SIX POINTER BUCK by David Stephen


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This chances to be my first reading of David Stephen, whose nature writing- if it measures up to Six Pointer Buck-is unique today. Perhaps this is his first American appearance? One feels that in this biography of a roebuck, he has come as close to making himself one with the buck -- from his frightened fawn days, when a stoat brought him to realization of the unending fight for survival -- until, as a six -- pointer, with one tine missing, he knew himself master of Glencryan. The region in Scotland that was his range becomes intimately ones own. The constant strife at all levels of nature's wild life is waged before ones eyes. Man- with rare exceptions- and his companion, dog, are the sworn enemies; against them other creatures are at one. The sense of knowing what instinct dictates; the withholding of assumptions that are human- and probably beyond the thought processes of the woods creatures; the loving comprehension, reflected in one farmer who fought the men with guns -- all adds up to a lifetime preoccupation, observation, sympathy. David Stephen has given his creatures names -- as one does the animals one knows. But he doesn't give them human attributes. Instead, one is made to feel the pattern of life and death, of struggle or survival, of the drive of the seasons, of the instinct for self preservation, of the woods and fields, the hills and daer, against which their lives are staged. Don't miss it.

Publisher: Lippincott