John Muir


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The dog only has an upward affection for man? All the wise animals we know of from ants & bees to elephants

Scarce a glimmer of imagination in him, to all appearance

Clearness seemed to depend on shallowness

The vast mysterious chain of being how little we know

# In our ignorance of animals as related to man we say they are irrational. But Stick in his supreme trial was as rational as I was – did just what I did, mind action the same, tried to avoid the danger & at length his guardian angel or second self-came forward in the last extremity & took control of his bumbling limbs crushed his fears (bark & hushed his frail mind & muscles) held made him steady & (breathless) brought him safely over (the dreadful abyss.) Then came the same triumphant joy of deliverance so indestructibly rememberable

Brute animals said to have the vowel sounds only Stick’s language was extensive as his troubles

Should none of that quick bright curiosity so interesting in most small dogs in whom every incident sets them thinking.

Never surprised or put out of countenance thrown out of balance less apparently from strength of mind that easy going dullness



He hooked his little paws into the inslanted notches with a twinkling rapidity & bounded past my head in safety

Hold a fearful respect for this crevasse

The human agony he suffered & expressed I shall never forget

We arrived weary wet & weak [wrung] (beyond measure)

It was too dark for even owls & cats to be abroad

“The thought of death sits easy on the man

Who has been born & dies among the mountains” Wordsworth

I suppose it does as compared to the town pleasure seeker but it did not set light on either Stick or I that day

X Coleridge lying on a hard bad said “Truly I lay down at night a man & arose in the morning a bruise.” Though we slept hard there was not more than a bruise of his next in the morning. There was memory & the joy of deliverance still burning long to burn with all its far reaching lessons

For weeks afterwards aye months & years I started up in sleep dreaming I was still on that bridge & so did Stick

There is no such thing as mere scrambling on mountains & glaciers though some seem to think so as if a mountaineer were only legs. Until this day Stick seemed to be independent of caution or fear

The rest of the way across was only triumphant joyful scampering amid ordinary [moulins] & crevasses – until we reached land then [faint/forest]

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img021.Jpeg

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