By Randall Jarrell

This can be the tale of ways, one after the other, a guy came across himself a relations. virtually nowhere in fiction is there a stranger, costlier, or funnier family members -- and the existence that the participants of The Animal Familylive jointly, there within the desolate tract beside the ocean, is as impressive and as enthralling because the family members itself.

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Sample text

The lynx stood in the meadow and watched the hunter and the mermaid go away from him along the path that went up into the wood—the path was strewn with leaves and broken branches. Then he went down to the beach through the meadow, moving in great bounds; at the edge of the sand he stopped and shook from his fur, in a little shining cloud, the raindrops of the meadow-grass. The beach’s dark sand was all streaked and spotted with foam.

It’s not his fault,” the hunter said sadly. ” He reached down and patted the lynx and the lynx purred. But after they’d washed and dried the handkerchief and put it back in the drawer, it was as good as ever, in its way; and it had become a sort of lynx-souvenir too, a reminder of the only real mistake their lynx had ever made. . The lynx not only hunted for himself, he hunted for the family; it was his idea, not the family’s. He brought them, mostly, rabbits. At first the hunter and the mermaid were full of encouragement: after all, it was wonderful that so young a lynx could catch so many rabbits.

I’m sorry,” she would answer. "It was the same as ever,” the hunter went on, looking out into the air as though the dream were still there for him to see. "My father was standing by the fire and he was double, like a man and his shadow—I was his shadow. And my mother sat there singing, and she was double too, like a woman and her shadow; and when I looked at it you were her shadow. But when I looked over to where I used to lie on the floor by the fire, there was nothing, not even a shadow; the place was empty.

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