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by Henry David Thoreau

Walden Brute Neighbors Summary

  • Thoreau begins this chapter by saying that a companion had come by and invited him fishing.
  • He then imagines a short dialogue between a hypothetical (i.e., not real) Hermit and Poet. Shmoop thinks the whole watch-what-you-eat thing might be depriving him of some essential nutrients that help him think straight.
  • Thoreau goes on to think about his animal neighbors, including mice and various species of birds.
  • He also catches some ants battling it out ferociously. For him, this battle seems as epic as anything in the <em>Iliad </em>(remember his deal with Greek literature) or the Napoleonic Wars or even the American Revolution. Considering the millions of people who died in these wars, he might be exaggerating a bit, but hey, poetic license.
  • On the lake, Thoreau plays a game of chase with a loon, who cunningly swims away just far enough so that Thoreau can't catch him. He notes that ducks often do the same to the hunters. Bottom line: animals are crafty.

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