The Hunter’s Friends: Selected Writings
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Jim Corbett, ace hunter and inimitable raconteur, was also a gifted observer, not just of the jungle but also of the people around him. In the seventeen sketches included in The Hunter’s Friends, readers will meet the men and women Corbett lived, hunted and worked with, both in KumaonÃ‘Corbett’s stomping grounds for most of his lifeÃ‘and in Mokameh Ghat, where he was employed by the Railways.
‘Kunwar Singh’, intrepid poacher of the Kaladhungi jungles, tells young Corbett the cautionary tale of his friend, who was taught a harsh lesson by a tiger because he couldn’t climb trees; in ‘Putli and Kalwa’, Corbett befriends a brave young girl leading a bullock to her uncle’s house even as the man-eater of Muktesar prowls about in search of a victim. And, in ‘Adventures with Magog’, Corbett’s delightful and touching profile of his hunting dog, he describes the terrifying yet funny consequences of disturbing a sleeping tiger.
Compassionate, insightful and witty, The Hunter’s Friends is a book to read and to keep returning to.
Edward James 'Jim' Corbett (b. 1875) was an Anglo-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist. After giving up hunting, Corbett played a key role in protecting India's wildlife, especially the endangered Bengal tiger, and used his influence in the provincial government to establish a national reserve for these tigers. The reserve was renamed in 1957 as Jim Corbett National Park in his honour. Corbett was an avid photographer and after his retirement wrote several books recounting his hunts and experiences. Some of his works that have enjoyed much critical and commercial acclaim are Man-Eaters of Kumaon (1944), The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag (1947), Jungle Lore (1953) and The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon (1954). Jim Corbett died in Kenya in 1955.