Barry Lopez's Apologia is original and engaging because of the presentation of the text. Words combined with wood etchings, the text literally connects the written word with the natural world. This, for me, proves to be the most original and engaging aspect of the text.
Outside of that, Lopez's text is just as engaging. The story of the deceased animals on the road and the impact they should have upon mankind is moving. Lopez's own decision to take care of the animals after death, by removing them from the road, illustrates the importance of taking care of the deceased in the same way we take care of the alive.
One very specific line from the text illustrates, for me, the most original idea of the text. "Who are these animals, their lights gone out?" While animals have been personified numerous times in literature, it proves to be very different in this text. Lopez's attention to the animal, even after death, reminds me of the care which Native Americans took with their animals. The animals which Lopez came across upon the road had lights within themselves--an image which is very human. Different from personification, when animals are only given human characteristics, Lopez makes the animals more human (something I find to be both very original and engaging).