January 31, 2015 marks the 121th anniversary of the death of Lobo, a wolf trapped by Ernest Thompson Seton along the Corrumpa River in northeastern New Mexico. I have written in my book on Seton and elsewhere in this blog about how he underwent a psychological and spiritual transformation as a result of his encounter with the great wolf Lobo. This encounter became one of the foundational moments leading to today’s environmentalism. Over thirty years after Lobo’s death, Seton wrote this wolf appreciation. Excerpt from Vol. I of Lives of Game Animals (1925), pg. 336-337.

LIFE VII—THE GRAY-WOLF. His True Character—A Challenge

[Excerpt from Vol. I of Lives of Game Animals (1925), pg. 336-337]

“Thus have I offered evidence of the courage, the chivalry, the strength, the playfulness, the love loyalty, the fidelity, the friendliness, the kindliness, the heroism, the goodness of the Wolf—completing my attempt to set before you the faithful and fearless portrait of a creature so long maligned; to piece together the little scraps of truth I have found in countless hunter-tales, like gold raked out of garbage bins; to make you know the wild one’s true character and his way of life as it really is.

Now with all the evidence before me and much more of the same available, and with the story of Lobo in mind (for it is true in the main), can anyone wonder that I love the Gary-wolf and credit him with true nobility of character—with the attributes of a splendid animal hero?”

Featured Image: Canine drawing by Ernest Thompson Seton (Academy for the Love of Learning)

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