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The following sketches, like the "Ways of Wood Folk", are the result of many years of personal observation in the woods and fields.
They are studies of animals, pure and simple, not of animals with human motives and imaginations.
Indeed, it is hardly necessary for genuine interest to give human traits to the beasts. Any animal is interesting enough as an animal, and has character enough of his own, without borrowing anything from man—as one may easily find out by watching long enough.
Most wild creatures have but small measure of gentleness in them, and that only by instinct and at short stated seasons. Hence I have given both sides and both kinds, the shadows and lights, the savagery as well as the gentleness of the wilderness creatures.