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Big Nick: The Story of a Remarkable Black…
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Big Nick: The Story of a Remarkable Black Bear (1967)

by George Laycock

Other authors: Nancy Grossman (Illustrator)

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Nick was the biggest black bear in the great Smoky Mountains National Park. He was also one of the cleverest. It didn't take them long to learn it was easy to beg or steal food from tourists who, despite warnings of park rangers, were very obliging when given the chance to take home-movies of a great black bear drinking Coke out of a bottle.

For the park ranger then, Nick had become a nuisance bear marked for extinction the next time he frightened campers or destroyed property. But to Johnny Swope, lived on a farm just outside the limits of the park, Nick was a magnificent creature, the symbol of all wild animals. Johnny had freed Nick from a trap when he was a tiny bear cub, too small to survive without his mother. Johnny had fed him and kept him warm, and somehow the giant bear seem to almost remember.

Next life in the great Smoky Mountains is both comic and tragic as he moves through the natural pattern of life in the wild and skirts the edges of civilization, where man either hunts and with guns or spoils them with hand-outs.
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Laycockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grossman, NancyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The habits and behavior of a great black bear are reflected in this sensitive and accurate account of a clever resident of the Smoky Mountains.
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