Dear Sir or Madam,
I’m writing to complain about how the wolves are portrayed in the media. First of all, I am not a big bad wolf. Well, perhaps I am big, and I guess I’m actually pretty big even for a male timber wolf. ( I weigh more than 150 pounds and stand three feet high at the shoulder.) But that’s not relevant. The important thing is I’m certainly not bad—and neither are my wolf brothers and sisters!
True , we are predators and hunt other animals for food. But so do lions and tigers, and no one ever says that they’re bad for doing so. After all, we’ve got pups to feed back home at the den. (And might I remind you that many humans eat meat and hunt animals, too?)
Also, though I might want to eat a picnic basket full of goodies, I am definitely not waiting for Little Red Riding Hood to show up and definitely don’t want to eat little girls or their grandmothers. We wolves try to stay away from humans as much as possible.
As for food, we wolves prefer large prey. My pack and I working together can successfully bring down elk, caribou, moose, and even bison! Talk about teamwork! Not only that, but I consider us rather brave, going after huge animals that can easily kill us with a well-placed kick. Talk about David and Goliath—a moose can weigh over 1,000 pounds and stand over six feet high at the shoulder. Who’s the underdog, er, underwolf, in this situation? You do the math!
We actually help keep these herd animals healthy by bringing down sick and old animals—they’re the ones that are the easiest to catch. But most of the time we don’t catch our prey at all. You humans who study us say that we only catch 1 out of 16 moose we chase.
Also, we’re not into huffing and puffing and blowing houses down. Perhaps we pant a little during a long run, but that’s to be expected, considering all our physical activity. We sometimes travel up to 60 miles a day to find food. And we can run fast, too, up to 35 miles per hour. You humans try to run at that speed and see if you don’t do some huffing and puffing.
When you humans talk about how great dogs are, how loyal and playful and smart, just remember, they got all that from us wolves. Those characteristics you love are characteristics they inherited from us! We wild wolves are loyal to our packs, we love to play together, and no one would ever say a wolf isn’t intelligent. (After all, I’m writing this letter, aren’t I, and you have no idea how hard it is to type using your paws!)
In closing, I would like to ask that the song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” be permanently banned, or changed to reflect the true nature of one of earth’s most admired creatures, Canis lupus. That’s my scientific name: Canis is Latin for “dog,” and lupus is Latin for “wolf.” See, I told you we were smart!