cover image Every Living Thing: Stories

Every Living Thing: Stories

Cynthia Rylant. Bradbury Press, $14 (81pp) ISBN 978-0-02-777200-5

Rylant's comparatively short career has earned the poet and author an enviable reputation. Her second collection of short stories is set in the West Virginia hills, as were the entries in A Blue-Eyed Daisy. Artless, memorable telling creates tales with a common theme, the bond between animals and humans. ""Boar Out There,'' whispers Jenny, bemused by notions of a wilding with a golden crown. She ventures into the woods where the boar pounds towards her. Petrified, Jenny nonetheless notices, when the animal halts suddenly, its bloody and torn ears. The boar snorts, jerks and stares at the girl until a bluejay yells. Then it bolts in terror past her. Now she thinks about the boar with no crown, with wounded ears and she cries because the dangerous beast fears bluejays and little girls. ``Papa's Parrot'' has a message for callow Harry, 12, who can't spare the time to help his dad until a crisis brings him to mind the family store. Schindler's pictures are billed as decorations for obvious reasons; they adorn as well as illustrate the dozen stories by a uniquely gifted person. (1012)