“Thing was, the westward portage rope was attached to Billie’s harness, and Billie, for all her advantages as a draft animal, is about as smart as damp moss when it comes to things like “noticing external stimuli.” She’s a genework Indricothere (link by ed) that my Uncle Ren and I bought from a fly-by firm about six years back—a sort of precursor to the rhinoceros, and one of the largest land mammals ever to walk on the planet. When she put down her foot, the ground shook. There were no predators that could take her down and no threats that she recognized as worth giving a damn about, all of which combined to mean that there wasn’t much that could distract her from the essential task of eating her way through the foliage of the world. All nine tons of her continued plodding relentlessly forward, her massive teeth stripping branches as she walked. Her grazing license typed her as a firebreak, preventing fires by clearing out all the dead stuff before it could go up. It was more than halfway true, and it hadn’t caught us any trouble yet.”
“My day began with half a dozen bluebirds beating themselves to death against my window, leaving little bloody commas on the glass to mark their passing.”
(Picture by Lifllane)
At the outset I want to make you aware of the British English / Scottish English phrasing and spelling in Wolves and War. NOT American English!!! Because of the sometimes young phrasing, I feel Wolves and War is meant for young adults and up. While harsh at times the violence is not descriptive. There is some romance, but it is about as innocent as romance can get. What you do need to remember (sort of a warning) is that Wolves and War is about war and war is anything but nice.
On to the fun stuff.
I really enjoyed Wolves and War. At times I hurt because of the terrible changes to the lives of some of the women and children. War’s nature is gruesome. I have NEVER experienced it myself and am speaking solely as one who reads and listens and watches. What amazes me time and again is what people are willing to put up with if the alternative is death. Often I have wondered why people choose to live rather than kill themselves when their lives become so miserable. Some of the lives on the Southern Continent end up being what I would call gruesome. Yet, somehow life is chosen. Why?
Wolves and War does not answer my why. In fact, it leaves me there with my questions. Ms. Rae has done a brilliant thing in doing that because I do not really want another person to answer all my whys. I don’t even need there to be an answer to my whys.
Wolves and War is a space opera type of Science Fiction – character and world-building is more important than technology.
When the Argyll has to land on the Northern Continent the crew and settlers have to abandon ship before it sinks leaving them without most of their doodads (I know, an extremely technological term). Until war comes to the Northern Continent life is somewhat easier there than on the Southern Continent and the lack of metals is compensated by making tools with a metal-like hardwood. Necessity is the mother of invention even if that invention is a re-invention of old earth weapons. Their smith makes swords, shields, helmets, armour, crossbows and something he calls a contrap:
… was able to fire pre-loaded arrows a fair distance and thirty at a time. The arrows were loaded into a wooded frame he called a magazine that was placed on the main frame of the contraption itself. The firing mechanism was spring-loaded and the magazine was drawn back and then loosed. Distance and trajectory could be altered by the manipulation of wheels and cogs.
All of this preparation would have been impossible without the Aboriginals of the planet of wolves. The Lind are great hulking beasts about the size of a horse but with the look of a wolf about them. They are furry, snouty and have paws. Somehow both the Lind and the Larg of the Southern Continent have developed telepathic abilities along with the ability to form words. The word thing made me think that their snouts must be formed differently from a wolf’s.
What interested the Linds at first about the humans is how humans use their hands and the seeming connection some of the Lind have with some of the humans. Being able to communicate via mind and words is essential in making the humans believe that the Lind are sentient creatures.
Tara is the first human to meet a Lind. Kolyei is a Lind that feels a connection with Tara. Tara is not alone in this ability. On the Northern Continent Tara and Kolyei and Jim and Larya are the two vadeln pairs we get to know most. Tara is only 12 at the time she and Kolyei meet while Jim is in his 40’s. Their Lind bond-person is pretty well matched age wise and this is a good thing as these bonds seem to be for life and so deep that one part does not wish to live if the other party dies. A lot of animal-human bond stories seem to have this as the down-side of bonding. On the up-side is an understanding of the other race’s traits and language along with a deep sense of being loved unconditionally.
I enjoyed the way Ms. Rae tried to not sugar-coat anything for me as a reader. Granted, the fighting was not as gory as fighting really is, but it did not have to be for me to understand the costs of the war between the Southern and Northern Continents. She also did not try to hide the problems that would arise with 20,000 male prisoners escaping into an environment where females are on the run and only 300. When the leader of the prisoners is unscrupulous, well – things go as they pretty much have to go.
Being a colony vessel, the Argyll crew and passengers did not have the same dilemmas nor the same type of people to work with. Without a doubt, that is where I would have wanted to be. Both the North and the South end up with aliens and a landscape that fits with the humans landing there. Any other option would have seen the humans from the Argyll killed and possibly the Lind of the Northern Continent in pretty bad shape as well. As a reader I am glad Ms. Rae chose as she did.
- File Size: 575 KB
- Print Length: 367 pages
- Publisher: Candy Rae; 3 edition (April 8, 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006DLRBH0
What a great idea. Any of you readers out there interested and able could have some fun doing this.
Last week, I asked for your participation in a project that my friend Melanie and I are working on. As of that post, we had a broad vision of what we wanted to accomplish, no name, and the only progress we’d made was that we’d made a secret Pinterest Pinboard. That’s essential, I’m told.
Today, I’m happy to say that we have a name, a photoshoot under our belts and several more in the works, a web domain, and an elevator pitch, albeit shaky at the moment, and also subject to change. Apparently elevator pitches are also essential.
View original post 170 more words
I found this article by Deborah Whipp on Altogether Christmas Traditions:
The character of Santa Claus is largely based on St. Nicholas of Myra and Sinterklaas of Dutch lore. Both of those figures traveled via a noble, white steed. Yet in some Western cultures, particularly America, Santa Claus travels the world on Christmas Eve delivering gifts in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.
In 1812, American author Washington Irving refers to St. Nicholas as “— riding over the tops of the trees, in that self-same wagon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children” in the revised version of A Complete History of New York written under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker. Yet no mention is made of what propels the wagon. So where did the story of flying reindeer originate?
The first known written account of reindeer in association with the legend of Santa Claus occurred in 1821. That year, New York printer William Gilley published a sixteen page booklet titled A New Year’s Present, to the Little Ones from Five to Twelve Number III : The Children’s Friend by an anonymous author. In the book, reindeer are introduced into the Santa Claus narrative:
Old Santeclaus with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night.
O’er chimneytops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.
During an 1822 interview, New York’s Troy Sentinel editor Orville L. Holley questioned Mr. Gilley regarding the booklet’s author and the topic of reindeer. Though he did not identify the author, Mr. Gilley responded:
“Dear Sir, the idea of Santeclaus was not mine nor was the idea of a reindeer. The author of the tale but submitted the piece, with little added information. However, it should be noted that he did mention the reindeer in a subsequent correspondence. He stated that far in the north near the Arctic lands a series of animals exist, these hooven and antlered animals resemble the reindeer and are feared and honored by those around, as you see he claims to have heard they could fly from his mother. His mother being an Indian of the area.”
In 1823, the Troy Sentinel published the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas, commonly known as The Night Before Christmas. The poem features eight flying reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh and, for the first time, they are identified by name:
Though originally called ‘Dunder and Blixem’ in the 1823 publication, Santa’s seventh and eighth reindeer are commonly known as ‘Donner and Blitzen’ today. Dunder and Blixem are Dutch words that translate to thunder and lightning. Some 19th and 20th century publications of the poem substituted the names ‘Donder and Blitzen’, which are German for thunderand lightning, and in other articles during the 20th century, ‘Donner’ replaced the name ‘Donder’. After Johnny Marks penned the song Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1949, based on the story by Robert L. May, the name ‘Donner’ became the most popular spelling for the seventh reindeer originally named ‘Dunder’ in the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas. May’s story and Marks’ song were both well received and Rudolph is without doubt the most famous addition to Santa’s team.
The above information helps determine the first written accounts of reindeer in conjunction with Santa, but how did reindeer come to be associated with Santa Claus in the first place? Many popular Christmas traditions related to Santa Claus were brought to America by Dutch and German immigrants. As the persona of Santa Claus and celebration of Christmas were being developed in the west, customs and myths from foreign lands, including those of Scandinavian and European countries, were incorporated.
As pagans converted to Christianity during the Middle Ages, winter festivals and traditions, as well as popular pagan beliefs, often mingled with Christian celebrations of Christmas. In Norse and Germanic mythology, Thor is the God of Thunder and soars through the sky in a chariot pulled by two magical goats. Thor was highly revered and was arguably the most popular of Norse gods in ancient times. Images and stories of Thor soaring the skies in his sleigh pulled by two large, horned goats may have influenced the creation of Santa’s sleigh and flying, antlered reindeer by those in the west familiar with Dutch or Germanic mythology.
Reindeer were once viewed as mysterious creatures linked to lands in the northern part of the world. Their population was widespread in Scandinavian and Eastern European countries where, during the 18th century, they were domesticated. They were often used in transportation, pulling sleds and sleighs, and are still an important aspect of some indigenous northern European cultures, particularly to the Sámi people (commonly known as Laplanders to non-Europeans).
Taking these bits of knowledge into account, one can see how reindeer might have come to be used in early writings as the wondrous, flying creatures propelling Santa’s sleigh.
© Deborah Whipp
Flipper is in trouble yet again. Will their rights be able to survive this time? Unlikely, when it is big corporations against environment. Once again it seems corruption is rearing its ugly head. I wonder if humans are genetically unable to plan for long-term consequences.
Australia’s most environmentally controversial project, the $33 billion expansion of Gladstone port in Queensland, is under investigation after being accused of breaching strict federal government audit conditions on harbour dredging and dumping of spoils in a World Heritage area.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke confirmed a review was under way into whether the project had breached its conditions by failing to get an independent assessment of its work.
The Gladstone port expansion has been plagued by controversy since the discovery of widespread fish disease in the harbour in 2011, which has been blamed both on record floods and the impact of dredging.
Allegations of audit failure, raised by environmental group Australians for Animals, came as long-term monitoring of humpback dolphins in Gladstone Harbour showed a population reduction of 40 per cent since dredging began. Researcher Daniele Cagnazzi said he would undertake a new survey in April to establish whether…
View original post 745 more words
Sorry folks, but there is no gentle way to put this. Letting your dog (or any animal) become this fat is the same as abuse. My veterinary has extremely strong views on this subject, having seen all too many examples of the above.
Right off the bat I am going to admit that I am not certain exactly which breed dog no. 2 is. I think it is an American Eskimo dog, but it is so fat and ill-looking that my untrained eyes just have to do their best. My head actually hurts when I think of how these two dogs must have it – wonderfully skinny dalmation and playful AE dog.
Another person with strong views on the matter is Victoria Stilwell. The chapters of her book It’s Me or the Dog: Fat Dog Slim deals in part with the subjects of
- Dogs’ Dinners: good food/bad food; what/how much should puppies and dogs eat? How to make simple dog food yourself; food for puppies/older dogs/particular conditions.
- Fat Dog to Slim Dog: what is overweight? Eating plans for overweight dogs; top tips for sticking to it.
- Problems, Problems: behavioral problems around food and Victoria’s solutions to them including stealing food, constant begging, etc.
- Walkies and Workouts: How exercise is crucial to well-being; how much exercise different breeds need; motivating reluctant exercisers; dealing with problems when exercising such as running off, pulling on lead etc.
Thankfully our Angie has never had this problem. My husband is often tempted to fall for those brown eyes, eager to catch any morsel of food that falls her way. But I am the mean one in our family and try to stop him from falling. She does have beautiful brown eyes and there is nothing quite like the look of a pleading dog. And, you know, that is why people feed and feed and feed their dogs. They just cannot stand to see that look without doing something about it.
While it is abuse to let a dog grow this fat, the people who do the deed do not have bad intentions. They just let their hearts rather than their heads speak. It’s super-easy to do, but it hurts the pet we love so much.
If you are struggling with the temptations of letting your dog have “treats” all the time, take a look at Victoria Stillwell’s home page or buy her books. It will be worth your time. Just take a look at these two wonderfully happy dogs below. Wouldn’t you rather have a dog that exudes the health that these dogs do: