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Animal heroes by Ernest Thompson Seton

Animal heroes by Ernest Thompson Seton    

     Ernest Thompson Seton (August 14, 1860 – October 23, 1946) was a Scots-Canadian (and naturalized U.S. citizen) who became a noted author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians, and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. His notable books related to Scouting include The Birch Bark Roll and The Boy Scout Handbook. He is responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA.

     A hero is an individual of unusual gifts and achievements. Whether it be man or animal, this definition applies; and it is the histories of such that appeal to the imagination and to the hearts of those who hear them.

     In this volume every one of the stories, though more or less composite, is founded on the actual life of a veritable animal hero. The most composite is the White Reindeer. This story I wrote by Utrovand in Norway during the summer of 1900, while the Reindeer herds grazed in sight on the near uplands.

     The Lynx is founded on some of my own early experiences in the backwoods. It is less than ten years since the 'Jack Warhorse' won his hero-crown. Thousands of "Kaskadoans" will remember him, and by the name Warhorse his coursing exploits are recorded in several daily papers.The least composite is Arnaux. It is so nearly historical that several who knew the bird have supplied additional items of information.

     The nest of the destroying Peregrines, with its owners and their young, is now to be seen in the American Museum of Natural History of New York. The Museum authorities inform me that Pigeon badges with the following numbers were found in the nest: 9970-S, 1696, U. 63, 77, J. F. 52, Ex. 705, 6-1894, C 20900. Perhaps some Pigeon-lover may learn from these lines the fate of one or other wonderful flier that has long been recorded "never returned."

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