How would Natty Bumppo travel the woods and waters of today’s Maine? As you may remember, he also was called Hawk-Eye in James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans. It’s fun to imagine Hawk-Eye today paddling a plastic kayak rather than a bark canoe and wearing a floppy hat rather than a skin cap.
It’s more fun to imagine Magua, Uncas, and Chingachgook in spiffy L.L. Bean outfits and florescent kayaks coming to Hawk-Eye’s rescue.
There is a connection to Maine. Many memories of how Hawk-Eye looked in his wooded milieu are based on N.C. Wyeth’s fabulous illustrations in the deluxe edition of that book. N.C., the father of Andrew, worked here in the summer; Maine scenery seems to have crept into many of his woodland and river illustrations. (Brooklin, Maine)