TOR, WYOMING BIGHORN by Ernestine Byrd


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The life of a wild sheep from playful infancy to perilous maturity--a close study of the species that has only intermittent thrust as a story. And this despite the fact that Tor has a stronger bond with his herd than many wild males, and also a long-standing enemy in Roc, a somewhat older ram. We see Tor staying close to his mother Tara the first year, then playing big brother to her next-born; sporting with his fellow lambs and inveigling other young animals into games; learning to beware of bobcats, magpies (who can be a nuisance) and coyotes (who kill his favorite companion); escaping from a Golden Eagle, a bear and from the predator that will eventually cripple him, the cougar. All the while Roc nurses his early grievance against Tor, resenting especially Tor's being favored by Big Chief, the leader of the herd. After Big Chief is shot, Tor is driven out, returns older and stronger to stand off Roc--but neither will live long: it is the hunting season again. Despite some regret at Big Chief's unheroic dispatch, Miss Byrd is not attacking hunters; rather she is identifying with the bighorns and so will the occasional reader who ventures into this slender, solid-looking volume.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1969
Publisher: Scribners