The Otter Spirit
A Natural History Story
Otter Spirit: A Natural History Story is a timeless creative-nonfiction
book for all readers comprising several layers of intellectual complexity.
One layer portrays
the life of a wildlife researcher (the author) in her pursuit of studying an
elusive secretive animal, the North American river otter, living in its natural
A second layer is the
discovery of some of the river otter's secrets revealed directly to the
Researcher and those made known indirectly through other researchers' scientific
discoveries (which are referenced in the book).
A third layer is the discovery of other species
of flora and fauna that are an integral part of the otter's fresh water habitat
that the otter discovers during his life's journey. Facts about some of these
other species are, too, revealed in the book.
A fourth layer is the connection the Researcher
makes with Mother Nature by using all senses known to Homo sapiens, along with
those which go beyond.
A fifth layer is one guided by a Native American
Medicine Woman of the Blackfoot Tribe who led the Researcher into the spiritual
world of the Indigenous Peoples and revealed their connection to Mother Nature
and Her Children.
A sixth layer is the story itself, which weaves
together all the other layers into a whole. The story follows the journey of a
special otter from birth to death, through his joy and ecstasy, his trials and
tribulations, and the connection he made with his researcher. Poems and
creative illustrations introduce each chapter; other illustrations and the
Researcher's photographs appear throughout the book.
The final layer reveals the interconnectedness
of all life into a whole: zoology and spiritually as one.
Yet, with the various layers
of intellectual complexity woven through it, the joy of learning about the natural world
is conveyed in the book's easy reading style. For some readers, that may be
enough. However, the wisdom revealed in The Otter Spirit can be discovered if
the discerning reader looks beyond to hear the ancient voices.