As a child, I always had my head in the clouds, very imaginative. Adults would tell me to come back down to earth all the time.
This story begins and ends in upstate NY. As I have written about my grandparents previously, their home on the hill was a magical one.
Filled with legends about the Native Americans who once lived there, animal tracks, and of course, wild animals.
My cousin James was 5 years older than me and the year was 1985. He had been the first grandchild and spoiled by my grandparents. James could have anything he wanted. My grandmother, always on a budget, even stocked Oreos for him, because he had food allergies. No one was allowed the Oreos except James.
So it shouldn’t have surprised me when I started hearing about a wolf pup that James had found. We were always coming across animals on the hill- deer, foxes, coyotes, and even the occasional hare. I saw one in person years ago and never saw one again.
James' parents coddled him and he was allowed to keep the wolf pup. He named him Davin. But it had to stay on the hill. They built a shelter for the wolf pup and took turns caring for it. Tiny and scrawny, the wolf pup grew bigger. It had big eyes and glossy blue/black fur. It was a beauty. But terrifying, to me, a 7-year-old. I remember visiting my grandparents one day. Davin sat near the fireplace, cozy and calm. I reached out to pet his soft black fur. He was gentle with me and I could see why James had rescued him.
I had always been taught to stay away from coyotes and wolves. But James now had one and everyone treated it like it was a dog, pretty much. It became domesticated and was fun to have around. Until it got too big.
It’s hard to describe how big a wolf gets without seeing one in person. Coyotes are roughly the size of a medium to large dog about 50–100 lbs. Wolves can get up to 140 lbs. and 6–7 feet in length.
Davin did not stop growing those first 9 months. And then he was clearly too big to keep anymore. James argued with my grandparents but they said no.