Однажды на русском севере

Once upon a time in the Russian north

Everyone knows Bianchi, Darrell, Seton-Thompson, but such a wonderful Soviet (and living) naturalist writer as Viktor Potievsky is undeservedly little known. Have you heard of him? He is an excellent wildlife storyteller. Two stories - "Maga Leads the Pack" and "Rissa" - tell about the life of animals in the northern Russian forests. Maga is about a wolf pack, Rissa is about a solitary lynx.
The narration here is told from a third person, but the reader seems to see all the events through the eyes of an animal: he hunts, escapes from persecution, seeks shelter, takes care of the cubs, and when the time comes, he releases them, grown up, into an independent life. It happens that animal and human paths intersect, and these intersections promise the most unpredictable consequences. Strangely enough, they are not always bad, sometimes nothing happens, but you still have to keep your eyes open and it’s better to avoid people, any animal knows this.
With love and deep knowledge, the writer shows the predator in all its glory, wherever it may be. During the hunt the animal is strong and accurate, after the hunt it is satisfied and confident. With cubs he is gentle and caring, but in captivity he is wary and aggressive - and still beautiful! The intelligence, endurance, and dexterity of these creatures is admirable. But at the same time, there is a desire not to meet them on a narrow path: in the forest the animal is the master, and the man is a stranger, Potievsky portrays this very convincingly.
The hierarchy and social order in the wolf pack are shown very interestingly. When wolves are left without a leader, there are several contenders to take his place, but not each of them is capable of leading the family. The slightest weakness is fraught with expulsion. But the wolves will not remain silent, they will certainly demonstrate their position. The relationships here are almost as complex as in the human community. And the reader, like watching a presidential election, watches with excitement which of the wolves will be appointed to a leadership position.
The intensity of passion in these stories is comparable to good detective stories. This is probably how it is, life in the wild forest: first you hunt, then they try to catch you - you can’t relax. Dangers lurk at every step, sometimes you have to run away from them as fast as you can.
Of course, the life of predators does not exist without bloodshed - in these stories there are injuries and deaths, but... (there will be a small spoiler below) none of the main characters will be killed, so the books will keep you in suspense, but you won’t have to cry - even impressionable people can read it.

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