Having settled down with his family to raise cattle on a 135-acre farm in Tennessee--an adventurous, and at times overwhelming, undertaking for a greenhorn--the author of A Walk Across America, Across China, etc., gains a new intimacy with nature. Here, he recounts the tales of the many animals in his life (past and present); but though the material is rich, the writing is uneven and often flat. Jenkins first backtracks to his youth--his first job in his hometown, Greenwich, Conn., as an assistant in a veterinary clinic; the wounded sparrow hawk that he trains in falconry; and the early years with Cooper, his canine companion in his first book. From there, Jenkins takes us to Alaska, where he adopts two husky pups to bring to his farm. Back in Tennessee, Jenkins learns the ins and outs of cattle ranching, and even helps with troublesome births. A barn cat and a handsome walking horse complete the Jenkins' entourage. But the would-be idyllic picture is shattered--one of the two huskies becomes a livestock-raider, and Jenkins ultimately opts to send him back to Alaska (rather than confine him or train him); a cantankerous, 1,500-pound bull must be forcibly removed from the farm and brought to slaughter; and Jenkins' marriage to wife Barbara falls apart. Though his perceptions are anything but deep, Jenkins' sentiments do have appeal: ""Thinking about all the changes made me feel old, but what I mostly felt was a rootedness, a connection to those rolling pastures and the life that lived on it. I've loved it here when it was good and when it was not good.