Jan 3, 2008

What Do You Do with a Kinkajou?

by Alice Gilborn

I read this on a five hour plane flight. It was slightly interesting, but not very compelling. What Do You Do With a Kinkajou tells about a woman named Cynthia called "Cee" who collects animals. Rasied by a prim and proper woman who dreamed of her daughter attending bridge clubs and presiding at societal functions, Cee was afraid of horses as a child until her mother forced her to ride, not wanting her child to be "a sissy." Her plan kind of backfired when Cee became so enamoured with animals that she spent the rest of her life working for or with them, utterly devoted. In a farmhouse that at first was miles out of town but then became gradually enveloped by sprawl, Cee kept a ever-growing menagerie of animals: dogs, cats, geese, goats, sheep, cows and especially horses. Her attempts to justify the number of horses by running a horse breeding operation was admirable, but she barely made any profit. The most interesting chapters were chapter 7 "Just a Few Horses" where she describes her attempts to rescue horses from slaughterhouses (they were all incorrigible) and how she discovered and fell in love with Arabians, and chapter 8 which describes the kinkajou, coatimundi and raccoon that lived at the house. Most of the rest of the book is easily forgettable, unfortunately. I suppose that's why it is out of print.

Rating: 3/5                   206 pages, 1976

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