An Arizona Black Rattlesnake speaks: “First things first. Who lives in these hills and valleys year-round? From the desert to the mountains, this land is my land. It belongs to me and a lot of other animals.  Humans are definitely the invasive species.”  The rattlesnake tells us tales of wild animals in the National Forests, and their occasional encounters with humans.  Our Rattler is a middle-school youngster, speaking in kid-talk, and explaining how things really work in the forest.  He understands some of the things humans do, but is mystified by others. 

 Nancy explains some of the mysteries to us, although they are still incomprehensible to Rattler.  Nancy’s friend Lauren Sarantopulos illustrates the tales, capturing the animals even better than a camera could do.  Of course, Rattler is the star of the show, and his pictures are the best!

     Rattle tells some pretty funny tales of a ring-tailed cat caught in the human’s cabin bathroom, an inquisitive raccoon who eats something new, and a deer who is nearly invited to lunch by a mountain lion!  Rattler’s neighborhood humans love wildlife, and learn much from their encounters with the forests true residents.   (Kathi Atkinson, November, 2021)