by Martin Murie
© 2009 Martin Murie
(Swans - December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009) You humans think you are beginning a New Year. For us it is the depth of winter. You think we wolves howl for you, for your entrance into the wildlife? No. Our howls are one of our ways of getting together, to know there are other packs out there, other wolves. That's all. We are not putting on acts for you.
Being a top predator is not easy, as you should know when you go so far as to gun down animals of your own species. Oh yes, we hear from wolves around the planet. Here is our best guess at what will happen.
l) The lame duck president gutted the Endangered Species Act. He will be a top candidate for the Center For Biological Diversity's Third Annual Rubber Dodo Award. Contending for that honor, the ex-president will go head-to-head with the new director of the Department of Interior, who will be a centrist -- polite word for "too timid" to undo the damage.
2) Ice will continue to melt; wolves, penguins and polar bears, walruses, seals, and lots of other species will stay on the skids toward extinction. Your species will be especially hard hit from unending war and hopeless squabbles among yourselves.
3) There are wolves in Europe. We know what went on there and still goes on -- dangerous hatred continuing and getting worse. On this continent too, the continent that your species calls God Bless America, deadly hatred for those who happen to worship your God, but in different ways.
That's all that we can guess what lies ahead. We wolves have a hard life, and so do you in your role as Top Predators of the Earth and the Oceans. When we haven't eaten for three days and nights and look into a blizzard and notice moving forms that look like a small band of elk, we salivate and get ready and then we go into the swirling flakes. Sometimes we get an elk or a deer or a cow down, more often we don't, but we have to stay vigilant all the time, or die.
We have an urgent suggestion for you humans: stay alert, be vigilant, notice what is right in front of your nose. Test what comes your way, intimately. Please get into that way of living. If you don't we all go down.
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