When I grew up in postwar Germany, no animals existed in our home. For a short while, when I was eleven, we owned a dog, a nervous, yippy little fellow who was soon gone. My parents claimed he developed rabies and they got someone to kill him. I never believed the rabies story. A few years earlier, soon after my dad's return as prisoner of war from Soviet Russia, my mother raised a few geese, partly for canning the meat, partly for immediate consumption. She nailed their webbed feet onto post...


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