Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Wolf

I grew up in the northern Canadian wilderness and often at night, we heard wolves howling. There is no more thrilling sound if you are home in your warm bed, nor frightening if you are outside by yourself.

We were isolated enough, that Timber Wolves still passed through our farm and I remember one morning hearing my parents excitedly call us kids outside. We stood shivering in our jackets and nightgowns staring at the biggest wolf footprints I'd ever seen. Apparently in the night, a pack of Timber Wolves had passed through our yard, howling just enough for us to know they were there. Then in the morning, my parents rushed out to see the footprints left behind

Although they'd seen many wolf footprints, these were so impressive that they took the old wash tub and placed it over top to preserve them for further inspection by friends and family.

In all the years we lived there, I never heard one story of a wolf pack attacking or even stalking humans and they had plenty of opportunity for roads were not plowed in the winter, so vehicles weren't used and people walked everywhere.
It wouldn't have been unusual to find a lone person walking at night, yet never a report of attack. My own father walked, pulling a sled, the 8 miles to town for groceries and supplies once a week and since it was dark out by 4pm he often came home alone in the dark.

As a result we learned to not fear wolves but it still didn't stop that thrill of excitement whenever we heard them.

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