“Each time, when he came to the surface, turning his head this way and that, he coolly surveyed the water and the land, and apparently chose his course so that he might come up where there was the widest expanse of water and at the greatest distance from the boat. It was surprising how quickly he made up his mind and put resolve into execution. He lead me at once to the widest part of the pond, and could not be driven from it. While he was thinking one thing in his brain, I was endeavoring to divine his thoughts in mine. It was a pretty game, played on the smooth surface of the pond, a man against loon.”
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Thoreau is communing with nature here, he really liked that sort of thing. Thoreau insisted his solitude was never lonely. He found meaning in his interactions with the natural elements around him. Here he seems to have a mind meld thing going on with a loon. This was what Thoreau was looking for, an intimate encounter with nature far from the maddening crowd of the city.