Our Best Friends

Posted on October 1, 2019 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 0

October 4 is World Animal Day! How boring the world would be without them! Large, small, wild ones or beloved pets – they come to center stage in the following 10 gems from our catalog.

Long before animals became pets occupying a spot in our families (and hearts), they were trained to help people, for example with hunting. Edmund Bert’s Treatise on Hawkes and Hawking explains one of the oldest methods of training birds as such helpers.

Even with young animals, taming them is not easy. In Wilk, psy i ludzie, Adolf Dygasinski tells the story of a wolf cub raised by a man in a small village. Having grown up with stories of werewolves, the neighbors are less than happy about the wolf in their midst…

Equally unhappy about his predicament is Ivan Matveich: He was swallowed whole by The Crocodile of a sideshow. But when he settles in and begins to speak through the animal’s mouth, things take an interesting turn in the story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Wouldn’t it be great if we really knew the thoughts of our pets? In Soseki Natsume’s most famous novel I am a Cat, a kitten stumbles into the household of a school teacher, where it promptly starts commenting on the lives of everybody it meets.

The Story of Doctor Dolittle is even more exciting. When his parrot Polynesia teaches him the language of the animals, the doctor’s life is turned upside down. This version is a dramatic reading of the beloved book written by Hugh Lofting.

John Burroughs’ books about wild animals have delighted generations of children and their parents. In Squirrels and Other Fur-bearers, he talks about animals you can meet in the forests, like squirrels, chipmunks, racoons, minks, rabbits, and even porcupines.

Entertainment, not education was the main drive for William Roscoe to write “The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast”. Many poems for children like this one were collected in a magazine, and we present here a Selection From Harris’s Cabinet containing even two versions of Roscoe’s poem.

Many more authors wrote about all kinds of animals, and The Animal Story Book collects 66 stories.Topics are for example what elephants can do, lions and their ways, bears in Paris, or how ravens have a funeral.

No proper funerals were given to the buffalo of the American prairies when they were hunted almost to extinction. That “almost” in that sentence is because of William T. Hornaday, whose 1887 book The Extermination of the American Bison prevented the worst outcome just in time.

But then again, maybe not all would have been lost. The new Bronx Zoo in New York City is determined to find and keep the finest of rare species – and merely extinct animals are not the most unusual ones of their collection. Read In Search of the Unknown by Robert W. Chambers to see what that means…

Enjoy – and give your pet an extra treat on World Animal Day!


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