Animal Stories is a collection of stories about animals, both wild and urban. Sandy recounts these short tales with both humour and a deep respect for nature and its interconnectedness. Each story is accompanied by a beautiful ink drawing created by Diane Wood, a Downtown Eastside community artist, organizer, poet and designer.
Sandy’s reflections on how the natural world has changed for all animals identifies the critical need for humans to find a more considerate way of being in the world. A majestic Great Blue Heron at Stanley Park shares the message clearly: “Your destiny is connected to mine. If you destroy my living space, you will destroy your own”.
We have a smile to gain and something important to learn from all of Sandy’s characters in these short stories — a legendary 50 pound marmot, a tough city crow, a herd of Dall sheep above the treeline and a pack of mice tobogganing down a tent roof.
Preface by Jean Swanson:
“When Sandy died in October, 2010 he left these stories in a file folder with an index and a hand written title Animal Stories. He had wanted to publish them and was thinking about getting some illustrations. I asked Diane Wood if she would draw some and was thrilled to see her work, which I think Sandy would have loved too.
I like these stories, I admit, because I’m in them, and because every time I read them, I can hear Sandy’s voice and remember how he took me to places I’d always wanted to go but never had: to touch a glacier, to alpine meadows, to old growth forests, and to almost every park in the Vancouver area. Nature seemed like his true home.”
~ Jean Swanson, April 2011