It seems peculiar to me that it should all have begun with winter, as if some great, simple logic were implied, but so it did begin, with no more meaning then than I know now.

Perhaps I shouldn’t count the death of Kobi, the sea otter, whom I loved and who was killed at the end of the book by a hunter someplace in the eternal winter of the arctic. I was too young then to know that neither Kobi, with his warm blood and sleek fur, nor his ice-water death was real. I was too young even to know that I hadn’t read the book myself but that my father had read it to me. It was all one.