John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



[peaceful bank its] leaving the beauty of the bank sadly trampled [marred by the destruction of the plants] If only one could be got to cross over [then] all would make haste to follow, but that one could not be found. [Then] A lamb was caught [and] carried across & tied on the opposite bank to a bush [tree] where it cried [and lamented] piteously for its mother [while][with terrible] But though greatly concerned the mother only called it to come back. [but showed no intention of trying to go to it as a leader as we had hoped she would.] That play on maternal affection failed [utterly] & we began to fear that we would be forced to make a long roundabout drive [by around the rim of the basin of the stream] & cross the wide spread [all the small] tributaries of the creek in succession. This would require several [three or four] days [time] but it had its advantages [in the way of abundance of good pasturage all fresh & untrampled by other flocks & as for myself] for I was eager to see the sources of so famous [and beautiful] a stream. Don Quixote however determined that they must ford just here, & immediately began a sort of siege by cutting down [the tall] slender pines on the bank & building a corral barely


large enough to hold the flock when well pressed together [so that the sheep could not shift about from side to side] & as the stream [where we wished to cross] would form[ed] one side of the corral he believed [we guessed] that they [we] could easily [thus] be forced [ the frightened mass] into the water [at our care since then they could not break away & pass us].

In a few hours [with this fine timber] the inclosure was complete & the animals driven in & rammed hard against the brink of the ford[ing place] the Don forcing a way through the compacted mass pitched a few of the terrified unfortunates [several thrown] [we forced our way through to the front & began catching a few & throwing them] into the stream [water] by main strength [force] but instead of crossing over they swam about close to the bank making desperate attempts to get back into the flock. Then a dozen or more were shoved [crowded] off [into the current] & the Don, tall like a crane & a good natural wader jumped I after them [he being] seized a struggling wether & dragged it to the opposite shore [and up the bank]. But no sooner did her let it go [was it free] than it jumped into the stream [back into the stream] & swam back to [rejoined its persecuted] its frightened companions in the corral, thus manifesting [instinct sublimely obstinate & blind which]

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img024.jpg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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