From a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report issued in 1996:
“Before the arrival of European settlers, wolves ranged widely across the continent, from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.
Two species are found in North America, the gray wolf, with its various subspecies, and the red wolf, found in the southeastern United States.
Wolves play an important role as predators in the ecosystems they inhabit. They feed primarily on large mammals, such as deer and elk, removing sick and injured animals from the populations. Wolves are highly social, living in packs and hunting and raising young cooperatively.
As the country was settled, native prey species declined and the number of domestic animals increased. As wolves increasingly turned to livestock for prey, government agencies and private citizens undertook large-scale predator control programs, with wolves hunted nearly to extinction.
By the middle of the 20th century, few wolves existed in the lower 48 States. Only several hundred gray wolves in Minnesota and an isolated population on Michigan’s Isle Royale remained, along with an occasional Mexican wolf— and reports of a few red wolves.
Wolves in the Rocky Mountains Probably the best-known wolf recovery effort was the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995 and 1996. After an absence of more than 50 years, the Service brought wild gray wolves from Canada to the Park and to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho. The goal was to speed up recovery in the Rocky Mountain region and restore a species to the historic range from which it had been eliminated in the late 1920s.”
From a Defenders of Wildlife report:
“In January 1995, Defenders of Wildlife joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring wolves back to Yellowstone and Idaho. Nearly a decade later, these areas once again echo with the howl of wolves—truly one of our country’s greatest conservation success stories wolves—truly one of our country’s greatest conservation success stories.”
But ask a rancher, and he will tell you an entirely different story. For to him, these predators threaten their very livelihood, killing and eating the smaller and weaker of their herds of cattle, sheep and horses.
The foregoing are facts.
Wolf Song, which I wrote a few years ago, during the restoration of these beautiful and spiritual animals, is fiction based on these facts. And it’s based on something else too. Myth and Legend of American Indians and a Cheyenne Shape Shifter, who can take the form of a wolf, but he’s young and inexperienced when he is sent to help Liv release her sister’s spirit.
What are Shape Shifters?:
Legend runs the gamut from evil souls able to take over any body, human or animal in order to commit foul deeds, to those who shift to help others in some way. I chose to write about the latter, and mix him in with evil humans set on killing off the entire wolf population, and willing to kill a human to do so.
If you know someone who leaves clothing strewn in a pile; whose couch often has animal hairs other than his pet’s on it; who is able to disappear and return quite rapidly; who forgets and growls instead of speaking, then he or she might be a shape shifter.
Here are excerpts from four of the eight, five-star reviews on Amazon for this book:
“As a Native American, I was very impressed with the research done for the book, as well as the thoughtful way Wolf Shadow was portrayed.”
“In Wolf Song, Velda Brotherton has written a novel of one woman’s haunting guilt, the concrete world and the mystical world, blended into a world where I believe we all live whether we are cognizant of it or not.”
“With a matter of life and death, a sexy romance with what may be a shape-shifter, and the mystery of who is targeting both wolves and the people who are trying to save them, “Wolf Song” has something for every reader, both YA and adult.”
“She has felt, and continues to feel, the power of the land and people about which she so eloquently writes.”
Catch these photos of gray woves
Loved the post, Velda. Wolves are one of my top three favorite animals. (You can’t be a dog owner and not consider them a favorite, and sea otters are just so darn cute!) I was all for the conservation of wolves, but I do sympathize with the plight of the rancher. Maybe soon someone will find a humane solution to the co-existence of both wild and domestic animals.
As to your description of shape shifters… I was worried for a moment. My husband, son, and daughter have a tendency to leave clothes lying in a heap, I do indeed have dog hair on my furniture, and all three of them growl answers to my nagging. Fortunately, none of them returns quickly when they hide–I mean, disappear–so I guess I’m safe.
Staci, I think you’re okay. But just think how cool it would be to see them turn into a wolf or other animal, as long as you didn’t have to clean up after them. I had found a really cute thing online You’re a shape shifter if you: sort of like You’re a redneck if you, and I changed it to fit my post. It was a lot cuter, but I didn’t want to plagarize it. Uh oh, is that not a verb?
It would be cool if they could change into something… particularly a vacuum cleaner! If they turned into an animal, I’d have to draw the line at cleaning up after them. I have enough mess with a husband, two kids, and two dogs. I’m not adding wild animals to the bunch!