Wolf Calls

You can count on random, somewhat odd commercials in two situations – during late-night television and during afternoon television, especially on certain networks. Since I can’t remember the last time I watched late-night television (but I’m pretty sure it was back when my 36-year-old son was an infant and still making it his personal goal to keep me from getting more than three hours of sleep at a time), I must have seen this particular advertisement on daytime television. Perhaps sandwiched between endless episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Criminal Minds.

The commercial that caught my attention was for a campaign to save wolves being sponsored by Sierra Club: Take Action to Save Wolves. We’re being asked to call our senator and/or congressman to ask them to pass legislation to protect the wolves.

I’m not anti-wolf. I’m not a wolf-hater. I’ve never even seen a wolf except in a zoo. And unlike that above-mentioned 36-year-old son who, upon my inviting him to go for a hike once in the mountains with me, soundly proclaimed, “I hate nature,” I don’t hate nature. I like nature. Nature is good. It’s very natural.

But even if Sarah McLachlan herself was singing songs about saving wolves as pictures of wolves in traps flashed on the screen, I wouldn’t take one single action to save one single wolf.

mom-photo-1-2Why? Because my mother would come down to earth and haunt me.

My mother was a tiny little thing, especially during the last 10 years or so of her life. She stood a proud 5’ish in heels, and weighed in at 110 pounds soaking wet. But to say Mom had strong opinions is like saying the Incredible Hulk had a bit of a temper.

Small, but mighty, that was Mom.

So, one afternoon when they still lived in Dillon, Colorado, her doorbell rang. She answered the door to find a couple of outdoorsy-looking young people, who enthusiastically announced that they were collecting donations to protect the wolves.


My mother grew up on a farm in central Nebraska. Anyone who is, was, or is acquainted with a farmer knows that farmers don’t like wolves, nearly as much as they don’t like prairie dogs. Wolves, you see, are predators that will hunt and then eat any small animal within their reach. So my Mom’s family had lost many a calf to a hungry wolf.

And Mom commenced to telling these two young nature-lovers exactly how she felt about wolves and how they “killed the little helpless calfies on the farm” and how it would be a cold day in hell before she would give a single nickel to help save these despicable animals that should not be allowed to live a free life on God’s earth. As she got more and more animated, the two young folks were slowly backing up and getting ready to make a run for it before she pulled out a 12 gauge shotgun and began firing like Annie Oakley.

I must remind you that I don’t hate wolves. I really have very little opinion about wolves whatsoever. However, as I perused the website for Take Action to Protect Wolves, it did occur to me that it was interesting that the website designer chose to use this photo of adorable wolf pups…..


Instead of this photo of an angry adult wolf getting ready to attack, well, maybe little calfies?…..


By the way, the second photo is one that my husband printed out and placed on the dashboard of his car in our Denver driveway when he noticed that the neighborhood foxes were climbing on his car at night, leaving footprints. Believe it or not, it worked.

I’m pretty sure our neighborhood foxes would also be against saving the wolves.

7 thoughts on “Wolf Calls

  1. I love that story about mom and think of it every time I hear about an effort to “save the wolves.” I’m pretty sure the wolf-savers at the door didn’t see that coming!

  2. That’s one of the best Mom stories ever! And what about Little Red Riding Hood. She wasn’t a fan of the Big Bad Wolf either.

  3. Saw Aunt Mary & Uncle John the day this was posted. I asked Mary Lou if she had read it, and she said “Not yet, but John said too, that it was a must read!” Talked with Uncle John and he said he laughed and could just hear your mom saying that. I laughed too! P.S. No, Uncle John & Aunt Mary did not come to visit. I saw them at the Valley Retired Faculty/Staff dinner. Twas ever thus, as Clare would say.

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