Go back to previous topic
Forum nameMain Community Discussion Board
Topic subjectRE: Fighting off wolves
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=90899&mesg_id=90915
90915, RE: Fighting off wolves
Posted by Wandering Author, Sat May-26-12 02:42 PM
I won't say this is impossible, but there is something you're going to have to think through very carefully. If "the MC was raised by a she-wolf", since wolves are very social animals, then the MC presumably knows how to send all the right signals to avoid trouble. Which does not mean wolves won't attack under any circumstances, but it does suggest they'd have to be pretty desperate.

For one thing, wolves, North American or European, are not mindless aggressors. And like any other intelligent animal, they tend to pick easy prey when possible.* (Imagine you're lost in the woods, starving, and have concluded you're going to have to bring something down. What animals are you going to look for? Even most clueless city folks know enough not to take on bobcats, bears, etc. in a situation like that. And wolves are a lot smarter about issues like that than clueless city folks.) The MC, who grew up around wolves, would know how to send the "I'm not easy prey" signals that would make them back off - unless they were starving or otherwise desperate.

I don't think they're going to eat their fellows, either, unless they're even more desperate. Wolves in a pack form bonds. They mourn those who fall. Which means they aren't just going to turn on each other unless they're so hungry they've lost their minds. In which case, they'd presumably be both more aggressive but also weaker and more easily tired. So unless you want that, I wouldn't have them distracted by the prospect of a quick snack on one of their friends.

* I won't pretend to have done an exhaustive study, but even in Europe, the attacks I've read of mostly fall into one of two obvious categories. First, the "cornered wolf" situation. In fact, I think this might explain the difference better than natural temperament; Europe is more thickly settled and wolves were more likely to run into humans in situations with less way out than they'd have here in the areas where they range. Corner almost any animal, convince them they'll have to fight to escape, and they'll attack you. The second category is the "easy prey" I mentioned; kids, women, people who were sick or alone and in some sort of trouble. Wolves are smart. And I don't recall reading of many instances where they went after healthy young men. (While women may be just as strong, in those days, look at the clothes they wore. Just by virtue of how hampered she was by her costume, a woman would have been easier prey. No sexism required. :) And everything I know of wolves suggests they're smart enough to recognise the equivalent of "not moving well, so must be easy prey".)