How could they know that the child yearned for reconciliation between man and animal, for restoration of the long-lost unity of man with Nature, for a bridge to span the gaping abyss?
The attempt always fails, the delicate link is torn asunder, and the trembling bridge collapses once more.
The abyss remains.
And all else is only a dream.
- from Perri, the Youth of a Squirrel, by Felix Salten
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
― Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod