For as long as humans have inhabited the earth, we have lived alongside the multitude of other creatures with which we share our planet. However it is undoubtedly true that today most of us are not as close to the animals around us as our forebears were, and that many of the world's best loved large mammals and most beautiful birds are in danger of becoming extinct. The threats of the 21st century to the animal world make it even more pertinent to explore the many legends and folktales, myths and superstitions that reflect this past closeness, highlight our desire to explain nature's wonders and mysteries, and underline the necessity to preserve for future generations all creatures great and small.Gathered together in this fascinating book are the lore and legends of the animal world, alongside the realities of nature. Yet whatever their natural attributes, in folklore animals can do almost anything. They can be our friends and foes - and of course they can talk to each other. They can be evil witches and devils in disguise, they can bring good luck and bad. And in real life they can be our dearest companions, to the point of sheer worship.An amazing collection of fanciful superstitions, intriguing tales and amusing anecdotes, which any animal lover will truly relish.