Aug 20 2011

#112 “Dire Wolf”

From a stranger in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Dire Wolf was a species of lobo that was native to both North and South America for many long ages before its extinction several thousand years ago. It was closely related to what we call today the Gray Wolf, but the Dire Wolf was larger and sturdier in frame despite its smaller brain and legs. All in all, the cause of the extinction of the Dire Wolf remains a bit of a mystery, but it doesn’t take much digging to see that this animal which no living human has ever seen still holds a firm grip on our collective consciousness. Pop culture references to the animal in our world abound, perhaps most notable of which is the famed song “Dire Wolf” by The Grateful Dead.

When I look at this particular illustration, a small voice whispers in my ear that this animal must be a representation of that legendary creature. There is an otherworldly knowledge that speaks through the eyes and says, “I am from another time and place- from another world and yet I walked with the same earth beneath my feet as you.” Perhaps its the sheer size of this behemoth wolf that suggests Dire Wolf status, or maybe it’s the simple fact that this wolf seems to be “disappearing” before our very eyes, becoming extinct if you will, and all that is left of this amazing creature is a fading outline of a lupine silhouette. But whatever the reason behind it, the idea that this creature before me truly is a Dire Wolf is a notion that chills me to the bone.

Fare thee well, Dire Wolf. You may not be with us any longer as a physical presence, but your spirit still exists, swirling around us in a cosmic soup of ever changing lupine energy. We’ll never forget you…