LEITH

by

C. Willa Stewart

"That day the children were very excited. A wolf was coming to visit the school. Before it arrived, their teacher told them to paint a picture of a wolf. They all drew fierce animals with very big fangs. Later the wolf came. Afterwards their teacher asked them to draw another picture. This time there were no fangs. All the pictures showed wolves with very big feet."

These words were written by the American author, Barry Lopez, describing an incident in wolf education at a U.S. school. My own conversion to wolves was not so sudden. Like all youngsters of my vintage, I had been brought up on fairy tales such as "Little Red Riding Hood", which depicted the wolf as being big, bad, not to be trusted and would finish up having you for lunch.

For centuries wolves have had a very bad press and accounts of their persecution are legion. Wolves were hunted to extinction in my own country of Scotland, the last one being shot at Badenoch in 1743. Leo