The State of Wisconsin has recently introduced rules for its new “Wolf Management” plan. Michigan may be soon following Wisconsin’s lead to reduce the wolf population in the Northwoods.
In my line of work and for recreation I spend many hours in the woods. On one particular day at work I was battling the hazel, blackberry, raspberry brush and stumbling over fern-hidden fallen trees, cracking brittle dead branches. There was no attempt to be quiet.
Walking north, a short swing east, then facing south, I stopped to find a suitable area to set a tripod. Off to my right, where I had just been, there was the sound of an animal moving quickly through the woods. As I was turning to look the thought crossed my mind that it might be a fawn, but it was too late in the year for a fawn to lay motionless to avoid detection, and too much noise had been made prior to my arrival.
To my surprise, I saw a wolf just breaking into a run. Fifteen feet away the magnificent animal continued north, then shot through the brush. The running stopped so I moved in order to get another glimpse. I sensed the wolf was no more than thirty yards away, but the brush and small poplars were too thick to see clearly.
I raised my hand in greeting. “Boozhoo ma’iingan, do not fear me,” I spoke quietly. The wolf moved and I saw it turn and trot off.
I was extremely happy having such a close encounter and thanked Creator. Other four-legged and winged ones have approached me in the past. I do not have the ability or the wisdom to understand what they communicate to me. I take it as a good sign. This encounter kept playing through my mind, and was starting to disturb me.
At a ceremony I passed tobacco to my teacher and requested he ask the Grandmothers and Grandfathers if this event had a specific meaning. In the Sweat Lodge it was told to me the wolf sought me out because he knew what I was about. The wolf was asking for help.
I felt humbled that such a magnificent creature, my brother, would want help from this pitiful human but it also saddened me because I knew why Ma’iingan was asking. Once again the wolf is being persecuted.
I promised Creator that I would help. I would do the best I could, but at the same time I realized my best may not be good enough. Your prayers are needed also. This is the start. I do not know at this time how to proceed.
This reminded me of the story when Waynaboozhoo, Original Man, traveled the Earth alone. Creator provided a companion for Waynaboozhoo, Ma’iingan the wolf. Creator told the two that one day they must separate their paths. “What shall happen to one of you will happen to the other. Each of you will be feared, respected and misunderstood by the people that will later join you on this Earth.” (1)
I believe we are in the time of the Seventh Fire. The Anishinaabe are growing strong again and are becoming teachers to the rest of the nations, leading us back to natural living and respecting the Earth. The wolf is growing strong again as well. It is good. But why is there persecution of the wolf again?
(1) The Mishomis Book, p. 8