Remember when you were little? Wolves were scary bad things. There was Little Red Riding Hood. Wolves in sheep’s closing were on the avoid-at-all-costs list and the wolf at the door meant something horrible was able to happen.
Then Kevin danced with the wolves and fed into a whole lot of earth-mother/tribe of the wannabe delusions. When we lived in South Carolina, our next door neighbor’s sister arrived with a wolf. As a pet. Sorta went with her earth mother make-over. The lack of vaccines for her child is a whole different blog. But staying with the wolves, she insisted wolves were smarter than dogs and were superior in all way. Could be. The day it stalked my neighbor’s toddler? Well, we didn’t see much of the sister in law—or her pet wolf—after that.
I gotta admit, I thought wolf-worship was a fringe thing until we moved to Washington. Among all sorts of interesting things/cultural differences, we discovered the WWs. WW usually means Wacky Wednesday here on the Muse’s blog, but today I’m talking about Wacky-land inhabitants, AKA the Wolf Watchers.
Perhaps I should explain the significance here in Washington. A while ago, someone decided it would be a good idea to reintroduce wolves into the Pacific Northwest. It sounded like a good idea on paper – you know, add another predator to the mix. Keep the elk and deer populations under control. Sounds good. Back east, where you couldn’t hunt and there were no predators, the deer were almost as big of a nuisance as the squirrels.
One of the many problems with this re-introduction decision, however, was the kind of wolf dropped into the area (these suckers are bigger than a man), but that’s a separate topic, as is the resulting decimation of the elk and deer populations. Hey, I’m trying to minimize the politics here.
Anyway, to introduce you to the WW people, I’ll share a recent encounter the WWs had with a guy I’ll call Bill. Now Bill runs cattle and leases land in the National Forest for grazing. Out here in the real world, this is where your organic free-range beef comes from.
On this particular weekend, the local wolf pack, which has grown faster than the experts predicted on paper, attacked Bill’s herd, killed a cow, hurt one of his dogs, and scattered the herd over many, many acres of rugged land.
So Bill was not a good mood.
Bill loaded his horse and remaining dogs into the horse trailer and staged up at a state park to go find some of his scattered herd. As he was saddling his cutting horse (who is an amazingly intelligent animal, by the way) a couple approached him.
“Are you a cowboy?” they asked.
Bill looked at them and thought, Cowboys do stupid stuff in movies like gallop their horses everywhere and fire their guns in the air. “No.”
Bill doesn’t talk a lot.
The couple was disappointed, but pressed forward with their cause. “Do you know where the wolves are?”
Bill thought, if I knew, I’d shoot one. Or two. But instead he said, “No.”
Deeper disappointment registered. “But we wanted to watch them play.”
Bill did not bang his head against the saddle and merely thought, dear God in Heaven protect them from themselves.
“We really wanted to go to their den and watch them interact with their young.”
“Oh, they don’t hurt people.”
Bill wisely got on his horse and left at that point.
So I have to wonder, are city people really that out of touch with the real world?
Has the Disney generation anthropomorphized animals to the point we’ve lost sight of the predator/prey relationship?
Or is it all Kevin Costner’s fault?
This originally appeared as a Wacky Wednesday post on my group blog Blame It On The Muse