I loved this entrancing description of joyous and playful mastery.
Tarka is a splendid character depicted after months of close observation of his kind, by a man disaffected with humanity following the horrors of the First World War.
Although often hunted, the animal manages to find delight in his principal element. The playfulness of otters is a wonder to behold, and this short life story is one of the most touching and original I have ever read. See also a quote-mosaic review of this slim, taut, dazzling nature book.
‘Tarka was master of whirlpools; they were his playthings. He rocked in the surge with delight; then high about he heard the note of the horn. He yielded himself to the water and let it take him away down the gorge into a pool where the rocks were piled above.’
Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin Books, 1976 (1927)), p. 176
Photo credit: Mélody P at unsplash