The Call Of the Wild – Boundless Delight

This is one of my favourite extracts from, ‘The Call of The Wild’, a book every kid should read.  This passage describes everything I love about back-country living and bushcraft.

“John Thornton asked little of man or nature.  He was unafraid of the wild.  With a handful of salt and a rifle he could plunge into the wilderness and fare wherever he pleased and as long as he pleased.  Being in no haste, Indian fashion, he hunted his dinner in the course of the day’s travel; and if he failed to find it, like the Indian, he kept on travelling, secure in the knowledge that sooner or later he would come to it.  So, on this great journey into the East, straight meat was the bill of fare, ammunition and tools principally made up the load on the sled, and the time-card was drawn upon the limitless future.

To Buck it was boundless delight, this hunting, fishing, and indefinite wandering through strange places.  For weeks at a time they would hold on steadily, day after day; and for weeks upon end they would camp, here and there, the dogs loafing and the men burning holes through the frozen muck and gravel and washing countless pans of dirt by the heat of the fire.  Sometimes they went hungry, sometimes they feasted riotously, all according to the abundance of game and fortune of hunting.  Summer arrived, and dogs and men packed on their backs, rafted across blue mountain lakes, and descended or ascended unknown rivers in slender boats whipsawed from the standing forest.”

Extract from – The Call of the Wild (page 100)

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