"He stands on a snow-covered slope, head arched toward the moon. His cry pierces the valleys and echoes for miles. It is a cry that has inspired legends, fueled myths, stirred up fear and loathing. He is the 'big, bad wolf' of nursery stories. He is the fierce predator who circles the camp. He is the enemy, the invader, the spoiler," writes William J. Fitzgerald in One Hundred Cranes: Praying with the Chorus of Creation. The wolf is seen by many as the scourge of the earth. But there is another way to look at them.
This edifying children's book by Willow Dawson focuses on the partnership between wolves and ravens. When food is scarce, these winged and four-legged creatures look for their next meal together. The ravens are the first to see an injured deer, the wolves make the kill, and the ravens share in the banquet alongside the wolves.
In the alphabet of spiritual literacy, the practice of connections signals the varied ways in which animals (including human beings) can work together in order to survive. Scientists marvel at the symbiosis between these two species and have dubbed ravens as "wolf-birds."
This image of collaborators should replace the old model of all wolves as villains deserving of death. Scientists have identified other reasons why wolves play an important role in wilderness ecology. For example, by keeping down the elk population, they prevent over-grazing that can result in soil erosion.