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Reviewed by Alle Wells for Readers' Favorite
In a journey that began as an afterthought, Michael Cotter has become a sought-after and well-known storyteller. Cotter, a natural-born caretaker of the land and a dreamer from Austin, Minnesota, shares his heart and life stories in a unique anthology filled with humor and sorrow. From the days of the horse drawn plow to modern day GPS navigation, this is the story of a farmer’s son, a farmer, and manager of a multi-generational farm. Cotter’s voice rings clearly and purposefully as he recounts the trials of managing a sprawling farm, raising a large family, and the joys of fatherhood.
Many hours spent running a combine in the corn fields provide our storyteller with an empathetic view of the correlation between nature and humans. The pages are sprinkled with tales of nature’s wonders and genuine human kindness. The first story begins with a compassionate encounter with the intelligent little bird known as “The Killdeer.” In the poem “Wounded,” Cotter relates his own heartbreak to the broken pride of an injured deer while he contemplates the routine of life in sweet, lyrical prose as he stops to say, “Pardon Me, Mouse.”
The Killdeer is filled with emotional stories of simplicity and old-fashioned family values. Bygone tales of encounters with gypsy horse traders, sinewy, homeless cowboys and shady cattle dealers, along with an array of charming characters keep the stories engaging and fun to read. As a bonus, Michael Cotter shares his rewarding volunteer work with HIV infected victims. The Killdeer is a satisfying collection of stories about a rewarding life.