2017-05-19 / Commentary

Wolves and other scary creatures

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation


Mike Cox Mike Cox During a recent round of golf with Terry, I received a surprise. No, neither of us played like Sergio, or hit a PGA caliber shot and admired it lovingly. Our golf games are hamstrung by low levels of natural talent and an aversion to lengthy practice sessions.

A good round of golf for us is finishing with the same ball we started with, dodging rain showers, and enjoying a refreshing beverage at our favorite post-round re-hydration station. We also like to find our favorite course nearly deserted, which it usually is. That’s why it’s our favorite course.

Marc, a third member of our entourage that day, mentioned seeing a wolf on the way to the course. Terry said he should have shot it. That was the surprise. Terry and I are very close. We have many similar opinions and beliefs, and I’m lulled into thinking he agrees with everything I believe.

Sometimes I forget he’s much younger than I am and tries to refrain from arguing with stubborn old people with concrete crusted opinions. This makes me think he’s more in tune with my attitudes than he really is. That’s why I was surprised by his wolf remark. That, and he’s smart enough to be better informed about such things.

Humans have evolved greatly over the time we’ve occupied this planet. You’d be hard pressed to find any species that has improved as much as we have. But where fear is concerned, we are, in some ways, still huddled by the fire, scared of anything we don’t recognize just outside the edge of the shadows.

Snakes and wolves have long been targets of completely unreasonable eradication for reasons like mythology, scary fiction, and religion. Sharks come close to that same unwarranted hysteria, but their reputation is relatively new and almost completely based on one thing; a Peter Benchley book turned into a movie. Even politicians are smart enough to use that fear against us: blaming self-inflicted wounds on anyone different.

Last week I heard my first shark bite story of the year. Anytime an ocean swimmer is bumped, scraped, nudged, or nibbled, we all scream shark. In this case, a porn actor claimed to have been bitten by a shark while filming a scene. She later recanted saying it was a publicity stunt designed to increase her social media account.

We’ve been afraid of snakes since forever. My dad once climbed on the edge of a boat and threatened to jump into the water because he feared a snake was preparing to take over the boat. Rick and I convinced him the snake was in fact a diseased catfish, and the boat interior was safer than Hurricane Creek.

Wolves have been the preeminent bogeyman since cave man times, only recently being replaced by left-wing cabals as the scariest pack in America. Which is ironic since dogs, their offspring, are now treated like furry children.

Statistics tell us dogs kill twice as much livestock as wolves in Western states, and elk herds in Yellowstone are thriving since wolves were re-introduced there. But many are unwilling to accept those facts as accurate. Wolves are just too scary.

Probably a liberal plot.

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