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  • Writer's pictureP. J. Wesley

Tracking Chinook: January 3, 2022

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

Hello and a Happy New Year to everyone! I hope this new year is happy and healthy for all!

Last month I gave you some wolf facts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I am learning right along with you, too!

Wolves reach adult size by one year of age.

Their colors range from white to black with gray being the most common.

Teeth: Four canines, sometimes measuring 2.5 inches.

Wolves have a keen sense of smell and hearing.

Wolves pant like dogs to keep cool.

Wolves usually hunt in their own territory. The territories can be anywhere from 50 square miles to 1,000 miles, depending on the availability of prey.

Wolves can travel as far as 30 miles a day and can trot at 5mph and run up to 40mph.

Now for some "behind the scenes" from my book #chinook: King of the North. If you remember, last month I told you the story in chapter 3 was a true story. If you haven't read it, it is in my December blog. The story in chapter 4 is also true. My Aunt told me this story many times at my request over the years. Luckily I wrote it down. She grew up in a literal "Little House on the Prarie" in South Dakota in 1912. They lived in a sod house, small but serviceable in between two Indian Reservations.

She remembered a native elder, traveling between reservations to visit relatives, who used to come into the house, sit down and read her Ma's magazines. He would then get up and leave without saying a word.

My aunt also remembered that her Ma would bake pies/bread, etc, and put them on the windowsill to cool. Well, one day she put some pies out to cool, turned around and they were gone! She went outside and saw a very old, almost toothless Indian sitting on a stump eating one of her pies. He looked up at her, smiled his toothless pie-covered grin, and said, "Pie good!" She just smiled and said, "thank you. " From then on, they would take the pies or bread, etc., eat the contents and then wash the tins, bring them back, and put them back on the windowsill. Sometimes they would leave small gifts. From then on, her Ma would bake extra pies for her "guests."

Later they moved to Wyoming and lived in a small log cabin. It was there that she attended a one-room schoolhouse. The incident in chapter 4 where Rebecca confronts Samuel is a true taken from one of her many stories that I cherish to this day.

See you next month!

P.J. Wesley

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