To my dear grandchildren,
The Strong-Jawed Wolf
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd . . . seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth.
Wolves live in forests, tundra and prairies of North America, Europe and Asia. They look much like a German shepherd dog. A large wolf can be more than six feet long and weigh up to one hundred pounds. The Creator has given them broad heads, powerful jaws and strong legs.
Gray wolves and timber wolves are the most common, often with gray, brown or black fur, but in the far north, their thick fur is usually white. The red wolf, smaller than the others, is not always red but sometimes tan or black. All live in groups of six to twenty and are loyal to each other, fiercely protecting their territory. One among them wins the place of leader by defeating the others. They sometimes show their leader respect by rolling over or crouching on the ground when he or she comes near. When a kill is made, all wait for the leader to eat first.
Wolves show much skill in hunting, with two or three families often banding together. Finding a herd of caribou, they seem to pick out one, usually a very old or very young one or one that is injured or sick. When the caribou herd panics, this weaker one drops behind and becomes an easy prey while the strong, healthy ones escape. This may seem cruel, but such sudden death is more merciful to the weaker ones than leading a sick and painful life and slowly dying. Wolves can smell other animals from up to a mile away.
Sometimes mountain sheep try to escape a pack of wolves by climbing a steep rocky cliff, only to find some of the pack have circled around and are waiting at the top. Moose are tougher to fight, kicking the wolves with their hind feet and slashing with their sharp front hooves. Musk oxen are the most successful in resisting wolves. These defend themselves by forming a tight circle, with lowered heads and horns facing out. The wolves can’t break this defence and will only attack a musk ox when it is alone.
It is very unusual for wolves to stalk and attack people. However, they do go after farm animals, with the result that they are hunted and killed by ranchers and others.
While we can see how these animals are given their skills and provisions by the Creator, we also see in them a picture of that which is evil, as the opening Bible verses say. The Lord also said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). We need to remember the truth of God’s Word and not pay attention to “false prophets” who do not speak the truth.
Love you all,