Émile Zola (1840-1902), prominent leader of French Naturalism in novels and drama, was also an environmentalist, way ahead of his time. He had a great love and respect for animals of all kinds and shapes. Throughout this book, you will discover his love from the smallest creatures: ants, spiders, bugs and frogs, bats and rats, all the way to birds, rabbits, cats, dogs, donkeys, cows and bulls, horses, and even zoo lions. The stories, which are partly fictional but mostly realistic, clearly show his love of and admiration for most animals. In the process of telling them, he inter-mingled some humorous episodes. Who wouldn't laugh at the description of Gédéon, his donkey, getting drunk after savoring a bucket of red wine and raising havoc in his stable? And who wouldn't cry at the death of a dear pet? The stories in this book have been gathered after reading his complete works (fifteen volumes of more than 18,000 pages of Émile Zola: Oeuvres Complètes, edited by Henri Mitterand, the most eminent scholar of Zola's works, professor emeritus at the Sorbonne in Paris and at Columbia University in New York City, in the 'Cercle du Livre Précieux' edition).