John Muir


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Poor fellow he just lay down & sobbed. His tongue was loose now. No more taciturnity – became a very fountain of sighs & tears

Unresponsive & cold as a calm winter day

He manifested such quick recognition of danger & tried & tried to avoid it at length with increasing fear became fairly rattled with the difficulties besetting him, distress, terror & despair appeared in [all his tones] his voice & gesture forced to try the bridge as I was. Then with hushed preternatural caution & skill escaped. Danger was clear & appalling joy of deliverance as tumultuous as that of fear had been

# A little package of boyish humanity, roared & squeaked [screamed] & mumbled & tumbled with joy over & over beside himself for joy like to knock me over

He did not speak in articulate words his language was unmistakable tones gestures & he understood my words

The current of his life before this trial was like a stream in a level solitude smooth & silent now a tossed & [beaten] torrent roaring among jagged rocks in headlong [uncontrollable] descent

In the great storm little wafts infinitely gentle came into the recesses of the grove that sheltered us fanning the leaves & caressing them just as little streams wander out from the sides of cataracts to cheer & refresh the gardens on the banks & mists of spring go to the fronds of the most delicate ferns


□ strong minded – not as if suffering wrong, dull & decent He neither accepted nor repelled favors & though perhaps not supercilious he seemed so & though so small. As for petting him he was so hardy & self-sufficient & one would as soon be tempted think of petting a [boulder] cobblestone. Haughty high souled dignity

His eyes infinitely calm & wild like those of an Indian baby or [a young] bird without any [pucker] about them or any merry twinkling Indian eyes still as ponds in deep woods & as wild. Looked out keenly but said nothing. Never saw wilder eye, countless generations of wolfish ancestors in it

A child of the wilderness full of calm Indian instincts

□ When he came out of his bed turned up his nose inquiringly into the storm but courage did not quail, without breakfast deliberately determined preferred to go forth in quest of adventures through rain & wind to lying warm abed [ ] breakfast [in enervating idleness]

He knew wolves & crept nearer us when they howled & seen many a black & brown bear in the tangles of the Yukon

Most of life has been a solitary path so-called through have enjoyed abundant companionship with plants & animals traveled far & alone

This experience made me ashamed to find myself so much surprised at the humanity displayed in the little dog. After passing so many years alone with animals with my instincts in free play

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img041.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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