By Gregory McNamee
Following the version of the medieval Latin bestiaries, Gregory McNamee has written a booklet instantly naturalistic, folkloristic, and literary, made from brief essays on forty-three animals of the world’s deserts. those essays talk about the creatures as they're and as they're imagined, and convey their typical lives and histories vividly to the web page.
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Extra info for A Desert Bestiary: Folklore, Literature, and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places
The result has been a rich literature, full of moralizing and speculation, full of the most outlandish exaggeration and the most profound sympathy. Elements of all these tendencies occur in this classification of animals from the Chinese Tai Ping Kuan Chi: (1) Those Belonging to the Emperor; (2) Embalmed; (3) Tame; (4) Suckling Pigs; (5) Sirens; (6) Fabulous; (7) Stray Dogs; (8) Included in the Present Classification; (9) Frenzied; (10) Innumerable; (11) Drawn with a Very Fine Camelhair Brush; (12) Et Cetera; (13) Having Just Broken the Water Pitcher; and (14) That From a Long Way Off Look Like Flies.
These bats would, the scientists hoped, take refuge in rafters and rooftops and thus set off a huge firestorm when delayed fuses set off the charges. Evidently this bomb was not to have been used on our European enemies, against whom we battled more humanely, and in any event the experiment was short-lived; the bats instead burned down the New Mexico laboratory in which they were being tested. Page 11 A Chiricahua Apache elder once told the anthropologist Morris Opler, "If a bat bites you, you had better never ride a horse any more.
The wild camel is very swift, its pace being almost invariably a trot. In this respect, however, the domesticated species will, in a long distance, overtake a good galloper. It is very weak when wounded, and drops directly if it is hit by a bullet of small calibre, such as the hunters of Lob-nor use. We were unable to learn the duration of a camel's life; some are known to live to a great age. Aelian observes that the camels of the Caspii, the eponymous people of the Caspian Sea region, which Prejevalsky crossed, were innumerable, "and the largest are the size of the largest horses and have beautiful hair....