As Bril looked deeply into the grizzly bear’s eyes, a lightning bolt of rediscovery arced through her body,
making it tingle as she laughed with utter joy.  For this was not just another animal, but a fellow being – a mind,
within the skin of another kind.  A creature marvelous and mysterious and endlessly fascinating as anything
from another galaxy, filled with an amazing intelligence of which few people had any inkling.  A mind that might
serve as its species’ ambassador to humanity, providing unique glimpses into life as seen through ursine eyes.  
But only if she could learn to communicate with it.  Only if this particular bear could be saved from the trophy
hunters hot on its trail and if she could outwit the bandits willing to torture her to learn where the bear had
uncovered a fortune in gold. Only if appreciation for the wonder of non-human intelligence could overcome the
savagery of mankind’s paranoia and greed.

The odds she faced were enormous.  The bandits were powerful, ruthless men, skilled in violence.  She was
none of those things.  No one would expect her to survive, much less to win.  But neither would anyone have
expected David to vanquish Goliath.  Lacking the weapons of coercion, she would prevail with the wit and
poise and character learned from her mother, Russian Princess Suchovsky, and with the fighting tactics and
wilderness skills learned from her Yurok Indian father.  So begins Bril’s life-long fight against callous
exploitation of sentient animals and Indigenous peoples across the globe, as recalled through a slide-show on her
100th birthday.

Nearly 400 of Bril’s “slides” appear in this book as B&W thumbnails.  Color enlargements can be seen in the
eBook edition and on this website -- starting just below.  Although the story is fictional, it is historically,
culturally and scientifically accurate.  It was inspired by the Native American heritage of human-animal kinship,
and by the author’s decades of living in Native communities and with wild bears, wolves, foxes, and moose.
Chapter 1 images
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