A time came when experience had taught us better methods. One night as I lay musing, and looking at the stars, a grand idea flashed through my head, and I saw my way! My first impulse was to wake

take her babies out of her pocket and go foraging among the hills and dales and fetch home a pocketful of the choicest fruits and nuts; and nearly every night there was company—bears and rabbits   and buzzards and chickens and foxes and hyenas and polecats and other creatures—and gay romping and grand times. The animals seemed to pity the child   because she had no fur; for always when she slept they covered her with leaves and moss to protect her dainty flesh, and she was covered like that

UC-Fishkin-rev2.indd 12 6/12/09 11:55 AM I n t roduc t ion  13 Henry Bergh, on a mission to get a theatre manager to discontinue what Bergh viewed as the abuse of an animal on stage during a show. It would be hard to find a more laudatory portrait than the one Twain limns here of Bergh. Shortly after filing this story, Mark Twain left on the cruise of the Quaker City, which he chronicled in newspaper articles during the trip. That material would form the core of his first travel book, The

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