Write what you know. Or write about wolves.

Everyone’s heard the old saw by Mark Twain to write what you know. Writers (at least this writer) sees these well-meant suggestions almost as flowers launched at the head—as roses, freshly picked and redolent, but easy to dodge. Oh, there is such a pretty one. Landed in the door frame by the kitchen. There goes another one, completely out the open window to the porch. Perhaps Samuel is out there, gathering them up in a bouquet.

Mark Twain (photo by Matthew Brady.

Mark Twain (photo by Matthew Brady).

The fact is, fiction lies between the flowers you dodge, or includes the flowers but lies about their species, smell, and direction. Fiction lies. It’s oxymoronic to the point of being self-oxymoronic.

So I don’t know shit about wolves, see, except there’s a preserve for them not far from here—the Lakota Wolf Preserve. I’ve been there about 5 times and each time I’m amazed by the wolf’s bite strength (about 100 times that of a normal dog) and the fact that they represent the progenitors of all dogs. All dogs. Including the Pomeranian.

Pomeranian from Wikipedia Commons.

Pomeranian from Wikipedia Commons.

Grey wolf from Wikipedia Commons.

Grey wolf from Wikipedia Commons.

So, given enough time, mankind can take a strong, wild creature and breed it into a cutey little wimp of an animal that has the bite strength of a mosquito (and sounds like one, too). Which shows how little I know about wolves or Pomeranians or breeding.

All I know is the Lakota Wolf Preserve, and the hard work it takes to maintain it. And I know about the howl of the wolves there. More like singing. Like a dark primordial sound that you recognize instantly as a hair-raising foe who might over thousands of years become your best friend. I think we knew from the start what the result would be when man and dog got together. I think that must have been a thrilling realization, that if you would have expressed it at the time automatically would have made you into the tribe shaman. Or the guy who has to clean up after the dogs.

Depends on where we are in their evolution.

At this point, we’re cleaning up after the Pomeranians. And that really can’t be beneficial to good fiction writing.

KJC dingbat-thumbnail


About Keith Croes

Nice to meet you. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted on September 14, 2013, in Activism, Animal rights, Animals, Autobiographical, Country living, Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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