The Ghost Wolf

Posted 22 October 2011 by

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered: “The one I feed.” ~ Native American Story ~

The wolf seemed to appear out of thin air. I had a strange sense that I was not alone. I turned to look back upon the trail and there he was, moving toward me silently without effort, but with purpose. I was startled, but surprisingly not afraid. I was more in awe…for here in front of me was the elusive Canadian Grey wolf, a legend in this part of the country. And this chance sighting was a rarity…the first in my life. How long he had been following me is anyone’s guess, for his stealth was uncanny and he had kept a wary distance. A beautiful animal, his white coat tinted with shades of grey and those massive paws easily supporting his tall, muscled frame. Although menacing canines could be seen within his jaws as he panted, his face seemed puppyish as his soft green eyes gazed at me with curiosity. He was actually quite “cute.” As I was looking at him, I had an urge to approach him and give him a big hug. But caution overcame me with the infamous trait of our species “don’t trust what you see.” A myriad of thoughts created fear and almost panic…what if while I stand here, the rest of his pack is surrounding me, awaiting the opportune moment to rush in and tear me to shreds? Or was this wolf was just feigning innocence and curiosity to catch me off guard for a swift attack? Ah…how one’s imagination can run amok. But this was my ultimate hope and goal of hiking Lamar Valley, to be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a wolf in the wild. I had assumed that this would only be possible with a spotting scope or pair of powerful field glasses. Boy, did I have small expectations.
I chose to just sit down. So I slid off my pack and plunked myself down right in the middle of the trail. The wolf also seemed surprised; he cocked his head in bewilderment and after a moment he laid down, facing me with his paws outstretched. I was close enough to smell his wild fragrance and hear his panting. He stayed alert to the minutest sounds coming from the tree canopy. He was capable of seeing far distances and his hearing was sharp, so nothing could catch him off guard. I began a conversation with him, a quiet and soothing tone as not to alarm him, I started with, “my name is Michael.” I shared with him where I was from and of all my adventures through the park as I searched for the Black Tail wolf pack. I told him how special it was to see him, how I admired his cunning, bravery and strength that he possessed to prey on the mighty elk and how his species were truly magnificent creatures and the true princes of this land. He stared at me, occasionally cocking his head as if understanding what I had said. This palaver of man and wolf seemed endless, yet lasted but minutes. But in the mind of this beautiful creature, where days are timeless, it was long enough and time to end this spirit talk. With one last gaze toward me, he turned and with a few easy bounds, slowly melted within the deep shadows of the forest from which he had magically materialized. As I got up to resume my wandering, I knew that this visit was a gift and would imprint my memory for life.
It’s not surprising that the Native Americans saw the wolf as a significant totem, as the Teacher…who teaches how to “know”. This beautiful animal has evolved to master the art of survival with the ability to adapt to any environment; and in my opinion, no creature does this as well as the wolf. Oh my brother wolf… if only man could follow your teachings to overcome challenges, cherish loyalty, embrace the different seasons and thrive within the balance of our environment…teach us, show us…help us.

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One Response to The Ghost Wolf

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