John Muir


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# In all my walks with nature I heard a low whisper that we all were one. A kind of unistinctive notion kept alive & active by obscuring birds & animals making a living loving rearing young escaping dancers etc.

But this experience-adventure immensely extended & cleared my this view I had of my humble companions faculties & sensibilities & through him of those of his race & animals in general

Like a voice from above came the message, You & I are one through so humble a medium came the apostolic message of life also in some measure share mind & soul

Watching the attitudes & gestures etc. Looking into the eyes of snakes alligators bugs etc. I felt dimly that no line of demarcation existed between animals & man [existed that separated us] that we were all one stuff mind & body.

Something in his odd behavior especially in the ponderous stoicism with which he met stormy weather hunger nights sleety darkness broken rest piqued curiosity & made me guess he was some dog [prince] in disguise & therefor in spite of his sluggishness & severe taciturnity [& severity]

I kept eye on him

When the waves broke on the shore making landing difficult he jumped from the canoe into the gray foam with as calm assurance as a seal & in the woods when wind & rain were making the trees sigh & moan [waving & moaning] he was still calm as philosopher or a storm washed boulder

Nothing could be more helpless than to attempt to trace back the chain of ancestry of this wild cur


There was nothing funny about him, nothing freakish impish elfish sprite-like so often formed in small dogs of experience. Always slowly grave & if he had advantage of size he might have laid claim to dignity as heavy as that of King Mastiff or St Bernard’s

Nimble twinkling feet

How vivid & expressive his face became. Such depth of anguish expressed in his small physiognomy gazing into the wild & ghastly scenery of the gulf

Howled & moaned in mortal agony

Then the tempest of his fears was still by the awful necessity & he held his breath

Such eldritch screams of delight when safe Song of triumph

Sea, surf & spray mixed with the rain & racing gallantly to sea with the streams landward on the wings

[Qualities gathered] endowments from much mongrelized ancestors that helped the so called Stick Indians of the interior to hunt & carry.

Familiar with every creature that haunts the woods, furry people prowled about the woods back of our campgrounds in [wide] stealthy way

Always grieved our sympathies so narrow as to exclude all the animals lacking articulable language & as our years increase our sympathy lessens at best only an unconscious brotherhood

He at once showed more sense & intelligence than all I had before seen though he dealt with the difficulty in a [feeble] childish way

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img024.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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