John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



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To him most Omit or transpose ahead

everything is food save the granite [only] every plant in his parlor meadow where he loves to wallow in the lush sedges on the banks of cool brooks [and] every pine & fir & spruce gives him their seed burs full of oil & spice, the oaks their puckery acorns & every nut & berry bearing bush helps to feed him, ants, bees, wasps old & young eggs & nest, all go down for [to] strength in to his wonderous [hearty] stomach & vanish as if cast into a fire. What digestion! A sheep or wounded deer he eats warm with a relish as an ever hungry boy eats muffins [like a man bolting a hot buttered roll or] should the meat [his] mutton be a month old no matter it is still delicious & welcome [sits well on] to that marvelous stomach of stomachs [turning]. From this grossest of scavenger food [rotten corpse food] he turns to a dessert of strawberries, raspberries, choke cherries, etc. [found in some of the dry meadows. He eats] & as I am told he eats everything raw or cooked seems good [fresh or stale & he seems grateful] dearly loves to break through cabin roofs into the stores of mountaineers to steal [try] bacon & sugar & flour & dried apples. Seldom is he himself eaten except by man, & [he] man only is an enemy to be feared. [Many bear haunts in the deep canyons away from gold mines have are never been invaded by man


in the great canyons [and] there [the bears] bruin reign supreme. Happy fellow whom no famine can reach while one of his [ten] thousand kinds of food is spared him his bread is sure at all seasons, ranged on the mountain shelves like [the] stores [of] in a pantry. From one to the other up or down he climbs tasting & enjoying each in turn in different climates as if he had journeyed 1000s of miles to other countries north or south to [taste] enjoy their [varied] productions. I should like to know my [these] hairy brothers better [& I’m sure I wish them well though after this particular Yosemite bear my very neighbor had sauntered out of sight this morning in the brush,[I was savage enough to go] fearing he might attack the flock I reluctantly went back to camp for the Don’s big rifle to shoot him. Fortunately I couldn’t find him & after tracking him a mile or two towards Mt Hoffmann Yosemite I bade him Godspeed & gladly returned to my work [left him to his own ways since I could not find him near camp & my conscience as sheepkeeper was thereby satisfied] [ He passed on through the woods & brush towards the head of Porcupine Creek] fearing he might scatter the flock then bade him Godspeed & went to my Yosemite work on the Dome [where the flock that morning were feeding.] Whether the sheep saw

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img049).jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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