What do writings about animals reveal about their lives and their interactions with human beings? How do human beings engage with mammals, sea creatures, reptiles, and birds as food, competitors, and companions? We will explore these questions as we read excellent writings focusing on the real and imagined lives of animals from ancient fables through 21st-century stories, poems, essays, and hybrid-genre works by writers including Aesop, Marianne Moore, André Alexis, Michael Pollan, and Bhanu Kapil. We will follow discussions of readings with writing experiments designed to spark original thinking, hone critical skills, develop facility with writing, and enhance understanding of your creative process. You will gain insight into the fine and ferocious literature concerning the great and small beasts by writing short creative and analytical pieces and longer essays. Some classes will involve field trips to visit animals.