Sunday, February 21, 2016


Lying awake this morning, just before dawn, a lone coyote raised a single howling note of mourning not far from my bedroom window. Expecting to hear the raucous chorus of his family joining in, I raised my head from the pillow when a different howl rose in the silence. It was Jake, answering his wild cousin, perhaps mourning from the deep genetic memory of the time when dogs were wolves - wild, and roaming with few enemies. Jake always answers the coyotes.

In our arrogance, we claim we domesticated the dog, the horse, the chicken and any other animal species that grace our lives with their help or their giveaway so we can live. I consider it a conscious decision on their part. They were here first, after all. They are our Elders.

Surely long ago the Animals saw the starving humans and took pity on us, with our limited senses and our two legs. At a great council, it was decided that the strange two-leggeds would need help or they should perish. The great Wolf chief agreed that some of his people should go live with the two-leggeds who, as all could see, were neither wise nor strong. The wolves would help them hunt, help protect their camps, teach them a true protector lays down his life for his family.

The bravest of the Wolves, in an act of selfless courage, came into the camps of the two-leggeds, trading away their freedom as mighty hunters and warriors with few enemies. They became the Dog, no longer wild and free, yet still mighty warriors, from the tiniest to the largest, even to Jake the Bad Dog.

The wolves of this world are hunted, trapped, poisoned and skinned. Their families destroyed. The coyotes are hunted with dogs who have entirely forgotten they were once wolf warriors. And dogs, their fate inextricably intertwined with ours, suffer with us - neither of us free, neither of us wild.

The coyotes howl for all of their kind who have been trapped, poisoned, shot, torn apart by dogs in the endless, merciless persecution by humans. Perhaps Jake howls for the senseless abuse and neglect his noble kind often suffer at the hands of men. Maybe they howl to honor those first wolves who came into the camps, changing the history of the world.

from Indian Country Today - George Monbiot
from Youtube - www.calxibe
Descendant of the Mighty Wolves - whose only gift he retains is how to howl like one.

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