E.B. White

I ‘ve found a new friend. EB White may be the grandfather I never had. It’s true enough that Trumpet of the Swan was one of my favorite books when I was ten years old. Now I’m a bit older, and reading his essays. He makes me laugh. He’s smart. He has a real, earnest voice. He unabashedly loves simple things that other people don’t spend enough time paying attention to.

I guess I have watched my coon descend the tree a hundred times; even so, I never miss a performance if I can help it. It has a ritualistic quality, and I know every motion, as a ballet enthusiast knows every motion of his favorite dance. The secret of its enchantment is the way it employs the failing light, so that when the descent begins, the performer is clearly visible and is a part of day, and when, ten or fifteen minutes later, the descent is complete and the coon removes the last paw from the tree and takes the first step away, groundborne, she is almost indecipherable and is a part of the shadows and the night. The going down of the sun and the going down of the coon are interrelated phenomena; a man is lucky indeed who lives where sunset and coonset are visible from the same window.

— “Coon Tree”

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