Published as a companion volume for public television’s Nature series, Cloud: The Wild Stallion of the Rockies is documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens’s personal retelling of her years following the wild horse she named Cloud. Beautifully designed, the book is elaborately photographed and divided into seventeen chapters that follow the life of a wild stallion, just one of hundreds of horses that have roamed wild in the Rocky Mountains for two hundred years. The book begins with the author and filmmaker witnessing the birth of a helpless white colt, that will soon capture her heart and imagination. Each subsequent chapter documents Cloud’s interaction with his mare Raven, his brother Diamond, and other colts in the wild as well as his adventures encountering dangerous predators, older stallions, and human trappers. The author follows Cloud over the course of five years, taking note of his physical and behavioral development, as his begins to take on more of a leadership role in the band of wild bachelors he’s joined, to become a fighter, a survivor, and a father. Kathrens’s emotional involvement in Cloud’s story is palpable, such as when she tearfully watches the young stallion get captured by trappers. Due to his unusual coloration, he is set free, though the other members of his band and sisters are removed and sold. Returning to the mountains every season, the author continues to look for Cloud in the vast wild habitat, always relieved to find him still living, despite fights, predators, and encounters with trappers. She is later is touched to see how Cloud, the five-year-old mare, grazes with his yearling son, the first of his new family. Kathrens’s gripping observations of wild horses of the Arrowheads, their fights, struggles, and alliances, give the reader much insight into the fascinating behavior of these wild horses.
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