Ever since I read this essay some 30-odd years ago I have kept it close to my heart. If you’ve never read any Edward Hoagland you are in for a real treat, as he can write the ass off of most anyone. I’ve always adored this description of the
“Leopards are thicker and shorter than adult mountain lions and seem to lead an athlete’s indolent, incurious life much of the time, testing their perfected bodies by clawing tree trunks, chewing on old skulls, executing acrobatic leaps, and then rousing themselves to the semiweekly antelope kill. Built with supreme hardness and economy, they make little allowance for man- they don’t see him as different. They relish the flesh of his dogs, and they run up a tree when hunted and then sometimes spring down, as heavy as a chunk of iron, wrapped in a flag. With stunning, gorgeous coats, their tight dervish faces carved in a snarl, they head for the hereafter as if it were just one more extra-emphatic leap- as impersonal in death as the crack of the rifle was.”
Edward Hoagland, Hailing the Elusory Mountain Lion
How awesome, powerful and plain kick ass cool is that writing????