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Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters

By Annie Dillard

Here, during this compelling meeting of writings, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard explores the realm of usual proof and human meanings.

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Christ, lower than the appearance that we're all penguins, is crouched down posing for snapshots. He crouches, in his gown, among the lead singer of Wildflowers, who's joyfully attempting to be certain the easiest attitude at which to carry his guitar for the digicam, and the farmer’s spouse, who retains her eyes on her painted toenails until eventually the Filipino godfather with the digital camera says “Cheese. ” The country-and-western lady, making a song, succeeds in urgent a cookie upon the infant Oswaldo. the newborn Oswaldo is status in his lace costume and blue tennis sneakers within the heart of a circle of explorers, confounding them. In my hand I find a tambourine. forward so far as the brittle horizon, I see icebergs one of the floes. I see tabular bergs and floebergs and darkish cracks within the water among them. Low overhead at the underside of the thickening cloud disguise are darkish colorless stripes reflecting swimming pools of open water within the distance. i'm banging at the tambourine, and making a song regardless of the piano participant performs; now it's “On most sensible of outdated Smoky. ” i'm banging the tambourine and belting the track so loudly that folks are edging away. yet how can any folks tone it down? For we're nearing the Pole. residing Like Weasels A WEASEL IS WILD. Who is aware what he thinks? He sleeps in his underground den, his tail draped over his nostril. occasionally he lives in his den for 2 days with out leaving. outdoors, he stalks rabbits, mice, muskrats, and birds, killing extra our bodies than he can consume hot, and infrequently dragging the carcasses domestic. Obedient to intuition, he bites his prey on the neck, both splitting the jugular vein on the throat or crunching the mind on the base of the cranium, and he doesn't allow cross. One naturalist refused to kill a weasel who was once socketed into his hand deeply as a rattlesnake. the fellow may possibly under no circumstances pry the tiny weasel off, and he needed to stroll half of one mile to water, the weasel dangling from his palm, and soak him off like a obdurate label. And as soon as, says Ernest Thompson Seton—once, a guy shot an eagle out of the sky. He tested the eagle and located the dry cranium of a weasel fastened through the jaws to his throat. The supposition is that the eagle had pounced at the weasel and the weasel swiveled and bit as intuition taught him, the teeth to neck, and approximately gained. i want to have visible that eagle from the air a number of weeks or months prior to he used to be shot: was once the total weasel nonetheless hooked up to his feathered throat, a fur pendant? Or did the eagle devour what he may well achieve, gutting the residing weasel along with his talons earlier than his breast, bending his beak, cleansing the attractive airborne bones? i've been puzzling over weasels simply because I observed one final week. I startled a weasel who startled me, and we exchanged a protracted look. close to my condominium in Virginia is a pond—Hollins Pond. It covers acres of bottomland close to Tinker Creek with six inches of water and 6 thousand lily pads. there's a fifty-five mph road at one finish of the pond, and a nesting pair of wooden geese on the different. lower than each bush is a muskrat gap or a lager can. The a ways finish is an alternating sequence of fields and woods, fields and woods, threaded in all places with bike tracks—in whose naked clay wild turtles lay eggs.

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