Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where in the world did wolves begin to turn into dogs?


It's not news that wolves figured out that hanging out with the walking-on-two-legs monkeys might be an excellent survival strategy.

What is news is *which* wolves made the transition from going their own way to teaming up with humans.

Here is a quote from the article:  Wolves make unnerving neighbors. However, some are less unnerving than others. The humans were a lot more inclined to tolerate the proximity of less aggressive, more people-oriented wolves. As an added bonus, other predators are less likely to harass you when you are surrounded by wolves. So the people and the nicest wolves came to an agreement – the people tolerated and fed the tamest and most helpful wolves.

Here is a quote from Kipling:

When Wild Dog reached the mouth of the Cave he lifted up the dried horse-skin with his nose and sniffed the beautiful smell of the roast mutton, and the Woman, looking at the blade-bone, heard him, and laughed, and said, 'Here comes the first. Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, what do you want?' 

Wild Dog said, 'O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, what is this that smells so good in the Wild Woods?' 

Then the Woman picked up a roasted mutton-bone and threw it to Wild Dog, and said, 'Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, taste and try.' Wild Dog gnawed the bone, and it was more delicious than anything he had ever tasted, and he said, 'O my Enemy and Wife of my Enemy, give me another.' 

The Woman said, 'Wild Thing out of the Wild Woods, help my Man to hunt through the day and guard this Cave at night, and I will give you as many roast bones as you need.'

Wild Dog crawled into the Cave and laid his head on the Woman's lap, and said, 'O my Friend and Wife of my Friend, I will help Your Man to hunt through the day, and at night I will guard your Cave.' 

When the Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.' 

And so it was.  And is.  And they stay with us for always.

I love Kipling.


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