The “wolf” is the archetype fairytale villain: In Little Red Riding Hood, he ate the Grandmother and concocted an elaborate ruse to trick the heroine; in The Three Little Pigs, he intended to make a meal of all three lead characters; and in the symphonic fairytale Peter and the Wolf, he is a dark, shadowy figure represented by three ominous French horns. People we trusted read these stories to us, so it is only natural we came to mistake fiction for fact. As we aged, we held the literary depictions of the wolf, inked deep into our collective social memory, against the real wolf with which few of us had any experience.
In this assignment, I invite you to tell the story of a different wolf. This wolf avoids people. This wolf is responsible for a fraction of a percent of livestock deaths every year. This wolf kills for sustenance, not sport. This wolf plays a critical role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem. This wolf is highly social and uninterested in being alone. And, as Rudyard Kipling wrote in the Jungle Book, this wolf knows that: “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
This assignment’s ask is to help revitalize and reimagine the wolf by using “sciencetelling” to tell a more accurate story of this extraordinary predator.
The Your Shot assignment will go live on Monday, February 26, 2018!