Humans are taught from childhood that the wolf is a vicious killer. Fairy tales such as Charles Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood" (1697) (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge) depict the wolf as a deadly dangerous monster. Little Red Riding Hood walks through the woods to deliver food to her sick grandmother. A wolf wants to eat the girl but is afraid to do so in public. He approaches the girl, and she tells him where she is going. He suggests the girl pick some flowers, which she does. In the meantime, he goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole, and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandmother. When the girl arrives, he swallows her whole too. A hunter, however, comes to the rescue and cuts the wolf open. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed. They fill the wolf's body with heavy stones, which kill him. Other versions of the story have the grandmother shut in the closet instead of eaten, and some have Little Red Riding Hood saved by the hunter as the wolf advances on her rather than after she is eaten.
Aesop (Αἴσωπος) (ca. 620 – 564 BC) was a Greek slave whose name is associated with a huge number of fables, most of which were probably composed by later authors. They are noted for their brevity and simplicity and usually end with morals that supposedly provide "moral education" for children. Numerous morals within Aesop's attributed fables contradict each other, and ancient accounts of Aesop's life contradict each other. Therefore, the modern view is that Aesop probably did not solely compose all those fables attributed to him, if he ever existed.
"The Boy Who Cried Wolf", also known as "The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf", is one of the most famous fables attributed to Aesop. A bored shepherd boy entertains himself by calling out "Wolf". Nearby villagers who come to his rescue find that his alarms are false. When the boy is actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers do not believe his cries for help and the wolf eats the flock. In some versions, when the villagers ignore him the wolf eats him, and in other versions he simply mocks the boy, saying now no one will help him, and that it serves him right for playing tricks. Usually the boy is eaten by the wolf. The moral stated at the end of the fable is: "Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie once, twice, and then perish when he tells the truth."
"The Wolf and the Lamb" is attributed to Aesop. A wolf, meeting with a lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the lamb the wolf's right to eat him. He thus addressed him: "Sir, last year you grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born." Then said the wolf, "You feed in my pasture." "No, good sir," replied the lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass." Again said the wolf, "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me." Upon which the wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supper-less, even though you refute every one of my imputations." The moral is: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny. Here is another version:
Once upon a time a wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. "There's my supper," thought he, "if only I can find some excuse to seize it." Then he called out to the lamb, "How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?"
"Nay, master, nay," said Lambikin; "if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me."
"Well, then," said the wolf, "why did you call me bad names this time last year?"
"That cannot be," said the lamb; "I am only six months old."
"I don't care," snarled the wolf; "if it was not you it was your father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little lamb and ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out, "Any excuse will serve a tyrant."
"The Dog and the Wolf" is credited to Aesop. A gaunt wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened to meet a house-dog who was passing by. "Ah, cousin," said the dog, "I knew how it would be; your irregular life will soon be the ruin of you. Why do you not work steadily as I do, and get your food regularly given to you?" "I would have no objection," said the wolf, "if I could only get a place." "I will easily arrange that for you," said the dog, "come with me to my master and you shall share my work." So the wolf and the dog went towards the town together. On the way there the wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part of the dog's neck was very much worn away, so he asked him how that had come about. "Oh, it is nothing," said the dog. "That is only the place where the collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it chafes a bit, but one soon gets used to it." "Is that all?" said the wolf. "Then good-bye to you, Master Dog." The moral is: It is better starve free than be a fat slave.
"The Mother and the Wolf" is another fable attributed to Aesop. A variation of it is "The Nurse and the Wolf". Early one morning a hungry wolf was prowling around a cottage at the edge of a village, when he heard a child crying in the house. Then he heard the mother's voice say: "Hush, child, hush! Stop your crying, or I will give you to the wolf!" Surprised but delighted at the prospect of so delicious a meal, the wolf settled down under an open window, expecting every moment to have the child handed out to him. But though the little one continued to fret, the wolf waited all day in vain. Then, toward nightfall, he heard the mother's voice again as she sat down near the window to sing and rock her baby to sleep. "There, child, there! The wolf shall not get you. No, no! Daddy is watching and Daddy will kill him if he should come near!" Just then the father came within sight of the home, and the wolf was barely able to save himself from the dogs by running away. When he reached his den, Mistress Wolf inquired of him why he returned wearied and supperless. He replied: "Why, forsooth! I gave credence to the words of a woman!" The moral is: Do not believe everything you hear.
"The Ass and the Wolf" is also attributed to Aesop. An ass feeding in a meadow saw a wolf approaching to seize him, and immediately pretended to be lame. The wolf, coming up, inquired about the cause of his lameness. The ass said that he had a thorn in his foot, and requested the wolf to pull it out. The wolf consented, then the ass with his heels kicked his teeth into his mouth and galloped away. The wolf said: "I am rightly served, for why did I attempt the art of healing, when my father only taught me the trade of a butcher?" The moral is: Everyone has his trade.
"The Kid and the Wolf" is credited to Aesop. A kid, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued by a wolf. He turned round, and said to the wolf: "I know, friend wolf, that I must be your prey; but before I die, I would ask of you one favor, that you will play me a tune, to which I may dance." The wolf complied, and while he was piping and the kid was dancing, the hounds heard the sound, came up and gave chase to the wolf. The wolf, turning to the kid, said: "It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you." The morals are: Every one should keep his own colors, in time of dire need clever thinking is key, and outwit your enemy to save your skin.
"The Wolf and the Shepherd" is also attributed to Aesop. A wolf followed a flock of sheep for a long time and did not attempt to injure one of them. The shepherd at first stood on his guard against him, as against an enemy, and kept a strict watch over his movements. But when the wolf, day after day, kept in the company of the sheep and did not make the slightest effort to seize them, the shepherd began to look upon him as a guardian of his flock rather than as a plotter of evil against it; and when occasion called him one day into the city, he left the sheep entirely in his charge. The wolf, now that he had the opportunity, fell upon the sheep, and destroyed the greater part of the flock. When the shepherd returned to find his flock destroyed, he exclaimed: "I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a wolf?"
"The Wolf and the Fox" is credited to Aesop. At one time a very large and strong wolf was born among the wolves, who exceeded all his fellow-wolves in strength, size, and swiftness, so that they unanimously decided to call him "lion." The wolf, with a lack of sense proportioned to his enormous size, thought that they gave him this name in earnest, and, leaving his own species, consorted exclusively with the lions. An old sly fox, seeing this, said, "May I never make myself so ridiculous as you do in your pride and self-conceit; for even though you have the size of a lion among wolves, in a herd of lions you are definitely a wolf." It seems the moral is too obvious to be stated.
"The Wolf, the Fox, and the Ape" is another fable attributed to Aesop. A wolf accused a fox of theft, which he denied, and the case was brought before an ape to be tried. When he had heard the evidence on both sides, the ape gave judgment as follows: "I do not think," he said, "that you, wolf, ever lost what you claim; but all the same I believe that you, fox, are guilty of the theft, in spite of all your denials." The moral is: The dishonest get no credit, even if they act honestly.
"The Stag, the Wolf, and the Sheep" is credited to Aesop. A stag asked a sheep to lend him a measure of wheat, and said that the wolf would be his surety. The sheep, fearing some fraud was intended, excused herself, saying: "The wolf is accustomed to seize what he wants and to run off; and you, too, can quickly outstrip me in your rapid flight. How then shall I be able to find you, when the day of payment comes?" The moral is: Two blacks do not make one white.
"The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is an idiom of Biblical origin (Matthew 7:15) and as a fable it has been falsely credited to Aesop. The author is unknown and there is no record of it before the 12th century. A hungry wolf comes upon a sheep's fleece lying on the ground in a field. The wolf realizes that if it wears the fleece, it would look like a sheep from a distance. That would enable him to sneak up on a flock of sheep and steal a lamb for his supper before the shepherd noticed his presence. The wolf puts on the fleece and goes off in search of a flock of sheep. It spies a flock of sheep just as the sun is setting, and approaches the flock. Just as it is about to pounce on a lamb, a shepherd comes by looking for a sheep to slaughter for supper. Thinking the disguised wolf is a sheep, the shepherd quickly grabs and kills the wolf. An alternative version is, another wolf is sneaking around looking for a sheep for dinner, and pounces on the wolf in sheep's clothing, killing it and eating it for supper instead of a real sheep. The lesson is: "Frauds and liars are always discovered eventually, and pay for their actions accordingly." The morals are: "The evil doer comes to harm through his own deceit" and "Appearances are deceptive." Here the wolf is the symbol of fraud, deceit, and evil.
"The Wolf, the Nanny-Goat, and The Kid" (Le Loup, la Chèvre, et le Chevreau) is by Jean de La Fontaine (1621 - 1695). His three collections of stories "Fables Choisies" (1668 - 1694) were inspired by Aesop and half are dependent on traditional Aesopic material. These short, witty and moralistic narrative poems in French have been translated into prose by others. A nanny-goat went out to fill her empty milk bag and graze newly sprung grass. She fastened the latch tight, warned her kid saying: "Do not, upon your life, open the door unless you are shown this sign and told this password: "Plague on the wolf and his breed!" As she was saying these words, the wolf by chance prowling around, overheard the spoken words and kept them in his memory. Nanny-Goat, as one can well believe, had not seen the glutton beast. As soon as she departs, he changes his voice and in a counterfeit tone he asks to be let in, saying: "Plague on the wolf", believing he'd go right in. The canny kid looks through the crack. "Show me your white paw, else I'll not open." he shouted at once. (A white paw is a thing seldom seen in wolfdom, as everyone knows.) This wolf, aghast upon hearing these words, went slinking home the same way he had come. Where would the kid be now, had he believed the password, which by chance our wolf had overheard? The morals are: two guarantees are better than one, even a third one would not be extreme, and better to be sure than sorry.
"The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox" (Le Lion, le Loup, et le Renard) is from a poem by Jean de La Fontaine, and wrongly attributed to Aesop. A lion, growing old, lay sick in his cave. All the beasts came to visit their king, except the fox. The wolf therefore, thinking that he had a capital opportunity, accused the fox to the lion of not paying any respect to him who had the rule over them all and of not coming to visit him. At that very moment the fox came in and heard these last words of the wolf. The lion roaring out in a rage against him, the fox sought an opportunity to defend himself and said, "And who of all those who have come to you have benefited you so much as I, who have traveled from place to place in every direction, and have sought and learned from the physicians the means of healing you?" The lion commanded him immediately to tell him the cure, when he replied, "You must flay a wolf alive and wrap his skin yet warm around you." The wolf was at once taken and flayed; whereon the Fox, turning to him, said with a smile, "You should have moved your master not to ill, but to good will."
Jean de La Fontaine's 240 fables were published in three collections, each comprising a variable number of "Books". His other wolf fables are: "Wolf Became Berger", "Wolf and the Stork", "Wolf and the Lamb", "Wolf and the Hunter", "Wolf and the Dog", "Wolf and the lean Dog", "Wolf and the Fox", "Wolf and the Fox in the Well", "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse", "Wolf and the Shepherds", "Wolf, the Mother and Child", "Wolf Arguing against the Fox before the Monkey", and "Wolves and the Sheep". Because they are so similar to Aesop's fables, there's no point explaining them here. But here is a link to his stories, translations of his original narrative poems: http://oaks.nvg.org/fontaine.html
The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids" (Der Wolf und die sieben Geißlein) is from "Children's and Household Tales" (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), a collection of 170 old German fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. It has a strong resemblance to "The Three Little Pigs" and "Little Red Riding Hood". A mother goat warns her children to be wary of the wolf while she is out shopping. The wolf comes and claims to be their mother. They tell him his voice is harsh, while hers is soft. He eats a chunk of chalk to make it soft. They tell him his paws are black, while hers are white. He puts flour on his paws. They let him in and he tears apart the house to find them, swallows them all except the youngest, who hides in the clock. The mother returns to the damage and the youngest emerges. She steps outside, and they find the wolf sleeping, and something struggling in his stomach. They cut him open, and the six kids emerge alive. She puts in stones instead. When he wakes, he goes to a well to drink, and the stones drag him in, so he drowns. The Grimms follow "Little Red Riding Hood" very closely in the opening and the conclusion is identical to the source.
Another Grimm's tale is "The Wolf and the Man" (Der Wolf und der Mensch). A fox was telling a wolf about the strength of humans. The wolf said, "If I had a chance to see a man, I would attack him." "I can help you to do that", said the fox. "Come to me early tomorrow morning, and I will show you one." The wolf returned the next day and the fox took him to a road where a hunter went every day. First came an old soldier. "Is that a man?" asked the wolf. "No," answered the fox. Then came a little boy who was going to school. "Is that a man?" asked the wolf. "No," replied the fox. Next a hunter with his double-barreled shotgun came along. The fox said to the wolf, "Look, here comes a man, you must attack him, but I will go off to my hole." The wolf then rushed the man. When the hunter saw him he said, "It's a pity that I have not loaded my gun", aimed, and fired. The wolf grimaced, but did not let himself be frightened, and attacked him again. The hunter shot the second barrel. Then the wolf rushed on the hunter, who drew out his knife and cut him, so he ran howling back to the fox. "Well, brother wolf," said the fox, "How have you got on with man?" "Ah," replied the wolf, "I never imagined the strength of man to be what it is. First, he took a stick from his shoulder and blew into it, and then something flew into my face which tickled me. Then he breathed once more into the stick, and it flew into my nose like lightning and hail. When I was quite close, he drew a white rib out of his body, and he beat me." "See what a braggart you are," said the fox. "You throw your hatchet so far that you cannot fetch it back again."
The Brothers Grimm also wrote "The Wolf and the Fox" (Der Wolf und der Fuchs)
and here is a link to the story: http://www.bartleby.com/17/2/30.html And here is a link to the Grimms' "Gossip Wolf and the Fox" (Der Fuchs und die Frau Gevatterin): http://www.candlelightstories.com/Grimms/GossipWolfAndTheFox.htm They also wrote a version of "Little Red Riding Hood" (Rotkäppchen) and here is the link: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/LittRed.shtml
Next is "The Story of the Three Little Pigs". Printed versions date back to the 1840s, but the story itself is thought to be much older. The tale of "The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf" was included in "Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Tales" (1843) by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. This story begins with the three little pigs being sent out into the world by their mother to "seek their fortune". The first little pig builds a house of straw, but a wolf blows it down and eats the first little pig. The second pig builds a house of sticks, but with the same result. Each exchange between the wolf and pig features the same thing: a wolf knocks at the door of the pigs, and says, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in." To which the pig answers, "No, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin." The wolf replies, "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in." So he huffs, and he puffs, and he blows the house in, then eats the little pig. The third pig builds a house of bricks and the wolf cannot huff and puff hard enough to blow the house down. He attempts to trick the little pig out of the house, but the pig outsmarts him every time. Finally, the wolf comes down the chimney, whereupon the pig boils a pot of water into which the wolf plunges. The pig quickly covers the pot and cooks the wolf for supper. Other versions of the story sometimes omit the attempts to trick the third pig, or state that the first pig ran to the second pig's house, then both of them ran to the third brother's house of bricks. It's an attempt to omit violence in the story. At least the wolf doesn't eat children in this fantasy, but the message is clear that the filthy ugly pigs are the good guys to be identified with and the wolf is the villain.
AMBROSE BIERCE (1842 - after 1913) was an American journalist and short story writer. Today he is best known for his short story, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", his satirical lexicon "The Devil's Dictionary", and his short stories. His sardonic view of human nature with his motto "nothing matters" earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce".
"The Wolf and the Lion" by Ambrose Bierce tells about a wolf who stole a lamb from a fold and was carrying him off to his lair. A lion met him in the path, and seizing the lamb, took it from him. Standing at a safe distance, the wolf exclaimed, "You have unrighteously taken that which was mine from me!" To which the lion jeeringly replied, "It was righteously yours, eh? The gift of a friend?"
"The Wolf and the Lamb" is by Ambrose Bierce. A lamb is pursued by a wolf who flees into the temple. "The priest will catch you and sacrifice you," said the wolf, "if you remain there."
"It is just as well to be sacrificed by the priest as to be eaten by you," said the lamb.
"My friend," said the wolf, "it pains me to see you considering so great a question from a purely selfish point of view. It is not just as well for me."
"The Wolf and the Feeding Goat" by Abrose Bierce is about a wolf who saw a goat feeding at the summit of a rock, where he could not get at her. "Why do you stay up there in that sterile place and go hungry?" said the wolf. "Down here where I am the broken-bottle vine cometh up as a flower, the celluloid collar blossoms as the rose, and the tin-can tree brings forth after its kind."
"That is true, no doubt," said the goat, "but how about the circus-poster crop? I hear that it failed this year down there." The wolf, perceiving that he was being chaffed, went away and resumed his duties at the doors of the poor.
"The Wolf and the Ostrich" is by Ambrose Bierce. A wolf who in devouring a man who had choked himself with a bunch of keys asked an ostrich to put her head down his throat and pull them out, which she did. "I suppose," said the wolf, "you expect payment for that service." "A kind act," replied the Ostrich, "is its own reward; I have eaten the keys."
"The Wolf and the Shepherds" by Ambrose Bierce tells of a wolf who passes a shepherd's hut, looks in and sees the shepherds dining. "Come in," says one of them, ironically, "and partake of your favourite dish, a haunch of mutton." "Thank you," says the wolf, moving away, "but you must excuse me; I have just had a saddle of shepherd."
"The Wolf and the Babe" is by Ambrose Bierce. A starving wolf, passing the door of a cottage in the forest, heard a mother say to her babe: "Be quiet, or I will throw you out of the window, and the wolves will get you." So he waited all day below the window, growing more hungry all the time. But at night the old man, having returned from the village club, threw out both mother and child.
"The Wolf and the Crane" is also by Ambrose Bierce. A wolf who had a bone stuck in his throat hired a crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his mouth and draw out the bone. When the crane had extracted the bone and demanded the promised payment, the wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: "Why, you have surely already had a sufficient recompense, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a wolf." The moral is: In serving the wicked, expect no reward, and be thankful if you escape injury for your pains. Here is another version:
A wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when suddenly a small bone in the meat stuck in his throat and he could not swallow it. He soon felt terrible pain in his throat, and ran up and down groaning and groaning and seeking for something to relieve the pain. He tried to induce every one he met to remove the bone. "I would give anything," said he, "if you would take it out." At last the crane agreed to try, and told the wolf to lie on his side and open his jaws as wide as he could. Then the crane put its long neck down the wolf's throat, and with its beak loosened the bone, till at last it got it out.
"Will you kindly give me the reward you promised?" said the crane.
The wolf grinned and showed his teeth and said: "Be content. You have put your head inside a wolf's mouth and taken it out again in safety; that ought to be reward enough for you." The moral is: Gratitude and greed do not go together.
A common children's game is "What's the time Mr. Wolf?" It's a form of tag played in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the Caribbean. At least 6 children are required for this game to work properly, with a minimum of 3. They hold hands and one player is the wolf. The wolf has to stand at one end of the room facing away from all the others, about 5 meters away. The row of children slowly creep up on the wolf chanting "What's the time Mr. Wolf?" Mr. Wolf shouts back 2 o'clock, half past 5, 8 o'clock, etc. Eventually they will be standing very close to Mr. Wolf. At any time Mr. Wolf can growl "Dinner Time", causing all the children to scream and run because Mr. Wolf chases the children and tags one of them. The one caught is "eaten" (tagged) by the wolf, then becomes the new Mr. Wolf.
Hollywood has continued the misrepresentation and defamation of wolves in films primarily for adults. It is very rare for a wolf to be depicted accurately; it's almost always derived from "Little Red Riding Hood". An otherwise excellent movie, Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967) begins and ends with a pack of wolves chasing after a horse-drawn sleigh to eat the humans. They also attempt to eat a human during the movie. Wolves never do this. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2008/08/fearless-vampire-killers-1967_31.html
"The Company of Wolves" is a 1984 Freudian film version of "Little Red Riding Hood", and it treats the wolf somewhat favourably. Not only is the wolf (in human form) sexy, but the woman expresses concern for the wolves' comfort in the freezing cold outside. The wolf/human tells her, "I enjoy the company of wolves". Near the end countless wolves descend on the woman's home, but most are actually large dogs--they don't have manes. The film ends in slow motion with a wolf smashing through the woman's bedroom window: a very obvious phallic symbol. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/company-of-wolves-1984.html
For the kiddies we have "The Three Little Pigs", an animated short film produced in 1933 by Walt Disney. The filthy ugly pigs are the good guys and the wolf is the villain. "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", the song from the cartoon, was a best-selling single, mirroring the public's resolve against the "big bad wolf" of The Great Depression. The song became something of an anthem of the Great Depression, with the wolf symbolizing the disaster. Here is a link to the cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEunxzlC5Yg
Disney also produced "The Big Bad Wolf" in 1934, and here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P1kRj-HYKQ&feature=related In 1936 Disney created "Three Little Wolves", and here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R38yK8JUY7k&feature=related
Other songs have defamed or misrepresented the wolf. "Hungry Like the Wolf" (1982) by pop band Duran Duran is relatively sympathetic to wolves, but the misrepresentation is despicable. "I howl and I whine, I'm after you, Mouth is alive all running inside, I smell like I sound. I'm lost and I'm found." Yech! Poetic license at the expensive of the wolf's reputation. Written by the band members, the song was released in May 1982 and reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. The music video was placed into heavy rotation by MTV resulting in the song peaking at #3 in the U.S. in March 1983.
"Peter and the Wolf" (1936) (Петя и волк) is a composition with music and text by Sergei Prokofiev. It's a children's story spoken by a narrator and accompanied by an orchestra. Characters in the story are represented by different instruments, and it's the horn section for the wolf. Each character in the story has a musical theme played by different instruments and The Wolf's Theme is played by French Horns. Pioneer Peter fetches a rope and climbs over the garden wall into a tree. He asks a bird to fly around a wolf's head to distract him, while he lowers a noose and catches the wolf by his tail. The wolf struggles to get free, but Peter ties the rope to the tree and the noose only gets tighter. Some hunters, who have been tracking the wolf, come out of the forest ready to shoot. But Peter gets them to help him take the wolf to the Zoo in a victory parade that includes himself, the bird, the hunters leading the wolf, the cat, and grumpy grumbling Grandfather. He asks, "Well, and if Peter hadn't caught the wolf? What then?" Here is a link to the music and the complete original story: http://www.philtulga.com/Peter.html
"Crying Wolf" (2006) is a two-act musical by Brent Lund Bruning suitable for children of all ages. The fantasy aspect of five well-known wolf fairy tales ("The Wolf and the Seven Goats", "Peter and the Wolf", "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Three Little Pigs", and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf") attracts the youngest viewers, while media manipulation and political undertones address more mature audiences. The styles in the musical include: pop, rap, swing, tango, cha cha, an Irish ballad, as well as quotations from Prokofiev, the Beatles, and Simon & Garfunkel. Wolves are social pariahs in the town of Grimwood. G Bay, the corrupt mayor’s daughter, cries "Wolf!" for all to hear. She tells a terrifying story of the wolf she saw which becomes even more frightening when reported by the local news anchor, Hype Masterson on W.O.O.D. News. But is this the truth that the citizens of Grimwood are hearing? "Crying Wolf" portrays the wolves as heroes and the humans as villains. The 2 hour musical is about outsiders and their attempt to escape the image that the world makes for them. Bruning chose the wolf as an outsider, because in fairy tales it is almost always the villain. The wolves, social outsiders in the village, are considered fearsome beasts. But the young generation of wolves will not tolerate this anymore and try with the help of a journalist to educate the humans about the true nature of wolves. Unfortunately, there is no happy ending.
In August 1966 the rock band Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs had a #1 hit song written by Ronald Blackwell titled "Li'l Red Riding Hood". It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The novelty song is built around "Little Red Riding Hood", but ends before grandma makes her entrance. It explicitly uses the ambiguity of "wolf" the animal and "wolf" the man with sexual intentions. The "wolf" remarks on "what big eyes" and "what full lips" Red has, and eventually on "what a big heart" he has. He says that he is disguised in a "sheep suit" until he can demonstrate his good intentions. One of his lines is "You're everything that a big bad wolf could want." The song is a major plot element in the film "Striking Distance" (1993) with cop Bruce Willis after a serial killer, and is featured in the plotless film "Wild Country" (2005) about a werewolf after a group of kids. Here is a link to the song in a "Betty Boop" cartoon music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JOwxnVoG6Q Too bad the wolf is portrayed in the cartoon as a villain. Here are the complete lyrics:
Who's that I see walkin' in these woods?
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood.
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood,
You sure are looking good.
You're everything a big bad wolf could want.
Listen to me.
Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone.
What big eyes you have,
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad.
So just to see that you don't get chased
I think I ought to walk with you for a ways.
What full lips you have.
They're sure to lure someone bad.
So until you get to grandma's place
I think you ought to walk with me and be safe.
I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on
Until I'm sure that you've been shown
That I can be trusted walking with you alone.
Little Red Riding Hood
I'd like to hold you if I could
But you might think I'm a big bad wolf so I won't.
What a big heart I have--the better to love you with.
Little Red Riding Hood
Even bad wolves can be good.
I'll try to be satisfied just to walk close by your side.
Maybe you'll see things my way before we get to grandma's place.
Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything that a big bad wolf could want.
Owoooooooo! I mean baaaaaa! Baaa? Baa"
"The Jungle Book" (1894) is a collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling. Tales in the book are fables, using animals to give moral lessons, and the best known of them are three stories about the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" named Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. Akela the Father Wolf and Raksha the Mother Wolf raise Mowgli as their own cub. In "Mowgli's Brothers" Mowgli is raised by wolves with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and then has to fight the tiger Shere Khan.
Many movies and TV shows have been made based on Kipling's "The Jungle Book" including:
1942 * Kipling's Jungle Book (live action film)
1967 * The Jungle Book (Disney animation)
1967 * Maugli (animation)
1977 * Mowgli's Brothers (animation)
1989 * Shonen Mowgli (animation)
1989 * Jungle Book (animation)
1990 * Jungle Book (animation)
1990 * TaleSpin (Disney TV animation)
1992 * Jungleboek (European TV)
1994 * The Jungle Book (Disney live action film)
1996 * Jungle Cubs (Disney TV animation)
1997 * The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo (live action film)
1998 * The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (Disney live action film)
1998 * Jungle Book: Lost Treasure (live action film)
1998 * Mowgli: The new adventures of the Jungle Book (TV live action)
2003 * The Jungle Book 2 (Disney animation)
The 1994 Disney movie "The Jungle Book" is based on the Mowgli stories in "The Jungle Book" and "The Second Jungle". In the Victorian period, Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee) is the five-year-old son of a wilderness guide who accompanies his father on a hunting trip in the jungles of their native India with Grey Brother, his pet wolf cub. Mowgli and the wolf become lost in the jungle and are left to fend for themselves. Bagheera the panther finds them and leads Mowgli to a wolf pack. Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle including Baloo the bear cub, and they develop a bond as the boy learns to survive. When he grows up Mowgli returns to civilization but says, "I run with the wolf pack."
"The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story" (1998) is a 77 minute direct-to-video release from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. It chronicles the story of Mowgli (Brandon Baker) from the time he is 5 years old living among humans to when he is 12 and rediscovering humans again. The big difference between it and the original Disney "The Jungle Book" is the film is dominated by wolves. We get to see Mowgli being raised by his Father Wolf Akela and Mother Wolf Raksha. They both call him "son" and Raksha is killed by the tiger Shere Khan for protecting the life of Mowgli. In this movie the animals talk, but not with realistic CGI moving lips. Towards the ending Mowgli sees humans, but decides to stay away and join them later.
"The Wolf Children" (1977) by Charles Maclean is a non-fiction account of Kamala and Amala, two girls raised by a she-wolf in northeastern India, until they were reclaimed by humans. Of all the books about feral children supposedly raised by wolves, this one about the Wolf Girls of Midnapore is one of the most comprehensive. Maclean did extensive research into the story of Kamala and Amala, found by Indian villagers in a wolf's den and rescued by Anglican missionary Rev. J. A. L. Singh in October of 1920. Singh and his Indian wife ran an orphanage. The book is a well researched and well written summary of the facts discovered by the author in the 1970s, and could still be the best book on the subject for the general reader. Maclean does not present all of his research in detail, but summarizes it all to make it more readable in a suspenseful narrative. Amala, the younger died soon after capture in 1921, but Kamala remained at the orphanage eight more years, where they tried to teach her language and simple human behaviors like wearing clothes, using utensils, and walking upright--all things she resisted. Kamala formed an attachment to Mrs. Singh, and developed rudimentary human skills such as standing, a shuffle-walk, and some vocabulary, but regressed whenever slight gains were made. She had a brief passion for fried eggs, an obsession with anything red, and certain wolf-like traits like running on all fours, excreting anywhere, and a preference for raw meat. The last fourth of the book concerns how the story came to the attention of the world. There was always a lot of scientific concern about the truth of it, and the author clearly understands why: it is simply an incredible story. Nevertheless, through an apparently thorough and careful investigation, Maclean managed to satisfy his own skeptical mind that it was true. What we will never know is the exact nature of the life of the two girls with the wolves, and the wolves themselves.
"Children of the Wolf" (1984) by Jane Yolen is a children's novella somewhat like "The Jungle Book" based on the true story of the Midnapore Wolf Girls, Kamala and Amala. In India in the early 20th century, local villagers tell stories of ghosts in the nearby jungle. But the ghosts are actually two young girls who had been raised by wolves. They are captured and brought to an orphanage where an attempt is made to teach them to speak and behave like human children, but the demands made on them are too great to bear. Told from the viewpoint of a boy who lives at the orphanage run by Mohandas, the missionary tries to teach them the ways of humans. What Mohandas soon discovers is that it may be easy to take the girls out of the forest, but it is far less easy to take the forest out of the girls. The other children view the girls with disgust or fear and constantly taunt them, but Mohandas is intrigued by them. He tries to understand them and gain their trust. He keeps a diary in secret and as Mohandas gets closer to Kamala, he tries to coax words out of her, hoping the girls will one day speak and tell everyone details of their past with the wolves. But eventually Mohandas realizes the girl's true nature and abilities. At the end of the book Yolen describes her sources, how much of it is based on historical fact, and how much of it is fictional. Yolen based her story on the true discovery of two girls in 1920, but points out that her book is not meant to be factual. The 136 page novella is a rousing good story about children who were raised by wolves and only know how to behave like animals. In 2001 Jane Yolen coauthored a non-fiction book with her daughter Heidi about the same incident titled "The Wolf Girls: An Unsolved Mystery from History".
"Shasta of the Wolves" is a 1919 children's novel by Olaf Baker. In the 19th century on a mountain in the Pacific Northwest, the she-wolf Nitka discovers an abandoned Indian baby named Shasta and raises him alongside her own cubs. Shasta grows up naked in the wild and is able to communicate with other animals by body language and vocalization. A human tribe briefly captures Shasta but his wolf parents help him to escape. Eventually he returns to the humans and is treated more kindly and persuaded to stay. The chief explains that he is grandson of the old chief. Shasta's mother was killed by a tribesman who defected to an enemy tribe, abandoning Shasta in the hope that the wolves would kill him. Instead, he survived and eventually returned to the tribe bringing his "wolf medicine". The enemy tribe capture Shasta but he is rescued by his wolf friends, who avenge his human mother's death by killing many of the enemy tribe. After the battle Shasta stays with the wolves.
"Wild Angel" (2006) by Pat Murphy provides a fresh take on the Romulus and Remus legend. It tells the story of young Sarah MacKenzie, who survives an attack on her family that leaves her parents dead, then is adopted by a wolf pack that makes its home in the California woods. The 3 year old Sarah hides in a cave, avoids death, and her survival depends upon the wolf pack led by the she-wolf Wauna that adopts her. Her special wolf-companion is Beka, one of Wauna's offspring. Sarah grows wild, strong, healthy and wary of humans for many years until an encounter and friendship with Malila, a young Miwok Indian woman and shaman who shows her that not all people are to be feared. Growing to young adulthood, Sarah becomes a legend to both her pack and the humans of California, acting as saviour for many endangered travelers. She is a strong willed and strong muscled heroic savage. The setting is beautiful, the characters are warm and believable, and the history is impeccable. Murphy's novel is based on the great works of pulp fiction, particularly the Tarzan series, and doesn't pretend to be a great classic of social and intellectual literature. It's a simple pleasure, a book that joins the humor and magic of a folk tale with a modern feel for the psychological dynamics between men and women, exploring the fine line between civilization and savagery. It has been written with skill, intelligence and wit, radiating Murphy's love of fiction. The wolves behave very realistically, and it is clear that Murphy did her research on the biology and behavior of wolves before writing this novel.
"Wolf-Woman" (1994) by Sherryl Jordan is a young adult story about Tanith who is raised by a wolf pack. Set in prehistoric South America and told in the first person, the reader can understand all of Tanith's thoughts and feelings. At the age of three a group of hunters find Tanith living with a pack of wolves, and their chieftain Ahearn decides to take her back to their village to become an adopted daughter for his wife Nolwynn. Tanith's new mother becomes her only source of love and gentleness as she grows up in the brutal, savage clan that shuns and despises her because Tanith's black hair and glowing eyes make her an outsider in the golden-haired clan. They treat her like a slave. Her tribe fears the wolves and brutally hunts and slaughters them, but Tanith is comforted by them and drawn by their howls. Her kind and loving adopted mother dies and Tanith is blamed. When Ahearn is wounded and unable to lead his people, Tanith must choose her clan, the young warrior Gibran of a neighboring tribe she loves, or the kinship offered by the wolves. At age 16, after Nolwynn's death, Tanith decides to seek out her wolf pack for solace and kinship. The plot is based on an interesting concept but it doesn't quite ring true. Characters are not developed, and relationships are not fleshed out enough to give them dimension. Tanith is the most believable character, at times touching in her longing for companionship and belonging, but others are presented as either negative or positive, cruel or loving, with no depth. Even Tanith's relationships with wolf pack members lacks conviction. She develops a psychic bond with Ashok, the Alpha male, but her wolf behavior is more like that of an observer than a pack member. However, the well written story, steeped in prehistoric imagery and legend, is a compelling search for identity and self-worth in a richly drawn setting. It's not too unrealistic, like some fairy tales where the good characters never die and the bad guys always die. The book is educational, unique, romantic, enjoyable and unusual, something like "Julie of the Wolves", but with a better detailed plot and main character. "Wolf-Woman" was first published in Australia as "Tanith"
"White Fang" is a novel by Jack London published in 1906. It's basically a sequel to "The Call of the Wild" (1903) and is about the adventures of hybrid wolf (part dog) White Fang. He becomes the greatest fighter ever and reacts to vicious behavior with violence and savagery. But he is humbled by Grey Beaver and with the help of humans he learns to respond appropriately to kindness instead of anger. While "The Call of the Wild" is the story of a sled-dog named Buck who becomes wild and leads a wolf pack, "White Fang" is the story of a wolf who eventually lives a dog's life with a loving master. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's review of Disney's film version of "White Fang": http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-fang-1991.html Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie review of "The Call of the Wild": http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/call-of-wild-1972.html
The movie "White Fang" (1991) is about the friendship between a hybrid wolf and Jack Conroy (Ethan Hawke). White Fang is taken from Jack and put in an illegal dog fighting pen where he becomes a professional, experienced and cruel killer. Then Jack meets him again and their friendship resumes. When a group of criminals tries to steal Jack's gold, White Fang is the only one who can help him to fight them off. The film has a savage wolf pack attacking some humans and gobbling up another off-screen. These scenes trouble naturalists battling centuries of anti-wolf prejudice. Albert Manville, a senior biologist for the Defenders of Wildlife and a consultant on the movie, objected to the wolf attack scene during production. Disney quickly agreed to run a disclaimer reminding audiences, "There has never been a documented case of a healthy wolf or pack of wolves attacking a human in North America." A sequel to the film, "White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf" was released in 1994. White Fang is portrayed by hybrid wolf Jed who also appears in "The Thing" (1982) and "The Journey of Natty Gann" (1985). Set in 1935, Natty Gann (Meredith Salenger) is abandoned by her father and embarks on a cross-country journey to find him. Along the way she is befriended by a companion wolf who travels with her for much of her trip and protects her. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/journey-of-natty-gann-1985.html
Kevin Costner's 1990 epic film "Dances with Wolves" won 7 Oscars and is over 3 hours long. The title refers to the Sioux Indian name of John J. Dunbar (Šuŋgmánitu Tȟaŋka Ob'wačhi), a Civil War soldier. Kicking Bird, Stone Calf, and Wind in His Hair give him the name because they notice him with a wolf he has befriended. The wolf appears in the movie for only a few minutes in total, but is portrayed very positively and has a heroic death scene. Because Dunbar joined the Lakota tribe, his Union forces are going to execute him for being a traitor, and the soldiers shoot the wolf when it refuses to leave Dunbar. Kevin Costner produced, directed and starred in "Dances with Wolves", which is based on the 1988 novel by Michael Blake who also wrote the screenplay.
"Wolf" is a 1994 film starring Jack Nicholson as a book editor who is bitten by a wolf under the full moon. He becomes a werewolf, but there are benefits. His vision, hearing, and sense of smell improve, and he becomes more successful because of his new aggression. The wolf is not to blame, because it was hit by his car. It's an intelligent, literate update of the usual werewolf fantasy nonsense. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/wolf-1994.html
"The Wolf Man" (1941) has no wolves in it, only werewolves played by Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, but the wolf is explicitly evil incarnate. Gypsy Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya) says, "The pentagram is the sign of the wolf", and Sir John Talbot (Claude Rains) says, "In this case evil takes the shape of an animal." Outrageous defamation! Although Bela Lugosi becomes what looks like a wolf, Lon Chaney with special effects slowly turns into a stylish monster resembling an ape more than a wolf. He walks upright, and has no snout and no tail. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2008/08/wolfman-1941.html
"Teen Wolf" (1985) starring Michael J. Fox and "Teen Wolf Too" (1987) are interesting films because the werewolf curse is a hereditary condition involving only excessive body hair and strength. The teen wolves are much more popular with their high school peers when they are hairy athletic wolves. It seems very obvious that the hairy change in the boys is a metaphor for puberty. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie reviews of the films: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/teen-wolf-1985_21.html "Dracula" (1931) has vampire Bela Lugosi turn into a bat and also a wolf. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's movie review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2008/08/dracula-1931.html In "The Phantom" (1996), the boring comic book hero often rides a horse named Hero accompanied by a trained running wolf named Devil. The wolf doesn't seem to serve any purpose in the film, but it is portrayed in a positive way and has a magical quality, which wolves often have in fiction.
In Rod Serling's 1970s TV series "Night Gallery", there is an episode titled "The Phantom Farmhouse", about the supernatural and involving wolves. But the "wolves" are very clearly large dogs with very large ears and without manes. These "wolves" do a tremendous amount of barking. However, wolves do not bark like dogs, so the entire scenario is an ignorant misrepresentation. Wolves mostly howl, but also growl, whine, whimper, yelp, snarl, moan, and on rare occasions utter ONE "woof" to other wolves. The "woof" basically means "Red alert!", "Did you see that?", etc. Otherwise, wolves communicate with body language.
Wolves in literature have traditionally been given the role of villains in fiction. For example, J. R. R. Tolkien's White Wolves terrorise the Shire during a very cold winter. Wolves live in northern Middle-earth and the most feared wolves are the Wargs of Wilderland. This defamation is found in "Lord of the Rings" (1954–55) and "The Hobbit" (1937). A prowling, possessed timber wolf stalks and attacks several of the main protagonists in Stephen King's novel "Desperation" (1996). Recently, however, wolves have increasingly been given the role of heroes in literary works. An example is "The Chronicles of Prydain" (1964–1968) by Lloyd Alexander, with two wolf characters in it, Brynach and Briavel, who are on the "good side" and communicate with humans. In the "Wheel of Time" (1990) series by Robert Jordan, wolves are portrayed as very intelligent animals with a strict code of honor, and some non wolf characters can communicate with them using body language. David Edding's "The Belgariad" (1982-84) has two main characters, Belgarath and Belgarion, who can assume the form of wolves.
"Chronicles of Ancient Darkness" is a series of children's fantasy books by Michelle Paver published between 2004 and 2009. In 2004, 20th Century Fox purchased the rights to make feature films of the book series. The 6 books are set 6000 years ago, and the main character Torak meets a lone wolf cub, Wolf, with whom he can communicate. Wolf becomes Torak's guide. In "Wolf Brother" Torak, Wolf and Renn (the niece of leader Fin-Kedinn) journey to the Mountain, collecting the three parts of the Nanuak that Torak needs to offer to the World Spirit. The book "Soul Eater" features Torak and Renn making a dangerous journey into the Far North to rescue Wolf, then they return to the forest with Wolf. In "Oath Breaker" Torak, Renn, Wolf and Fin-Kedinn follow Thiazzi into the Deep Forest where the Forest Horse and Auroch Clans are at war. Many months later, Wolf and his mate Darkfur show Torak and Renn their new cubs.
"Wolf Brother" (2004) by Michelle Paver is the first book in the series "Chronicles of Ancient Darkness", an Adventure/Fantasy set in NW Europe over 6000 years ago. The book begins with the death of Torak’s father, the mage Fa of Wolf Clan, from wounds inflicted by a giant bear. Fa’s dying words bind Torak to a quest to find the mythical Mountain of the World Spirit. There 12 year old Torak will find the strength needed to defeat the demonic creature and killer of men. Torak heads north and encounters an orphaned wolf cub, whose pack has been drowned in a flood. Wolf has survived because he was exploring higher ground on his own. Torak discovers that he can communicate with the cub. Wolf accepts Torak as his pack-brother, and becomes Torak's guide. Torak and Wolf set out on a journey to prove his innocence and destroy the evil soul eaters. Torak's other companion is Renn, Hord's young sister who is a headstrong and feisty girl his own age. Their journey takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined. Torak, Wolf and Renn are joined by an incredible cast of characters as they battle to save their world. In the end Torak realizes that the prophecy's "heart's blood" means Wolf, and as Wolf carries off the Nanuak, Hord and the bear are engulfed by the ensuing rock slide. Torak escapes from under the rocks and looks for Wolf, but he only hears his howl in the distance, along with the howls of other wolves. Torak yells to Wolf that he will one day return for him, before turning to head back into the forest. Part nature story, part rite of passage saga, the chapters are short and always seem to end with a cliff-hanger. Drawings by Geoff Taylor beautifully illustrate Torak's world. Torak's coming of age tale reveals many secrets at the end, setting the stage for subsequent books.
"Outcast" (2007) by Michelle Paver is the fourth book in the "Chronicles of Ancient Darkness" series, an Adventure/Fantasy book set in NW Europe over 6000 years ago. The start of the book finds Torak, an orphan boy, tattooed against his will by the Soul-Eaters, corrupt mages who seek to take over the world. Torak has spent his life looking for a home, but is cast out of his surrogate clan because he bears the tattoo mark of the soul-eaters on his body. Branded Outcast and hunted from his home, Torak is alone and frightened in the forest, so he and Wolf try to find a way of proving his innocence. But when Torak starts to suffer a "soul-sickness" that drives him mad, he tells Wolf to leave. Unable to control himself Torak gives up. Fortunately Renn and Bale don't doubt him and set off to find Torak, even though this means endangering their places in the clans. However a soul eater is out there gaining strength and time is running out. Renn's struggles to accept her shamanic powers make her a heroine in her own right. But Wolf is the emotional heart of this book. It's impossible to be unmoved by his utter devotion to Torak. His voice has a distinctive vocabulary showing the inner world of a wolf who sees humans as "Tailless", a river as a "Fast Wet" and fire as "Bright Beast-that-bites-Hot". Wolf calls Renn "The Pack Sister" instead of "Female Tailless" in "Soul Eater" (2006). The entire "Chronicles of Ancient Darkness" series is aimed at teenagers, and the previous three books in the series are "Wolf Brother", "Spirit Walker", and "Soul Eater". The storyline itself is excellent and is filled with many twists and revelations, following Torak's fight for survival as he is hunted by the neighbouring clans. With Wolf at his side and his confidence in the forest, he is determined to tear the mark from his chest and prove his worthiness. Often dark and hallucinatory in its imagery, the book combines a crispness of style and a powerful understanding of loneliness, love, fear and friendship with a vivid landscape. Paver's prose is brisk, accessible and absorbing, and she has confidence in the solidity of the world she has created. Drawings by Geoff Taylor again beautifully illustrate Torak's world.
"Wolf Stalker" (1997) by Gloria Skurzynski and Alane Ferguson is a 157 page kid's book from the National Geographic Society. It's a suspenseful fast-paced adventure tale set in Yellowstone National Park. Twelve-year-old Jack Landon, his younger sister Ashley, the family's teenage foster child Troy Haverson, and photographer father go to Yellowstone National Park where Jack's mother, a wildlife veterinarian, is investigating a report that wolves reintroduced to the park have killed a hunting dog there. Due to poor communication and unforeseen circumstances, the youngsters spend a freezing night alone in the wild. Arrogant Jack tries to assume control of the group, but Troy has his own agenda. Ashley, annoyed by her brother's attitude, asserts herself, and Jack finds that he must cooperate rather than dominate. The kids witness the shooting of Silver, one of the wolves recently reintroduced into the park, and fear that an armed man may still be around. Throughout the night, they stay with the wounded wolf around a fire, talk and tell stories. In the morning, they are rescued and each has been affected by the ordeal. The wolf is saved and the mystery of the stalker is solved. From the opening moments at Old Faithful through 48 action-packed hours, the tension builds in this mix of suspense, adventure, and moments of tenderness. This exciting book emphasizes the natural beauty and dangers of the wild. It includes several pages of full-color photos and facts about the Wolf Restoration Project by Michael K. Phillips, a map, and information about the nature of wolves.
"Wolf: The Journey Home" (1997), originally titled "Hungry for Home: A Wolf Odyssey", is a novel by Asta Bowen based on true accounts of a Pleasant Valley, Montana wolf pack. Originally published by Simon & Schuster with line drawings by Jane Hart Meyer, it was retitled and reprinted without illustrations in 2006 by Bloomsbury Publishing. The contemporary story traces the life of a cunning mother alpha wolf named Marta and her struggle to protect her family and return to her home territory in Montana after the forced relocation of her pack in 1989 to unfamiliar territory. Told from Marta’s point of view, her mate dies in the early spring, so she has to support three cubs with the help of Oldtooth, an elderly male. It's the modern age in society, and Marta and Oldtooth travel into a further and more dense area, but are captured, "rescued" and relocated by a group of well-meaning naturalists. Marta is determined to return home with her cubs. Their journey brims with exciting adventures, heart-stopping hardships, and great moments of triumph, taking readers into a world very different from our own. It was late summer when she last saw the Dahl Lake, but when she is sent to Alaska, she is terrified and flees, leaving her pack behind. Without her, the pack dies. She begins a journey in search of her home and eventually arrives in Ninemile Valley, where she finds a new mate and starts a new pack. This tragic survival tale is a moving, very realistic and catching drama. Bowen depicts the wolves without false sentimentality and portrays the real nature of wolves in the wild, transforming the territorial conflict between humanity and animals into a remarkable work of fiction. Bowen wrote the story after becoming outraged over the poaching of wolves in the protected areas of Ninemile Valley. She spent four years researching wolves while working on the novel and expresses hope in the ideals behind efforts to restore wolf populations.
"The Story of the Kind Wolf" (1982) by Peter Nickl is a 32 page book for very young children. Marion Koenig translated "Die Geschichte vom guten Wolf" from the original German about a gentle wolf that returns to the forest of his birth to practice medicine. The wolf decides he doesn't want to kill, but prefers to heal the sick and injured. A silly owl warns sick animals to stay away, and the wolf takes the advice of the owl and leaves the forest to find a new way of life. While he's away, a bitterly cold winter causes the animals to become desperate with the cold and hunger. It does portray the food chain and winter in a dramatic, naturalistic way, and a fox catches and eats a mouse. The wolf becomes a vegetarian and returns to the forest. He meets with resistance from the forest animals at first, but eventually he proves to be a good doctor. All the little animals begin to eat fruit and vegetables instead of meat. The story shows how we can either transcend or embrace the stereotypes attached to us by others. We have a choice. The point of the book is that we should look beyond appearances and give others a chance to improve themselves. Even the fox is a vegetarian by the end. Children are often brainwashed about wolves and many other things and this quirky story with a European style shows that stereotypes are not good. The pastel illustrations by Józef Wilkon are wonderfully evocative. You feel the bitter cold of the winter, the fright of a poor little rabbit, and the wolf's sense of concern as he rescues the animal.
"Brotherhood of the Wolf" (2002) (Le Pacte des Loups) is a 152 minute French horror fantasy movie about a creature known as the Beast of Gévaudan--a huge, wolf-like monster responsible for the deaths of over 100 people in the mid-18th century. It is loosely based on the book "L'Innocence des Loups" (1992) (The Innocence of the Wolves) by French zoologist Michel Louis, a study about a real-life series of killings that took place in France in the 18th century and the famous legend of the Beast of Gévaudan. Set in 1765, the film begins during the French Revolution with the aged Marquis d'Apcher (Jacques Perrin) as the narrator writing his memoirs in a castle, while voices of a mob can be heard outside. "Brotherhood of the Wolf" flashes back to the mid 1760's when a mysterious beast terrorized the province of Gévaudan and nearby lands. The Beast is usually obscured, and in several scenes it looks large, fanged, quill-covered and has pointed teeth with long discolored nails. In one scene a pack of wolves chase a man and attacks him. We hear growling, tearing, thrashing and screaming, then we see the body of a dead wolf on a table. A man cuts it open, blood pours out, its organs are removed, its jaw is pryed open, then yellow eyes are implanted and it is stuffed with straw. Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan), a handsome knight and the royal taxidermist of King Louis XV of France, and his Iroquois companion Mani (Mark Dacascos), arrive in Gévaudan to capture the beast. Upon arrival, they rescue an old healer and his daughter from an attack by soldiers. The young and enlightened Thomas, Marquis d'Apcher (Jérémie Renier), befriends them and they investigate. Fronsac romances virtuous and radiant Marianne de Morangias (Émilie Dequenne), the daughter of a local count, whose brother, Jean-François (Vincent Cassel), is also an avid hunter and a world traveler who lost one arm to a lion in Africa. Fronsac is also intrigued by Sylvia (Monica Bellucci), an Italian courtesan at the local brothel with secrets. Fronsac is first skeptical about the beast's existence, since survivors describe it as much larger than any wolf he has ever seen. Usually unseen, possessing enormous strength and a seemingly near-human intelligence, the beast has eluded capture for years. Through various interactions and attacks, Fronsac discovers the truth that leads him to the beast itself and the secret society that created it. This over-the-top historical fantasy epic has nudity and passions so intense they verge on the ridiculous. It is full of surprises--just when you think you have figured out the movie it moves in a different direction. The plot grows more and more incomprehensible, but the mix of emotions, action sequences, and titillation is what the movie is about. It's a stylish period thriller and exhilarating ride, perfectly capturing the period, beautifully photographing the landscapes, and combining action scenes with surrealism. The messages seem to be that there is a rational explanation for everything, including supernatural phenomenon, religion is often used as an excuse for committing evil, and the wolf is bad. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the special-effects expertise for the creation of the Beast of Gévaudan.
"Shiver" (2009) by Maggie Stiefvater is the first installment of the three part "The Wolves of Mercy Falls" series. The 3 books for teenagers are:
1. Shiver (2009)
2. Linger (2010)
3. Forever (2011)
In "Shiver" 17 year old Grace has watched the wolves in the woods outside her Mercy Falls, Minnesota home for years. One yellow-eyed wolf is a presence she can't seem to live without. The wolf is named Sam and he lives two lives. In winter he prowls the frozen woods with the protection of his pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer he has a few months of being human, until the cold makes him shift back into a wolf again. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the years he has returned each season, watching her as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party retaliates. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. As the temperatures drop, Sam and Grace struggle to keep him human, but the cold and other obstacles threaten to take him away from her. As werewolves age their human time decreases until they remain wolves. And Sam feels his last summer coming on just as he and Grace get to know one another. The ending is abrupt but satisfying. Told from the alternating points of view of Sam and Grace, the narrative takes a classic Romeo and Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever, the story is original, fast-paced, beautifully written, even poetic at times. There are glances, touches, dialogue, and thoughts that create a completely believable romance that is sometimes cute and steamy, but always genuine. Stiefvater manages to create an atmosphere of coldness, and you always feel cold reading this book. "Shiver" has been licensed in over 32 foreign territories and remained on the bestseller list for over 32 weeks, selling 130,996 copies in 2009.
Alberta’s Record Size Wolf:
In 2009 a wolf was shot and killed by a bear hunter in the Drayton Valley area in Alberta, Canada. It is one of the biggest wolves on record, though an official weight has yet to be documented. The timber wolf was hunted by a bear hunter, following a recorded attack on a black bear by the large wolf. While accounts of this wolf have varied, with some stating that it weighed as much as 600 pounds, a better rough estimate of its weight by wildlife experts has placed it at around 235 pounds. Some report 197 pounds. There are several convincing photos of the dead wolf being held up by the hunter, but some skeptics are still questioning the existence of a timber wolf this size because of Photoshop and other photo software manipulating programs. If in fact the wolf weighed this much it would set a new record. Previously, the biggest wolf on record was a 175 pound Alaskan wolf reported in 1944. Unfortunately, this wolf is a hot topic among hunters on hunting forums on the internet. While there may be others out there like it, it is more likely that this wolf is an anomaly. Rather than being hunted for sport, it could have been studied in a natural setting for research purposes and an increased understanding of the evolution of the species. Better yet, the wolf should have been allowed to live its life in the wild. But wolves in Canada have no protection whatsoever, and Alberta is as cruel and ultra-conservative as Nazi Germany in this writer's opinion. I once saw a live cat thrown out of a speeding car on the highway outside Calgary. It was typical of what I experienced in Alberta. Here is a link to the "Record Size Wolf": http://ecolocalizer.com/2009/11/27/albertas-record-size-wolf-fact-or-fiction/
"Master Wolf" (1987) by Rose Estes is a 314 page fantasy novel, the third book in the 6 book "Greyhawk Adventures" series. It is set in the land of Greyhawk, where dreams and nightmares come true. The series chronicles the adventures of the wolf nomad Mika-oba, who is the son of the clan's shaman, and his wolf companion Tam-Tur. Mika is an interesting character with the mentality of a sex-crazed hobbit. He wants to have riches, women and glory, but doesn't want work for it. A chain of events may destroy Master Wolf and his wolf companion Tam-Tur. The Wolf Nomads, properly known as the Wegwiur, are descended from the Relentless Horde, which swept into the area around 320 CY. A Wolf Nomad is born for a life of fighting and does not know the meaning of defeat as long as he's still alive. In Estes' novels, the Wolf Nomads revere a deity they call the Great She Wolf, whom they refer to as the "mother of us all." After the death of the Kha-Khan Ogobanuk, the Tiger Nomads split from the Horde and the Wolf Nomads came to be ruled by a ruler known as the tarkhan. The Wolf Nomads have opposed Iuz since he first appeared on the borders of his lands. Iuz claimed the Howling Hills, where the Wolf Nomads have traditionally buried their honored dead, including Ogobanuk himself. In case you were wondering, the lands of the Wolf Nomads are situated in the Bitter North region of the Flanaess, north of Perrenland on the far shore of Lake Quag. The Wolf Nomads speak Ordai, a language closely related to that of their Paynim ancestors. Natives of the Wolf Nomads are primarily Baklunish with a great deal of genetic mixture with the Rovers of the Barrens, to the east. As a result of these Flan characteristics, Wolf Nomads have slightly darker complexions than their Tiger Nomad cousins. Each Wolf Nomad warrior must capture a wild wolf cub as a rite of manhood, raising it to be his companion. "Civilized" Wolf Nomads in Eru-Tovar sometimes simply buy wolf cubs. This book is a colorful and entertaining novel, fast paced and humorous. You'll love Mika's less than heroic attitude and his fun loving wolf Tam-Tur. The ending is strange, but will leave you wanting to know what happens next. Illustrations are by Bart Sears.
"Wolf-Dreams" (1987) by Michael D. Weaver is a 186 page fantasy novel, the first book in the 3 book "Bloodfang" series. Thyri Eiriksdattir, the heroine, has been trained by the sorceress Scacath in the arts of battle and the secrets of Norseland so that she can become a warrior. As the years pass, Thyri matures and falls in love with her cousin Astrid. When their training with Scacath is completed, the two lovers enter the warlike Norse world of campaigning and battle. One evening Thyri's cousin is slain by a White demon-wolf, and Thyri is attacked by the legendary werewolf and becomes a werewolf herself after being badly bitten. Thyri is now subject to irresistible monthly appetites. She is forced, at full moon, to satiate her fatal bloodlust, and subsequently tries to keep others from sharing her fate. White as the moon that awakened her lust to kill, as powerful as the earth that feeds her many hungers, with a sword from the Twilight realms in her hand, she has the torment of wolf blood in her heart. Thyri's journey sweeps her into the lair of a seductive witch, into the castle of a cunning wizard, into battle, and even into the horror of her own dream-walk, where the moon itself howls down Destiny's ruin. The novel is grand and complex, but beautifully simplistic. However, it's somewhat disjointed, characters keep changing without notice, and the chapters aren't in chronological order. You may spend a lot of time wondering when something specific happened, and re-reading chapters to figure it out. The other 2 books in the "Bloodfang" series are "Night Weaver" (1988) and "Bloodfang" (1989).
"Song of the Wolf" (1992) by F. Rosanne Bittner is an accurate portrait of Native American life in the 1800's told almost entirely from the Native American point of view. Medicine Wolf, a proud Cheyenne girl, has extraordinary healing powers and a unique sensitivity that lead her on an unforgettable odyssey into a primeval world of wilderness and mystery. In the summer of her sixth year three events forever changed her destiny: a brutal kidnapping, a miraculous vision, and a daring rescue by a white wolf and a fiercely courageous boy. She was saved from a bear by a pack of wolves, received her first "vision", and is regarded as a holy woman. Her distrust of whites intensifies when she spends two years living with the Prescotts, Methodist missionaries. Her tribe wants her to learn the whites' ways and how to live peacefully with them. The Prescotts want her to be "saved" and live with the settlers. Although she finds a friend in the Prescotts' son Tom, who is interested in Cheyenne customs, she returns to the Cheyenne hoping to marry her beloved warrior Bear Paw. He has feelings of inadequacy with this powerful woman. Medicine Wolf cannot help the Cheyenne preserve their way of life or cope with the massive influx of whites who are changing the shape of "Grandmother Earth". Despite the violent events that punctuate this tale, Bittner's historical romance is a gentle work, thoughtful and sympathetic as it portrays 30 years in the life of a Cheyenne woman.
"The Wolf Who Cried Boy" (2002) by Bob Hartman is a cute children's fantasy, a reversal of Aesop's fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". Spoiled Little Wolf goes to school and calls his friend on the phone. Father Wolf reads the newspaper while Mother Wolf cooks dinner. Little Wolf dislikes his Lamburger, Sloppy Doe, and Muskratatouille dinner, and Father Wolf recalls the true delicacies of Boy Chops, Baked Boy-tato, and Boys-n-Berry Pie. This makes Little Wolf wish he could eat Boy, and Mother Wolf promises to cook the first boy their son can find. He teases his parents by yelling, "Boy! Boy!" for fun quite often. Then he spies a dozen plump Scouts hiking through the forest, but his parents don't believe him anymore. At the end of the book, Little Wolf learns that it is better to tell the truth because people will stop believing you if you tell lies. He also learns to appreciate the food his mom makes, so he has to learn to enjoy eating Lamburgers after all. The writing is excellent, humorous, and witty. Tim Raglin's textured fine-line pen-and-ink colored illustrations picture the wolves as rustic homebodies in old-fashioned clothes, and Little Wolf as a prankster in short pants. The illustrations have a quaint, old-fashioned cartoon quality which perfectly suit the story. However, the wolf is still erroneously portrayed as an eater of humans in this reversal of the classic fairy tale, and it teaches impressionable children to hate and fear the wolf.
Little Red Riding Hood is skipping down the road when she sees the Big Bad Wolf crouched down behind a log.
"My, what big eyes you have, Mr. Wolf," says Little Red Riding Hood.
The surprised wolf jumps up and runs away.
Further down the road Little Red Riding Hood sees the wolf again; this time he is crouched behind a tree stump.
"My, what big ears you have Mr. Wolf," says Little Red Riding Hood.
Again the foiled wolf jumps up and runs away.
About 2 miles down the road, Little Red Riding Hood sees the wolf again, this time crouched down behind a road sign.
"My, what big teeth you have Mr. Wolf," taunts Little Red Riding Hood.
With that the Big Bad Wolf jumps up and screams, "Will you get lost? I'm trying to take a dump!"
"Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China" (1989) by Ed Young is a 32 page children's picture book about three sisters alone at home who are endangered by a hungry wolf (lon or long in Cantonese) who is disguised as their grandmother in this Chinese version of Charles Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood" (1697) (Le Petit Chaperon Rouge). But this time the three sisters outwit the cunning wolf. Their mother is going to visit their grandmother for her birthday, leaving the three girls home alone. "Remember to close the door tight at sunset and latch it well," she tells them. A wolf disguises himself as their grandmother Po Po. "Bang, bang," comes a knock on the door. The wolf says, "This is your grandmother, your Po Po." Even though their mother told them not to unlatch the door, they allow the visitor inside the house. The wolf blows out the candle so he can not be seen, gives the two girls who let him in a hug, and they all go to bed together. Po Po crawls in bed with Shang, Tao, and Paotze , and the eldest daughter Shang cleverly suspects the wolf's real identity. After many questions about grandmother's bushy tail and sharp claws, Shang sees the wolf's snout and the sisters devise a plan to trick and kill the wolf before their mother returns home. The children outsmart the wolf by tempting him with ginkgo seeds, saying that ginkgo seeds have magic that can only be obtained when picked. They pull him in a basket to the top of the tree in which they are hiding, then let go of the rope--killing him. The Chinese text, English translation, and illustrations are all by Ed Young. Writing is brief, there is only one paragraph on each page, with a mix of abstract, impressionist, and realistic images for the watercolor and pastel pictures. The wolf seems to appear as a mist on every page to imply that he is some sort of evil spirit. This despicable book won the Caldecott Medal in 1990 for the best illustrated children's book. It perpetuates the lies about the "evil" wolf and contributes to its extinction. Shame on Ed Young! He's living in the wrong century and telling someone else's false story about the wolf. He should be punished for plagiarism and defamation of the wolf, not be awarded a medal. One of Young's illustrations accompanies his dedication: "To all the wolves of the world for lending their good name as a tangible symbol for our darkness." No, Ed Young is the real symbol of darkness: evil, ignorant, mean-spirited, and destructive. This book should be burned along with "Little Red Riding Hood" and all the other monstrous "fairy tales" that have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of wolves.
"Politically Correct Red Riding Hood" (1994) by James Finn Garner:
"There once was a young person named Red Riding Hood who lived with her mother on the edge of a large wood. One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house--not because this was womyn's work, mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of community. Furthermore, her grandmother was not sick, but rather was in full physical and mental health and was fully capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult.
So Red Riding Hood set off with her basket through the woods. Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place and never set foot in it. Red Riding Hood, however, was confident enough in her own budding sexuality that such obvious Freudian imagery did not intimidate her.
On the way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood was accosted by a wolf, who asked her what was in her basket. She replied, "Some healthful snacks for my grandmother, who is certainly capable of taking care of herself as a mature adult."
The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."
Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."
Red Riding Hood walked on along the main path. But because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the wolf knew a quicker route to Grandma's house. He burst into the house and ate Grandma, an entirely valid course of action for a carnivore such as himself. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist notions of what was masculine or feminine, he put on Grandma's nightclothes and crawled into bed.
Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought you some fat-free, sodium-free snacks to salute you in your role of a wise and nurturing matriarch."
From the bed, the wolf said softly, "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."
Red Riding Hood said, "Oh, I forgot you are as optically challenged as a bat. Grandma, what big eyes you have!"
"They have seen much, and forgiven much, my dear."
"Grandma, what a big nose you have--only relatively, of course, and certainly attractive in its own way."
It has smelled much, and forgiven much, my dear."
"Grandma, what big teeth you have!"
The wolf said, "I am happy with who I am and what I am," and leaped out of the bed. He grabbed Red Riding Hood in his claws, intent on devouring her. Red Riding Hood screamed, not out of alarm at the wolf's apparent tendency toward cross-dressing, but because of his willful invasion of her personal space.
Her screams were heard by a passing woodchopper-person (or log-fuel technician, as he preferred to be called). When he burst into the cottage, he saw the melee and tried to intervene. But as he raised his axe, Red Riding Hood and the wolf both stopped.
"And just what do you think you're doing?" asked Red Riding Hood.
The woodchopper-person blinked and tried to answer, but no words came to him.
"Bursting in here like a Neanderthal, trusting your weapon to do your thinking for you!" she exclaimed. "Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help!"
When she heard Red Riding Hood's impassioned speech, Grandma jumped out of the wolf's mouth, seized the woodchopper-person's axe, and cut his head off. After this ordeal, Red Riding Hood, Grandma, and the wolf felt a certain commonality of purpose. They decided to set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, and they lived together in the woods happily ever after."
The Big Bad Wolf caught up with the three pigs and cornered them. Helpless, the three pigs said, "Sigh, its alright. We don't want to run anymore. Do what you want to us." And the Big Bad Wolf said, while panting, "OK, now tell me where is Little Red Riding Hood?"
"The Wolf’s Side" (The truth about Little Red Riding Hood) (1998) by Cheryl Henry Hodgetts, aka Laurie Foston, is a short story posted on the internet by the American science fiction writer. Supposedly it is not for children or impressionable adults to read. It begins: "They call me the big bad wolf. They have been calling me that forever, since that meanie, "Little Red Riding Hood", and her grandmother told a story about me that was not true. But, as the old saying goes, "What goes around, comes around!" I don’t have any reason to tell you a lie. I’m a good wolf. One beautiful spring day while I was lying in a bed of wild flowers, safely guarding some nearby sheep when I heard a voice call to me. "Good morning, Wolf!" I turned my head in the direction of the voice and saw Little Red Riding Hood standing close by holding a basket on her arm. She was covering her face with her hood. I didn’t know why she was doing that then, but now I realize she was just trying to hide the smirk on her face. "Good morning!" I answered. I was honestly glad to see her. I picked a quick bouquet of flowers and put them between my fangs. Then I trotted over to her and dropped them into her basket. I had only the best of intentions." The story continues as a spoof of the original and ends: "I ran and ran until I returned to the field of flowers where I found a note nailed to a tree. It was from that brat, Little Red Riding Hood. Humiliated with embarrassment, I opened it up and read it: You stupid Wolf! Just wait until I tell everybody a tale I made up about you. You will not have a friend left in the world. Oh yes, Granny said to thank you for the lamb chops! Signed: Little Red Riding Hood. So, I lay back down in the field to guard the sheep once more and gave all of this some thought. This is what I have learned: Just because something looks good does not mean that it is good. Just because something looks bad does not mean that it is bad. Last, but not least, there are always two sides to every story. This is The Wolf’s Side." This cute variation on the classic fairy tale is reminiscent of "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" by Eugene Trivizas, and helps balance the defamation of wolves by the original. Here is a link to the entire story: http://thewolfsside.blogspot.com/
"The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" (1997) (Τα τρία μικρά λυκάκια) by Greek sociologist Dr. Eugene Trivizas is a young children's picture book, a fractured inverted spoof of "The Story of the Three Little Pigs" fairy tale. The wolves in this story are cuddly and lovable with soft fur and fluffy tails. When it comes time for three little wolves to go out into the world and build themselves a house, their mother warns them to beware of the big bad pig. On three occasions they try to build a house, each time of sturdier materials, only to have it blown down by the "big bad pig". Their determination and perseverance is admirable. The wolves' first house is made of brick, a medium which resists the pig's huffing and puffing but is no match for a sledgehammer. They build a stronger house of concrete, but the big bad pig destroys it with a pneumatic drill. Even a house made of armor plates does not protect them. Finally a chance encounter with a flamingo bird pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers inspires the wolves to weave a house of flowers. The magical fragrance so intoxicates and tames the pig that he decides "to become a good pig". It ends with the three wolves dancing and playing with the pig, who stays for tea, and they "all live happily ever after". Trivizas text is funny, with clever touches such as animals who donate the building materials the wolves require, and the wolves' armor-plated residence with a "video entrance phone" over which the pig can make his threats. The contrast with the original tale and witty humor begins with the opening illustration: a mother wolf lounges in bed, her hair in curlers and her toenails freshly polished, with her three cute offspring gathered round. Helen Oxenbury's charming watercolor illustrations, full of humorous details and visual excitement, are the perfect accompaniment to this skewed version of the traditional classic fairy tale. It has been translated into 15 languages, took second place in the New York Times Best Seller list for picture books, and won many awards. The Economist wrote that "only the most talented of writers can tamper with a classic nursery tale and produce something almost as amusing and thought-provoking as the original." Dr. Trivizas wrote: "Wolves are not necessarily the embodiment of evil, nor always something to be loathed. Indeed it may be easier to make friends with a wolf than a pig...Not all pigs are bad and not all wolves are good. There is good and bad in everyone. Stereotyping character rather than acts is sometimes dangerous because it excuses corruption, promotes persecution of minorities, and carries the risk of the so-called self-fulfilling prophesy...A child told me the other day, "Everybody knows why wolves are bad. Because they is eating pigs." "So do humans," I answered. "Are we also all bad?"
"The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf" (1999) by Joseph Robinette is a 52 page 60 minute comedy and fantasy stage play for the young. Is the wolf a villain or victim? Are the 3 pigs innocent or guilty? The jurors include Miss Muffet, Bo Peep, Cinderella and Humpty-Dumpty, and the judge is Wise O. Al. A reporter, newscaster and town crier are the media. Have they come to accurately report the proceedings--or to turn the courtroom into a media circus? And who is that surprise witness at the end? The answers to these questions and more are revealed once and for all in this fun-filled, action-packed trial-of-the-century. Joseph Robinette examines the guilt or innocence of the accused from different points of view and comes up with a surprising yet satisfying conclusion in which no one escapes unscathed. As a bonus, a lesson or two is learned along the way. It all ends happily ever after, with the newly bonded Wolf and Pigs along with the fairy-tale jury and all the others heading for a post-trial party at the castle of Old King Cole. This play may be performed by children, adults or a combination of both.
"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" (1989) by Jon Scieszka is a 32 page children's book illustrated by Lane Smith. The big bad wolf has spent ten years in pig prison for the destruction of the three little pigs, and he tells his side of the story to prove his innocence. Alexander T. Wolf writes his own account of this infamous meeting, and insists that he was railroaded in the classic fairytale. After all, it was only an innocent sneeze (he had a bad cold), and all he wanted was to borrow a cup of sugar from one of the pigs. Why is he now the bad guy? He says: "I'm Alexander T. Wolf. You can call me Al. I don't know how this whole Big Bad Wolf thing got started, but it's all wrong. Maybe it's because of our diet. Hey, it's not my fault wolves eat cute little animals like bunnies and sheep and pigs. That's just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks would probably think you were Big and Bad too. But like I was saying, the whole big bad wolf thing is all wrong. The real story is about a sneeze and a cup of sugar." Here is a link to the story: http://www.shol.com/agita/wolfside.htm
Where's the Big Bad Wolf?" (2002) by Eileen Christelow is a 32 page children's fantasy book, a funny parody of "The Story of the Three Little Pigs". The protagonist in the story is canine detective Phineas T. Doggedly who says, "There's only one no-good rascal in this town--the Big Bad Wolf!" When "a big gust of wind hufffs and pufffs," he sets out to round up the usual suspect, who's nowhere to be found. The fact that an odd-looking sheep named Esmerelda happens to be strolling by every time disaster strikes seems odd to the dog detective, but he says, "I just can't quite put my paw on what it is." Esmerelda urges the pigs to put down their bricks: "Build a cardboard house. It's so much easier!" A big gray nose is sticking out of Esmerelda's white wool. The three little pigs' house is huffed and puffed into a pile of straw and only Esmeralda is found at the scene of the crime. Three stupid naive pigs and a wolf with strange costumes create a mystery, and two old badgering cows in bathrobes in the "Home for Elderly Cows" across the road provide a comic running commentary, as does the dog. But who is destroying the pigs' houses, when the wolf is hospitalized with mysterious flu-like symptoms? Doggedly finally nabs the wolf with the help of the wise cows and says, "This no-good, pig-poaching, huffing, puffing, wolf-in-sheep's-clothing is under arrest!". The wolf spends a couple of nights in jail before he's back to his usual tricks. Eileen Christelow provides her own cartoon-style artwork, complete with dialogue balloons. Comic book panels alternate with full spreads of pen-and-ink and gouache drawings, showing sticks and straw flying across pages and a hilarious wolf in sheep's clothing. This is a cute story with the wolf as the villain, and the pictures are what really give the clues.
"Kazan" (1914) is a novel by James Oliver Curwood. It is the prequel to "Baree, Son of Kazan". The book begins with hybrid wolf Kazan (¼ wolf and ¾ dog) going up north to the Canadian wilderness with his owners the Thorpes, where they are greeted by a man known as McCready. We are shown in the beginning that McCready used to own Kazan, then known as "Pedro", and McCready was an abusive master. "Baree, Son of Kazan" (1917) is the sequel to "Kazan". Baree is the hybrid wolf son of Kazan. The plot is about Baree's survival after being separated from his parents as a pup. He eventually finds himself in the care of Nepeese and her father Pierrot, a trapper. He bonds with Nepeese, and the story continues from there. James Oliver Curwood took the "boy and his dog" formula, and created a great adventure story about a girl and her wolf. This successful formula featuring a strong heroine, rather than a male hero, has been used in many of his stories.
"Brave Charlotte and the Wolves" (2009) by Anu Stohner is a 32 page children's book about the continuing adventures of Charlotte, a feisty sheep known for her courage and sense of adventure. She does things that normal sheep consider to be odd, like climbing trees or sitting on top of a fence post. After she saved an old shepherd, the "older sheep had stopped worrying about her wild ways." But the younger sheep were jealous and especially annoyed when the older sheep praised her. "What's so brave about her?" Wolfie asked. Wolfie has a gang that picked on Jack, the farm's sheepdog. They got him riled up when "they would hide in the bushes so he'd think they had gone missing." Wolfie and his gang try to scare the younger sheep by pretending they are wolves howling, "Ah-ooo, woo-woo-wooooo!" When a real wolf howls, Jack won't help because he is afraid of wolves and Wolfie and his gang are terrified. Charlotte is the only one brave enough to investigate its location. She discovers a small puppy whose great-grandfather was a wolf, and recruits him to scare the bullies. Then she helps the puppy find his family. This engaging tale puts bullies in their place, and they cower in some bushes. Henrike Wilson's illustrations are charming acrylic paintings with a mix of full color double spreads and some pages with smaller images. A bright blue sky illuminates a pastoral scene with a thatched farm building, and beside it some sheep peek out of the bushes as an old sheepdog slowly walks away. Stars and the moon illuminate the evening hours to create a somewhat spooky setting for the threat of wolves.
"The Wolves of Aam" (1981) by Jane Louise Curry is a juvenile fantasy novel, the seventh book in her "Abaloc" series, which includes:
1. "Beneath the Hill" (1967)
2. "The Change Child" (1969)
3. "The Daybreakers" (1970)
4. "Over the Sea's Edge" (1971)
5. "The Watchers" (1975)
6. "The Birdstones" (1977)
7. "The Wolves of Aam" (1981)
8. "Shadow Dancers" (1983)
This series speculates about a link between medieval Wales, the mound builders of SE United States, and the Aztecs. Most books contain elements of history or legend. They are set in the magical landscape of the Ohio Valley and surrounding regions, and in contemporary, medieval, and prehistoric times. In "The Wolves of Aam", set in a northern climate, there are great wolves called the "Dread Ones" and the "elusive, magical Wolves of Aam". The wolves are depicted as heroic. Runner, one of the fastest Tiddi scouts, is searching for his missing lucky "dreamstone" and the answers to some mysteries surrounding it. He ventures into the northern Icelands and the grim mountain fortress of Gzel and encounters an ancient world filled with brooding mystery, danger and forces of power. Aided by the magical wolves of Aam, Runner penetrates the awesome mountain fortress of Gzel to retrieve his stolen "dreamstone", the fabled Mirelidar, from the evil Lord Naghar. Jane Louise Curry is a prolific writer of adventure, fantasy, mystery, time travel, and American Indian tales for older children and teenagers. She has written 37 books. "The Wolves of Aam" is 192 pages long, but like most of the "Abaloc" series it is currently out of print. Used copies can usually be found through online booksellers or real world book stores.
"The Tenderness of Wolves" (2006) by Stef Penney is a 384 page novel set in 1867 Canada. During the winter in the isolated settlement of Dove River in the Northern Territory, a man is brutally murdered and 17 year old Francis Ross disappears. His mother stumbles upon the crime scene and sees tracks leading from a cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. She discovers the scalped body of fur trader Laurent Jammett, her closest neighbor and a hunter of wolves in the cabin. Her son Francis is now considered a prime suspect. In the wake of this violence, journalists, Hudson's Bay Company men, trappers, and traders come to Dove River to solve the crime or exploit it. William Parker, a half-breed Native American and trapper was caught searching the dead man's house, but he escapes and joins Mrs. Ross to track Francis north, a journey that produces a deep bond between them. When the pair reaches a distant Scandinavian settlement they begin to understand Francis, who arrived there days before them. Searchers set out from Dove River, following tracks across a desolate landscape seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for 17 years, a forgotten Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs. In his first novel, Stef Penney weaves adventure, suspense, revelation and humor into a panoramic historical romance, an exhilarating thriller, and a murder mystery with many plot twists. The novel successfully reveals complex human desires, motivations, and relationships in a multi-layered story. But the first 50 pages are hard to follow, each chapter is told from a different character's point of view, there are too many names to remember, and the ending is unremarkable. The book’s title refers to the disappearance of a couple of local girls widely believed to have been eaten by wolves. William Parker tells us that wolves do not attack people, that they are curious of people but do not attack without provocation, hence their tenderness. He also points out that wolves would not eat an entire corpse so there would be remains of a corpse if this did happen. In the end, we realize that the real tragedy is the men are actually more dangerous than the wolves.
(Excerpt from "The Tenderness of Wolves")
"The last time I saw Laurent Jammet, he was in Scott's store with a dead wolf over his shoulder. I had gone to get needles, and he had come in for the bounty. Scott insisted on the whole carcass, having once been bamboozled by a Yankee who brought in a pair of ears one day and claimed his bounty, then some time later brought in the paws for another dollar, and finally the tail. It was winter and the parts looked fairly fresh, but the con became common knowledge, to Scott's disgust. So the wolf's face was the first thing I saw when I walked in. The tongue lolled out of the mouth, which was pulled back in a grimace. I flinched, despite myself. Scott yelled and Jammet apologized profusely; it was impossible to be angry with him, what with his charm and his limp. The carcass was removed out back somewhere, and as I was browsing, they began to argue about the moth-eaten pelt that hangs over the door. I think Jammet suggested jokingly that Scott replace it with a new one. The sign under it reads, "Canis lupus (male), the first wolf to be caught in the town of Caulfield, 11th February, 1860." The sign tells you a lot about John Scott, demonstrating his pretensions to learning, his self-importance, and the craven respect for authority over truth. It certainly wasn't the first wolf to be caught around here, and there is no such thing as the town of Caulfield, strictly speaking, although he would like there to be, because then there would be a council, and he could be its mayor.
"Anyway, that is a female. Males have a darker collar, and are bigger. This one is very small."
Jammet knew what he was talking about, as he had caught more wolves than anyone else I know. He smiled, to show he meant no offense, but Scott takes offense like it is going out of fashion, and bristled.
"I suppose you remember better than I do, Mr. Jammet?"
Jammet shrugged. Since he wasn't here in 1860, and since he was French, unlike the rest of us, he had to watch his step.
At this point I stepped up to the counter. "I think it was a female, Mr. Scott. The man who brought it in said her cubs howled all night. I remember it distinctly."
And the way Scott strung up the carcass by its back legs outside the store for everyone to gawp at. I had never seen a wolf before, and I was surprised at its smallness. It hung with its nose pointing at the ground, eyes closed as if ashamed. Men mocked the carcass, and children laughed, daring each other to put their hands in its mouth. They posed with it for each other's amusement."
"The Maiden and the Wolves" (2008) (La Jeune Fille et les Loups) is a 110 minute French film about 20 year old Angèle Amblard (Laetitia Casta), a feisty young woman whose fate becomes entangled with that of the last wild wolf pack on Mont Blanc. Shortly before World War I, in a French Alpine town near the Italian border, a pack of slaughtered wolves is delivered to local taxidermist Léon Amblard (Patrick Chesnais). A surviving black cub comes down from the mountains looking for his family, and is saved from discovery and certain death by his daughter Angèle, who releases him back into the wild. Years later, gypsy Séréna (Elisa Tovati) lives up on the mountain with her son Guiseppe (Stefano Accorsi), who guards the wolves he's befriended up there, especially the black pack leader he calls Carbone. Guiseppe is a simple man who has withdrawn to the mountains to live among wolves, away from the madness of humans. Séréna is seen in flashbacks having dances with wolves on stage. Following WWI, Angèle wants to become a veterinarian specializing in wild animals. She studies to become a veterinarian but must battle against the prejudices of her male teachers. To complement her training she joins Zhormov (Miglen Mirtchev), an adventurous circus owner who searches for wild animals and wants to capture a wolf from the mountains above her hometown. Their plane crashes in the snow and an injured Angèle is left behind while Zhormov seeks help. Recognizing her smell from his days as a cub, Carbone rescues her with his pack, and she falls into the care of Guiseppe. On her return to the town she discovers that her financé, unscrupulous industrialist Émile Garcin (Jean-Paul Rouve), plans to exterminate the wolves in order to increase tourism. Together with Guiseppe, Angèle sets about saving the wolves. Although it's basically a family movie, it does contain a scene where Angèle bares a breast, and adult themes are lightly touched on with mentions of illegitimate children and the suggestion that Guiseppe might ravage Angèle at any moment. However, kids will love the animal scenes, which feature some of the finest wolf acting on film. Versions of "White Fang" and "The Call of the Wild" might compare if they were not hybrid wolf (part dog) actors. A sequence in which the young wolf Carbone has to defend himself against a bird of prey is a particular knockout. Human performers are quite good, although a little hammy in places, and the movie moves along at a breathless pace.
"Eye of the Wolf" (2002) by Daniel Pennac is a children's novel about an Alaskan wolf named Blue Wolf and an African boy who meet in a zoo. At first they just stare at each other, but then they begin to read through each other's eyes the hardships each has faced. Blue Wolf and his family had spent every day trying to escape from hunters. One day hunters saw Shiny Straw, Blue Wolf's sister. Blue Wolf was successful in saving her, but lost an eye and was sent to several zoos. In another part of the story in Gray Africa, the African boy is given to a trader when he's a baby. As he grows older, he becomes a great storyteller and attracts many people and animals with his stories. His parents eventually find him, take him back to their house, and nurse him until he is better. The boy then begins helping his parents with the housework. Everything is fine, but soon the forest begins to thin out, trees start falling, and food gets scarce. This book has an important ecological message, and the wolf and the boy are able to understand each other and become friends, enabling them to move on with their lives.
"The Crossing" (1994) is a novel by Cormac McCarthy, the second installment of McCarthy's "Border Trilogy". Like its predecessor, "All the Pretty Horses", it is a coming-of-age novel set on the border between the SW United States and Mexico and takes place before and during WWII. It focuses on the life of teenage cowboy Billy Parham, his family and his younger brother Boyd. A series of hunting expeditions conducted by Billy, his father and Boyd involves attempting to locate and trap a pregnant female wolf that has been preying on cattle in the area. When Billy catches the wolf, he harnesses it and is determined to return it to the mountains of Mexico where he believes its original home is located. He develops a deep affection for and bond with the wolf, risking his life to save it on more than one occasion. The last scene shows Billy coming across a beat up dog. Forgetting his youthful bond with a wolf, he angrily shoos the dog away. Then he feels remorse, goes after the dog, and calls for it to come back--but it has gone. He breaks down in tears.
"The Bible" (4th century A.D.) is a collection of sacred scripture of both Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible is divided into the Old Testament, 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the New Testament, a set of 27 books. It generally portrays the wolf as negative or evil. In Biblical terms, "wolf" does not equate to "evil", it is only the allusion that the wolf stands in a predatory relationship to sheep. Almost every place that "wolf" is used figuratively in the Bible, it is metaphorical with wolves representing false prophets, false religion, false teachers, or "faith for pay" practitioners. They are evil, and do to the faithful what wolves do to sheep. "Flock" represents followers of God and the "Shepherd" represents the "Anointed One" (Jesus). The Bible contains 13 references to wolves, usually as metaphors for falseness, greed and destructiveness. In the New Testament Jesus says, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."(Matthew 10:16) and "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15). The Bible describes Jesus as the shepherd protecting his flock of sheep from the wolf. "Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves."(Luke 10:3). "The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it." (John 10:12) In Acts 20:29 the Apostle Paul warns that after he is gone, that "grievous wolves" will rise within Christianity itself. In Genesis 49:27 Benjamin is likened to a ravening wolf: "In the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil." In Ezekiel 22:27 the elders of Jerusalem are compared to wolves: "Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain." and in the similar Zephaniah 3:3 is "Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow." In Jeremiah 5:6 it is a wolf that shall destroy the people of Jerusalem: "Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them." In Habakkuk 1:8 the horses of the Chaldeans "are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves." There are some kind attitudes toward the wolf in the Bible. In Isaiah 11:6 "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb" and in Isaiah 65:25 "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together". Another very prevalent notion in both the old and new testaments of the Bible is the wolf as a tool of Satan and his henchmen. Wolves in this context are thought of as stealing the souls of men. The wolf naturally preying upon domesticated animals easily transforms into the metaphor of Satan seducing the innocents of the Christian flock. This is probably the most frequent religious wolf allusion to inseminate Christianity and Western culture. The Bible is the best-selling book in history, and the sad fact is that its image of the wolf has little relation to anything based on reality and has had a disastrous effect on this animal and its role in our world.
"The Talmud" (תַּלְמוּד) is a central text of Judaism in the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history. It has two components, the Mishnah (200 A.D) a compendium of Judaism's Oral Law, and the Gemara (500 A.D.), mostly discussions and legal analysis. In the Talmud the main source for understanding the role of the wolf in Judaism is the verse of Jacob's somber blessing to his youngest son Benjamin, whose future tribe is compared to a wolf: "Benjamin is a predatory wolf; in the morning he eats his prey, and in the evening his spoil shall be divided." (Genesis 49:27) The prophecy emphasizes the tribe's military ferocity. Some believe this may be an allusion to Saul, the first king of Israel. If so, there may be a connection here to the Egyptian god Wepwawet, the royal wolf of Egypt. The city of Wepwawet was known as Lycopolis, "Wolf City". Others think that this refers to the Temple that was built on Benjamin's territory and swallowed up the offerings of the people at the altar. Literally, this verse shows the activities of the wolf at two times: dawn and dusk. In his classic work on wolf biology and lore, "Of Wolves And Men" (1979), Barry Lopez notes that this feature of wolf behavior is so striking as to form a basis for its symbolism: "From classical times he had been a symbol of things in transit. He was a twilight hunter, seen at dawn and dusk." In other words, the wolf is a creature that is symbolically related to times of half-light. Barry Lopez wrote: "The link is between the wolf and a period of half-light--either dawn or dusk, though dawn is more widely known as the hour of the wolf. The wolf is a creature of dawn, representing an emergence from darkness into enlightenment. The association is old enough to have been the basis for the Latin idiom for dawn, "inter lupem et canem", between the wolf and the dog. Darkness and savagery are symbolized in the wolf, while enlightenment and civilization are symbolized in the tame wolf, the dog." The wolf is a symbol of transition. It can be either a savage killer or man's best friend. Of the two periods of half-light, Lopez writes that it is dawn that was more widely rated as the hour of the wolf. Scripture, on the other hand, places greater emphasis on dusk: "His horses are swifter than leopards, and quicker than the wolves of dusk." (Habakuk 1:8)
"Its princes were in its midst as roaring lions, its officers were the wolves of dusk, not leaving a bone for the morning." (Tzephaniah 3:2-3)
"Therefore the lion from the forest has struck them, the wolf of the dusks has plundered them." (Jeremiah 5:6)
Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua ben Tzvi Hirsch (1752-1780) in his Talmudic commentary "Pnei Yehoshua" stated one should only begin one's travels at daybreak when one can ascertain the difference between a dog and a wolf.
Very few mammals have symbiotic relationships with other creatures. One of the few exceptions is the wolf. Barry Lopez wrote: "The wolf seems to have few relationships with other animals that could be termed purely social, though he apparently takes pleasure in the company of ravens. The raven, with a range almost as extensive as the wolf's, one that even includes the tundra, commonly follows hunting wolves to feed on the remains of a kill." The raven is sometimes known as "wolf-bird", and some zoologists speculate that its relationship with wolves may be assisted by their psychological make-up. Ravens can be attracted to wolf-howls. The wolves' howls before they go on the hunt are a signal that the birds learn to heed. Conversely, wolves may respond to certain raven vocalizations or behavior that indicate prey. The raven-wolf association may be close to a symbiosis that benefits the wolves and ravens alike. At a kill site, the birds are more suspicious and alert than wolves, and the ravens serve the wolves as extra eyes and ears. Dr. L. David Mech in "The Wolf: The Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species" (1981) wrote: "It appears that the wolf and the raven have reached an adjustment in their relationships such that each creature is rewarded in some way by the presence of the other and that each is fully aware of the other's capabilities. Both species are extremely social, so they must possess the psychological mechanisms necessary for forming social attachments. Perhaps in some way individuals of each species have included members of the other in their social group and have formed bonds with them."
This unusual partnership also finds expression in Scripture. The only person in Scripture named after the wolf, the Midianite chieftain Ze'ev (זְאֵב Wolf), had a partner named Orev (Raven). "And they captured the two chieftains of Midian, Orev and Ze'ev; and they executed Orev in the Rock of Orev, and they executed Ze'ev at the Winepress of Ze'ev, and they pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Orev and Ze'ev to Gideon, across the Jordan." (Judges 7:25)
The Hebrew name for raven is orev, comprised of the same letters as the word erev, meaning dusk. Dusk, the time which is so epitomized by wolves that they are repeatedly referred to as "the wolves of dusk". In the Midrash (מדרש commentaries on Tanakh תַּנַ, the Hebrew Bible) is a view that the Egyptian plague of arov was comprised of ravens and other such birds, while another view maintains that it was both wolves and ravens. The Talmud also mentions "Great is the sheep that stands among seventy wolves" and asks, "How can a sheep survive among seventy wolves?"
"The Qur’an" (القرآن) (632 A.D.) by Muhammad is the religious text of Islam, also known as Quran, Kuran, Koran, Coran or al-Qur’ān. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the verbal divine guidance and moral direction for mankind and the final revelation of God. One story in this religious book is the Sura Yusuf about the prophet Yusuf (circa 1610 B.C. - 1500 B.C.). Yusuf corresponds to the character from the Jewish texts and the Christian Bible as Joseph and is the Arabic variant of that name. His brothers were jealous of him for his talents and because they thought their father prophet Ya'qub favored him. So they plotted to kill him and falsely tell their father he was eaten by a wolf. Prophet Ya'qub refused to believe his sons realizing it was all a lie which they had prepared.
[12:9] "Let us kill Yusuf, or banish him, that you may get some attention from your father. Afterwards, you can be righteous people."
[12:10] One of them said, "Do not kill Yusuf; let us throw him into the abyss of the well. Perhaps some caravan can pick him up, if this is what you decide to do."
[12:11] They said, "Our father, why do you not trust us with Yusuf? We will take good care of him.
[12:12] "Send him with us tomorrow to run and play. We will protect him."
[12:13] He said, "I worry lest you go away with him, then the wolf may devour him while you are not watching him."
[12:14] They said, "Indeed, if the wolf devours him, with so many of us around, then we are really losers."
(Yusuf is thrown in a well by his brothers, but he survives.)
[12:16] Then they killed a sheep and soaked Yusuf's shirt in its blood. One brother said that they should swear to keep their deed a close secret. All of them took the oath. And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.
[12:17] The scene here is dark night, broken by the crying of ten men. The father is sitting in his house when the sons enter, the darkness of night covering the darkness of their hearts and the darkness of their lies struggling to come out. Prophet Ya'qub wondered aloud: "Why this weeping? Has anything happened to our flock?" They answered crying: "O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.
[12:18] "We were surprised after returning from the race that Yusuf was in the belly of the wolf."
"We did not see him!"
"You will not believe us even though we are truthful! we are telling you what happened!"
"The wolf has eaten Yusuf!"
"This is Yusuf's shirt. We found it soiled with blood, and did not find Yusuf!"
They brought his shirt stained with false blood. Deep down in the heart Ya'qub knew that his beloved son was still alive and that his other sons were lying. He held the blood stained shirt in his hands, spread it out and remarked: "What a merciful wolf! he ate up my beloved son without tearing his shirt!" Their faces turned red when he demanded more information, but each swore by Allah that he was telling the truth. The brokenhearted father burst into tears: "Nay! But your ownselves have made up a tale. So for me patience is more fitting. It is Allah alone whose help can be sought against that which you assert."
"The Rig Veda" (1700–1100 B.C.) (ऋग्वेद) is an ancient Indian collection of sacred Vedic Sanskrit hymns. It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas and is one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. Some of its verses are still recited as Hindu prayers, putting these among the world's oldest religious texts in continued use. In the Rig Veda, Rijrsava is blinded by his father as punishment for having given 101 of his family's sheep to a she-wolf, who in turn prays to the Ashvins to restore his sight. Bhima, the voracious son of the god Vayu, is described as Vrikodara, meaning "wolf-stomached". Verse 2 of Hymn XLII states: "Drive, Pusan, from our road the wolf, the wicked inasuspicious wolf, Who lies in Wait to injure us." Verse 14 of Hymn CXVI states, "Ye from the wolf's jaws, as ye stood together, set free the quail, O Heroes, O Nasatyas." In 10.127.6-7 we read, "Ward off the she-wolf and the wolf; ward off the thief. O night full of waves, be easy for us to cross over." In the Harivamsa, considered a supplement to the Mahabharata (an epic "history"), Krishna convinces the people of Vraja to migrate to Vrindavan by creating hundreds of wolves from his hairs, which frighten the inhabitants of Vraja into making the journey. It does seem that Hinduism has an ancient negative attitude toward the wolf. However, the Dharma Shastras states, "The killing of living beings is not conducive to heaven", the Yajur Veda states, "Everyone should make offerings to all creatures; thereby one achieves the propitiation of all creatures", the Yoga Sutras state, "When one is established in non-injury, beings give up their mutual animosity in his presence", and verse 321 of the Tirukural reads, "What is virtuous conduct? It is never destroying life, for killing leads to every other sin." Presumably this pacifist non-violence also applies to the persecution of wolves.
According to Gautama Buddha (563 B.C. - 483 B.C.) the wolf was born in such a body and came to a violent end due to correspondingly violent actions in previous lifetimes. Its killing marks the end of that particular karmic episode. For the hunter, on the other hand, whatever short-lived satisfaction might be experienced out of ignorance, such killing plants the seed for acute suffering in future lifetimes. Buddhist scriptures or Sutras (literally "Peace") are the recorded teachings of the Buddha whose main aim is to enable all sentient beings to listen, understand, practise and benefit from the teachings of the Buddha. Unfortunately for us, there is virtually nothing about the wolf in the Sutras. Furthermore, over thousands of years Buddhism has become fragmented and somewhat transformed into something Gautama Buddha might disapprove of. For example, nowadays there is a trendy form of "Buddhism" called "Green Buddhism" that believes all theology is ecology. Nature is never wrong. The hours of Green Meditation are sometimes referred to as "the hour of the wolf", because this is the time when anxieties, health or financial worries, and other personal problems often come to the fore. The "Játaka Tales" are folklore-like literature native to India concerning the previous births of the Buddha. "Official" Játaka stories date before the 3rd century B.C. It is the most ancient complete collection of folk-lore now extant in any literature in the world. Translations for children include: "The Tricky Wolf and the Rats", "The Cunning Wolf", "The Otters and the Wolf", "The Foolhardy Wolf", and "The Wise Goat and the Wolf". One of these stories is the "Vaka-Játaka" about a wolf who decides to observe the Uposatha fast because he has no food. But when he sees a goat the pious wolf decides to keep the fast on another occasion. If the story were not intended to be satirical it would be an injustice to wolves. Upasena visits his Master in a monastery, becomes somewhat enlightened and with others throws his old clothes on the floor. The Master notices the rags and says, "Brethren, the practice undertaken by these brothers is short-lived, like the wolf's holy day service." He then tells this tale:
"Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned as king in Benares, the Bodhisattva came to life as Sakka, king of the gods. At that time a wolf lived on a rock by the Ganges bank. The winter floods came up and surrounded the rock. There he lay upon the rock, with no food and no way of getting it. The water rose and rose, and the wolf pondered: "No food here, and no way to get it. Here I lie, with nothing to do. I may as well keep a sabbath fast." Thus resolved to keep a sabbath, as he lay he solemnly resolved to keep the religious precepts. Sakka in his meditations perceived the wolf's weak resolve. He thought, "I'll plague that wolf"; and taking the shape of a wild goat, he stood near, and let the wolf see him.
"I'll keep Sabbath another day!" thought the wolf, as he spied him. He got up and leapt at the creature. But the goat jumped about so much that the wolf could not catch him. When the wolf saw that he could not catch him, he came to a standstill, and went back, thinking to himself as he lay down again, "Well, my Sabbath is not broken after all."
Then Sakka, by his divine power, hovered above in the air. He said, "What have such as you, all unstable, to do with keeping a Sabbath? You didn't know that I was Sakka, and wanted a meal of goat's-flesh!" and thus plaguing and rebuking him, he returned to the world of the gods."
The Játakas are in the form of 547 poems, and the "Vaka-Játaka" ends with a moral:
"Even so some persons in this world of ours,
That make resolves which are beyond their powers,
Swerve from their purpose, as the wolf did here
As soon as he beheld the goat appear."
"The Gathas" (18th - 10th century B.C.) are 17 hymns believed to have been composed by Zarathusthra (Zoroaster), an ancient Iranian prophet, philosopher, and the founder of the Zoroastrian religion. According to the Avesta, a collection of sacred texts, the young Zarathushtra was raised by a mother wolf in the wilderness. The Gathas are hymns, the most sacred texts of the Zoroastrian faith. Zarathushtra tells us of The World Savior, who will stop the cruelty of bloodthirsty and wicked people, renew the world, and end death. From "Pahlavi Rivayat", ch. 48:
"4. Aushedar will purify the religion, he will bring the ritual precepts of Hadamansar into use, and men will act according to Hadamansar.
5. The members of the wolf species will all go to one place, and in one place they will be merged, and there will be one wolf whose breadth will be 415 paces and length 433 paces.
6. And on the authority of Aushedar the Mazda-worshippers will muster an army, and they will go to battle with that wolf. First they will perform the yasna, and through their yasna it will not be possible to withstand them.
7. Then Aushedar will say: 'With the sharpest and broadest blades find a means to destroy that demon of great strength'. And then men will slay that demon, with whip and dagger and mace and sword and lance and arrow and other weapons."
"Dream Wolf" (1990) by Paul Goble is a 32 page picture book for young readers, a revised version of "The Friendly Wolf" (1974). The basic story remains the same: while berry picking, two young Plains Indian children, Tiblo and Tanski, get lost. They eventually find a cave to shelter them for the night. While sleeping, Tiblo dreams that a gentle wolf is watching over them. When he awakens, he finds that his dream has come true--not only is a wolf watching over them, but she also leads them back to their home. The author has made the wolf in this version less terrifying to children in keeping with the modern treatment of wolves by humans. Goble shows how and why Plains Indians revered the wolf, and the story is a plea for the preservation of wild wolves. This allegorical tale of the beauty that the spirit of the wolf represents is poetically told and the ending assumes the wolves' absence until "we have the wolves in our hearts and dreams again." Some of the language has been improved from the original, but some of the story's flow is lost in declarations and the truncation of the original is sometimes awkward and confusing. The brilliant rich color illustrations by author Paul Goble speak when the words do not. "Dream Wolf" is filled with glowing imagery, and the illustrations showing nightfall, the children's search for shelter, and the wolf's first dreamlike appearance are particularly riveting.
"The Old Man and the Wolves" (1994) is by renowned linguistics professor, psychoanalyst and writer Julia Kristeva. Barbara Bray translated Kristeva's French novel "Le Vieil Homme et les Loups" into English. In an imaginative departure from her previous work, Kristeva takes us to a mythical, post-industrial world where the boundaries between East and West, civilization and barbarism, and good and evil are erased. Her postmodern parable is about the polarities of inertia and action, conformism and individuality, barbarism and civilization. When elusive wolves from the far north invade and stalk the Eastern European seaside resort of Santa Varvara, people disappear by the thousands or are transmogrified into wolves. Only a Latin professor known as Septicius Clarus or "the Old Man" seems to notice the animals' existence and dares speak out about the spreading evil. He watches with despair as his student Alba becomes involved with one of the wolves and is unable to extricate herself. Soon Parisian journalist Stephanie Delacour, who narrates most of the novel, arrives and stumbles upon a possible murder. A sadistic army surgeon who reveres Hitler, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein may have killed his wife, historian Alba Ram. A drowned woman--Alba or her double--is dredged up from a lake, but then Delacour receives a letter from Alba, revealing that she has been drugging her tyrannical husband and plans to poison him. Meanwhile, someone has disconnected the Old Man's artificial lung. His resulting death prompts Delacour, his former pupil, to confront her unresolved emotions over the death of her father. Kristeva's novel is filled with psychoanalytic speculations, myths and classical lore, and musings on death, hate, love and the imagination. She writes with great moral intent about society's commercialism, selfishness, and disregard for the humanities. Too bad she portrays the wolf as evil incarnate. This critical allegory illustrates that the wolf never changes its nature, nor do people.
"The Sight" (2002) is a novel by David Clement-Davies about a pack of wolves in war-torn 15th century Transylvania, during the reign of Vlad Dracula. The pack members are: Huttser, Palla, Khaz, Kipcha, Brassa, Bran, Larka and Fell. Kar joins later. It tells the story of a white she-wolf named Larka who is destined to stop her evil aunt Morgra from using dark magic to take over the world and the afterlife. A legend foretells, "only a family both loving and true" can triumph over the evil Morgra. At the beginning of the novel, Huttser the Dragga (the Alpha male of a wolf pack) and his mate Palla the Drappa (the Alpha female) search for a cave in the side of a mountain in which Palla had grown up, where she can nurse the cubs growing in her womb. They are trying to find this cave in order to raise their cubs in secret from Morgra, Palla's evil half-sister. A rebel pack also hunts them. Slavka, its leader, wants to destroy all that claim to have the Sight, which can be used to see the future, heal and even control others. Much pain and hate consumes the pack as they learn their mistakes and cling to each other to learn the power they possess as a pack. Larka, a white wolf born with the Sight, embarks with her brother Fell and the rest of her family on a quest for truth and salvation, with consequences that most reader may not foresee. The Sight is a power that very few wolves have, and it is difficult to control. After Larka loses members of her pack, she goes on a solo journey and finds teachers who help her master the Sight, using it to heal the "human cub" and to prepare to face Morgra. The plot propels the factions of wolves into wars against each other, plunges Larka's family into grief, and spirals closer to a final confrontation between wolves, birds, men, and spirits of the dead. In the end Larka offers "a vision of hope" for wolves and for humans, even though she loses her own life in a final struggle with Morgra. Clement-Davies' multilayered and elaborate plot draws on Christianity, fairy tales, and mythology in an allegory and cautionary tale. The novel features talking animals (Vargs, or wolves), a militant pack with a power-hungry leader, and a tricky prophecy involving a newborn white wolf who has the Sight. Sophisticated language, some complex concepts, clever plot twists, strong female characters, an exotic Gothic backdrop, the mysterious nature of wolves, magic and the supernatural all play a part in this intricate book with a very dark tone.
"Fell" (2007) is a novel by David Clement-Davies, a follow-up to "The Sight". It follows the story of Fell, a wolf who left his pack after the events of "The Sight". The book starts with a pack of grey wolves walking through the snowy regions of Translyvania. One of the cubs looks up at a hill and can see an outline of a black wolf. She tells her father the Dragga that it might be Fell, the ghost wolf that humans and Varg fear. Larka has become respected by the Varg for the part she played in the death of Morgra. Fell becomes feared among them because he is a loner, which is unnatural to other Varg. Feeling grief and guilt over the death of his sister Larka, Fell rejects the gift of the Sight and becomes a Kerl, which is the wolf name for a loner. He looks in a pool and sees Larka, who shows him a picture of a girl with a tattoo in the shape of an eagle on her arm. Larka then tells Fell to find and protect the girl. The girl is Alina Sculcavant, who is growing up in the care of Malduk, a shepherd who rescued her from the snows. He forces her to dress as a boy and work hard. Once Fell meets Alina, they go on a journey to discover who Alina truly is. Alina serches out a blacksmith named Lescu and his son Catalin. After the death of Lescu, Catalin is forced to travel with Alina and Fell. Alina finds out that she has a real family and that the Queen Romana is her real mother and the supposedly dead King Dragomir is her real father.
"The Wolves of Time" by William Horwood was meant to be a trilogy: "Journeys to the Heartland", "Wanderers of the Wolfways", and "Seekers at the Wulfrock". But a trade dispute between the publisher and the book retailer resulted in Horwood rewriting Volume 2 to include the main part of Volume 3. The first book "Journeys to the Heartland" was published in 1995, and the second "Seekers at the WulfRock" in 1997.
"Journeys to the Heartland" (1995) by William Horwood is set in the near future and details the rise and return of the wolf after 1000 years of decline as Mennen (humans) destroy themselves in a cataclysmic world war. This book delves into the fall of the wolf god Wulf 1000 years prior, his fate and a far-flung smattering of wolves destined to bring about his return--the Wolves of Time. The story follows a group of wolves from across Europe, each grieving for loss of love, relations or times past. They hope to form a pack and regain lost territory: The Heartland. Although the story meanders somewhat, it pulls together at enough points throughout to ensure you keep reading. There are two chief groups of villains in the story: the Magyars, an evil and twisted wolf pack and Mennen. The main characters are Klimt, who suffers terrible losses at the hands of Mennen and in revenge breaks the wolves' most sacred rule forbidding attacks upon Mennen; Elhana, a powerful ledrene who admires Klimt's leadership but desires Aragon; Aragon, a very strong and capable leader who generally serves as beta, but lacks Klimt's experience and brings chaos to the pack due to his desires for the Elhana; Jicin, a low-ranking female and outcast daughter of the evil Magyars' ledrene who loses ledreneship of the Wolves of Time pack to Elhana but maintains mutual feelings for Klimt; Kobrin, a large, powerful and accomplished Russian wolf warrior who gives the Wolves of Time their sharpest and most loyal teeth; and Tervicz, who becomes the first to meet Klimt and becomes his loyal, trusted advisor. The chief villains are: Dendrine, the vile, cruel and brutal ledrene of the Magyars; her mate, Hassler ; and the vile, cruel and brutal Mann, Huntermann, who brings about a cataclysmic war among the Mennen that becomes their downfall, enabling the wolves to rise again. The story does contain some very harsh scenes and is not for children.
"Seekers at the WulfRock" (1997) by William Horwood is the somewhat disappointing sequel set against the backdrop of the final days of a European war, with some depictions of the horrors of war seen from the wolves' point-of-view. All over Europe, wolves are hearing a mystical call and are starting a great quest back to their ancient heartland. Together they are the "Wolves of Time" who will herald a new age. The wolves face the task of traveling deeper into the heart of their ancient homeland in the Tatra Mountains of Czechoslovakia. Under the leadership of Klimt the wolves take back the Heartland. They have defeated the Magyar wolves, successfully avoided confrontation with the Mennen, and their first cubs have been raised, one of whom is the god Wulf, in mortal form. Christianity is considered a false religion, and women are treated like chattel and sex objects despite the book's pretense of being "liberal". The central section of the book returns to the poetry and story telling of Horwood's other books, but the final part is not really the end of a saga, but more an apology for not writing the last book. Characters meet, disappear, return later with no explanation, and some characters are unceremoniously abandoned and dumped by the wayside. The book is gripping, exciting, and well written, but the conclusion is not satisfying.
"Nadya" (1996) by Pat Murphy is a 384 page novel about Nadya Rybak, a shapechanging werewolf living on the edge of the Missouri wilderness in the 1830's. Her father was a Polish werewolf and her mother was a werewolf harlot in New Orleans. She strays one night during a full moon and kills a neighbor's sheep, the community goes on a hunt and Nadya must escape towards the west. She meets up with Elizabeth who has been abandoned by her wagon train. The two travel together, and most of the book is about them traveling across country with a wagon, some oxen, and a little girl they find named Jenny. When Nadya turns into a wolf she is an outsider, but in human form becomes an insider to a new group of humans and a new pack of wolves. Elizabeth suffers and does not change much, even when she loses everything she has during the journey. Very few of the characters in the book are evil. The language is crude at times and the sex scenes between Elizabeth and Nadya seem gratuitous. Nadya's search for a place where she can safely be herself, woman and wolf, takes her across the plains, deserts, rivers, and mountains of western America. Fleeing to California, she finally finds a home with settlers on the Oregon shore. With its strong heroines and passionate storyline filled with romance, adventure and danger, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers.
(Excerpt from "Nadya")
"In the distance she heard a wolf howl, a low note that was joined, after a moment, by another wolf. A third wolf joined in, then a fourth and a fifth. Somewhere nearby, a pack was gathering together and announcing their claim on this land. This patch of prairie was their territory, their place. The first light of the full moon burned on Nadya's skin. She closed her eyes and opened her arms to the moonlight. She Changed, and a gray wolf stood by the grazing horse, gazing eastward in the moonlight.
The warm air was rich with scents. She lifted her head and breathed deeply, catching smells that had eluded her before. Somewhere, not too far, there were other wolves. She followed her nose to find the pack's scent markings on a nearby boulder. This unobtrusive gray rock had been marked by each member of the pack in turn. She investigated the smells thoroughly. The wolves had been here recently--maybe a few hours back. Two males and three females. One of the females, by the smell, had pups; Nadya could smell traces of nursing milk where the wolf had rested in the grass. She left her own scent mark on the boulder and continued on her way.
The wolves howled again. They were speaking to her, but not in the structured, controlled fashion of human words and sentences. The howling went straight to her heart and her belly and her groin with a visceral pull. She could not ignore this call, any more than she could stop her heart from beating. The message was one of longing and one of threat. We are here, this is our land, our place. Do you hear us? We are here. This is ours.
Thought and action were the same; there was no gap between them. She was thinking about going to the wolves and she was trotting toward them, moving across the prairie with a steady loping pace that she could maintain for hours without tiring. She headed away from the river, following the scent of wolves in the grass.
She had been traveling for half an hour when she saw the pack in the distance. Half a dozen wolves had gathered on a small rise. On the wind, she caught a milky scent--this was a den site with young pups. She slowed her pace, drawn to the wolves but feeling suddenly anxious. Her heart was pounding quickly, and she resisted the urge to run.
In the Missouri woods, in the company of her own family, she had never met another pack. More than once, they had found the scent markings of other wolves in their nocturnal wanderings, but her father had always led his family away from those animals, avoiding an encounter with another pack. Nadya was upwind of the pack and they had not noticed her yet. She hesitated, gazing at the distant animals. The hair on her neck and back was bristling, an involuntary response to the nearness of these strange wolves. One of the wolves caught sight of her and barked, a breathy sound that turned into a low, hoarse howl, alerting the pack to the presence of a stranger. All the wolves turned to face Nadya, fixing her with intense stares.
Nadya whined low in her throat, flattening her ears, tucking her tail between her legs, and lowering her head submissively. Part of her wanted to run away, but she was drawn to the pack by her loneliness and her need for companionship. At the same time, she was afraid, knowing that she did not belong here."
"One Wolf Howls" (2009) by Scotti Cohn is a 32 page non-fiction picture book for young children. It's arranged as a counting book that begins with a single wolf in January and adds one more for each month of the year. The book presents verse and paintings set in a forest. On each double-page spread, a rhymed quatrain indicates the month of the year, the number of wolves, and what they are doing, while a vivid, realistic painting illustrates the weather as well as the place and the wolves’ activities. Using lighting and seasonal cues skillfully, illustrator Susan Detwiler achieves much variety and invokes just the right amount of romanticism: the naturalistic paintings of wolves tussle in the purple rays of a frigid sunrise and dance in the falling shadows of twilight, but they're always unmistakably wild. The concept of adding one wolf each month doesn’t create a believable story, but there’s plenty to engage children in the individual scenes of woods and wolves. Cohn's rhyming text follows a predictable pattern and rhythm but is varied enough to keep a child's attention. An appended section offers two illustrated activities as well as information about the life cycle, hunting behavior, and endangered status of wolves. The February's spread reads:
"Two wolves play in a February snowfall--
frisky, frosty, fairyland snow.
Two wolves play in a February snowfall
deep in the woods where the harsh winds blow."
"Wolf Summer" (2001) by Andrew Matthews is a 192 page novel for the young about Anna, who is sent in disgrace to spend the summer with her grandmother "Nan" to keep her from seeing her boyfriend Matt. She was found locked in her bedroom with her boyfriend by her Dad, who was totally disgusted. At first Anna finds life at her Nan's very boring and tiresome. Her disappointment fades when she becomes absorbed by voluntary work at the local wolf sanctuary where she meets fellow volunteer Pete, but the two of them don't see eye to eye. However, an unexpected friendship develops, which contrasts with the superficial physical relationship she had with Matt. Pete's father is Zack. When Manitou, the dominant alpha male wolf, takes a shine to Anna, it develops into an intense spiritual relationship. Can Pete really be jealous? And will they be able to pull together when Manitou is threatened? The public fear of wolves is strong and threatens to destroy the progress made by the sanctuary. It looks like now is the time for Anna to learn that love is unconditional--and often a huge price has to be paid. Contemporary themes of parental constraints combined with an exciting and dramatic storyline create a sensitively-written novel in which Andrew Matthews perfectly captures the emotions of all his characters. It's good at the beginning, sags in the middle, but perks up towards the end. You never know what is going to happen next, so it is suspenseful, shocking, sad, descriptive, and easy to follow. The book was written in the 3rd person, a story of life, love, jealousy, passion, death, and wolves. At times the book has you sitting on the edge of your seat and you feel and think exactly what the characters are experiencing. At the beginning it is romantic but then it turns into a wolf lover book. Basically "Wolf Summer" is a celebration of the wolf with a love story to educate and entertain. Andrew Matthews has written numerous books for children and teenagers such as "King Arthur", "The Orchard Book of Shakespeare Stories", and "Shadow of the Wolf" (2002)--a 192 page psychological thriller about protagonist Danni, her best friend Leah, and her boyfriend Nick being stalked by a wolf.
"The Sheepish Wolf" (1942) is a 7 minute Technicolor "Looney Tunes" cartoon created by Friz Freleng about a classy and hungry "Shakespearean" wolf. He watches a flock of sheep, imagines them as lamb chops, steaks and other delicacies, then says, "To eat or not to eat? Baa, what a question!" Meanwhile a watchful sheepdog humorously chatters on and on about his responsibilities to protect the sheep. The wolf dresses as a sheep, mingles with the flock, and almost catches a fleeing sheep. But he catches the sheepdog instead. The sheepdog scolds the disguised wolf and throws him back into the flock. A black sheep realizes the deception and runs to the sheepdog to alert him. This black sheep talks like Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and calls the sheepdog "Boss" in the same way Rochester used to address Jack Benny. Because the sheepdog has a hard time finding the disguised wolf among the sheep, he uses a mating horn that tricks the wolf into turning into a Casanova who grabs the sheepdog to romance him. The wolf snaps out of it and flees. There is a chase which is interrupted by a spoof of the "Little Red Riding Hood" story. When the sheepdog brags to the sheep that he caught the wolf, all the sheep take off sheep costumes and reveal that they are actually wolves in disguise. They ask, "Which way did he go, George?" The current version of this cartoon has been edited to remove the black sheep doing a Rochester impersonation. Here's a link to the cartoon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNph9Tw0Cg4
"Don't Give Up the Sheep" (1953) is the first in a series of 7 minute Technicolor animated "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" cartoons featuring the characters Wolf and Sheepdog (aka Ralph and Sam) created by Chuck Jones and voiced by actor Mel Blanc. Seven cartoons were produced in the series from 1953 to 1963 and it was inspired by the cartoon "The Sheepish Wolf". However, Wolf looks virtually the same as Wile E. Coyote, not exactly like a wolf. The series is built around Ralph and Sam doing their jobs. Most of the cartoons begin at the beginning of the workday, in which they both arrive at a sheep-grazing meadow, exchange chitchat, and punch into the same time clock. Ralph repeatedly tries to abduct the helpless sheep and always fails, either through his own ineptitude or the efforts of Sam, who always punishes Ralph for the attempt. Ironically, Ralph works very hard to catch a sheep and always fails while Sam works very little to protect the sheep and always succeeds. At the end-of-the-day whistle, Ralph and Sam punch out their time cards, chat and leave, only to come back the next day and do it all again. The comedy is mostly visual gags. "Don't Give Up the Sheep" is a play on the expression "Don't Give Up the Ship". Ralph Wolf tries to steal the sheep which Sam Sheepdog is guarding. His first plan is to trick Sam into going home early by turning the time on the punch clock forward and setting the whistle off. This doesn't work. Ralph's second attempt involves disguising himself as a bush. After stealing a sheep and starting to run away, he runs past Sam, who is disguised as a tree and stops Ralph. Next Ralph disguises himself as Pan and attempts to lull Sam to sleep with a flute, but Sam merely punches Ralph in the face and Ralph stumbles away and continues to play his music out of tune. Ralph's fourth attempt involves tunneling under the field and pulling each sheep down through holes. This is mostly successful, until Ralph unwittingly pulls Sam underground and gets punched in the face. Ralph returns all the sheep and refills his tunnel. In his next attempt, he places an Acme product behind Sam, labeled "One Acme wild-cat--Handle with care". Ralph carefully opens the box with a rope from a distance behind another hill, but the wildcat simply runs in circles towards Ralph, maiming and scratching him. The sixth attempt is to swing on a rope over the field and snatch a sheep. Unfortunately, he snatches Sam out of the flock and the plan fails. The final attempt is to snatch a sheep which is drinking from edge of a lake. Ralph uses a hollow rush to swim through the lake but Sam drops a stick of dynamite into it. At the end Sam walks toward the punch clock as his replacement Fred Sheepdog punches in and greets him. Sam hits him over the head with a plank because Fred is really Ralph in a disguise. As Sam begins spanking Ralph Wolf with the club, the real Fred Sheepdog shows up and continues to spank Ralph. This scene of spanking was censored on ABC TV. The Wolf and Sheepdog series includes:
* Don't Give Up the Sheep (1953)
* Sheep Ahoy (1954)
* Double or Mutton (1955)
* Steal Wool (1957)
* Ready, Woolen and Able (1960)
* A Sheep in the Deep (1962)
* Woolen Under Where (1963)
Here is a link to the "Woolen Under Where" cartoon": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOSuhxFo76o
"Shadow Mountain: A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wild" (2002) by Renée Askins is a 336 page book, part memoir, part meditation, and part love story that examines our human relationship with the natural world. Before the start of Chapter One is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, "Whatever you do will be insignificant and it is very important that you do it." Gandhi also wrote that you can judge people by the way they treat animals. While completing an undergraduate research thesis at Indiana's Wolf Park, Renée Askins was given a two-day-old wolf cub to raise. She named the cub Natasha. Through her work with Natasha and her siblings, Askins developed a deep love for the species. When Natasha was taken from her and sent to a remote research facility, Askins made a promise to the wolf cub: "Your life, your sacrifice, will make a difference." It did. Renée Askins spent the next fifteen years to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park, where they had been completely exterminated by 1926. In the 1990's, Yellowstone still had every plant and animal species that was present when European settlers first reached North America except for one: the wolf. Askins formed the Wolf Fund in 1986, an organization whose only goal was to return the wolf to Yellowstone. The campaign's popularity with the American public aroused the rage of the western ranching community and their powerful political allies in Washington. She endured death threats, years of debate and political manipulations, and heartbreaking setbacks when colonizing wolves were illegally killed. But in March 1995, Askins witnessed the realization of her mission when wolves were released into their native home in Yellowstone--the first wolves to be found there in almost a century. Askins's delightful writing includes many non-wolf topics, including her autobiography about her upbringing, lovers, her dogs, and a friend and a sister who died of cancer. She is a hero and "Shadow Mountain" is as wild and unpredictable as the wolf that inspired it.
Earthfire Institute is a 40 acre wildlife sanctuary in the Yellowstone-to-Yukon Wildlife Corridor. Here is a link to their website : http://earthfireinstitute.org/ One of the animals at Earthfire Institute is a a wolf named Apricot with an incurable neurological disorder. Jill, a human energy healer, put Apricot in a series of deep healing trances which the wolf seemed to understand and enjoy. The wolf is not fully healed, but much better. Here is a link to a video of Apricot's healing sessions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GC1Sw__ooE
"Oyèla and the Wolves" (2008) (Oyèla e i Lupi) is a historical novel for adults by wildlife photographer Angelo Gandolfi and Elisabeth van lersel written in Italian and not available in English. It takes place in 1545 A.D. and is about a 14 year old girl named Oyèla, a shepherdess "apprentice witch" who raises a wolf and stays in touch with a wolf pack. Oyèla lives in the Dolomite Alps with a former nun named Samblana. They rescue Seera, a wounded she-wolf who gives birth to Raum. He stays with Oyèla and Samblana, and Seera returns to her pack. Raum and the pack of wolves are main characters and behave like wolves. The story is about a witch-hunt and the involvement of the pack of wolves with the Inquisition. Angelo Gandolfi is an expert on the history of wolves and wrote: "The wolf was often seen as an outlaw, a bandit, a murderer: killing wolves was felt as an act of justice. From the Middle Ages up to the late Eighteenth century many animals were put on trial. Usually they had committed homicide, perhaps a pig who had eaten an infant, or a horse who had accidentally kicked a girl...Killing the wolf was not only a matter of defending one’s life, or domestic stocks: it was a kind of moral duty. That is the reason why in my novel "Oyèla and the Wolves" one chapter is dedicated to the trial of two wolves by the Inquisition. That may seem rather far-fetched, yet it is historically correct. A bloodthirsty beast was naturally enough a tool of the Devil, but later it became a devourer of man’s soul, and so the Devil himself. In this way wolves were connected with all sorts of witchcraft and sorcery. Witches rode on wolves to reach the Sabbath; witches disguised themselves as wolves; witches had perverted sexual relations with wolves; witches transformed other people into wolves, giving life to werewolves ("Wer" is Old English for "man")."
"Wolf and Iron" (1990) by Gordon R. Dickson is a post-apocalyptic story about a man and wolf who survive together. Dickson did extensive research into the behavior of wolves to write his novel. Jeremy Bellamy "Jeebee" Walthers was a scientist in Indiana, and his goal is to cross 2000 miles of ravaged countryside to reach the security of his brother's Montana ranch. En route he befriends a wolf who becomes a partner and companion. The story deals with Jeremy's interaction with the wolf and the other human survivors of the economic collapse. He could never make it on his own, but he has been adopted by a great Gray Wolf. Together they share a bond that is the heart of this story. A man alone, with only an enigmatic wolf for company, creates a fascinating premise that is very sparse on dialogue. Although laborious at times, it is never dull. There is much to like and learn in "Wolf and Iron", not only about the behavior of the wolf, but also about basic survival. They meet up with a man and his daughter who saw the disaster coming and prepared for it by establishing a trade route. Then they travel a large loop through the mid-section of the country in a wagon, buying, selling and trading with the small pockets of surviving humanity. Dickson has created a superior novel, colorful, well written, and filled with well-developed multidimensional characters. The wolf is especially fascinating.
"The Eyes of Gray Wolf" (1993) is juvenile fiction by Jonathan London and Jon Van Zyle (Illustrator). It follows the restless Gray Wolf as he wanders through a winter night. He races along icy ridges, howls at the moon, and fiercely defends his territory against an unknown pack. Unknowingly he has infringed on another pack's territory. "His eyes burn like steady flames. The leader of the pack stares back. Their eyes lock. The moon burns a hole in the night." London recreates this moment frozen in time, filled with tension, and the power of this moment generates a story. A young white wolf steps out of the pack, the two animals meet, circle each other, leave together, and eventually become leaders of a new pack. The strength of this story is in its art. Illustrations present a dramatic look at a beautiful, endangered animal. The moon is a powerful presence, washing over the snow, lighting the wolves' eyes with intensity, highlighting their bristling fur. Van Zyle's art draws readers into the environment and the story. A map showing the animal's past and present ranges, an extensive list of conservation organizations, and an excellent author's note that discusses the history, behavior, and endangered species status contribute to the authority of the book. This best-selling novel has won many awards and honors.
"Through Wolf's Eyes" (2001) by Jane Lindskold is the first book in the "Firekeeper" saga. The books in the series are:
1. Through Wolf's Eyes (2001)
2. Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2002)
3. The Dragon of Despair (2003)
4. Wolf Captured (2004)
5. Wolf Hunting (2006)
6. Wolf's Blood (2007)
Firekeeper only vaguely remembers when she didn't live with her "family", a pack of "royal wolves" that are bigger, stronger, and smarter than normal wolves. After years in the wild, a group of humans have come into the woods west of the Iron Mountains. The expedition is an attempt to find Prince Barden, the lost king's son and heir to the throne. But the expedition soon discovers Barden’s settlement was destroyed in a fire 10 years ago. Firekeeper decides to rejoin human society. Accompanied by her pack mate Blind Seer and a falcon named Elation, Firekeeper joins and travels with the humans back to their kingdom of Hawk Haven. She arrives and is adopted into Earl Kestrel’s family and named "Lady Blysse Norwood" in honor of Prince Barden's only child. Because Firekeeper is thought to be Prince Barden's daughter she is quickly thrown into the royal court’s games of intrigue and manipulation. Everyone competes to gain Blysse's favor and most think she is an ignorant primitive, dismissing her as "little more than a freak". Her time with the wolves trained her quite well for dealing with a pack of nobles, but her preference remains turning into a real wolf. Firekeeper is human in form, but a wolf in her thoughts. The fantasy plot goes on and on with politics and war. Firekeeper worries she will never be able to see her wolf pack again, she is allowed to return to the wilderness, but decides to remain with the humans until after winter. It's a very complex and fascinating fantasy world seen from a wolf's point of view, a powerful gender bending book with magical animals, nobles, and a heroine who feels real. The beginning is good, the plot unpredictable, and the ending is somewhat disappointing.
"Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart" (2002) by Jane Lindskold is the second of a series of six fantasy books featuring the wolf-woman Firekeeper. It's a tale of humane wolves, beastly men, and a brilliant heroine who must find her way in a dangerous world. Brought up by intelligent language-using Royal wolves, Firekeeper was found by humans and has yet to learn about human customs. Her other name is "Lady Blysse" and she is brought to the court of Hawk Haven. Three artifacts of magical value are stolen by Queen Valora, things start to go wrong, and the plot thickens. Firekeeper returns to her pack of wolves after an urgent summoning, and her friends watch over the court, uncovering a plan of treason. She is still a wolf, with a wolf's outlook on life. After her trip to the Royal Beasts her language and manners regress again. For someone raised in a wolf pack, the politics of a royal court were neither complex nor wholly unfamiliar to Firekeeper.
"Wolf Captured" (2004) by Jane Lindskold is the fourth book in her fantasy series. Born a human but raised by wolves, Firekeeper is only grudgingly accepted by each community. When people find her in the western lands, they take her and her wolf friend Blind Seer to Darien Carter, who teaches her how humans behave. She is adopted into the royal family and given a noble title. Along with counselor Derian Carter, Firekeeper is kidnapped and taken to the land of Liglim, where the people worship their gods with the aid of "Wise" animals called yarimaimalom. The rulers of Liglim have heard that Firekeeper can speak to animals and they want her to teach them this skill. The Liglimoshti use the yarimaimalom to interpret the will of their gods through divination. To be able to talk directly with the animals would bring the Liglimoshti one step closer to their gods. This story broadens Firekeeper's experiences with humans and Beasts, she learns more about herself and her family, and even meets someone who knew her father and mother. Though wolf in heart, Firekeeper despairs that her human form is too great an obstacle to the love that lies between her and her pack brother. Meanwhile, Dark Death, a male Wise Wolf has seen the beauty and strength of Firekeeper and wants her for his mate.
"The She-Wolf" by Saki (H. H. Munro) is from his collection of short stories "Beasts and Superbeasts" (1914). Saki (1870-1916) was a prolific Scottish author of the Edwardian era, often referred to as the master of short stories. The witty, satirical, and icy humour of H.H. Munro's stories has kept their power to shock nicely preserved. V.S. Pritchett said, "Saki writes like an enemy. Society has bored him to the point of murder. Our laughter is only a note or two short of a scream of fear." Creatures that essentially can never be tamed--felines and wolves preeminently--were Saki's favorites. In his popular novella "The Unbearable Bassington" (1912) the hero is a man named Tom Keriway, whose daredevil nature is summed up in the echoing phrase "a man that wolves have sniffed at."
Saki's "The Storyteller" (1910) pokes fun at children's literature. A cynical bachelor on a train tells a realistic story to 3 children about a good girl, but that did not make the wolf spare her. "Bertha was good, horribly good" starts the tale, then a wolf comes looking for some dinner. Since Bertha keeps her clothes nice and clean and white, he has no difficulty spotting her and instantly goes after her. She manages to hide in a bunch of flowers, and the wolf almost goes away, but then her medals for being good start clinking together, so he catches where she is and eats her. The 3 children say that it's one of the best stories they've ever heard. Their aunt, on the other hand, furiously proclaims that it's "improper", and that he's undone years of "careful teaching." "At any rate," the bachelor says, "I kept them quiet for ten minutes, which was more than you were able to do." He muses as he gets off the train that the kids are going to bother her for an improper story for the next few months.
In "The She-Wolf" we read: "Leonard Bilsiter was one of those people who have failed to find this world attractive or interesting, and who have sought compensation in an "unseen world" of their own experience or imagination--or invention.
"I wish you would turn me into a wolf, Mr. Bilsiter," said his hostess at luncheon the day after his arrival.
"My dear Mary," said Colonel Hampton, "I never knew you had a craving in that direction."
"A she-wolf, of course," continued Mrs. Hampton; it would be too confusing to change one's sex as well as one's species at a moment's notice."
"Yes, wolves are nocturnal animals, so the late hours won't hurt her," said Clovis, with the air of one who has taken everything into consideration; "one of your men could bring her over from Pabham Park after dusk, and with a little help he ought to be able to smuggle her into the conservatory at the same moment that Mary Hampton makes an unobtrusive exit."...
"As far as one can judge from outward characteristics," he continued, "it has the appearance of a well-grown female of the North American timber-wolf, a variety of the common species Canis Lupus." Here is a link to the entire short story: http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/361/
"Lobo the Wolf: King of Currumpaw" (1899) by Ernest Thompson Seton is a 64 page non-fiction book based on Seton's personal journal and other historical sources. It's about Lobo, an American wolf that lived near the Currumpaw cattle ranch in New Mexico. During the 1890s, Lobo and his pack were deprived of their natural prey by settlers, and turned to the settlers' livestock. The ranchers tried to kill Lobo and his pack by poisoning carcasses, but the wolves removed the poisoned pieces and threw them aside. They tried to kill the wolves with traps and by hunting parties but all failed. Ernest Thompson Seton was tempted by the challenge and the $1,000 bounty to capture Lobo, the leader of the pack. He tried poisoning five baits, carefully covering traces of human scent. The following day all the baits were gone, and Seton assumed Lobo would be dead. Later he found his five baits in a pile covered in other "evidence" that Lobo was responsible. Seton bought new traps and concealed them in Lobo's territory, but he found Lobo's tracks leading from trap to trap, exposing each. Seton soon became tired and frustrated after months of failed attempts to capture Lobo. While camping out he found Lobo's track following a set of smaller tracks. Quickly he realized Lobo's weakness: his mate, a white wolf named Blanca. Seton then set traps in a narrow passage thinking Blanca would fall for Seton's planted baits that Lobo had managed to avoid. Finally Seton succeeded. Blanca, while trying to investigate Seton's planted cattle head, became trapped. When Seton found her, she was howling with Lobo by her side. Lobo ran to safe distance and watched Seton and his men kill Blanca by pulling her apart with ropes tied to their horses. Seton heard the howls of Lobo for days afterward. Lobo's calls were described by Seton as having "an unmistakable note of sorrow in it. It was no longer the loud, defiant howl, but a long, plaintive wail." Although Seton felt remorse for the grieving wolf, he continued his plan to capture Lobo. Lobo followed Blanca's scent to Seton's ranch house where they had taken the body. Seton set more traps, using Blanca's body to scent them. On January 31, 1894, Lobo was caught with all four legs in four traps. On Seton's approach, Lobo stood despite his injuries, and howled. Touched by Lobo's bravery and loyalty for his love, Seton could not kill him. He and his men roped Lobo, muzzled him and secured him to a horse, taking him back to the ranch. Lobo refused to acknowledge his captors. They secured him with a chain and he just gazed across the prairie. Poor in physical health, Lobo died that night. Seton then championed the wolf. "Ever since Lobo," Seton wrote, "my sincerest wish has been to impress upon people that each of our native wild creatures is in itself a precious heritage that we have no right to destroy or put beyond the reach of our children." Seton's story of Lobo touched the hearts of many both in the USA and the rest of the world and was partly responsible for changing views towards the environment and helped start the conservationist movement. The story had a profound influence on one of the world's most acclaimed broadcasters and naturalists Sir David Attenborough and inspired the 1962 Disney film "The Legend of Lobo". Lobo's story was the subject of a BBC documentary directed by Steve Gooder in 2007.
"The Legend of Lobo" is a 69 minute 1962 Disney film based on Ernest Thompson Seton's 1899 book. It follows the life and adventures of Lobo, a wolf born and raised in the SW USA. Neither time period nor precise location are specified because the story is told as much from a wolf's point of view as from a human's. There is no dialogue in the film, only a story-song composed and sung by the Sons of the Pioneers, and narration by Rex Allen. The story begins with Lobo as an adorable 6-week old wolf cub and follows his growth into a fearless and majestic leader of the pack. When Lobo is 6 months old, he starts to hunt with the family pack. But rather than buffalo, the wolves prey on herds of cattle. The cattlemen eventually kill several of Lobo's family pack. Winter comes, and Lobo branches off on his own for the first time. In spring, Lobo joins a new pack, defeats its leader, and takes a mate. He and his pack continue to prey on the cattle, but he is wise enough to avoid the angry cattlemen who post rewards for his capture or death. When the time comes for his pack to split up to mate and raise their cubs, Lobo and his mate find a secure den in an abandoned dwelling that is accessible only by a precarious bridge. Lobo continues to feed on cattle and the cattlemen's feud with him escalates. A professional hunter sets a trap for Lobo, but captures his mate instead, and Lobo musters his pack to rescue her. In spite of the victory, Lobo realizes the same thing his father did: humans have encroached too far on the territory that used to be his, and his best course of action is to seek a new home. The film ends as Lobo and his pack race across the plains in search of new territory.
"Clash of the Wolves" (1925) is a 74 minute silent Western movie starring German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin as charismatic Lobo, a hybrid wolf (half dog) who leads a pack of wolves. A forest fire in the mountains drives the pack into the nearby desert where they forage on the cattle and crops of ranchers. When the pack is discovered hunting a herd of cows, a posse gives chase. Lobo leaves his pack to lead the posse away. He injures his paw on a cactus needle and is found by young borax prospector Dave Weston (Charles Farrell). Dave nurses Lobo back to health and adopts him as a companion. Meanwhile Dave has made a borax find in the area. His girlfriend May Barstowe (June Marlowe), daughter of a wealthy rancher, is pleased. However, local chemist Borax Horton (Pat Hartigan), actually a claim jumper, plans to steal the claim. In a sandstorm he is able to shoot Dave and leave the prospector for dead in the desert. Lobo tries to get a message to May, but runs afoul of Horton. Finally, he is able to bring May to Dave, who are then both terrorized by Horton. Fiercely loyal, Lobo masterfully leaps from cliffs to defend Dave from the unscrupulous claim jumper. Lobo calls for his pack to eliminate Horton, allowing the young lovers to find happiness. Lobo also finds happiness being reunited with his mate, Nannette. The film's one weakness is the insertion of comedy, mostly in the form of Alkali Bill (Heinie Conklin). The New York Times wrote, "The comedy in the film is so poor that it has no place in the picture at all. It detracts considerably from all the good work by Rin Tin Tin, who does not have much in the way of support from the human players." In one scene Dave and Bill try to disguise Lobo because there is a $100 bounty on him. They put a fake beard on Lobo's chin and tie leather booties on his feet. When Lobo catches a glimpse of his reflection he looks genuinely humiliated. This film is filled with great action sequences and is a technically impressive silent film. The on-location photography is remarkable and the best scenes involve Rin Tin Tin. He is an energetic performer, one of Hollywood's early box-office celebrities with more star quality than the human actors. Acting by the humans in the film is a bit dated, but Rin Tin Tin is irresistible and this is one of his greatest films. The TCM print of "Clash of the Wolves" was rediscovered in South Africa and the print was donated to the Library of Congress in 2003. In 2004 "Clash of the Wolves" was added to the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress for preservation, recognizing the cultural, historical and aesthetic significance of the film.
"Wolf Blood" (1925) is a 68 minute silent film, the oldest remaining werewolf movie, although there is no actual lycanthropy in the movie. Dick Bannister (George Chesebro, who also directed) is the new field boss of the Ford Logging Company, a Canadian logging-crew during a time when conflicts with the powerful Consolidated Lumber Company, a rival company, have turned into a bloody private war. His boss, Miss Edith Ford (Marguerite Clayton), comes to inspect the lumberjack camp, bringing her surgeon fiancé Dr. Eugene Horton (Ray Hanford) with her. Dick Bannister instantly falls in love with Edith when she arrives. Later, the rival logging company begins to build a dam across a vital river, deliberately causing a log jam. Dick confronts them, he is attacked and stabbed by his rivals and left for dead. His loss of blood is so great that he needs a transfusion. Dr. Horton saves him and visits a nearby cabin which belongs to Pierre (Roy Watson), a half-breed moonshiner. The doctor asks if the man will give blood to save his life. "I no geev my blood to save heem," he replies. "I got a she-wolf tied up out back. You give him her blood if she don' mind!" Dr. Horton remembers a medical book that says it is possible to give a human being animal blood and gives a transfusion using wolf blood. Dick recovers but begins having dreams where he runs with a pack of phantom wolves, and the rival loggers get killed by wolves. When news comes that the owner of the rival camp was found dead, torn apart by a wolf, Pierre reveals that Dick was given a transfusion of wolf blood and he may be "le loup garou," the werewolf! Most of the lumberjacks decide that Dick is a werewolf. Dick starts to go slowly insane, hallucinating that he is part of a pack of phantom ghost wolves running through the woods nearby. Then Edith returns his love, he snaps out of it and all is well. The acting is typical of this period of film history--melodramatic and stagey, with every movement and facial expression emphasized. It has it's dull moments, but the last ten minutes are quite memorable. "Wolf Blood" is a good adventure movie and not scary. Don't expect blood, gore or even special effects, but it is still very effective dramatically. The dream scene where Dick imagines he is running with a wolf pack is tinted blood red and the sight of wolves sprinting across the forest and then up into the sky is very well done. Forest scenes are tinted a brilliant green and night scenes are a rich blue. Also known as "Wolfblood: A Tale of the Forest", it has been referenced in a number of books as being the first werewolf movie ever made. But "The Werewolf" (1913), about an Indian woman murdered by a settler who comes back in the form of a wolf to get revenge, is probably the first. "Wolf Blood" is available as part of a DVD along with F.W. Murnau's "The Haunted Castle" (1921). It has been shown at film festivals such as Chiller Theatre and the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. The copyright for this motion picture expired in 1954.
"Of Wolves and Men" (1978) by Barry Lopez is a 323 page non-fiction book of natural history. Lopez begins with a discussion of scientific studies regarding wolves' prodigious strength and stamina, hunting prowess, ingenious heat-preserving footpads and fur, complex forms of communication, and affection for their young and care of their elderly. In the chapters about the ancient Greeks, we learn they first emulated the wolf, then hated and feared it as a sheep killer, and then looked on it with pity, sadness and guilt. Wolves in Norse literature indicate the strange envy/hatred/fear man seems to hold for this creature. Lopez gathered insights from native American people who have lived among wolves for generations, especially Eskimo hunters who respect, revere and imitate the wolf. His conversations and travels with people who have enjoyed long associations with wolves yield many observations, anecdotes and revelations--none more moving than the spiritual aspects of hunting, especially "the conversation of death" that takes place between predator and prey when wolf or human is hunting to eat, to live. This is when "hunting is holy". Lopez considers hunting for other purposes as depravity. He traces the fine line between nature and culture to show that what we call nature is in fact a human invention, a story we tell ourselves about the universe in an attempt to define what we actually know little about. "We create wolves," he writes. A survey of wolf lore is presented in which the wolf is caricatured, celebrated and demonized, from Aesop's fables to Little Red Riding Hood to other fairy tales, myths and legends, to stories of werewolves. Wolves are cast as outlaws and sexual criminals. Lopez dwells the longest on castigations of the Christian church that equated the wolf with the devil. He also exposes the parallels between the 19th Century war against wolves and the war against America Indians, concluding that there is "a terrible meanness in the human spirit." Lopez reports on the reintroduction of wolves into various Western regions, an action that has aroused controversy and demonstrated our recognition of the need to maintain "a give-and-take relationship with the natural world." In the closing chapters everything ties together, and points to the inherent relationship between a cosmic disaster and the decline of wolves. The pictures included are good: the drawings are superb, the photos are good but a bit blurry given their age, and the illustrations highly informative. Here is an excerpt from Lopez's book:
("An American Pogrom" on pages 171 -173)
"The European colonist was not much troubled by wolves until he began raising stock. The first livestock came to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1609—swine, cattle, and horses. By 1625 these animals were common in colonial settlements and how to stop the wolves who preyed on these beasts was a topic to galvanize community discussion. While the European farmer might have dealt with predation by himself, in America, where people were forced to band together for a variety of reasons, wolf control was a community problem. Together with his neighbors a man dug wolf pits and erected palisades. He conducted battues and paid salaries to professional wolf hunters, as he had done in Europe. And he passed bounty laws. Wolf bounties had been a means of effecting wolf control for thousands of years and were current in Europe and the British Isles at the time of immigration. A system both biologically ineffective and wide open to fraud, it was nevertheless popular because raising the bounty payment and exchanging it for a dead wolf was a tangible, daily evidence that something was being done...
Compounding the issue was the indiscriminate killing of wolves when only one or two were actually doing the damage in a region where twenty or thirty lived. Under such continued pressure and harassment, the wolf had begun to disappear in the Northeast before the end of the eighteenth century. What few wolves were left lived in remote areas and avoided men. Some may have emigrated over the Alleghenies like the Indians, ahead of westward expansion."
"War Against the Wolf: America's Campaign to Exterminate the Wolf" (1995) by Rick McIntyre is a 495 page non-fiction book, a comprehensive history of American sentiment about the wolf. He does a great job of covering the various aspects of legislation on the wolf and also cites essays, poems, chants and treatises. There is little biological information because this is a study on human attitudes as they have affected the wolf. McIntyre chronicles the history of persecution, including how the federal government has aided and abetted the livestock industry in the wolf's extermination. Over one hundred journal entries, essays, reports and modern articles provide evidence of a nation's calculated efforts to eradicate this animal from 1630 to 1995. Among the first acts of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Bay Colony was to set a bounty on wolves: first a penny for a pelt, then four bushels of corn for a mere scrap of fur. Succeeding generations of Americans followed the Pilgrims' lead, until by the middle of the 20th century the wolf was driven to the verge of extinction nearly everywhere outside Alaska. The war began on a small scale and eventually escalated to all 48 contiguous states. Between 1870 and 1930, extermination of predators, especially wolves, became a national policy carried out by the U.S. Biological Survey, now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. McIntyre has collected material from government reports, journals, newspaper and magazine articles and traditional Native American stories to illustrate our attitude toward wolves over three centuries. This anthology includes pieces by James Audubon, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Thompson Seton and Aldo Leopold--tales of outlaw wolves, hunters and trappers. These tales and agency reports are gruesome reading, including cubs hauled out of their dens with baited fish hooks, entire packs poisoned, and a town using gray wolf carcasses to pave a road. In the last 50 years attitudes have changed. With the passage of the Endangered Species Act (1973), wolves began to make a come back and the final section reports on their reintroduction in national parks. This is a fine companion to McIntyre's earlier book "A Society Of Wolves" (1993) which Dr. L. David Mech called "A must for all wolf aficionados". Rick McIntyre, a seasonal park ranger at Denali, Yellowstone, and other wolf-populated areas, has spent many years documenting the behavior of wolves. "War against the Wolf" is currently out of print.
"Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages" (2007) by Will N. Graves is presented as a non-fiction 223 page book about wolves in Russia. There are 45,000 wolves in Russia, the second largest wolf population in the world. Graves is a wolf-hating linguist, not a scientist, and this is a poorly written propaganda book. It's completely dry, disorganized, disjointed and dishonest. Graves' fictional crap and defamation is based on stories and folklore told by the wolf-hating uneducated people of rural Russia which he translated. The book was edited by Dr. Valerius Geist of the University of Calgary, Alberta--one of the most wolf-hating places on Earth. Other wolf-haters endorse this book, such as an unethical former academic from an Alaskan university and writers for "Range Magazine", a periodical for cowboys, rednecks, and hunters. This is not reputable science or any kind of science, it's just more "Little Red Riding Hood" bullshit. Graves is obsessed with the lies of "thousands of humans killed by wolves", the many horrible diseases and parasites that wolves supposedly spread, and he actually wrote: "When humans are unable or unwilling to defend themselves, wolves attack." Canada has more wolves than Russia, in fact the largest wolf population in the world. Why are there no wolf attacks in Canada? A large Canadian newspaper offered a $100 reward for proof of an unprovoked wolf attack on a human. The money was left uncollected. Graves' fiction comes from a biased and irrational fear and ignorance which has been disproved by research done by neutral scientists. Will N. Graves is not Russian, and must be on the payroll of American hunters, ranchers and wolf-haters. He should be thrown to the wolves. They will not harm him, and maybe he will wake up from his paranoid delusions and admit he just wanted to make a fast buck with his bullshit book.
"The Last Wolf of Ireland" (1990) by Elona Malterre is a 144 page young adult novel about Devin O'Hara and Katey Sullivan who find a wolf's den in the forest of 1780's Ireland. Today there are no wolves in Ireland because the Irish Wolf is extinct. Malterre’s book of legend and history shows Northern Ireland in the 1780's where stories of the wolf's ferocity and cruelness made them feared across the country until the last wolf in Ireland perished. Devin and Katey vow to protect the wolves they have discovered from the superstitious townspeople and the greed of the hunters. They must hide three wolf cubs they have discovered, because Squire Watson has vowed to shoot every wolf in Ireland. Paul Chandler, the town bully, learns the children's secret and reveals the cubs' hiding place. Squire Watson kills two of them and their mother, but one cub named Sdhoirm escapes. Ten year old Devin raises Sdhoirm in the cow byre, teaching it to hunt and fish for itself until it is grown, then he must set the animal free. This story of Devin's lessons he learns along the way about bravery, friendship, and compassion are quite touching. He catches glimpses of Sdhoirm over the years, and finally Sdhoirm returns to the barn three years later to see Devin for the last time. Wet and mangled, still wearing Devin's rabbit's foot on a shoelace round its neck, it dies in the stable. Transported into the past through Malterre's haunting, powerful imagery, readers will be held until the book's last page by his persistent sense of urgency. Authentic dialect and 18th-century details bring to life this eloquent, stirring novel, in which Devin's secret is shared only with the reader. The bittersweet tear-jerker ending might be a little too much for younger readers, but the book features convincing characters, tense action, conflicts and a nimble plot. Wolf studies in the beginning set the mood, and the story’s brevity and quick pacing make this book a good read. The novel begins: "Devin O'Hara walked in the place once called Breaghmhagh, the Plain of the the Wolves. But it was now named Barne's Gap, after an Englishman who drew maps. Devin had never seen a wolf here, although a long time ago at night he had heard one howling. It was a frightening, lonely sound. Devin's grandfather had told him that the wolves stole sheep and cattle, and ate children and even men. His grandfather knew a man in the village who was eaten alive by wolves."
"The Wolf" is a short story from "Wild Things: Four Tales" (2006) by Douglas Clegg, the bestselling author of horror, fantasy, and suspense fiction. Three stories and a novella make up this mini-collection, all dealing with the dark side of human nature with creatures of the wild--some are wolf, some bird, some the most terrifying of beasts: the human variety. In Clegg’s foreword he notes that each of the stories concerns itself with predator, prey and those caught between. Two stories are new, two previously published. The first new story is "The Wolf", about two unnamed men--one is an 18 year old man and the other is an older wolf hunter. The wolf hunter guides the young man up a mountain to kill a wolf that has been slaughtering sheep in the valley below the nearby village. But it's a hunting expedition in which the roles of predator and prey are craftily reversed. For one of the men in this dark story the roles become reversed and the true wolf is revealed. Here is an excerpt:
"How many wolves you killed?" the boy asked.
The boy glared at him in the firelight. "How many?"
"Twenty. Maybe more."
"That's not a lot."
"No," the man said, "It's not."
When I'm your age, I bet I'll have more than twenty pelts."
"I don't keep souvenirs like scalps," the man said. "You need to sleep closer to the fire. Take your coat and anything in your pack. Cover yourself good. In a few hours, it'll be colder than you can imagine."
"I hunt a lot," the boy said. "I know how cold it gets up here."
The man did not sleep much. Just before dawn, he rose and rekindled the fire and drew an old rusty skillet from his pack. He made breakfast with the meager supplies he brought.
The boy awoke to the smell. After a mug of coffee he began to laugh.
"You look like crap," the boy said.
They wandered off the main trails that morning. The man saw evidence of the wolf's having passed through a route between narrow rocks. There was blood of fresh kill and the rotting smell of a dead animal in the air as they moved further along through the pines. He motioned for the boy to remain still. The man went up along moss-covered rock, through underbrush, and until he came to the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley. Nearby, he watched three white-tail deer in a clearing made by treefall, but let them pass.
He sensed the wolf, but did not see him..."
"Surviving with Wolves" (2007) (Survivre avec les Loups) is a ponderous controversial Belgian/French film of the "autobiography" of Misha Defonseca, who crossed wartime Europe alone at the age of eight in search of her parents after they were deported from Belgium in WWII. In 1942, the young Jewish girl Misha (Mathilde Goffart), her Russian mother Gerusha (Yaël Abecassis) and her German father Reuven (Benno Fürmann) hide from the Germans in a small house in Ardennes, Belgium. Misha is very close to her mother who advises her that if one day a man comes to her saying "love of my life", she should follow him without question. When her parents are captured by the Nazis, Misha is delivered to a German family and the abusive matriarch treats her badly. However, she finds support in the family of Ernest (Guy Bedos) and his deranged wife Marthe (Michèle Bernier) that supplies groceries to her foster family. Misha loves Ernest's dogs and the old man gives a compass to her and tells her that her parents have been sent East to do forced labor. When the old couple is denounced for sheltering the girl and arrested by the Germans, Misha flees through the woods heading east. Along her journey seeking out her parents, her survival relies on stealing food, avoiding wartime battalions, and keeping warm in the forests of winter. Misha's story enters Romulus and Remus territory when she is saved by wolves and shares their confidence and protection. But Misha never seems entirely comfortable around wolves. She lives and survives with a pack of wolves for 2 winters, then crosses Germany, Poland, and reaches Ukraine--wandering 3,000 miles for 4 years across Europe. When she learns that Brussels has been released by the allied forces, she returns to her hometown and reaches it in March 1945. She is almost dead, sick, malnourished, and with lice. Ernest reveals that Misha does not accept that her parents had died in the concentration camp of Sonnenburg. The controversy is Misha Defonseca's real name is Monique De Wael and her best-selling "autobiography" on which the film is based has since been discredited as fiction. Monique De Wael made £10 million from her bestselling children's book "Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years" (1997) after she won a court case against her American publisher for allegedly withholding royalties and not doing enough to market the book. She said, "I made it all up--and I'm not even Jewish." Monique De Wael is Roman Catholic. The book was translated into 18 languages and the only truth in her story seems to have been the disappearance of her parents, who were deported for their membership in the Belgian resistance movement. "That's also why I fell in love with wolves, and why I entered into their universe. It's my story. It's not the real reality, but it's my reality, my way of surviving."
"Balto" (1996) is a 74 minute animated adventure movie about Balto (voice of Kevin Bacon), an Alaskan canine who is rejected by his peers for being half dog and half wolf. Canine life in Nome, where the movie is set, revolves around dog-sled races that are like high school football games. The local hero and top dog is an unscrupulous ladies' man named Steele (voice of Jim Cummings), whose swaggering ways set female hearts aflutter. Steele and his cronies enjoy humiliating Balto, who has a crush on a sleek rust-colored huskie named Jenna (voice of Bridget Fonda). This cartoon feature is adapted from a true story into an anthropomorphic fable about courage, honesty and peer pressure, in which the bully gets his comeuppance. The historical event to which the movie alludes is a diphtheria outbreak in Nome in the winter of 1925. This epidemic was quelled when a dog-sled team traveled 600 miles to bring an antitoxin from Nenana. The rescue operation is commemorated by a canine statue in Central Park in Manhattan. In the movie's live-action opening scene filmed in Central Park, a grandmother whose life was saved by the medicine visits the statue with her granddaughter and tells the story. In their interpretation of the incident, the four screenwriters imagine that a rescue mission led by Steele gets lost and Balto, who was rejected from their team, sets out to find them. Joining him are his best friend, a wisecracking Russian snow goose named Boris (voice of Bob Hoskins) and twin polar bears, Muk and Luk (voice of Phil Collins). The obstacles they encounter include a ferocious black bear, cracking ice, an avalanche and near-catastrophes on several precipices. This fable has its mystical moments. The aurora borealis appears on the horizon to show Balto the way home. And at the moment when his energy is about to fail, a white wolf appears at his side to inspire him with lupine fortitude. "Balto II: Wolf Quest" (2002) is a direct to video sequel about the adventures of Balto and Jenna's pups, mainly Aleu who sets off to discover her wolf heritage. "Balto III: Wings of Change" (2004) follows the same litter of pups from "Balto II" but with the focus on another of Balto's pups named Kodi.
"Alpha and Omega" (2010) is an 88 minute 3-D computer animated adventure movie about two wolves at opposite ends of their pack's social order. Kate (voice of Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (voice of Justin Long) are two wolves from the same pack in Canada's Jasper National Park. Kate is the daughter of Alpha male Winston (voice of Danny Glover) and his mate Eve (voice of Vicki Lewis), an Alpha female that takes her duty and commitment to the pack seriously. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, the lowest in the pack hierarchy and spends his days making jokes and playing with his other Omega friends Shakey (voice of Kevin Sussman), Salty (voice of Brian Donovan), and Mooch (voice of Eric Price), and playing video games with squirrels. Kate is disciplined, likes to call the shots and hunt caribou. Despite his low rank in the pack, Humphrey has a crush on Kate. But Kate is arranged to mate with Garth (voice of Chris Carmack), the Alpha male of a rival pack to preserve peace. Unfortunately, both Kate and Humphrey are sedated by well-meaning park rangers and taken far away to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho where they are expected to repopulate their species. Instead, the two mismatched wolves who should not socialize with each other embark on a cross-country quest to return home and save their pack before relations between rival packs come to a boil. Along the way Kate and Humphrey fall in love.
"Flight of the White Wolf" (1970) by Mel Ellis is a 208 page young adult novel about the Hanson family who live in Kettle Moraine, Milwaukee where they operate a dog training school. They receive an orphaned wolf cub they name Gray. Years later the usually peaceful adult wolf gets loose and kills Bo, a prize boxer and show dog. Before the family can catch him, he flees into the surrounding woods. Young Russ goes after him, but when he doesn't return the locals believe he has also fallen victim to his former pet and a state-wide hunt ensues to catch and kill the escaped wolf. Coming to an uneasy alliance with the wild animal, Russ must evade the persistent stalking of the hunters and use all his knowledge of the natural world and survival skills in order to escort Gray on the long and dangerous journey north to the Nicolet National Forest where the wolf can find sanctuary with his own kind. In 1990 Toho, best known as the producer of many monster and special effects movies, obtained the rights to the book.
The story of "Flight of the White Wolf" was made into a TV movie in 1976 by Disney during the company's period of fascination with the natural world. Re-titled "The Flight of the Grey Wolf", 12 year old Russ is played by 19 year old Jeff East. The Disney version bears only a slight resemblance to the source. Heroic Grey saves Russ from a vicious attack from Fritz the Boxer before making for freedom. An angry posse wants the wolf dead after unreliable reports that the animal attacked a girl while on the run. Russ' parents, who aid their son with supplies and a fully stocked survival pack in the book, are completely absent on holiday for the duration of the adventure. Later the same year the feature was serialized in two parts for the Disneyland TV series and received a Disney Home Video release in 1987 in America and the UK.
"The Silver Wolf" (1998) by Alice Borchardt is a 464 page novel, the first book in the "Legends of the Wolves" series. The book is presented as historical fiction set in 8th century Rome, and is about Regeane, who comes from a poor family but her late mother was distantly related to the Emperor Charlemagne. On moonlit nights, she becomes a silver wolf, a fate passed to her from her long-dead father. At such times, the beautiful woman transformed finds her purest moments of freedom and desire. Only her greedy depraved uncle Gundabald and stupid cousin Hugo know of Regeane's curse, and they keep her locked up in a room before she changes while they go out carousing. Gundabald arranges for Regeane to be married to the barbarian lord Maeniel because Charlemagne needs an alliance with the man who controls a crucial Alps mountain pass so he can continue his holy empire-building. Unable to refuse or she will be exposed as a shape-shifting wolf-woman or werewolf, she is strangely attracted to a dark wolf prowling outside the city gates. The Lombard king, refusing to bow to Charlemagne, wants to secure the Alpine pass for himself. His soldiers try to kill Regeane in a market, and as she flees she lets the wolf out and kills one of those who would kill her. Regeane then finds herself protected by Pope Hadrian's courtesan Lucilla, and she acquires a guardian--a stubborn and gentle Saxon leper girl named Elfgifa and they become friends. The historical aspect of "The Silver Wolf" is not its strongest. Sex and violence in the book's first quarter may put some readers off, but the plot improves after the first seventy-five or hundred pages. Readers who like fantasy with gritty realism and who can overlook anachronistic modern dialogue in a period melodrama will find themselves intrigued with the twists in this werewolf tale. Alice Borchardt was Anne Rice's sister, but she wrote very different stories, and died in 2007.
(Excerpt from Chapter One)
"The wolf stood there. Regeane was, as wolves go, a large wolf. She had the same weight as the girl, over a hundred pounds. She was much stronger than in her human state--lean, quick, and powerful. Her coat was smooth and thick. The pelt glowed silver as it caught the moonlight on its long guard hairs. The wolf's heart overflowed with joy and gratitude. Regeane would never have admitted it in her human state, but she loved the wolf and, papal blessing or not, she would never let her go. From the bottom of her heart, she reveled in the change. Sometimes, while in her human state, she wondered who was wiser, she or the wolf. The wolf knew. Growing more beautiful and stronger year after year, the wolf waited for Regeane to be ready to receive her teaching and understand it. The silver wolf lifted herself on her hind legs and, placing her forepaws on the window sill, peered out. She saw not just with eyes as these maimed humans did, but with sensitive ears and nose. The world humans saw was like a fresco--dimensionless as a picture painted on a wall. To be believed in by the wolf, a thing had to have not only image, but smell, texture, and taste. Ah God...how beautiful. The world was filled with wonder...Those sounds and smells, and many others, were woven together by her wolf senses into a rich fabric of unending variety and everlasting delight. The silver wolf dropped her forepaws to the floor with a soft, nearly inaudible cry of longing. Then her lips drew back from her teeth in a snarl at the sound of voices in the other room."
"Wolf Among Wolves" (1999) (Wolf unter Wölfen) by Dr. Werner Freund is a non-fiction book in German about Germany’s "wolf man". "When I am with the wolves, I become a wolf," Freund says. "You can't domesticate a wolf," he says, "I had to become a wolf to be able to interact with them." Freund has lived among wolves for many decades and in 1972 created a refuge for wolves in the Kammerforst forest. Wolfspark Werner Freund is currently home to more than 20 wolves from Europe, Siberia, Canada and elsewhere. The wolves are acquired as cubs from zoos or animal parks, typically when they’re 10 to 14 days old. Freund, who has raised more than 70 wolf cubs, sequesters them from the public for six months, sleeping with them and feeding them by bottle every two hours until they're ready for their first bites of meat. With such close interaction, the cubs think Freund is the she-wolf, or the alpha female of the pack. It's a bond that lasts a lifetime and it's why Freund can freely enter their territory and study their behavior close up. His book is a logical behavioral research study on wolves, treating the wolf as an individual, with his experiences of living among wolves, and details of the different attitudes people have about the wolf. It is beautifully presented with great photos. "There is this image of the evil wolf but this is too far from reality," he says. "Wolves kill in order to have something to eat, so do other animals. Wolves, like people, are social creatures." His Wolfpark Werner Freund is in Merzig, Germany, about an hour west of Kaiserslautern in the Kammerforst forest. Admission is free.
"Betsy Who Cried Wolf" (2002) by Gail Carson Levine is a young children's picture book, a delightful twist on Aesop's fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". On her eighth birthday, Betsy receives a gift: the people of Bray Valley entrust her with the care of a flock of sheep. After taking the Shepherd's Oath and arming herself with her mom's pies and a wolf-watching checklist from Shepherd School, Betsy begins her new job on the mountainside and takes her job very seriously. One day a hungry wolf named Zimmo, the mountain's last wolf, decides to trick Betsy. The wolf reveals himself to spunky Betsy, who calls to warn the villagers of the wolf, but he disappears back into the woods. The villagers think Betsy lied and get angry at her. The next day the wolf plays the same trick and gets the same result. On the third day, the wolf charges towards a herd of sheep. Betsy calls for the villagers, but no one comes. Just before the wolf can attack the sheep, Betsy accidentally knocks over her lunch pail and the wolf stops his pursuit of the sheep to share Betsy's pies. Grateful to Betsy for her kindness, Zimmo later rescues a few of Betsy's sheep as they near a cliff, and the two form a friendship. He takes the Shepherd's Oath and joins Betsy on the hillside and they shepherd the herd together. Despite a text sprinkled with plenty of fun words and names, not much tension builds, and the friendship forged between Betsy and Zimmo seems abrupt. The running commentary on events made by the sarcastic and silly sheep is amusing, creating funny insights. But the real star of this book is illustrator Scott Nash. His bold, bright, and cartoon-like illustrations with their clean lines, crisp colors, and folk-art touches add considerably to the story. There are witty sheep asides and thought balloons that are engaging, expressive, and filled with eye-catching detail. Sheep alway walk on their two hind legs, sport woolen coiffures and have a penchant for wisecracks. Hilarious hand-lettered asides ("The pie is mightier than the fang", "Baaaaaad shepherdess!") give the sheep personality and Betsy, clad in a skirt, sweatshirt and embroidered jeans, seems to straddle the Old World and the new.
"The Last Wolf" (1993) by Gary Enright is a 204 page novel for teenagers and adults about the wolf's struggle against the efforts of humans to exterminate this species. The story is based on the life of "Three Toes", a wolf that roamed the prairies of the Dakota's, Montana, and Wyoming in the early 1900's. It's told from the wolf's point of view and documents how "Three Toes of Harding County" in South Dakota suffered 13 years of attempts by hunters and trappers to capture him before finally being caught. The book emphasizes the impact of early wolf eradication programs. "Three Toes" resorts to vengeance because of the things that humans have done to his wolf pack, such as trapping, hunting, and poisoning their food. He fights the humans for survival. There is dialogue, even though the wolves only communicate through body language, and Enright gets inside a wolf's head without making the animal human. This is a well written book with the interesting concept of a vengeful wolf.
"Never Cry Wolf" (1963) by Farley Mowat is a non-fiction book about Canadian naturalist and author Mowat's research into the nature of the Arctic wolf. Presented as a first-person narrative, it has been credited for dramatically changing the public image of the wolf to a more positive one. In 1948-1949, Canada's Dominion Wildlife Service assigned Mowat to investigate the declining caribou populations and determine whether wolves were to blame. Mowat's account of the summer he lived in the frozen tundra alone studying the wolf population shows a deep affection for the wolves and for a friendly Inuit tribe known as the Ihalmiut. Near Nueltin Lake, Mowat discovered the wolves subsisted quite heavily on small mammals such as rodents and hares, even choosing them over caribou. Mowat dispelled myths of wolves as bloodthirsty, marauding monsters, and showed them to be gentle, caring, and family-oriented monogamous animals. He never felt threatened by his wolf companions, despite living close to them. At one point he entered their den and witnessed "George, Angeline, and Uncle Albert" nurturing young cubs and hosting a pack of traveling wolves. The local humans were actually hunting the caribou for sport and a food source. Mowat feared an onslaught of wolf hunters and government exterminators intent on the extinction of the wolf. The Canadian Wildlife Service argued that the agency had never demanded the extermination of the wolf, which was recognized as an integral part of the northern ecosystem. CWS official Alexander William Francis Banfield, who supervised Mowat's field work, characterised the book as "semi-fictional", and accused Mowat of blatantly lying about his expedition. And John Goddard wrote a heavily researched article in which he stated, "As for the authenticity of his wolf story, he virtually abandoned his wolf-den observations after less than four weeks." Mowat dismissed Goddard's article as, "bullshit, pure and simple". In his preface to "Never Cry Wolf", Mowat wrote: "We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be--the mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer--which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself." Farley Mowat had a notorious reputation at the U.S. State Department, which banned his entry into the United States. His book was translated into Russian and published in the Soviet Union, leading to a public reaction against Soviet wolf-culling efforts. According to Soviet biologist Mikhail P. Pavlov, the Communist Party banned wolf hunting and restricted gun ownership in wolf inhabited areas. This is significant, considering the U.S.S.R. had the largest population of wolves in the world. Since the book was published, the public image of the wolf has greatly improved and wolves have been reintroduced to Yellowstone Park. However, we must keep in mind that this book is about wolves in Canada, with the world's largest population of wolves by far (about 60,000). Russia has 45,000. Wolves have no protection whatsoever in Canada, and the country exports most of the world's wolf pelts. Only the American state of Alaska is as anti-wolf as Canada. Although Farley Mowat is Canadian and "Never Cry Wolf" is credited with shifting the mythology and fear of wolves, he has had zero impact on public opinion or government policies regarding wolves in Canada. A movie of this book was made in 1983, and here is a link to Lone Wolf's review of the film: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/never-cry-wolf-1983.html
"Runt" (2002) by Marion Dane Bauer is a 144 page children's book that takes place deep in the forests of northern Minnesota. Four normal sized wolf cubs are born: Leader, Sniffer, Runner, and Thinker. Then comes the last very small cub named Runt. At first he is content with his place in the world, but when he learns what "runt" means he starts to worry. Runt struggles to find his place in the pack and always tries to impress his father, the pack leader. Unfortunately, most of the things he does end up backfiring. Runt learns the ways of the wild alongside his brothers and sisters but often makes mistakes, many of them serious. When he feels the displeasure of the other wolves, especially his father, he withdraws more and more. Life is good, but tough at times. Brothers and sisters die, they are hungry at times, and other wolves want to rule the pack. Runt just has to figure out how he can be something other than just a "runt". He ends up going off with the wolf who wants to take over as pack leader. The wolf is eating a cow he killed. He brought back the meat to Runt’s father but he refused to eat it. Now Runt has followed him and is going to take what his father wouldn’t. Fortunately Raven warns him not to eat meat that has been poisoned by humans. While roaming, Runt finds a moose and howls for his family. It is then he is given his new name of Singer because he has stories and things to tell. The way Runt discovers his own worth makes for a moving story. As with all good animal stories, it reflects our own world and reminds us what it means to be alive.
"Walk with a Wolf" (1998) by Janni Howker is a 32 page children's picture book that takes readers to Canada's Yukon Territory where wolves roam free. An adult she-wolf is reunited with her pack and mate. She howls to her pack, greets her half-grown cubs and black-furred mate, and accompanies them in a hunt for an old lame bull moose. Successful, the wolves eat then curl up in the falling snow and dream of the warmth of spring, with the female dreaming of new cubs. The hunt has been somewhat sanitized, and though the text refers to "drops of his blood fall like berries to the ground," the snow maintains its pristine whiteness. This scene is not frightening for children, and the book is almost poetic:
"Walk with a wolf in the cold air before sunrise.
She moves, quiet as a mist,
between spruce trees and birches.
A silent gray shadow, she slides between boulders
and trots over blue pebbles to the edge of the lake.
She plunges through slush ice and laps the chill water,
snaps at a feather that drifts down from a goose wing,
then splashes to shore and
Shakes herself like a dog."
Along with the beauty, drama, and factual information about the wolf are soft watercolor illustrations by Sarah Fox-Davies that depict the life of a wolf pack. Realistic color and pencil illustrations in soft blues and grays with some rose shades of early winter light are superb. Almost like ghosts, the wolves blend into their muted backgrounds. Flowing across double-page spreads, the wolves always look real with a variety of perspectives in close-ups, at distances and from above. Author and artist offer readers a rare and intimate glimpse of a wolf's wintry world.
"White Wolf: Living With an Arctic Legend" (1990) by Jim Brandenburg is a 160 page account of Arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island. Brandenburg's extensive work photographing wolves has been vital in focusing attention on the animal's status and he was instrumental in reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone Park. He serves on the board of directors for Defenders of Wildlife Foundation, Concerts for the Environment, and Wolf Ridge Learning Center. An award-winning photographer for National Geographic for over 30 years, Brandenburg repeatedly visited a desolate island near the northern coast of Greenland to capture its wildlife on film. Ellesmere Island is so remote, the wolves and other animals that live there have rarely seen humans and show little fear of them, which allowed Brandenburg to take some exceptional photos in 1988. Brandenburg filmed a pack of wild Arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island that shows the wolf as a loving and compassionate family-oriented animal that is as wild at heart as they come. These highly intelligent creatures seemed to stay a step ahead of their distant watchers. This leads to some hilarious encounters with lots of amazing wolf and landscape photos, although some people might be disturbed by a few dead animals in the pictures. The dramatic beauty of these pictures makes "White Wolf" a standout among nature books, although its wide, low format (9 ½ by 12 ½ inches) makes it awkward to hold and read. Elegant text about the lives of the wolves is educational and the book has a tear jerking conclusion.
"Brother Wolf: A Forgotten Promise" (1993) by Jim Brandenburg is a touching sequel to "White Wolf: Living With an Arctic Legend". In this photographic journey, Brandenburg takes us on a tour of the land surrounding his cabin home in the woods of northern Minnesota. The images in this masterpiece of wolves, eagles, lynx, pine martins, deer, ravens, and other wildlife will leave you spellbound. Most of the photographs are breathtaking, some are haunting, and there are 140 color photos of timber wolves in their natural habitat. But the photos are perhaps just the icing on the cake, because the powerful and captivating narrative is very informative, although it may be less interesting than the photos for some. The book starts with an emotional "letter" from wolves to men, focusing on how humans and wolves used to live together in harmony, and how men are now killers of wolves and other creatures. The letter ends with "I do not think I know you anymore". He explains his first encounter with wolves and how he felt at that time. Overall, the book has a great text with even greater photographs, and is definitely a good read that may revolutionize our thinking about wolves, human nature, our primeval past, and the survival of our planet. This sequel conveys the history in words and photographic images of the relationship between wolves and men--and urges us all to realize that the wolf's future is our future.
"Scruffy: A Wolf Finds His Place in the Pack" (2000) by Jim Brandenburg is a 32 page book for young children. Award-winning photographer and nature writer Brandenburg chronicles the life of a young Arctic wolf he names "Scruffy". During the several months he spent on Ellesmere Island near the Arctic Circle, Brandenburg observed a yearling Arctic wolf and wondered if he would ever fit into the hierarchy of the pack. Scruffy was an awkward misfit and his fur was "by far the messiest". He describes Scruffy's "goofy" ways, harsh treatment by others in the pack, and unsuccessful attempts to handle tasks that came easily to most of the others. But once the pack's new litter emerged from the den, Scruffy's role became clear. When the pack left for a hunt, Scruffy was the sole protector, teacher, and playmate to the cubs, making sure they survived the first year in their harsh Arctic home. Scruffy then had an important place in the pack. Readers are given a fascinating look at the social structure of wolves, although Brandenburg occasionally lapses into anthropomorphism with references to human emotions and sensibilities. This book educates children about wolves by covering issues of dominant and submissive roles within the pack, the role of the Omega wolf (Scruffy's place in the pack), and the hardships of wolves' lives in the Arctic. The text is clearly-written in large print, and the color photos are excellent. Several are quite amazing, capturing Scruffy cowering one moment, growling and fully in charge the next. However, the book's design is disappointing. The text and neatly bordered full-color pictures are on pale gray or gray-green paper imprinted with an overexposed and over-used photo, a design that makes the pages busy and crowded. Still, there's much information, especially about wolf pack hierarchy and the way nature tries to find a place for all. This book is currently out of print.
"The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years With the Pack" (1997) by Dr. L. David Mech, Ph.D. is a 144 page non-fiction book by the Senior Research Scientist at USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. Dr. Mech has studied wolves and their prey full-time since 1958, and has studied the same pack of wolves in the Arctic since the mid-1980s. Mech is the foremost expert on wolves in the USA, possibly in the world. He shared his discoveries and adventures in the bestselling classic "The Artic Wolf: Living With the Pack" in 1988. A special 10 year anniversary edition has been published with dozens of new photographs and the latest news about the pack, along with his original text and photographs. Internationally acclaimed wildlife research biologist "Wolfman" Dr. L. David Mech has published many books, including:
"The Wolves of Isle Royale" (1966);
"The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species" (1970);
"The Wolves of Minnesota: Howl in the Heartland" (2000);
"The Wolves of Denali" (1998);
"The Way of the Wolf" (1991); and
"Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation" (2003).
"The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years With the Pack" is an engrossing first-person account that documents the scientist's landmark expedition to the High Arctic to fulfill his lifelong dream of studying the lives of wolves there. He gained the trust of a pack of wolves on Ellesmere Island. This edition is about the Ellesmere wolf pack and how it changed since Mech first visited ten years ago, somewhat reminiscent of Farley Mowat's "Never Cry Wolf", except that Mech is more scientific and came prepared. Mech has a scientist's writing style. His first priority is to make the text completely truthful, and his second is to make it clear and readable. He does very well for both. But the scientific approach has a drawback--it's very difficult to write a scientific book that is easy to read and enjoyable. Mech doesn't have that talent. The main let-down is the way Mech sometimes explains the hard facts, gives a glimpse of the wolves' nature and then changes the subject. But it's a great read nonetheless. His captivating and spirited lavishly illustrated book was an international bestseller in 1988.
"White Wolf" (1996) is a 60 minute National Geographic documentary film that follows photographer Jim Brandenburg and biologist Dr. L. David Mech as they spend the summer months on Canada's Ellesmere Island studying the behavior of Arctic wolves. They gain the confidence of a pack of Arctic wolves and spend the summer months filming their behavioral patterns. The two men return the following year to learn what has happened to them over the long Arctic winter. As we watch them watching the wolves, and the wolves watching them, we see that the wolf is not a vicious, heartless, cold-blooded, unfeeling killer. It is a highly social, affectionate, intelligent and caring creature. Neither of the two men were ever threatened or menaced by any of the pack. The two species gradually formed a trust and tolerance of each other, and the wolves came to accept the humans' presence without being afraid. This research by Brandenburg and Mech is our first extensively documented interaction with the isolated white wolf, which is remarkably tolerant of humans, who do not typically hunt it. Directed by Andrew Birkin and narrated by actress Faye Dunaway, the film also discusses Brandenburg and Mech's multiple returns to the Ellesmore Island to observe changes in the social structure of the white wolves. They end up observing some very dramatic and intriguing changes in the group over the course of their study. Brandenburg goes into a cave where a mother white wolf is raising her cubs and after several failed attempts even follows the pack on a hunt. Each photograph is a work of art, and the text will give the reader much knowledge about wolf behavior and habits in a setting that is truly wild. Probably it is the most intimate film about wolf behavior ever made. National Geographic's "Legend: The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone" is perhaps a better overall film, offering more education, information, and exceptional footage of the reintroduced wolf packs in the park. However, it does not show close human and wolf interactions as this film does. Jim Dutchers' film, "Wolves at Our Door" is another outstanding documentary that shows the public how remarkable the wolf truly is.
"Wolves at Our Door: The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived With Wolves" (2002) by James Dutcher is a 320 page book supplement to his Emmy Award-winning documentary of the same title broadcast on the Discovery Channel, it's highest-rated natural history documentary ever. The book chronicles the experiences of Jim and Jamie Dutcher, who spent six years in a tented camp caring for a pack of wolves in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. The personalities of the wolves, and their interactions with each other and with the Dutchers provide an inspiring portrait of the intricacies of animal behavior, and makes a subtle plea for the conservation of the wolf. It's about the Dutcher's struggle to keep their project alive amid marauding mountain lions, forest fires, subzero temperatures, and the controversy that surrounds the wolf. They created a 20 acre enclosure for the wolves, moved their own quarters inside of it, and reveal the logistical problems of wildlife filming. By socializing with the pack from the time they were cubs, the Dutchers were able to gain the wolves' trust and observe their behavior in a way that few people ever have. What they witnessed was remarkable: a complex animal oriented toward family life and strong social bonds. The reader gets to know the various wolf personalities, including Kamots, the calm regal Alpha wolf who comforts Jim by placing a paw on his hand; Matsi, the gentle Beta; and Lakota, the slump-shouldered, tail-dragging Omega who is also the joker of the pack. A chapter is devoted to each wolf. Most of the fighting occurs among the mid-ranking wolves who are not secure in their status and must assert themselves over the Omega and each other frequently. And Lakota, the Omega male in this pack, was one of the biggest, most physically powerful wolves, hinting that fighting prowess might be less important than other undefined factors in determining status. Episodes of tragedy and mourning, as when a wolf is killed by cougars, are contrasted by moments of exuberance and touching inter-species communication. The Dutchers describe how the wolves dance with delight in the snows of winter, compete for status, and entertain themselves with complex social role-playing. A basic disagreement between Jim and WERC, the organization he founds but which eventually throws him out, seems to be based on whether the wolves should be managed by people or should live largely without human contact. There is almost no insight into the financial end of their project. The writing is very good, lucid, evocative, clear, concise, and very accessible to the reader.
"Arctic Wild" (1968) is a 352 page non-fiction 1956 memoir by Lois Crisler about a husband and wife documentary team who went to the most remote wilderness in North America, Alaska's Brooks Range. Their mission: to film caribou and other wild life for 18 months as an assignment from Walt Disney. In the early 1950's with the crudest of survival gear, the couple started filming caribou but then wolves entered the picture, earning the Crisler's a place among the classics of natural history. The story begins like many outdoor adventure yarns: extreme living conditions, the occasional grizzly encounter, and much work. Several times during the year a bush pilot would drop supplies and mail, and make sure that all was well. Then the Crislers adopt two orphaned wolf cubs, a male and a female. The result is a discovery of wolf development and behavior they never expected. Treating the humans as part of their pack, the cubs grow into adult wolves. Their progression is described in detail, such as their learning to howl: "Sometimes (the female) ululated, drawing her tongue up and down her mouth like a trombone slide. Sometimes on a long note she held the tip of her tongue curled against the roof of her mouth. She shaped her notes with her cheeks, retracting them for plangency, or holding the sound within them for horn notes. She must have had pleasure and sensitiveness about her song for if I entered on her note she instantly shifted by a note or two: wolves avoid unison singing; they like chords." The wolves display individual personalities, exceptional intelligence, and highly articulated physical gestures. One curiously investigates a sleeping human by lifting an eyelid with its tooth. The Crislers reveal a highly developed social animal rather than the bloodthirsty murderer of ancient myths. "Arctic Wild" earns it fame as one of the first books to explore wolf habits in an accessible manner that is free of lies and politics. In the foreword to the reprint edition, wolf research biologist Dr. L. David Mech notes that "Arctic Wild" introduced to a skeptical and generally wolf-fearing public the animal's "beguiling personality". The book was the first voice in the wilderness that led to a gathering howl and finally the once-inconceivable reintroduction of wolves to former ranges like Yellowstone National Park. There are 32 pages of photographs in "Arctic Wild: The Remarkable True Story of One Couple's Adventures Living Among Wolves".
"Three Among the Wolves: A Couple and Their Dog Live a Year with Wolves in the Wild" (2004) by Helen Thayer is a 256 page non-fiction book about Helen and Bill Thayer, who lived among wild wolf packs in the Canadian Yukon and then in the Arctic. They were accompanied by their hybrid wolf Charlie (part wolf, part Husky). The trio set up camp within 100 feet of a wolf den, and were greeted with apprehension at first. They established trust over time, because the wolves accepted Charlie as the Alpha male of the newly arrived "pack". The Thayers discovered the complexities of the wolf pack, including how cubs are reared and how the injured are cared for. They viewed the hunt firsthand, including how ravens direct wolves to prey in exchange for carrion. We learn about the wolves' survival skills and playfulness. Charlie acted as a canine go-between that guided and protected the Thayers as they moved closer to the pack. The wolves actually attempted to lure Charlie to join them! Bill and Helen imitated Charlie’s behavior and became submissive, wolf-like strangers. They ate a vegetarian diet and tried to minimize their presence as they followed the wolves on hunting expeditions in a cold, forbidding world. Suspenseful encounters with bitter storms and bears are tempered by calmer moments with cubs and breathtaking scenery during the intimate six months they spent with the pack. In captivity wolves do not reveal their true behavior, especially the "food-sharing habits they have with land-bound animals, such as grizzlies and ravens." Helen makes it clear that wolves deserve to be part of the world community. Charlie once saved her life from a polar bear attack and is the story's star. Helen wrote, "It would have been impossible without Charlie. He was the bridge we needed to cross the gap that allowed us to live alongside wolves and share their lives." This book is the second one featuring Helen Thayer and Charlie. "Polar Dream" (2002) is about Thayer becoming the first woman (and oldest person at 50) to walk and ski solo to the Magnetic North Pole. The National Geographic Society and National Public Radio have named her as one of the great explorers of the 20th Century. She is a recipient of many awards and was honored by the White House. Her book is a breezy very readable true-life adventure tale combined with a fascinating natural history of the wolf. Thayer’s smooth writing style moves the story along quickly, and using Charlie as the main focus adds a new twist to this nature story. It is beautifully descriptive, compassionate, and occasionally humorous. Dozens of photographs taken during this adventure are sprinkled throughout.
"In Praise of Wolves" (1997) by R. D. Lawrence is a non-fiction book about the award-winning field biologist's journey to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the spring of 1983 to live among and observe a captive pack of wild wolves. The result is an extraordinary look inside the society of the much-maligned and persecuted wolf. Ronald Douglas Lawrence (1921 - 2003) was a Canadian naturalist and wildlife author. He wrote about wolves in layman's terms and did not get too deep for the average person to become overwhelmed with the subject. Always the perfect nature writer, this time Lawrence spends time in a captive wolf area studying the wolves and relating the details. His goal seems to convert people to admire these wise and beautiful animals as he explains their traits, characteristics and personalities. He also describes the hierarchy of the pack, the mating of the wolves, and interaction between the pack members and with humans. The information filled book contains data suggesting that the wolves have a hierarchical social structure most close to humans when we act on our animal level. Wolf lovers will probably enjoy this book in which Lawrence describes his love affair with wolves and details his many adventures with them. Others may find the book wordy, overly anecdotal, rambling, and tedious. "In Praise of Wolves" is currently out of print.
"Wolf Totem" (2004) (狼 腾) is a semi-autobiographical novel by Jiang Rong about the experiences of a young student from Beijing who is sent to the countryside of Inner Mongolia in 1967 at the height of China's Cultural Revolution. It is narrated by protagonist Chen Zhen, a young man in his 20s. The book compares the culture of the Mongolian nomads and the Han Chinese farmers who settle in their territory, condemning the agricultural collectivization imposed on the nomads by the settlers and the ecological disasters it causes. Zhen accidentally stumbles across a pack of wolves. Terrified, he watches as the wolves chase a herd of sheep off a cliff, then drag their corpses into a cave. Fascinated by the wolves, he begins to study them and their relationship with the nomads more closely, and even attempts to tame one as a pet. The novel has sold over 4 million copies in China and received more than 10 literary prizes. It spawned a children's version titled "Little Wolf, Little Wolf", and a big budget movie adaptation is to be produced by the Forbidden City Film Company. "Jiang Rong" is the pen name of Lü Jiamin, who keeps a low profile for political reasons. He's an economics research professor at a university in Beijing.
"City Wolves" (2010) by Dorris Heffron is a 449 page book of historical fiction about Meg Wilkinson, Canada's first woman veterinarian. Her childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to be a veterinarian. Supported by the eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by the ancient Inuit who first turned wolves into sled dogs, Meg surpasses the horse doctors at veterinarian college and becomes the notorious "Dog doctor of Halifax" in the 1890's. After her marriage ends in Boston, Meg travels to Vancouver and up to the Yukon, seeking the legendary sled dogs. Arriving at the beginning of the Klondike gold rush, she makes her way amidst the Mounties, dance hall girls, Klondike Kings, mushers, priests and swindlers of Dawson City. Observed through the Inuit Ike, this is lively, insightful fiction, revealing the wolf-like nature of humans and the human nature of wolves. Both earthy and reflective, "City Wolves" is told with compassion, humour and realism. In her 5th novel, Heffron has created a wide range of unforgettable characters and explores the deep conflicts and interconnection of social beings in a way that is profoundly universal. Wayne Grady, author of "The Nature of Coyotes" wrote: "Dorris Heffron has illuminated a fascinating and little-known aspect of human behaviour--the degree to which humans have modeled their social structure on that of wolves--and turned it into a story."
"The Great American Wolf" (1997) by Bruce Hampton is a 320 page scholarly history book that tells the American wolf's history in the last 300 hundred years. Hampton worked as a wildlife biologist in Alaska and the Rocky Mountains and was a member of the team that searched for wolves near Yellowstone Park in the 1970's. What was once North America's most reviled beast, pursued to extinction throughout the US, has become in the last half century a symbol of the wilderness, tolerated and even desired over much of its former range. Hampton presents a well-researched account of an organized program, from the 1890's to the present, to eliminate wolves. "Hundreds of thousands of wolves were trapped, poisoned, shot, or dynamited in their dens," Hampton writes. Many suffered deaths that carried the marks of revenge, such as being burned alive or scalped. Others had their mouths wired shut or their eyes pierced with branding irons before being released to starve to death. But Native American Indians hold the animals in high esteem, and the author presents a wonderful chapter on their beliefs, stories, myths, and feelings about them. An ecological and evolutionary history of the species is also included. The social structure of a wolf pack resembles human society, and Hampton introduces his readers to well-known wolves with unique personalities. Jeffrey Masson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "It is a detailed historical account of every wolf killed in America, from colonial times to the present. Persecuted and nearly hunted to death, only to recently make a spectacular comeback... We owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce Hampton for reminding us of this noble and enlightened view, one now shared by the majority of thinking people in America, just in time to save wolves from the genocide our ancestors had planned for them." With an excellent index, bibliography, and listing of source notes, this even-handed, judicious book provides an interesting slice of American history and sociology, a look at a culture's changing attitudes about the wolf.
"Julie of the Wolves" (1972) is a children's novel by Jean Craighead George about a young Eskimo girl named Miyax experiencing changes to her culture. There are two sequels: "Julie" and "Julie's Wolf Pack". The story begins with Miyax alone in the wilderness studying wolves. Miyax seeks help from the wolf pack and is gradually accepted into the pack. She studies the gestures and "language" of the wolves and by adjusting to their living patterns, Miyax makes herself less threatening to the alpha male, whom she names Amaroq. She gains acceptance as a part of the pack and is able to eat and stay alive. The second part of the book is a flashback of Miyax's past. In the third part, Miyax follows the wolves who help her in times of need, but she realizes the wolves are in danger as it is hunting season. Miyax witnesses hunters in a plane shooting at her pack, killing Amaroq and wounding Kapu. Grief-stricken, Miyax nurses Kapu back to health until he can become the alpha male. She leaves the pack and in the sad ending Miyax realizes "the hour of the wolf and Eskimo is over."
"Julie" (1994) by Jean Craighead George is the second novel in the "Julie of the Wolves" series. The Eskimo girl has two names: Miyax, and Julie. Miyax is her Yupick name, and Julie is her English name. Miyax discovers that her father Kapugen is alive and living in a nearby village. She decides it is time to leave the wilderness and her wolf pack and return to live with humans, but she wants to live in the traditional way that Eskimos have lived for thousands of years. To her horror Miyax realizes that her father's plane was used to shoot and kill Amaroq, the leader of the wolf pack she had befriended. The wolves have followed her to the village, and when a musk oxen is killed by Kapu’s wolf pack it is the final straw for her father. He is determined to kill the wolves. Julie persuades her father to relent, but only if she leads the wolves away from the village, and they will not return. Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she Miyax of the Eskimos, or Julie of the wolves? To her penpal friend Amy in San Francisco, she is Julie, and she must go to Chicago where Amy is waiting for her.
"Julie's Wolf Pack" (1999) by Jean Craighead George is the final story in the "Julie of the Wolves" series. The book is filled with adventure, humor, treachery, and the values of family. While the first two books, "Julie of the Wolves" and" Julie", are told from the perspective of Julie herself, this book tells the continuation of the story from the point of view of the wolves, extremely convincingly. It takes place in the arctic tundra of Alaska, after Julie has decided to leave the pack and live with her human family. This third book focuses on the wolves much more than on Julie, who appears only at key moments. George does not sugar-coat the hardships of life in the Arctic, and the wolves go through some hard times, and sometimes are touched by death. Kapu is the new alpha wolf since his great father Amaroq died. He leads his pack through many hardships and makes great decisions for his pack. Tragic events happen, such as the death of Kapu's mother Silver, but also exciting things occur like Kapu having cubs with Aaka, his beautiful alpha female mate. It is simplistic and at times feels long and tedious---not because of the story, but how it was written. The story is very interesting, explaining how the wolves think, act and understand their world through scent and sight. It ends well, and it's interesting that this entry focuses on the wolf pack and its point of view.
"The Bloody Chamber" (1979) is a 128 page anthology of short fiction by Angela Carter. All of the stories share a common theme of being closely based upon fairy tales or folk tales. However, Angela Carter has stated: "My intention was not to do versions or, as the American edition of the book said, horribly, 'adult' fairy tales, but to extract the latent content from the traditional stories." The anthology contains ten stories: "The Bloody Chamber", "The Courtship of Mr. Lyon", "The Tiger's Bride", "Puss-in-Boots", "The Erl-King", "The Snow Child", "The Lady of the House of Love", "The Werewolf", "The Company of Wolves" and "Wolf-Alice". Her book ends with three adaptations of "Little Red Riding Hood" and two of these were adapted into the movie "The Company of Wolves" (1984), whose screenplay was co-written by Angela Carter. In "The Werewolf" a girl goes to visit her grandmother, but encounters a werewolf on the way, whose paw she cuts off with a knife. When she reaches her grandmother's house, the paw has turned into a hand with the grandmother's ring on it, and the grandmother is both delirious and missing her hand. This reveals the girl's grandmother as the werewolf, and she is stoned to death. The girl then inherits all of her grandmother's possessions.
"The wolf let out a gulp, almost a sob, when it saw what had happened to it; wolves are less brave than they seem. It went lolloping off disconsolately between the trees as well as it could on three legs, leaving a trail of blood behind it. The child wiped the blade of her knife clean on her apron, wrapped up the wolf's paw in the cloth in which her mother had packed the oatcakes and went on towards her grandmother's house."
In "The Company of Wolves" a girl meets an apparently charming young man while wandering through the forest towards her grandmother's house. She arrives at her grandmother's home, unaware that the same young man has got there before her and killed her grandmother. The young man, who is really a wolf in disguise, instructs her to remove and burn her garments one by one as she makes remarks reminiscent of those in the classic fairy tale, such as "What big teeth you have!" When he replies, "All the better to eat you with," she laughs at him fearlessly. The story ends with "See! Sweet and sound she sleeps in granny's bed, between the paws of the tender wolf."
"But the wolves have ways of arriving at your own hearthside. We try and try but sometimes we cannot keep them out. There is no winter's night the cottager does not fear to see a lean, grey, famished snout questing under the door, and there was a woman once bitten in her own kitchen as she was straining the macaroni. Fear and flee the wolf; for, worst of all, the wolf may be more than he seems."
In "Wolf-Alice" Carter explores the journey towards subjectivity and self-awareness from the perspective of a feral child raised by wolves. The wild child, whom some nuns have attempted to civilize, is left in the house of a monstrous, vampiric Duke where she does not develop the appropriate social graces. She gradually comes to realize her own identity as a young woman and even displays compassion for the Duke.
"When they found her in the wolf's den beside the bullet-riddled corpse of her foster mother, she was no more than a little brown scrap so snarled in her own brown hair they did not, at first, think she was a child but a cub; she snapped at her would-be saviors with her spiky canines until they tied her up by force. She spent her first days amongst us crouched stockstill, staring at the whitewashed wall of her cell in the convent to which they took her. The nuns poured water over her, poked her with sticks to rouse her. Then she might snatch bread from their hands and race with it into a corner to mumble it with her back towards them; it was a great day among the novices when she learned to sit up on her hind legs and beg for a crust."
"Little Wolf's Book of Badness" (2001) by Ian Whybrow is the first of a series of stories aimed at younger readers. This book introduces Little Wolf, whose parents have sent him to Cunning College for Brute Beasts in Frettnin Forest to learn Uncle Bigbad’s 9 Rules of Badness ("Huff and puff a lot", "Blow everybody down," etc.) to earn his BAD Badge and convince his family that he isn't a "goody-4-paws". Little Wolf is a wimp by wolf standards but still eats beetles and rabbit rolls, scares a lady at a bus stop, and plays inside a chimney because he likes getting dirty. But his parents have decided that he is not bad enough because he brushes his teeth and combs his fur. Big Bad Wolves just don't do this. At the school there are no students, because a teacher explains, "I am so frightfully frightening, they all fled and flew away!" The grouchy beast eventually expels Little Wolf. Befriended by a pack of Cub Scouts, Little Wolf is finally awarded a badge, but not the one he left home to earn. The story owes its humor to Tony Ross' line drawings and to Whybrow's clever narrative, told through Little Wolf's letters home to his family. "Little Wolf's book of Badness" was made into an award-winning film for television in 2003, directed by Karsten Kiilerich. Then it was made into a play, which ran at the Hampstead Theatre, London from December 2007 to January 2008, adapted by director Anthony Clark, with Llan Goodman as Little Wolf.
"The Ethiopian Wolf" (2002) by Fred H. Harrington is a 24 page non-fiction children's book that is part of the 6 book series "Wolves and Wild Dogs". All were published in 2002. "The Gray Wolf" discusses the physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle of the gray wolf. "The Red Wolf" provides a valuable lesson on food webs, interconnections, and the importance of preservation and conservation for the survival of healthy ecosystems. "The Arctic Wolf" discusses this sub-species, including how it survives in a harsh climate, its physical characteristics and food supply. "The Ethiopian Wolf" discusses the social, biological, physiological makeup, behavior, and eating habits of the Ethiopian wolf. Very few people have ever even heard of the Ethiopian wolf, found only in isolated pockets of mountainous Ethiopia, where it is listed as critically endangered. With less than 1,000 individuals estimated to exist, the future of this rare wolf depends almost entirely on human efforts. All 4 books provide basic information about each wolf sub-species, such as where it lives and what it eats. The language is simple enough for children, with the few difficult words such as "feral" in boldface type and defined in the glossary. All have the same layout, with one page of text facing a full-page photo. Occasionally an additional image is included on the text page. The pictures are clear, attractive and appealing. Although the information doesn't go beyond a basic encyclopedia article, it is sufficient for a child and the illustrations are good. "The Library of Wolves and Wild Dogs" also includes "The Dingo" (2002) by Janice Koler-Matznick and "The African Wild Dog" (2002) by J.D. Murdoch and M.S. Becker.
"Wolves of the World: Perspectives of Behavior, Ecology and Conservation" (1982) by Fred H. Harrington and Paul C. Paquet is a comprehensive 474 page book about the behavior and ecology of wild wolves in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Israel, and Iran. It also discusses wolf behavior in captivity and methods of conservation. Part of the "Noyes Series in Animal Behavior, Ecology, Conservation & Management", the writing is scientific and the book has been used as a textbook in classrooms around the world. Here is an excerpt about the hunting of wolves:
"Wolves are usually hunted for sport, for their skins, to protect livestock, and in some rare cases to protect humans. Historically, the hunting of wolves was a huge, capital and manpower intensive operation, requiring miles of netting, specialized net-carts and big drying sheds for storing and drying nets. The threat wolves posed to both livestock and people was significant enough to warrant the conscription of whole villages under threat of punishment, despite the disruption of economic activities and reduced taxes. Some cultures, such as the Apache, would hunt wolves as a rite of passage. Wolves are usually hunted in heavy brush and are considered especially challenging to hunt, due to their elusive nature and sharp senses. Wolves are notoriously shy and difficult to kill, having been stated to be almost as hard to still hunt as cougars, and being far more problematic to dispatch with poison, traps or hounds. Wolves though generally do not defend themselves as effectively as cougars or bears. Some wolves will evade capture for very long periods of time and display great cunning. One specimen nicknamed "Three Toes of Harding County" in South Dakota eluded its pursuers for 13 years before finally being caught. Another wolf nicknamed "Rags the digger" near Meeker, Colorado would deliberately ruin trap lines by digging up traps without tripping them. In Sport hunting, wolves are usually taken in late Autumn and early Winter, when their pelts are of the highest quality and because the heavy snow makes it easier for the wolves to be tracked. Wolves have occasionally been hunted for food, the meat having been variously described as being tough and tasting like chicken."
"The Loop" (1999) is a 560 page novel by Nicholas Evans, author of the bestselling "The Horse Whisperer". A pack of wolves has been re-introduced to the Rocky Mountain ranching town of Hope, Montana, where a century earlier they were slaughtered by the thousands. The residents accuse the wolves of killing cattle and children. Helen Ross, a 29 year old biologist, comes to Hope from the East, determined to save the wolves from destruction. But hatred awaits her in Hope, with a population of 519 wolf haters, and the hatred will tear a family and ultimately the community apart. Soon Helen is at the center of the storm, by loving the wrong man, by defying the wrong man, and by daring to lead a town out of its violent past. The cattle owners fight her and she faces death threats and other humiliations. Fortunately, an unlikely hero comes to her rescue--Luke, the 18 year old stuttering son of wealthy cattle owner Buck Calder. Together they find a passion for the wild, and a love that survives the toughest obstacles. However, Luke's father has the community alarmed after a wolf stalked his daughter's home and killed the family dog. He won't stop until every wolf is dead. The novel is told mainly through the eyes of Helen, and also in part through the perception of Buck Calder and his son Luke. A chilling character is the wolfer, surreptitiously hired by the ranchers to rid their range of the wolves they claim are killing their cattle. Superficially "The Loop" portrays a conflict between the "Western" environmental ethic and the "Eastern" environmental ethic. On a deeper level, we learn that humanity's society and motives are not that different from a pack of wolves. We mindlessly follow our Alpha male, and stick to a social structure that determines who gets first dibs on the fresh kill and who has to grovel for regurgitated chunks of meat. We kill to feed our young, protect our pack, and to survive. Nicholas Evans has succeeded in showing us what it means to live in the world as a wolf. Although his passages on wolf behavior read like mediocre nature books, the animals do have personalities. This fast-paced novel is sophisticated with a tight plot, the characterizations are strong and realistic, and the dialogue is crisp. It's more a work of ideology than imagination, with messages that man is out of sync with nature, the West is full of lonely, emotionally scarred people, and wolves make better Alpha males than humans do.
"Once A Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf" (2001) by Stephen R. Swinburne is a 48 page non-fiction book for teenagers that surveys the history of the relationship between wolves and humans, examines why they are a valuable part of the ecosystem, and describes the conservation movement to restore them to the wild. The book traces the persecution of the wolf throughout history, its extermination in many countries, and also reveals the role scientists have played in wolf preservation. Drawing on myth, legend, history, and science, Swinburne recounts the efforts of conservationists to reintroduce the wolf to the American landscape. Wolf behavior, social structure, myth-busting, the Yellowstone project, and the wolf's future prospects are also covered. Swinburne provides information and quotes from Leopold, Mech, Bangs, Askins, and many others. This book is a moving, thoughtful and highly-informative lesson in ecology for children of all ages, with clear, cogent writing. Award winning Jim Brandenburg provides the powerful and stunning photographs that reflect the quiet dignity of the much maligned wolf.
"Wolfwalker" (1990) by Tara K. Harper is the first in a series of 6 "Wolfwalker" novels. Engineered by the Ancients, wolves and humans had long been able to read each other's minds. But centuries of decimation from an alien-designed plague had made the human-wolf bond rare. Ember Dion, a healer and warrior, discovered the telepathic human-wolf bond by accident. The link that she shared with the wolf Gray Hishn filled her mind with all the senses of the wolf pack. What Gray Hishn saw, Dion saw also. What Dion felt, Gray Hishn also experienced. Yet Dion never realized how strong that bond with Gray Hishn could be, or what kind of power it was until she found herself lost in the wilderness, with slavers at her heels and war on the horizon. Suddenly she and her fellow travelers are fighting for their lives in the snowy winter wastes, where the wolves are their only guides, the greatest secret of the Ancients their only salvation, and Dion their only hope to survive. Dion, Gray Hishn, and a small group of desperate travelers are drawn to an ancient mountain sanctuary that contains the key to a lost and forbidden art of healing. For Dion there are a few important decisions: the responsibility she has for others, the decision to save lives, to follow her healer oaths, and the responsibility to kill to protect herself, her loved ones, and those who are defenseless. This novel has action, adventure, great fighting scenes, personal relationships, and the pacing is relentless. It is such a harsh and violent environment that both Dion and the reader are never given a chance to take a breather and unwind. Vivid details of wilderness survival and a strong, resourceful heroine highlight this otherwise predictable quest fantasy.
"Shadow Leader" (1991) by Tara K. Harper is is the second in the "Wolfwalker" series. Ember Dion, her wolf Gray Hishn, and their friends have just escaped from slavers, and are trying to return home so that they can warn their people about a a madman's designs for war and conquest. Enemy agents scour the countryside looking for them. But they must make it through the frozen mountains, avoiding the Mudsuckers, Masa, and the troops to warn their people of impending war. Through her telepathic bond with wolves, Dion holds the secret healing power of the ancients. She is a Healer and together they can do Ovousibas, the long forgotten way to heal people from within. But now dark forces are destroying all she holds dear, and her only hope of saving herself and the wolves lies with the mysterious and deadly beings of the sky. What began as a rite-of-passage journey for Ember Dion and her twin brother Rhom becomes a desperate struggle for freedom. The fast-paced story, non-stop action, plot twists and credible characters are good, but the book suffers from an overly contrived plot.
"Storm Runner" (1993) by Tara K. Harper is the third "Wolfwalker" installment. Wolfwalker Dion and her wolf companion Gray Hishn sense that something terrible is lurking on the other side of the border, and she is determined to put a stop to it before her people are destroyed. She knows something unspeakable is happening and people and wolves are fleeing in droves. The wolf packsong, which echoes through the Ancient's mountains, haunts Dion's mind with grief. But the wolves who remain behind, across the wide river, cut Dion off from their minds. She cannot hear their voices. Nothing but their despair leaks through. Dion knows that time is running out for the people on the other side of the border--and for wolves everywhere. Her only hope lies with an ancient rite that has remained untested for generations--the Calling of the Wolves. The story is romantic, exciting, humorous, audacious, diverse, and creative, with characters who have great personalities.
Like "Wolf's Bane" it deals with dark issues. Author Tara K. Harper said: "It's easy to find stories that trivialize suffering in an action plot; and sometimes, when all you want is superficial entertainment, that kind of story can be perfectly acceptable. But in "Storm Runner", my characters had to deal with the same issues and realities I have had to deal with. Abuse of power, enslavement, terrorism, tyranny--those are not superficial issues, and it would have been cheating to allow my characters to live their lives without having to consider the physical and philosophical consequences of their actions. "Storm Runner" requires each person to take a stand, to make the decision. The decisions were not trivial, so the story, like "Wolf's Bane", is darker than the stories told in "Wolfwalker", "Shadow Leader", "Grayheart", and "Lightwing"."
"Wolf's Bane" (1997) by Tara K. Harper is paired with "Silver Moons, Black Steel" and occurs about 13 years after the events described in "Storm Runner". "Wolf's Bane" is about Ember Dion the Wolfwalker, who was telepathically bonded to the Gray Ones. She could hear the packsong and run with the wolves. Thirteen years ago she had seen the plague-death which the aliens had brought to humans and the wolves. She had made a promise to the wolves to heal them in exchange for the lives of her family and friends. Eight centuries after the aliens brought the plague, humans lived by hiding their science, and engineered wolves ran wild in the world. Now Dion has only one reason to live: the Call of the wolves to help them. Only by facing the aliens can she save herself and the future of the wolves. After Dion's entourage has had its climactic encounter with Bandrovic, Dion begins to develop a Christ-complex, questioning why she has to carry a heavy burden of guilt, memories, and nagging companions. Her companions pull Dion aside and offer positive comments on their views of Dion's vision of the world. Then Dion decides to make contact with the Aiueven, a race of superbirds responsible for the plague that is decimating the wolves on this world, as well as killing tens of thousands of humans. Dion uses her own highly developed mental powers--honed through her mental connection to the wolves of Asengar--to carry on a conversation with the Aiueven, a conversation that eventually leads to her being adopted by one of the aliens. Unfortunately, Dion fails in forcing the Aiueven to give her the knowledge that will cure wolves and men. Harper seems to have confused over-psychologizing with actual depth. There is not much plot, very little character development, and the dialogue is not very realistic. This book is somewhat disappointing.
"Silver Moons, Black Steel" (2001) by Tara K. Harper is about Ember Dion, also called Wolfwalker, and occurs about 13 years after the events described in "Storm Runner". Dion tried to unlock the secrets of aliens, was punished with their fury, and she was nearly destroyed. Now, desperate to put distance between herself and the fate that awaits her, she rages against the wolves as much as she rages against the world. She has recovered the ancient telepathic bond between humans and wolves, and the tale begins when she was nearly destroyed by aliens. Dion battles a hostile world, the wolves themselves, the Gray Ones who want to restore her presence, her brother searching for his Wolfwalker twin, her own people who need her knowledge of the wolves to secure their future, and a warrior who is drawn to her. She must fight to safeguard the secrets of her world from forces that could change it forever. This novel was published four years after "Wolf's Bane", with which it is paired, and features the race of humans who bond telepathically with wolves.
"Wolf in Night" (2006) by Tara K. Harper is the first of the series "Tales of the Wolves". This is the beginning of a new "Wolfwalker" series, and starts 37 later. Raised on a foreign world where telepathic wolves hunt in the mountains and mysterious aliens guard against the encroachment of humanity, Nori has grown up scouting in the wilderness. Like her mother, she searches for dangers that could devastate the isolated towns scattered across the countryside. Her mother had help from the telepathic wolves, who sometimes choose a human to bond with, and the human becomes a Wolfwalker. The wolves have encountered dangerous forces. Disturbed by the sense of death along the broken cliffs of Ariye, they reach out to someone who can help them. Unsuspecting, Nori answers the Grey Ones’ call--only to find herself mentally bonded to a half-grown, ferocious wolf named Grey Rishte. She is hounded deep into the wilderness to begin a journey that must end in victory or death. Nori goes missing. She is called by the grey, the telepathic connection with the wolves, to save two new born wolves from predators. She takes them to safety, then runs with the wolves and learns more about the grey. Nori manages to stay alive in the wilderness without any weapons, rations or gear. And as if that isn't bad enough, she can add hired hunters to the list of creatures that are after her.
"The Wolfling: A Documentary Novel of the Eighteen-Seventies" (1992) by Sterling North is about 13 year old Robbie Trent living in a small community in Wisconsin in the 19th century. Robbie learns of a wolf den and wants one of Old Three Toes' wolf cubs for a pet. Bubs, one of his school mates also learns of the den and wants the bounty paid by the Wisconsin Government for killing wolves. When the two meet up at the den, there is a confrontation, but Robbie wins. He climbs into the den and gets a cub he names Wolf. Robbie convinces his parents and his wolf-hating neighbors that Wolf is as hard-working as any dog, so his parents let him keep it. As time progresses Wolf grows bigger and bigger. Robbie and Wolf gain the attention and friendship of the Swedish-American naturalist Thure Kumlien. Local farmers build a house for the Kumliens. Inga Skavilain courts Robbie, first making him jealous of her portrait, then she gives it to him as a present. "Oh Robbie," Inga sighs, "will there be time in your fast new world for swans and lotus blossoms and wolflings?" She is asking Robbie Trent to slow down, to consider whether he wants to pursue a life of competition, or a more contemplative life to get what he wants. The novel ends with Robbie, Inga, and Wolf living happily ever after. This is a good book, somewhat boring at times, and North seems to be exploring a major change in American society. The country was on the brink of technological "progress" which continued at an ever-accelerating pace. Illustrations are by John Schoenherr.
"Tales of the Wolf: Fifty-One Stories of Wolf Encounters in the Wild" (1995) is a 320 page compilation of stories collected together by Denise Casey and Tim W. Clark, with illustrations by Beth Krommes. The "high concept" title tells us everything about the book. It explains the role of European fables, myths, and biblical interpretations that created the Western hatred for wolves. Then there are the 51 stories. In one an anonymous highly astute European writer observed from British colonial India in 1927: "As a good European, I inherit a whole huddle of dark neolithic fears which the poets and magicians and schoolmasters of my tribe have sedulously kept alive through the safe, comfortable centuries. I am not to blame. From my cradle have I been bidden, enjoined, and commanded to fear the wolf. He tears you to pieces alive and digs you up when you are dead, and before the maid has time to run to your frantic ringing he pulls you down on your own threshold. Between the pillarbox and the front-door he pulls you down, in the dark, after tea. No, I am not to blame."
ESTIMATED WORLDWIDE WOLF POPULATION
Belarus: 2,000 - 2,500
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 400
Bulgaria: 800 - 1,000
Croatia: 100 - 150
Czech Republic: 20
Ethiopia: 500 - 1,000
Finland: 116 - 123
France: 40 - 50
Greenland: 50 - 100
Israel: 120 - 150
Italy: 500 - 800
Lithuania: 300 - 400
Mongolia: 10,000 - 20,000
Norway: 12 - 18
Portugal: 200 - 300
Saudi Arabia: 300 - 600
Serbia & Montenegro: 500
Slovakia: 350 - 400
Slovenia: 70 - 100
Syria: 200 - 500
United States: 11,000
"Ghost Wolf" (2004) by Rachel Roberts is # 9 in a 12 book series of children's fantasy novels titled "Avalon: Web of Magic". The series is loosely based on the 1990's animated series "Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders", and the show's creator Robert Mandell was also involved with the books. "Cry of the Wolf" is the third entry and it tells about Adriane and Stormbringer, a mistwolf, who have a unique bond. Storm is lured through the portal to Aldenmor and Adriane follows Storm to the magical world. Adriane faces the challenge of her life as she confronts pack leader Moonshadow and the entire mistwolf pack and tries to bring Storm home. The strange boy Zach she meets may be able to help her, but she'll still need Emily and Kara's magic if she is going to survive this battle. In "Ghost Wolf", Adriane the Warrior knows what it's like to lose a friend. Now she's on the verge of losing everything she loves. Ravenswood Manor is being haunted by mysterious ghosts and Adriane must walk the spirit trail with the help of the mistwolf Stormbringer, and recover a lost power crystal of Avalon. The Spider Witch and the Dark Sorceress will stop at nothing to capture the power crystals of Avalon. They have launched an attack directly at Ravenswood, the sanctuary for magical animals and Adriane's home. The fight to save Ravenswood takes Adriane to places she never imagined, into the very heart of mistwolf magic where a friend she thought she lost forever lives on. The ghost wolf attacks her and Dreamer as well. Adriane's adventure with her friends to save Ravenswood, the mistwolves, and Storm require her to rise to a new level of magic in order to save her friends, her pack-mates, and Avalon itself, or risk losing everything again. The illustrations by Allison Strom are not as detailed as usual.
"The Return of the Wolf" (1992) (3rd edition 2005) by Steve Grooms is a 160 page non-fiction book that provides a comprehensive picture of the North American wolf population and its management. Grooms is an expert and chronicler of wolves. He states, "People used to view wolves imperfectly through filters of greed and fear; they now view them imperfectly through filters of guilt and romance." Although he overestimates the wolf's importance by postulating that Adam and Eve disagreed about wolves in the world's first argument, he covers the reintroduction of the wolf to Yellowstone National Park and relates the negative perception of wolves throughout history. In the 15th-century, wolves were associated with promiscuity and early American settlers saw them "as impediments to Manifest Destiny". He describes wolf anatomy and biology, and explains wolf management strategies in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. There is a section on Canada's wolves, the restoration of the Red Wolf in the southeast, the Mexican Wolf in the southwest, and Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region and in Yellowstone. Also are updates on five raging wolf controversies, including plans to remove protection for some wolves. At the end, Grooms provides a good summary, including an overview of wolf advocacy groups. He gives a short description of each, as well as providing website addresses for further reference. The third edition of this best-selling, award-winning classic about the most misunderstood animal on earth is completely updated, redesigned, and features stunning new color photos. Clearly written, informative, factual, fair, balanced, and moderate in tone, Grooms' writing style is simple and fluid, making the book accessible to everyone. "The Return of the Wolf" contains a wealth of good information.
"The Wolves in the Walls" (2003) by Neil Gaiman is a terrifying children's picture book with illustrations by Dave McKean. Although the fairytale is presented in a casual nonsensical way, it is actually a surreal nightmare. In fact, it came from a nightmare that Gaiman's youngest daughter Maddy had where she could hear wolves moving around in the wall and she related this to her father. The book starts with Lucy hearing wolves hustling, bustling, and crackling in the walls of the old house where her family lives, but no one believes her. Her mother says it's mice, her brother says bats, and her father says what everyone seems to say, "If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." Lucy remains convinced and her worst fears are confirmed when the wolves actually do come out of the walls. The family flees to the cold, moonlit garden, where they ponder their future. Lucy never panics, but reacts sensibly and courageously to the bizarre events which inspire only confusion and fear in her parents. Eventually the family tires of spending nights in the garden and decide to take back their home. They move into the walls of their house, where they see the wolves watching their television and spilling popcorn on slices of toast and jam, dashing up the stairs, and wearing their clothes. When the family can't stand it anymore, they come out of the walls, scaring the wolves, who shout, "And when the people come out of the walls, it's all over!" The wolves flee and everything goes back to normal until the ending when Lucy hears "a noise that sounds exactly like an elephant trying not to sneeze." This short original and imaginative picture book has the characteristics of a graphic novel with numerous four-panel pages opening into spreads that include painted people, pen and ink wolves, and photographed computer-manipulated images. Dave McKean's illustrations are spectacular, sinister collages awash in golden sepia tones, and the wolves explode into the story in scratchy drawings, all jaws and eyes.
"Wolfcry" (2006) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is the fourth installment in "The Kiesha'ra" books which begain with "Hawksong" (2003). Oliza Shardae Cobriana is the daughter of Danica and Zane. She is a wyvern, a cross between her hawk mother and cobra father, although she can assume both of their shapes. Oliza is heir to a legacy of war and distrust, but a hope for peace between two peoples. She is kipnapped and taken far from her home, trapped in her human form. But in her attempt to find her way back, she meets other shifters, makes friends, and realizes the ultimate truth about herself. A pride of lions clip her wings and drug her so she cannot change shape. They take her deep into the forest, and when she begins to think clearly again, she realizes that weeks have passed. A female wolf helps Oliza make her way in the woods, and she senses it chooses not to change into human form out of fear. When she meets the local wolf pack called Frektane, its leader tries to assault her. Oliza now knows why the female wolf is afraid. She escapes, collapses from hunger and illness, then the wolf returns as Betia, its human form, to save Oliza's life. The two survive together and encounter a tribe called the Obsidians, a rebel group. They are taken in and the bond between Betia and Oliza grows. They enjoy their time with the tribe, but eventually Oliza discovers that guards from Wyvern's Court are out looking for her. The two women return to find that tensions have heightened even more between the avians and the serpiente. Oliza's cobra father wants her to choose a mate, but she learns that her spells are magic that would be dangerous to any of her children. The magic allows her a glimpse into a future that is frightening enough to show her that she must make a very tough decision if she wants both races to survive. To continue her line and her parents' vision would mean war. The stunning conclusion to "Wolfcry" is both discouraging and hopeful for the future at the same time.
"Wolf Songs: The Classic Collection of Writing About Wolves" (1997) by Robert Busch is a 204 page collection of the best non-fiction writing about wolves from the last 50 years by authors noted for their knowledge of the wolf. Once feared throughout the world, wolves have been poisoned, brutally trapped, and shot from airplanes. Environmentalists have achieved a hard-won reassessment of this eradication policy, and reintroduction programs now exist in a number of public land sites in the U.S. However, as wolves flourish under protected status, conflicts have erupted throughout the western states between their defenders and the ranchers whose livestock fall prey to their growing populations. "Wolf Songs" is an introduction to this magnificent animal. There are essays from 18 of the most noted nature writers of the past half-century including: Aldo Leopold, Ernest Thompson Seton, Farley Mowat, R. D. Lawrence, Barry Lopez, Rick Bass, and Dr. L. David Mech. Some of these essays date from the early 20th century, while others are more recent. Although the message is similar in all essays, each one has its own unique personal story. It's a journey across plains, over mountains, into dens and other ranges where wolves roam, and a trip into the wolf's psyche. Anecdotes about hunting, playing, scent-marking, being loyal, and howling, lead readers to believe they have the right to a place in our fragile ecosystem. From a description of two wolf cubs learning to hunt, to an essay on the tragic consequences of raising wolves, this collection makes a persuasive plea for a greater understanding of North America's most maligned and most majestic predator. The wolf is even the subject of the "Wolf Manifesto" which states, "The wolf has the right to exist in a wild state...in no way related to their known value to mankind."
"Howling Hill" (1998) by Will Hobbs is a 32 page children's picture book about Hanni, a wolf cub that has never been alone before. Now she is lost in the wilderness in Canada's vast Northwest Territories. Too little and scared to cry out for help, Hanni soon learns to trust the world outside and the wolf inside--and finally discovers a howl within--a long and deep howl that brings her family to the rescue. Hobbs anthropomorphizes his characters somewhat, and Hanni's mother tells her, "Don't worry. It's inside of you...somewhere deep inside." Disappointed when she is unable to howl like the rest of the pack, Hanni is soon laughing with her brothers and sisters along a river bank. But before she realizes what is happening, she is floating down the river on a log, alone for the first time in her life. The mishap happens while playing on a log in the river. Hanni is separated from her family and swept away. She plunges into the water and discovers she can swim just before reaching a deadly waterfall. Just before the log goes over the falls, she makes it to shore and a sleepy bear coming out of hibernation helps her most of the way home and teaches her to use her sense of smell to guide her the rest of the way. Returning to the deserted Howling Hill, Hanni finally finds her voice and howls for the first time and summons the pack. The water of Howling Hill is described as "hot" and "stinky", but no explanation is given for this and children will probably wonder why. The coming-of-age theme overloads the story a bit, but the tension is strong. Illustrations are by Jill Kastner, dynamic motion-filled paintings that capture the dramatic landscape of the far north. Her full-color oil paintings laid out in double-page spreads show realistic wolves and bears, with only some subtle posing to give Hanni the occasional childlike attitude. The details of the wolves' activities invite close inspection and the last illustration dramatically shows the animals howling into a blood-red dawn.
"The Company Of Wolves" (1996) by Peter Steinhart is a 400 page non-fiction examination of why wolves have featured so prominently in debates about natural preservation and the roles of predators. Humans either hate wolves or love them. This book is not a treatise on wolf biology but a study of the relationship between humans and wolves in the wolves' last refuges in the Arctic and in places where the two species live together. Steinhart speaks with wolf biologists, wildlife managers, trappers, ranchers, Native Americans, and others. Though it is clear where Steinhart's sympathies lie, the book is balanced between the wolves' advocates and their opponents. It has everything from views on the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park to the controversial scientific status of the red wolf. Though Steinhart is sympathetic to the idea of having wolves in the wild, he deliberately takes a many-sided view, and tries to understand the motivations of wolf lovers, wolf haters, and researchers of all types. Ranchers and even a retired wolf-bounty hunter find sympathetic portrayals here. Each chapter combines a theme with Steinhart's discussions of some person relevant to the theme. For instance, the chapter on howling focuses on Algonquin Provincial Park and its summer wolf howls, built around discussions with John Theberge who started researching Algonquin's wolves by howling at them. The most amusing of these subject-and-person pairings is the chapter on wolf pack social organization, in which Dr. L. David Mech is characterized as the Apha male of wolf research. "The Company Of Wolves" contains a few factual errors. One of these concerns Ghost Ranch Museum, at Abiquiu, New Mexico, called "a Department of Game and Fish facility." It was in fact owned by the U.S. Forest Service and was never acquired by the game department. An authoritative and eloquent book, arguments are balanced and well presented, but it suffers from an overall lack of depth. The book was published as political changes brought challenges to the structure and existence of the Endangered Species Act. Steinhart's support of the wolf goes beyond ecological arguments to explore our spiritual need for the company of wolves, a species with which we evolved.
"Malu's Wolf" (1995) is the first novel by Ruth Craig. She brings to life the European Stone Age world of a young girl named Malu who fulfills her wish of being a warrior. Her clan is governed by traditions that define the roles of men and women, and taboos that punish social irresponsibility and ban cohabitation with animals. Malu, a force for change, teaches herself to hunt and raises an orphaned wolf cub, Kono. As Malu's understanding of wolf behavior increases, she realizes that a strong emotional bond has formed. A young hunter threatens Malu, and Kono is sentenced to death when she protects Malu from him with a bite. To save Kono, Malu flees with the wolf into a harsh winter wilderness. Rejecting the allure of howling wolves, Kono remains faithful to Malu, helping her to survive. When the fugitives discover a herd of woolly mammoths, Malu informs the clan and they are forgiven.
"In the Shadow of a Rainbow: The True Story of a Friendship Between Man and Wolf" (1974) by Robert Franklin Leslie relates the story of Gregory Tah-Kloma's adventures with a pack of timber wolves and their legendary female leader, Náhani ("the one who shines"). In 1970, a young Indian in British Columbia introduces himself to the author as Gregory Tah-Kloma. The young Indian tells the story of his devotion to a pack of timber wolves and their leader Náhani. Greg had first met the magnificent silver she-wolf six summers before. From the beginning a bond existed between them, and it grew. Greg visits Náhani and, like the pack members, he becomes her willing subject. When the black frosts force Greg to return to civilization, he is determined to search again for Náhani, to find the wolf and her pack before trappers and bounty hunters can destroy them. During the harsh months of winter and throughout two summers he searches, always wondering whether Náhani will recognize him. Finally, in the vast wilderness, he learns the meaning of the Indian saying, "When anything strengthens a bond of friendship, the friends have walked in the shadow of the rainbow."
"Journey of the Red Wolf" (1996) by Roland Smith is a 60 page non-fiction book about the red wolf's near-extinction, captivity, and reintroduction to the wild. Although it once flourished throughout North America, the red wolf was prey to ranchers, farmers, and natural enemies until it became nearly extinct in the mid-1960's. In 1971 the last 17 red wolves were taken into captivity in an attempt to preserve the sub-species, then in the late 1980's they were reintroduced into the wild. Smith compares this cinnamon-colored wolf with other wolves and coyotes, explains how it came to the brink of extinction, and describes the systematic work of biologists and conservationists to nurture the red wolves. Long actively involved in the breeding and re-introduction of red wolves into the wild, Smith delivers behind-the-scenes details about his efforts, generously illustrating his fascinating account with many intimate full color photographs of newborn cubs and views of the facilities designed to house the wolves. His straightforward writing style shows his knowledge of the habits of the red wolf, the problems encountered in caring for captured animals, and the many obstacles met in re-establishing the endangered species in the wild. The use of dialogue at the beginning of each chapter draws in the reader and he explains how the Red Wolf Recovery Program is working to save the sub-species from extinction. Roland Smith is a zookeeper turned children's author.
"Wolf-Speaker" (1994) is a fantasy novel by Tamora Pierce that details the journey of Veralidaine Sarrasri as she learns about her magic and her journey to Dunlath to help the wolves. Daine receives a summons from some old friends--the wolf pack from her old village, led by Brokefang and his mate Frostfur, who are unhappy with the nobles ruining the Long Lake, their territory. Daine discusses this with her teacher, Numair Salmalin, who agrees to help the wolves. There is much magic and fantasy in the plot, and in the end Numair and Daine manage to prevail. This book is the second in a series of four books, "The Immortals" (1992-96).
"Wolf Child" (1989) by Dennis Nolan is a children's book set in prehistoric times, 18,000 years ago, about 9 year old Teo. "Long ago when the world was young..." are the words that begin this 40 page book. Teo has no friends and is too weakened by illness to be a hunter and too strong to gather roots and herbs with the women and children. Instead, Teo is apprenticed to the toolmaker Mova and leads a lonely existence until he finds and befriends an orphaned wolf cub. He names the cub Ahno-Nyac ("Magic Wind"), after the wind which was said to bring good luck. Unfortunately, Ohnka, the stern leader of Teo's people, does not allow animals in the cave and believes that wolves bring bad luck and steal food, which is scarce. Finally he relents, but only a little. The wolf cub can stay until she is old enough to hunt for herself, until the first snow. Nyac does bring Teo luck, as he learns to take pride in his new skill at making tools out of stone. But now that Teo is no longer lonely, time passes quickly, and all too soon it is time for Nyac to return to the wolves. With the first snow, Nyac is forced into the wild. However, she returns in time to save both Teo and Ohnka from a mammoth's charge, and is welcomed back to the tribe. The book is sprinkled with historic detail and legends and beliefs shared by many primitive people, but lacks a sense of reality which gives good historical fiction its edge. Both the story and illustrations have been sweetened and sanitized, and the stock characters are handsome, clean, and neatly groomed. Although this is the Ice Age, they wear clean, fluffy furs which only partially cover their healthy bodies. There is no real sense of cold, danger, or hunger, and illness is only mentioned as the source of Teo's isolation--yet he looks healthy in the illustrations. Nolan's compelling adventure story with themes of love and friendship is highlighted by his own detailed full-page watercolors.
"Kavik the Wolf Dog" (1968) by Walt Morey is a preteen novel about Kavik (which means wolverine), a champion sled dog that is actually a hybrid wolf (½ wolf, ½ husky). A plane crashes in an Alaskan blizzard, and after being trapped in a cage for three days while starving, freezing, and getting multiple wounds from neighboring animals, Kavik is rescued by Andy Evans, a teenage boy. Kavik recovers in a month but his owner Mr. Hunter takes Kavik back with him to his home in California, despite the truth from Andy's father that Kavik is a complete coward because of the plane crash and has lost his wolflike courage. When Mr. Hunter tries to show Kavik off, Kavik escapes out a window and sets out to return to Andy, the only one who has ever loved him. He is determined to reunite with Andy and makes a 2000 mile journey from California to Alaska in search of the boy. Kavik gets a ride back up north on a boat with an elderly couple. He runs away from them and meets a young female wolf and they mate. But first Kavik must fight another wolf for her, and he gets his courage back. Then a hunter kills her, and Kavik continues to travel until he finally makes it home to Andy, and Andy gets to keep him. The novel teaches a very important lesson, that family is more important than anything. It's a sad, touching story in which Kavik earns love, gains confidence, and finds a true home. This book has compassion, loyalty, adventure, and action, with twists and all of the emotions involved in the plot. It is illustrated by Peter Parnall and a made-for-TV movie based on the book aired under the Sunday Big Event umbrella on NBC in 1979.
"Lone Wolf" (2009) by Kathryn Lasky is the first book in a new series "Wolves of the Beyond". It is an absorbing tale of courage and compassion about Faolan, a young wolf cub taken from his mother shortly after birth and left to die because of a slight paw deformity. Away from her pack, her mate and the MacDuncan wolf clan, she-wolf Morag gives birth to three wolf cubs. Two of them are perfect, but the third has a slight splay on one of its front paws. Morag thinks her silver cub is perfect, but she knows his defective paw will brand him as malcadh, the ancient wolf word for "cursed." As a malcadh, the silver cub must be taken away from his mother and Morag and her mate banished to protect the pack's bloodlines. Morag nurses her cubs in a fox's den to keep them concealed until the silver cub can grow strong--and away from Shibaan, the Obea of the MacDuncan clan. As the Obea, the barren she-wolf is responsible for carrying deformed wolf cubs to a remote location where she abandons them. Not long after Morag gives birth, Shibaan hunts down Morag and her cubs, takes away the deformed cub, and carries it to an isolated location and abandons him by a river. Nearby, a grief-stricken mother grizzly bear welcomes death as a release from her overwhelming sorrow. Her lone cub has been killed by cougars, and she has lost her will to survive. Yet death does not take her. The wolf cub attaches itself to the bear's hind leg. She picks up the cub and after seeing a spark of life in the eyes of the nearly dead wolf, she gathers him to her chest and gives him nourishment. Believing the wolf cub is a "gift from the river" to replace her cub, she names the wolf Faolan. As the grizzly nurses Faolan back to health, she is filled with motherly love and pride. Months pass, and Faolan grows stronger as his new mother provides him food, love and warmth while teaching him how to survive in the wilderness. To Faolan, his new mother becomes known as Thunderheart. As days grow shorter and winter approaches, Thunderheart begins her deep hibernation in her winter den and Faolan must embark on a courageous journey across the great Beyond. During hibernation Thunderheart dies, the young wolf continues on alone, and he discovers "the Cave Before Time" with wall paintings portraying the history of the wolves. Faolan realizes that he must return to his own kind and learn their ways, and with the help of an owl he searches for a wolf pack to join. Lasky's careful research and elegant writing enhance the story's message that life is a gift and being different isn't necessarily a sign of weakness. It can be a source of strength, at least in this children's talking animal adventure story.
"Promise of the Wolves" (2008) by Dorothy Hearst is her first novel in the trilogy "The Wolf Chronicles" about the ancient relationship between wolves and humans. Set 14,000 years ago, "Promise of the Wolves" takes you to a land where time is counted in phases of the moon, distance is measured in wolflengths, and direction by the scent of the nearest trail. She-wolf Kaala Smallteeth is born of a forbidden mixed-blood litter and treated as an outcast after her mother is banished. But she is determined to earn a place in the Swift River pack. The wolves of the Wide Valley believe: "Never consort with humans. Never kill a human unprovoked. Never allow a mixed-blood wolf to live." Her world is turned upside down when she saves a human girl from drowning. Risking expulsion from the pack and exile from the Wide Valley, Kaala and her young packmates begin to hunt with the humans and discover the bond between the two species. She learns that she is the last in a long line of wolves charged with keeping watch over humans in order to prevent them from losing touch with nature and destroying the world. When war between wolves and humans threatens, Kaala learns the lies behind the wolves’ promise. Lies that force her to choose between safety for herself and her friends, and the survival of all wolfkind and humanity. Divided into 2 parts and 20 chapters, there are 335 pages, and the story is narrated in the first-person by the she-wolf Kaala. Two prologues, set 40,000 years ago, and an epilogue are in the third-person by the she-wolf Lydda. The novel doesn’t end as a cliffhanger, but it does leave many questions unanswered.
"Wolf" (1999) by Becky Bloom is a children's book about a hungry and poor itinerant wolf who decides to eat some barnyard animals. He sneaks up on a pig, a duck and a cow, who are reading in the sun. As he leaps at the animals with a howl, they studiously ignore him. "I can't concentrate on my book," the cow complains. They won't even look up from their books. The wolf asks, "What's wrong with you? Can't you see I'm a big and dangerous wolf?" "I'm sure you are," they say, "But couldn't you be big and dangerous somewhere else? This is a farm for educated animals." The wolf forgets about his appetite and enrolls in school. He is seen walking up the stairs at the local school with thick eyeglasses and a lunch box. When he takes his newfound knowledge back to the farm and proudly reads, "Run wolf! Run!" the animals go on "reading their own books, not the least impressed." Not until the wolf makes repeat visits to the library and buys his own book can he read "with confidence and passion", entrancing the cow, pig and duck with story after story. They beg for more, and the wolf finds that literacy is the key to friendship. The foursome decides to travel the world as storytellers, and the ending shows them reading books to children everywhere. Illustrator Pascal Biet fills her fresh watercolors with lively humor and clever characterizations. The wolf has a long snout and pointy ears, but his poses tell the story. Whether he's peering out at the farm animals, or admiring himself in a mirror, you can always tell what the wolf wants to do next. Sporting red reading glasses and an orange vest, the wolf peruses library books solemnly, and the cow wears blue sunglasses and a look of contented rapture as she listens to the wolf's tales. The wry humor of both text and illustrations offsets the book's underlying message about the determination needed to learn to read well. And the illustrator makes sure that the wolf finally gets some food, with a drawing of the pig sharing an apple with the wolf reclining in the sun. With a pinch of tongue-in-cheek humor and a pound of perseverance, this droll transformation wolf story is a charmer.
"Wolf of Shadows" (1985) by Whitley Strieber won the Outstanding Children's Book of the Year by the American Library Association and other awards. It's an intensely moving story of the aftermath of a nuclear attack told from the point of view of a large alpha wolf living in a forest near Minneapolis. Each of the four sections of the book begins with an American Indian quote that sets the mood. One quiet spring evening, the animals of the north woods see a great light mushroom up from the human territories. Most ignore it, but Wolf of Shadows, sitting alone on his hill, knows that something is very wrong. The next day dark clouds block out the sun, and an icy black rain comes, washing away the smells of all living things. It gets colder, then colder still. Nuclear winter has begun. As sleet changes to snow in wolf country, a desperate human mother and her daughter appear and join Wolf of Shadows as he leads his pack south. This is the story of their journey through the desolate, frozen wasteland that was once the United States. Always near freezing and starvation, threatened by savage dog packs and marauding humans, the wolves and the two women soon come to depend on one another for survival. Strieber masterfully captures how the wolf interprets the actions of the adopted humans and compares them to the feelings and actions of wolves. As their journey progresses, an unspoken but deeply felt love grows between them. This alone sustains them in their search for a place where life can be reborn. "Wolf of Shadows" is a bold and brutal novel, a compelling tale of survival in the wild, and a unique vision told from the viewpoint of a wolf of the horrors we may bring to every living creature on earth.
In the "A Song of Ice and Fire" (1996) series by George R. R. Martin, the main noble house is the Starks, which has a wolf as the family symbol and wolf cubs are adopted for their children. Each of the Stark children share a bond and some characteristics with their personal cub. "The Pellinor" saga by Alison Croggon features a pack of wolves who serve the necromancer Inka-Reb, and shows the faerie queen Ardina taking the form of a wolf.
"A Legend of Wolf Song" (1975) is a book by George Stone about free expression in the form of a howling wolf--a combination of natural history and political fable according to Stone. The theme is to do what your heart tells you is right, even if it is not what most others consider right. It's a well written book and the pen and ink illustrations by Dick Kramer are quite good.
"The Wolf sang for the Mountain, who was proud.
The Wolf sang for All.
His Song was of Love. For Earth. For Life.
The Truth for his Soul.
And endless stream.
Ancient even before the Ice came.
In the time of Dirus, the Great Dire Wolf.
He who has not such Love cannot sing. And will call Song evil.
Thus was Rufus. Rufus, the tyrant wolf.
He and his believers took Song away.
And for eons the Sky was empty.
But the stream flowed on, joining Past and Future.
His search was long. But sure.
For the spirit lived, waited.
Released, its Power surged.
Again the Wolf was free. The Earth whole.
The Wolf sings for the Mountain, who is proud. The Wolf sings
There is good news on the horizon. Most recent interpretations of the wolf show him as being a character with relatively good intentions, mostly considered "bad" due to a misunderstanding. These include appearances in the films "Shrek", "Hoodwinked", "The 10th Kingdom", and the comic book series "Fables". Furthermore, the "White Wolves" film series (1993 - 2000) portrays the wolf as a majestic hero that saves the lives of humans lost in the wilderness by helping them find food, shelter, and the way back to civilization. One wolf actually rescues two unconscious humans by dragging them out of a river to safety. Here is a link to Lone Wolf's review of the film series: http://lonewolfsullivan.blogspot.com/2009/07/white-wolves-1993-2000.html
Here are all links to Movie Reviews by Lone Wolf Sullivan about Wolves:
THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984)
THE CALL OF THE WILD (1972)
WHITE FANG (1991)
THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN (1985)
THE WOLFMAN (1941)
SILVER WOLF (1999)
WHITE WOLVES (1993 - 2000)
TEEN WOLF (1985)
NEVER CRY WOLF (1983)
IL RITORNO DI ZANNA BIANCA (1974) ("Return of White Fang")
LONE WOLF GOES HOLLYWOOD by Lone Wolf Sullivan is a short story and a musical movie screenplay, soon to made into a major Hollywood movie.
Here is a free link to the theme song of LONE WOLF GOES HOLLYWOOD:
Another song titled "Wolfland" is about an enormous wolf sanctuary and here is the link:
LONE WOLF GOES HOLLYWOOD
(c) 2010 Lone Wolf Sullivan
Once upon a time there was an Arctic Wolf who lived with his small pack in the northern Tundra. From an early age he liked to be alone, so they named him Lone Wolf. All the wolves admired his beauty, grace, intelligence, and hunting skills. His father, Alpha, was proud of his son and promised him, "You don't have to challenge me. I want you to be the pack leader soon."
Alpha always said, "Humans are killers and must be avoided", but Lone Wolf was not convinced. One day he was exploring the area and came upon a campers' site. He noticed a sleeping bag and dragged it back to the pack. Being a curious wolf, he tore the end open and discovered feathers but no bird. Alpha said, "You got this from humans. We can't eat it, but it's warm and comfortable." It was put in their den and the wolves took turns sleeping on it. Soon Lone Wolf dragged more sleeping bags back to the den for the entire pack.
Lone Wolf enjoyed visiting campers, and hiding behind rocks and bushes he studied humans. He even learned the English language. But eventually he was noticed by humans at a very large camp site. One shouted out, "Wolf! Wolf! Shoot it!" Lone Wolf yelled back, "No! I won't do you any harm. There's nothing to be afraid of, my friends." The campers were astonished at his eloquence and explained they were making a movie. They asked him if he would like to appear in it for a large supply of food, and he said, "Throw in two sleeping bags, and it's a deal." Lone Wolf was required to chase a deer and fight a man in a bear costume for the film, and the director was very impressed with his performance. He was invited to return to Hollywood with them, and he graciously accepted.
In Hollywood, Lone Wolf quickly became a superstar, appearing in many movies as a vicious killer wolf. Usually his white fur had to be dyed gray to make him resemble a Timber Wolf. To dispel rumours by gossip columnists that he was gay he dated Lassie, but actually considered her stupid and superficial. Living in a palatial air-conditioned mansion, he often gorged himself on his favorite food, berries. The outdoor swimming pool was kept ice cold and the huge estate was converted to a small forest.
During a promotional TV interview, Lone Wolf was criticized by an animal rights activist for "selling out" and "betraying the wolves". This upset him, so he wrote a movie script and starred in "The Adventures of SuperWolf". He played a scrupulously honest flying wolf with special powers used to promote justice, equality, and freedom. It was a box office smash hit and Lone Wolf was nominated for 2 Oscars: Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. He won both and was the toast of the town, the only wolf with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A sequel to "SuperWolf" was written, and Lone Wolf decided to shoot some of the movie on location on the tundra. While there he visited his pack and told them about his great success in Hollywood. They were not impressed, and invited him to re-join the pack as leader, since Alpha had been killed by aerial hunters. He asked if they would like to join him in Tinseltown instead. None were interested. Then he noticed White Lightning, the wolf of his dreams. He asked her to be his mate and join him in California. She said, "You're good looking and powerful, but you act like a dog and smell like flowers. I don't want to live with humans and leave this paradise."
Lone Wolf returned to Hollywood broken-hearted and tackled the serious role of Michael Lanyard, better known as the "Lone Wolf", a character created by Louis Joseph Vance in 1914. There were very many "Lone Wolf" films made in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's about the popular jewel thief who always helped those in distress. Lone Wolf re-created every movie in a film series that soon surpassed the 007 spy franchise in popularity, critical acclaim, and profits. When accepting his 5th Oscar, he received a standing ovation for saying, "The name's Wolf. Lone Wolf." He was an international icon and fabulously wealthy.
Weary of his frivolous movie star lifestyle, he set his eyes on politics, but was shocked to learn that wolves cannot run for Governor of California. Wolves cannot even vote! Thoroughly disgusted, Lone Wolf bought an enormous area of land where he was born and named it Wolfland. It was surrounded by a tall fence, included an animal hospital staffed by veterinarians and wolf biologists, and a security staff of humans to keep bears, humans and other undesirables out. Food, shelter, and sleeping bags were available for all animals. Lone Wolf had his Hollywood mansion reconstructed in Wolfland, mated with White Lightning, and they started the largest pack in wolf history. And they lived happily ever after.
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