Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill

Wolves have always been mistrusted and hunted.  The fact that people were building towns on land the wolves roamed and ranchers moved in with free range cattle and rivers were being dammed had nothing to do with why the wolves and the people were coming in contact with each other.  Of course not...

Flying Eye Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  This book will be published July 12th.

This is an oversized hardcover with sketch-like drawings for illustrations.  The story is based on Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton's story from "Wild Animals I Have Known".  

There's a pack of wolves in Currumpaw that have Lobo as their leader.  He's very wiley and smart.  People have been hunting him for years but he destroys traps, won't eat poisoned food and hides too well to be shot.  Seton has become an expert wolf killer and he's bound and determined to stop him.  What he does is trap his mate.  They destroy her and use her scent to trap Lobo.  They intend to kill Lobo, too, but Seton decides he'd rather study him.  It doesn't matter.  The next morning Lobo has died from his broken heart.

I don't want a wolf coming after me but I admire them.  They're smart, mate for life, and they survive natural catastrophes.  We're their worst enemy.  I live in Southern New Mexico and we've had bobcats and mountain lion problems.  We used to have coyotes that ran the arroyo.  Then they built a housing development between us and the mountains and now we don't even hear them.  I wish they'd leave open spaces for the animals.  Of course, I wish people got along, too.

The one positive thing about this story is that Mr. Seton was changed by that experience.  He created the Woodcraft Indians, where you could learn about outdoor life and the preservation of wildlife and landscape.  He became a founding member of the Boy Scouts.  Wolves have been on and off the endangered species list.

I believe Mr. Seton's quote:  "Ever since Lobo, 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."

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