Who isn't chillingly fascinated by the idea of wolves?
I grew up listening to Peter and the Wolf and loving the oboe even though it reminded me of the foolish duck. The Three Little Pigs caught less of my sympathy--either because they were pigs or because they were lazy. Certainly, as a little girl who loved her grandmother, Little Red Riding Hood upset me greatly and I learned to be honest and truthful from repeated tellings of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Through all of the stories, though, it seemed that the wolf only took advantage of people (or animals) who let down their guard and were foolish (the duck), lazy (the pigs), gullible (Red Riding Hood) or drama queens (The Boy), I was not any of those things so perhaps wolves were worth another look.
As I grew up, I discovered that the stereotype of wolves, as with most of the other fears from my childhood, did not exactly measure up to their reality, but it was many years before I actually saw one in the wild. In the summer of 2004, Archie, Molly and I went to Yellowstone and in the northeast corner of the park saw two wolves enjoying an elk carcass and drinking from a river. They ate, they lazed in the sun, they played--I could have watched them forever.
Wolves have been re-introduced to several locations in the United States over the past twenty years. They now roam in areas of Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota and North Carolina. The closest area of wolf habitation to Northern New England is in Algonquin Park Ontario.
Currently, I am reading The Return of the Wolf: Reflections on the Future of Wolves in the Northeast. It is a very interesting collection of essays on the biological and cultural realities of re-introducing wolves into Northern New England and Northern New York State.
What do some of you think of wolves? I know that readers of this blog are from all of the states where wolves have been re-introduced as well as from the Ontario where they have thrived in Algonquin Park and I would be very interested to hear what sort of experiences and ancedotes you can relate from their presence in your area.