Gateway to the Classics: Our Humble Helpers by Jean Henri Fabre
Our Humble Helpers by  Jean Henri Fabre

Front Matter

Translator's Preface

I N its purpose and style this book closely resembles the same author's "Story-Book of Science," and it belongs to the same series. To many readers, however, it is likely to prove even more interesting than its predecessor, inasmuch as the domestic animals are more familiar and hence more interesting to many persons than the ant, the spider, the plant-louse, the caterpillar, and other examples of insect life discussed in the earlier work. Particularly at this time, when not a few of us, both old and young, are turning our attention, however inexpertly, to farming in a small way, in order to make the most of nature's food resources within our reach, we like to become a little better acquainted with the denizens of the farmyard and the four-footed helpers in the field. The pig and the hen, the goose and the turkey, the ox and the ass, the horse and the cow, the sheep and its canine keeper—these and many other old friends of ours in the animal kingdom are made to enliven the following pages by the genius and skill of him who knew and loved them all as few naturalists have known and loved their dumb fellow-creatures.

Faithfulness to the spirit of the French original has throughout been striven for rather than a blind subservience to the letter. May the attempt to render at least a little of the charm of that original be found not wholly unsuccessful!

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