HALIC: The Story of a Gray Seal by Ewan Clarkson

HALIC: The Story of a Gray Seal

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The author of Syla the Mink (1968) again allows his observations and enthusiams for a unique species full play in this exuberant, empathic (but never sentimental) story of a male gray seal from birth to beachmaster bull. Born on a pebbly shore off the coast of Wales, Halic, separated from his mother, begins his driftwood journey to the coast of Spain, the Scilly Islands, and back again to his birthplace. While Halic cruises, floats and bobbles, the author discourses efficiently and even poetically on above-and-underwater life -- from octopi to shipwrecks, auks to killer whales. But life is not all calms and hunting for the seal -- there are storms, attackers, and most dangerous of all, the assaults of man to which the author unhesitatingly refers as ""murder."" Halic is rescued by dedicated and humane conservationists from an oil slick but narrowly escapes death from spears and bullets. He eventually mates (this is the only section in which the author's prose quivers to excess) and wins his stretch of beach and a harem, More. impressionable conservationists will be glad to know that after a calf-massacre, one seal-hating mariner is bitten and dashed to death on the rocks. Intelligent, informational, involving nature writing.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1969
Publisher: Dutton