Among the mysteries of the strange animals that appear in A Ted Hughes Bestiary—a compilation edited by poet Alice Oswald of his writing about animals real and invented—is how often these creatures strike me as anything but strange. Taking one of his great plunges into the waterways—those “legendary” depths “deep as England”—he encounters an otter with a “round head like a tomcat,” or a pike with its “sag belly and the grin it was born with,” or a trout “Lifting its head in a shawl of water,” or
Advertisement