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Wild Animals I Have Known

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  665 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
An immediate success upon its first publication in 1898, Wild Animals I Have Known gave the animal story new credibility and power as a literary genre and remains Seton’s best-loved work.

From the Paperback edition.
ebook, 163 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by New Canadian Library (first published 1898)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 25, 2014 CHERRY rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read
A must-read.

Sir David Attenborough wrote, in his forward for Seton's biography Ernest Thompson Seton: The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist, "I was given a copy of Wild Animals I Have Known when I was eight. I still have it. It was the most precious book of my childhood. I knew very well that the man who wrote it understood the animals he was writing about with an intimacy, perception, and sympathy that was not equaled by any other author that I had read."
Abigail Hilton
Nov 28, 2008 Abigail Hilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered a battered copy of this book in my school library when I was about 10. I found it very...affecting. The book made me angry and sad, but I would return to it over and over as a sort of cathartic. I was not the sort of kid who cried at books or movies, but this book made me cry. I know it affected my writing for a long time, perhaps to this day.
Julia Brumfield
I really can't say whether I liked this book or not since there were some stories that I thought were decent while in others the author was quite hypocritical. And yet at the same time he was hypocritical he was showing the views that people, especially outdoorsmen had at that time, around particular types of creatures, especially those of the canine family.

The writing was decent but didn't quite catch the attention so it was a mediocre read. There are definitely no really rough words to under
Tracey Billson
Jul 18, 2016 Tracey Billson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ncl
I was somewhat disappointed by this book but regardless, it was still a good insight into the natural animal world in parts of Canada 100 years ago. The author had a real talent for observation of the animals he came to 'know' and described what seems like commonplace animal activities, to be activities with real meaning to the creatures and their life. Social order, communication and bonds were seen and recorded.
Apr 03, 2013 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this aloud to my twins when they were in fifth grade. It somehow evokes a pathos for the plight of wild creatures without being sentimental or preachy. Each story is plainly told with detailed realism. My son, now in ninth grade, just picked it up and read it again on his own. I believe it has contributed to his love of nature.
Parts of this book were very interesting, especially the segments dealing with urban wildlife in early 20th century Toronto. The two segments set in the western part of North America were violent and disturbing at times, especially when depicting the cruelty of the ranchers towards wolves.
Sep 20, 2010 Lorelei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
A wonderful book. These are not Disney stories, but real stories of amazing animals by someone who cared enough to pay attention to real animals and what they are like. Some of the tales are heartbreaking. I think they are all beautiful.
Lê Phong
Jul 06, 2015 Lê Phong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great observation, understanding and passion for animal kingdom
Sep 18, 2010 Pooker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadiana
Except for the gruesome death of Blanca in the first story, Lobo, I did quite enjoy reading these stories. Seton writes with a sing-song, nursery rhyme rhythm and so reading simply flows along.

Although the title of the first story, "Lobo: The King of Carrumpaw" sounded familiar to me, the death of Blanca was so shocking to my adult self that I have to assume I did not read the story as a child. Surely I would have remembered it and been prepared. I did not and was not.

That said, I think that I
Joe M
Jan 27, 2016 Joe M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a little boy, I read the comic book “Classics Illustrated” version of this novel, and the stories and vivid pictures have remained burned in my mind. After many years, what a pleasure to finally read the actual novel as an adult (though admittedly the illustrations in the version I read weren’t nearly as good). Seton was a naturalist who I understand played a pioneering role in the formation of the Boy Scouts. Presented are the stories of eight remarkable wild animals he came across. ...more
Mar 25, 2013 trang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Một cuốn sách tuyêt vời!
Từ lâu tôi đã thắc mắc: Tại sao chúng ta cứ coi con người là trung tâm? Tại sao lại mô tả loài vật như con người? Phải chăng như thế là quá ngạo mạn? Ernest Thompson Seton đã làm điều mới mẻ, đó là kể chuyện về loài vật một cách khách quan. Cái nhìn của ông là cái nhìn của người yêu thích và am hiểu thiên nhiên, công việc của ông là mô tả lại những con vật kỳ diệu ấy bằng tấm lòng say mê và sự chân thành, tình yêu không méo mó vì ảo tưởng về giống nói mình.

Tôi mới đọc xo
May 17, 2011 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans of animal stories and lore, not for the squeamish
The stories in this book are among the first in a genre that I love very much, the "realistic" animal story. They attempt to tell the stories real animals and to translate their ways of thinking and communicating into something we can understand.

They are violent, sad stories, and by contemporary standards they seem sensational, very unlikely, and highly anthropomorphic. I've seen people criticize them for this, but even in places were they seem impossible I can't help but feel a lot of truth th
Georgia Butler
I learned more about animal behavior in this one book than in my lifetime. Seton relates extraordinary facts about animal behavior, including a small wolf pack of five killing 250 sheep in one night for the sheer abandon of it--that is, these sheep were not eaten, merely slaughtered. Of course such behaviors put the pack at odds with men who plot and toil to kill the pack and its leader, Lobo.

At the outset of his collection, Seton warns the reader that all wild animals meet a tragic end. And he
Mar 31, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
I've been wanting to read this book for years- ever since Alan Eckert, author of the book Incident at Hawk's Hill, recommended it to us. Eckert said this book had a strong influence on him and his writing- hence the writing of Hawk's Hill and others. Eckert said he loved it as a child. I would not recommend it to very young children- stick to Thorton Burgess for that- but for middle school and up. The stories are very detailed observations of animals in the wild. They are not sugar coated but re ...more
There were a couple of stories I liked a lot (my favourite was about Silverspot the crow), but most were very difficult for me to get through. I can't stand deliberate ruthlessness in the treatment of animals, and there were plenty of cruel, relentless humans in the pages of this book. I suppose Seton himself felt as though presenting the stories this way, with a proper respect for the animals' point of view, could change peoples' attitudes toward our furry and feathered relations (in this respe ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Frank rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Only read the first story, supposed to have some claim to fame. Read it mainly to get some idea of the context out of which other (supposedly better) animal fiction grew, like London's Whitefang &c.

Interesting to read, but all in all just a load of sentimental bollocks. It compares rather interestingly with the wolf section of Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing, which postures as lean, unsentimental, stark realism, but is in fact a piece of mythological drivel just as deeply sentimental as this
Teresa Thompson Arcangel
I was first introduced to this book more than 50 years ago. My parents and my older sister read the stories to me until I was able to read them myself. I especially loved the legends of Lobo, King of the Carrumpaw, and of The Pacing Stallion. When my family acquired a German Shepherd puppy, we named him, "Lobo". About 10 years ago I found a 1926 hard copy of the book that looked like the one I'd loved as a child. I was thrilled to purchase it! I've recently purchased an mp3 of the audio edition, ...more
Nov 25, 2008 Cary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an American classic. If you love animal stories at all you will like the ones in this book. It is a collection of stories about the lives of wild animals known by the author. These stories are true in almost all detail with only a few embelishments. However the books star story. "Lobo,King of the Carrumpaw." It is absolutely true with pictures to verify the authors hunting down and killing a pack of wolves in the Carrumpaw Canyon area of new Mexico. It was a turning point in his life an ...more
May 24, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud
My suburban existence has sheltered me from most wild animals. Unless you count the opossum that sneaks on my porch occasionally, I have no personal experience. That is why books like this are so important. I read about the majestic beauty, strength, and cunning of wolves, horses, foxes, rabbits, and dogs. This book is does not matter a factly go through different character traits of these animals in general. Seton tells of his experience with some extra ordinary wild animals in particular. Many ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Wild Animals I Have Known’ turned out to be an beautiful book that has been in my possession pretty much all my life, but never read (let’s say 50 or 60 years). It’s a collection of really down to earth animal stories; down to earth because none has a Disney type ending at all but still great stories. As the book was first written over 100 years ago and several stories seem to be set in and around Toronto, then that too was fun to imagine that place and that time. (Toronto – wilderness??)
May 02, 2013 Lastwolf rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wildlife
I've never really made my mind up about Seton. I first read his book LOBO and found it somehow disturbing. Perhaps in that case it was that Seton hunted and killed the wolf. This book is, however, more pro animal and does bestow some dignity on the creatures involved.
As a book of animal stories it is okay. Well observed and true to fact but written without the "heart" (and that is not a synonym for sentimentality) of Williamson and co.
A good read, but don't expect to be wooed by beauty.
Feb 27, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
These are tales of the hard fight for survival of wild animals and are both gritty and heroic in nature. The author clearly loves animals and meticulously details their lives from his acute observations. His illustrations are painstakingly drawn and quite wonderful. I enjoyed the stories very much, however, I remained an outside observer rather than becoming immersed.
Rye Cristoria
Mar 29, 2013 Rye Cristoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was nine, and I have not read it again since. I had forgotten the title and author and if not for Google I would never have found it again. But I still remember some of the animals in the book: Lobo, Silverspot, and Cottontail. I remember it as the very first book I fell in love with. I hope to read it again soon so I can give a better review.
Kristine Morris
Aug 01, 2011 Kristine Morris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I really enjoyed these short stories despite their tragic endings. Makes you realize that we were not taught me any "woodcraft" skills growing up in our time in the suburbs or the city. I love the descriptions of the Don Valley - Taylor Hill, Chester Hill - I know these places today! Next time I walk in the woods I'll wonder if any new crow has had the same kingdom as Silverspot.
Jun 13, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as a child and loved it - read as an adult and was surprised at how raw the lives and deaths of the animals made me feel. I searched forever for another copy and was unable to find until I tripped across it in the Baldwin project at
The stories are cute but contain very often scenes of improbability. The animal characters are almost personified, here and there. The narrative style is sometimes too sugary, pushing the story more towards the category of children's books. But there is a refreshing tone of sincerity and kindness that draws the reader to the story, thus keeping the interest keen till the end.
Tapani Aulu
Ihan pikkupoikana luin tämän ekan kerran kyläkoulun kirjastokaapista. Silloin se oli jotain huippujännittävää ja siistiä ja muistan Lobon, Currumpawn kuninkaan aina. Nyt uusintalukemisella tajusi kuinka karuja ja osittain myös tönkköjä tarinat ovat. Silti edelleen lukemisen arvoinen, jos ei muuta niin nostalgia-arvoltaan.
Chris Bullock
I found this a little disappointing really. The concept and story lines were OK, but in the end I found it repetitive and tedious.
After reading a few of the stories, I gave up from lack of interest. Sorry.
Megan Denby
Mar 16, 2013 Megan Denby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was enchanted as a child when my dad read this to my sisters and brother and I. Moving and enthralling stories of several different animals that often moved me to tears. I read it again when I was older and I was still enchanted.
John Laine
Loved this book with all my heart !! I read this as a young boy, at about 11-12 or so. This book, was the early seed that grew into a deep and eternal love for the wildlife of this country. I will be forever grateful to my grandmother for insisting that read this book, all those many years ago.
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I known happiness actually started 1 1 Sep 17, 2015 10:49PM  
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Ernest Thompson Seton 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 heavily 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 respo ...more
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“Next day on returning I found him dead in the snow with his head on the sill of the door—the door of his puppyhood's days; my dog to the last in his heart of hearts—it was my help he sought, and vainly sought, in the hour of his bitter extremity.” 3 likes
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