oldtimeycats: My title: Bro Elbow with Book. Photograph by…


My title: Bro Elbow with Book.

Photograph by Clara Middleton, ca. 1905. Madison, Wisconsin. Source: Wisconsin Historical Society.

A cat, which appears to be dozing, is posed with an open copy of Ernest Seton-Thompson’s “Wild Animals I Have Known.”

When I was six I bought a paperback copy of this book at the school book fair. I told my dad about it that night, and he made an unusual-for-him suggestion: Would I like him to read it to me?

I don’t remember making any connection between his offer and my parents’ recent divorce, my mom’s moving away, but looking back I wonder: Was he making a conscious effort to fill the void by playing a more nurturing role?

We picked “Raggylug: The Story of a Cottontail Rabbit”. I snuggled next to him in a big chair in the living room. I remember how special it felt, the whole experience, listening to my dad, being drawn into the story.


At the end of the story Rag’s mother Molly, fleeing a fox, drowns in an icy pond. I was devastated, sobbing uncontrollably. “But why did she have to die?” I kept asking. I don’t remember my dad’s answer.

He must have felt so betrayed, having his nurturing impulse sabotaged like that. 

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1NVzQqr.

Tags: 2359, ernest thompson seton, or, ernest seton-thompson, depending on how the publisher was feeling that day, i grew up reading and loving his books, even if I also felt just a little bit betrayed, by that first story.

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