Monday, March 7, 2011

I could've been a wolf's breakfast!

Lemme set the scene:

After dropping the husband off at his office, I'm marching up the hill to the office. It's almost balmy outside, very little wind and a warm -29 (Hey! It's March and we've had two months of -40 and lower... we'll take what we can get!).

A couple of co-workers fly past me on their machine.... Sucks that they get to zoom up the hill and I'm stuck trudging through the snowdrifts... but it's a balmy -29, so I can't complain. They shout out to me 'tuktu" (which means caribou) and point over on the tundra. I'm thinking to myself, looks more wolfish to me, but I'm not wearing my glasses, so I'm not going to argue.

The "caribou" starts to wander about a bit, and my coworker yells "Oh my god, it's got a tail.... it's a WOLF!!" The smokers start to edge their way towards the front door. The wolf is hanging out about 200 feet off the road.

Now I know I'm in trouble. Not from the wolf - he isn't being threatening at all, but from my husband. It's a sore point that he hasn't even seen a caribou yet, while I nearly hit one with a truck, and now a wolf...? This isn't going to go over well.

Even though we find it easy to manage without a cell on a daily basis, luckily my co-workers are more technologically civilized, and let me borrow their cell. Maybe I can get 'he' up here to see the wolf before it takes off? But no, the direct line to his office isn't working.

More co-workers are arriving, wondering what we're all looking at. The wolf's still sitting out on the tundra, wondering what we're all looking at.

Since the wolf is cooperating and hasn't run off, maybe I have time to run inside and call from my office? No, my brave Annie Oakley wannabe co-worker has hopped back on her machine. She's planning on herding the wolf away from town - and if she gets the chance, she'll run it down. We've managed to call the bylaw officer (who has carte blance to shoot any threatening wildlife or stray dogs on sight) and the wildlife officer. Quite the convoy of vehicles are heading down the road. It's time to run inside, break the news to 'he', and get a good vantage point to watch the action.

I was right. I'm in trouble. 'He' doesn't even want to hear the story; it isn't fair. I'm going to have to figure out how to make this up to him....

The offices over on the tundra side of the office belong to the HR department. Hopefully they'll be as excited to see a wolf as I am, because I'm barging right in! At first, I'm pretty sure they think I've lost it, but catch the excitement as we watch Annie Oakley run that wolf right out of town!

I heard later in the day that either a dog or an entire sled dog team, depending on who was telling the story, fell victim to the wolf. The dog teams are often kept out of town, apparently in an effort to keep them as working dogs instead of pets. Unfortunately, they'd have no way to get away from predators. The locals mentioned that the caribou are quite far from town (about a two hour snowmobile ride up the Thelon) whereas last year, a heard spent a good part of the winter between town and Meadowbank. The 'local' wolves are hungry; they're brave enough to come to town even on a nice day.

So I'm lucky enough to have seen a wolf in the wild, and lucky enough that he wasn't hungry enough to come after me. But I'm unlucky that I didn't have a camera, and that now my husband is mad. Oh well, it was definitely the most exciting commute I've had ever!

1 comment:

  1. Reason number 762 why it's better to live in Hawaii, there are no wolves to eat me on my walk to the beach. Oh and no snakes either. :P