John Muir


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Many good people believe that alligators were created by the devil and thus account for their all-consuming cruel appetite. But doubtless these alligators are happy and fill the place assigned them by the Great Creator of us all. Hideous and cruel they appear to us, but beautiful in the eyes of God, and are his children and he cares for them tenderly, hears their cries, and provides their daily bread. The antipathies existing in God’s great animal family must be wisely planned like balanced repulsion and attraction in the mineral kingdom. How narrow our sympathy, how blind we selfish and all-conceited creatures are to the right of all the rest of Creation. With what dismal irreverence we speak of our fellow mortals. Though crocodiles, snakes, etc. naturally repel us they are not mysterious evils. They dwell happily in these flowery wilds, are part of God’s family, unfallen and undepraved and cared for with the same species of tenderness and love, as is bestowed on angels in heaven or saints on earth. I think that most of the antipathies which haunt and terrify us are morbid productions of ignorance and weakness. I have better thoughts of those alligator fellows now that I have

Date Original

July 1867


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist