wolves in literature

howling wolf


Some people have a gift of words in their descriptions so much that they can actually create those pictures in your mind of what you read. From time to time I may add to what is here, but I would like to share with you a few which really have touched my inner being for wolves seem to be a deep connection to who I am. One prime example is Linda Hogan in her book Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. In it she says:

       "All of us who are here in Ely, Minnesota, studying wolves
       have followed some inner impulse to this cold region. We
       have come here to search for timber wolves, those
       howling ones the Anishnabe people say human beings
       descended from long ago, back in the days when animals
       and people spoke the same tongue. Anyone who has
       heard the howl of wolves breaking through a northern
       night will tell you that a part of them still remembers
       language of that old song. It stirs inside the body
       taking us down from our world of logic, down to
       the deeper lost regions of ourselves into a memory
       so ancient we have lost the name for it" (64).

She continues on another page saying:

       "No matter the reason we say we are here, all of us are
       intent on seeing the wolves, or hearing them wail the
       song our ancestors knew the words to. We are looking
       for a clue to a mystery, a relative inside our own blood,
       an animal so equal to us that it reflects back what we
       hate and love about ourselves" (65).

Still another in the description of wolves, she says:

       "Close up, there is even more beauty in the wolf than any
       of us have seen from a distance. The fur is shawdowy
       gray and golden. The jawbones with their circular valleys
       are smooth, outlined by the bare, lean winter. Inside
       the mouth, the teeth are layered and worn down. There
       are strawberry leaves, frozen in place, on the wolf's
       teeth at the gum line. The tenderness of such an image
       moves me. I feel it in the heart. And there is something
       delicate about the legs, something gone from wandering
       earth, something that ran so fat it left the body behind"
       (71).

Indeed she has great respect for these animals as do I. She devoted an entire chapter to them, so should you be interested, you should pick up her book. It is very spiritual, one which takes you back to the inner recesses of your mind as you read her words.

There have been other descriptions in literature about wolves, including such classical writers such as Rudyard Kipling who said in The Jungle Book, "They are the Spirit that is in all of us for the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack." This particular quote can be found on many web pages about wolves. Another is one which could cause some soul searching. It was said by C.A. Eastman, and it is as follows:

       "Follow the example of the wolf. Even when he is
       surprised and runs for his life he will pause to take one
       more look at you before he enters his final retreat. So
       you must take a second look at everything you see."

There are so many beautiful desriptions that help you visualize this magnificent animal if you have never seen one, even at a distance. Those who have, whether it be across a meadow or much closer, have never forgotten this experience. If only man would spend the time to learn about them, perhaps then they wouldn't be as feared by those who are bent on their demise. We would all live better lives should we take the time to learn from the wolves. Take the time to peruse some of the sites about wolves. Read such books as Farley Mowfatt's Never Cry Wolf. Go into the forests to listen to their howls. Someday we will before it is too late.

Links to Internet Cards with a Wolf Theme
(click on the howling wolf next to the site name)

wolf   Care 2 Card Categories: Defenders

wolf   Lady Weasel's Wolf E-Cards

   Select an E-card - Defenders of Wildlife

graphics/wolf   Spirit Scents




Organizations that work for wolves and other wildlife
(click on the paw for access)

wolf paw   Defenders of Wildlife

wolf paw   Last Chance for the Mexican Wolf

wolf paw   Wolfsong Ranch Foundation










the wolf is my messenger





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"We will be known by the tracks
we leave behind."

Dakota Proverb

created 13 May 2000, by Louve14
revised 24 december 2006