If memoirs tend to divide between pure storytelling and confession, R. D. Lawrence's is a memorable example of the storyteller's art. A man of natural modesty, he weaves the threads of his life with an affecting diffidence that gracefully mantles the quite astonishing adventures it has embraced. The result is a splendid tale. Born in Spain in 1921, Lawrence was not yet fifteen when civil war broke out, stranding him in Barcelona after his family had been hastily evacuated and repatriated to England. Joining the Republican forces in the hot and frightening summer of 1936, he would fight in its infantry until 1938 when, cut off and surrounded, he fled over the Pyrenees. But his war was far from over. In 1939 he enlisted in the British Army and a year later was among thousands of men resued at Dunkirk. By January 1941 he was in North Africa with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment of the British 8th Army, and it was there he fought, though twice wounded, until Rommel's defeat. Then, in June 1944, he was so severely wounded at Normandy that the doctors said he would "never walk properly again." Indeed, some pressed for amputation. R. D. Lawrence not only walked again, he went on to live a life of high adventure as a journalist, homesteader, and naturalist in the Canadian wilds. That this man for whom killing formed so central a fact of life should today be known as an outspoken defender of all wild creatures may seem contrary in the extreme. And yet, as his memoirs so eloquently attest, his interest in the natural world began almost as soon as he could walk and continued even during his most dangerous wartime experiences. Indeed, in some respects he owes his miraculous recovery from his war wounds to that passion for nature. Today, living in the Ontario backcountry with his wife, Sharon, and a menagerie that includes a wolf pack, R. D. Lawrence can take pride in the more than twenty books he has written on animals and animal behavior and, as well, on a lifetime devoted to nurturance, not war.