I had the amazing experience today of visiting Howling Woods Farm, a wolf-dog reserve in New Jersey. As a writer, reader, and imaginer, I have always been fascinated about the wolves’ role in stories. It always seemed extreme or overrated. Even I, someone who started their first trilogy as a werewolf trilogy (it has changed over the years, luckily), thought of wolves as large, wild dogs who tended to be less predictable than our furry friends in our houses.
One of our very educated tour guides today made a statement:
“Wolves are far more predictable than dogs.”
This is actually incredibly true, though it seems like an overstatement at the first hearing. Wolves are portrayed as vicious, but, truly, they are non-confrontational. Our own dogs, who we come to love, accept into our families, and trust with our lives on so many occasions.
Now, I’m not trying to discredit dogs or say that you smoosh your face into a part or full-wolf like you would with your own pet, but it is interesting to think about, the fact that wild animals are more predictable and more regulated behavior than our most beloved friends.
Can this be true of people, too? Sometimes, our most trusted people may turn on us. Our students may do something unexpected. We may say something to our students that they never expected to hear, something that can either cause them to fly or fall.
But perhaps I am looking for too many metaphors in life.