Saturday, June 16, 2012

Playing With the Wolves

In Montana one can’t mention the word wolf without getting into a heated political debate. In 1995 the Fish and Game folks introduced some wolves back into the wild in the Yellowstone National Park. The wolves were supposed to live happily in the park and not increase in number over 100. The wolf population is now at about 600 and those silly wolves aren’t staying in Yellowstone. They have that “grass is always greener on the other side” issue and have started harassing livestock. Upcoming is the controversial wolf hunt. Those darn wolves, if they had just stayed in their own backyard.

Wolves run in packs. They hunt the weak and injured and if one of their own is injured or can’t keep up, the pack will leave that one behind with no remorse. Middle Schoolers remind me of wolves. They are so much braver when they are running in a pack. If they get into trouble, they will instantly leave the weak ones behind.

The other day Colleen and I had an experience with a pack of “wolves” (middle schoolers). First, I must explain where one happens to be is an indicator of the intensity of the “wolves”. The is a difference between West Phoenix “wolves” and Surprise, AZ “wolves”. They walk differently. They talk differently. They dress differently. Personally, I would not even think about messing with Westide “wolves” but those Surprise “wolves” are easy targets.

Colleen and I had just left the Surprise movie theater and were getting in my van. My door automatically opens and a ramp comes down and a “wolf” pack came by as the ramp was lowering and one funny “wolf”, at least he thought he was funny, said, “Oh, look my ride is here.” He proceeded to walk to the ramp but turned away instantly because “wolves” are only brave when in a pack. Colleen and I got in the van and Colleen was preparing to push the button to lift the ramp and close the door when two “wolves” jumped inside the van and sat in the back seat. I am sure this was the part where they thought we were going to get upset but we didn’t. Colleen just looked at them and asked, “You want to go with us?” Then she pushed the button for the ramp to fold. Those itty-bitty “pups” got scared and jumped out of the van and ran. When they jumped out they stepped on the partially folded ramp and I thought they broke it but they didn’t.

I looked at Colleen and said, “Let’s follow them.”

“Cathy, that makes us just as bad as them,” she chastised.

“Come on, Colleen, don’t you want to play with the wolves?” I cajoled.

As we were leaving the parking lot I noticed that some of the “wolves” had crossed the busy highway in fear of being hunted and they had left the female “wolves” behind. The females were trying to cross at the light (yep, Surprise middle schoolers). We followed them. They congregated together at the shopping center across from the movie theater. Colleen pulled up the van near the pack and then I pretended I was talking to the police on the phone. I over exaggerated mouthing the words, “Yes, officer there is about 13 of them. They are on the corner of Waddell and Dysart. One of the “wolves” said to the rest of the pack, “Run, she’s calling the police!” and then it happened, typical wolf pack behavior. One of the “wolves” was on crutches and all the other “wolves” ran and left him behind. They went running and there he is crutching, crutching, crutching behind.

I wanted to move in for the kill. I wanted to get out of the van and catch up with the crutching “wolf” (which I could have done easily) and say, “Don’t you just hate when your “wolf” friends decide to do something stupid and then they leave you behind to pay the consequences?”, but I didn’t. I wanted to follow them all home and speak to their parents about the danger of jumping into strangers’ cars, but we didn’t.

Colleen said we couldn’t play with the wolves anymore. As we drove by the scattered pack with crutcher way behind, we honked, smiled and waved. No, we did not flip them off because we have more class than that. I think they flipped us off. Yep, typical “wolf” pack behavior.

Paco’s Perspective

There are wolves in Montana? What are we doing in Montana? I would be an itty-bitty appetizer for a pack of wolves. On the other hand, hey, Flip . . . . . . .

The Flip Side

Squirrel! Squirrel! Chipmunk! Deer! Deer! Deer! Turkey? So many things to chase, so little time.

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