Man and Beast
Cavemen tamed fire then they tamed animals, wild ancestors of the domestic breeds that have been with us ever since. From the city beggar sharing a blanket with a bull terrier to oil-sheiks breeding Arabian horses, humans are suckers for animals. Writers are not immune. Les Carlyon has written of horses and horse people for decades. Robert Drewe's curious eye has fallen on everything from bull sharks to bull ants. Don Watson is a secret racehorse fancier. Paul Toohey laments the passing of the 'roo dog and Frank Robson the passing of his little mate, Lucky. These are a handful of many Australian men who have agreed to share their favourite animal stories.
Andrew Rule (editor) grew up in eastern Victoria surrounded by animals. Too small to be a mounted policeman, too big to be a jockey, too frightened to be a rodeo rider, he won the 1974 Sale Agricultural Show essay competition ($5 first prize) before starting as a reporter with the Gippsland Times and Maffra Spectator. He later worked at The Age, The Herald and the Herald Sun, has written and published several books and claims to have once spent a week with a circus. He has variously maintained three terriers, two cats and too many old ponies and young racehorses.