Ask Now the Beasts: Our Kinship with Animals Wild and Domestic

Rudner, Ruth

Published by Da Capo Press
ISBN 10: 1569243883 / ISBN 13: 9781569243886
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Synopsis: We connect with animals on many levels, whether walking a dog, riding a horse, observing gorillas at the zoo, playing with a teddy bear as a child, or even simply watching them on TV and in movies. We call our sports teams Wolverines, Bobcats, Grizzlies, and Panthers. We can be gentle as a dove, fierce as a grizzly, or as agile as a cat. Some of us may even dream of being reborn as a different species. We typically accept these connections for what they are, taking for granted what is really a remarkable — and necessary — part of our existence. In Ask Now the Beasts, acclaimed nature writer Ruth Rudner explores the eternal and complicated connections between humans and animals. In a series of true stories about her own interactions and observations of some of the many animals that have crossed her path, she writes about the powerful ways that animals interact with us spiritually, activate our imaginations, and tie us to the ancient past. Moving between domestic and wild, Rudner finds meaning and appreciation for the way in which each animal exists fully in its own world — and how that world relates to ours.

From the Publisher: Ruth Rudner, author of the acclaimed A Chorus of Buffalo, offers an astonishing and beautiful meditation on how we relate to animals: sometimes loving, sometimes misguided, often exploitive, often with genuine concern. At the heart of these interactions is but one desire: a longing for connection. As Rudner says, "There is a wish to be involved in an animal's life, to identify with it, to somehow be seen by the animal or as the animal. To be loyal as an old dog, fast as a thoroughbred, agile as a cat."

Capturing the powerful ways that animals interact with us spiritually, activate our imaginations, and tie us to our own ancient beginnings, Rudner finds meaning and appreciation for the way in which each animal exists fully in its own world--and how that world relates to ours. Whether or not we love animals or are unsure of them, Ask Now the Beasts is a clarion call for us to recognize our kinship with animals both wild and domestic, to always question our relationship with the other creatures who inhabit this planet in an ongoing essential quest to understand ourselves and our nature.

Praise for Ask Now the Beasts:

"You don't have to live with dogs or horses, backpack in the wilderness or stay at a raptor center to be totally beguiled by this vivid book. Rudner writes unsentimentally but with true sentiment about a wide variety of creatures--falcons, seals, penguins, coyotes, bears, even gorillas--to say nothing of dogs she has loved to the ends of their lives. Horses are everywhere in these pages, patiently serving in pack trains and under saddle. And they are also at liberty, galloping joyously across their open spaces, pure grace in motion. Pure grace in motion is how I see this fine book." --Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author of Jack and Other New Poems

"Here are spirited stories from a woman who follows animals with the wise eye of her heart. Rudner speaks for all of us who cherish interspecies kinship: 'It is not anthropomorphizing to fall in love,' she writes. 'It is simply falling in love.' An inspiring and life-giving book." --Brenda Peterson, author Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals

"Ruth Rudner is a writer of breathtaking sweep. In these pages, she writes with brilliance and wisdom about what really matters: the connection between people and the rest of animate creation. Whether she is showing us how to pull a string of mules, or how a peregrine falcon brought her the sky, every one of her stories surprises with shocking beauty and timeless truth. I read this book in one sitting, but will continue to think about her words for a very long time." --Sy Montgomery, author-swineherd, The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

"It is not necessarily rare to encompass fact with feeling. But Ruth Rudner encompasses both, and with wisdom...Ask Now the Beasts is a thoroughly engaging read." --Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven and Winter World

"One of the warmest, most charming, generous, humorous books about animals I have read. Like listening in on a lovely, lively, passionate fireside chat about animals with a wise and kindly and keen observer." --Jeffrey Masson, PhD, author of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals

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Title: Ask Now the Beasts: Our Kinship with Animals...
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Binding: PAPERBACK
Book Condition: Very Good

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