Bringing the Wolves Back + Hope

It’s been a bit of a time here sick kids and snow days so many emails to get out from under. So this will be short. There are beautiful things in the world and Camille Dungy is one such beautiful shining writer in the world. Read everything by her. Follow her on all the social media. Trust me. Your prompt here is to take something in nature and write about it until you find a metaphor. Last week I watched this video about the age at which animal young recognize themselves in the mirror. It was mainly about the new findings about dolphin young, but there was one image, of a pair of elephants looking at themselves in an enormous cracked mirror that I keep thinking of.

Go to www.nationalgeographic.com and read an article (or better yet, watch a video), then get to writing.

 

TROPHIC CASCADE

Camille T. Dungy

After the reintroduction of gray wolves
to Yellowstone and, as anticipated, their culling
of deer, trees grew beyond the deer stunt
of the midcentury. In their up reach
songbirds nested, who scattered
seed for underbrush, and in that cover
warrened snowshoe hare. Weasel and water shrew
returned, also vole, and so came soon hawk
and falcon, bald eagle, kestrel, and with them
hawk shadow, falcon shadow. Eagle shade
and kestrel shade haunted newly berried
runnels where deer no longer rummaged, cautious
as they were, now, of being surprised by wolves.
Berries brought bear, while undergrowth and willows,
growing now right down to the river, brought beavers,
who dam. Muskrats came to the dams, and tadpoles.
Came, too, the night song of the fathers
of tadpoles. With water striders, the dark
gray American dipper bobbed in fresh pools
of the river, and fish stayed, and the bear, who
fished, also culled deer fawns and to their kill scraps
came vulture and coyote, long gone in the region
until now, and their scat scattered seed, and more
trees, brush, and berries grew up along the river
that had run straight and so flooded but thus dammed,
compelled to meander, is less prone to overrun. Don’t
you tell me this is not the same as my story. All this
life born from one hungry animal, this whole,
new landscape, the course of the river changed,
I know this. I reintroduced myself to myself, this time
a mother. After which, nothing was ever the same.

Also, I got a bunch of post career day thank you notes and they were so incredibly thoughtful and well-written. These middle schoolers are giving me so much hope.

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