A NOVEL ABOUT A WOLF
"But why wolves???"
Thank you for coming to this website. Legend is a novel about wolves and the people who hunted them in the sixties in Minnesota. It is part of the Hunter Trilogy, made up of the novels, Legend, Hunter and Guardian. The wolves in this story speak, as animals might do in a children’s story, but this is no children’s story. The slaughter of wolves over the last century, over the last five centuries worldwide, is a reflection of man’s cruelty, his fears, and his lack of understanding of the natural world, and wolves in particular. The wolf has, for the most part, been demonized, shunned, persecuted and slaughtered.
But there is another side in the human mind about wolves. Romulus and Remus were raised by wolves, and there are other stories about wolf children, and wolves helping people. In the midst of the slaughter of wolves, from around 1860 to 1970, people began questioning their own attitudes. Farley Mowat, in the early sixties, wrote a book, Never Cry Wolf, that presented wolves in a positive light. In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act, and for the first time, wolves were declared endangered and protected by law. By then, though, wolves were pretty much extinct in the lower 48 states with the exception of Minnesota and a few surrounding states. In the twenty first century, there is a strong understanding of the place of wolves in our universe, of the importance of wolves in the balance of their environment, and our environment. More people than ever before have been fighting to bring wolves back to our land. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. The wolf was coming home. And yet, today, there is a new effort to once again hunt wolves, to take them off the endangered list, to begin the killing again.
This book, Legend, is intended to tell one side of the story, to possibly give a perspective from a voice we only have known that has been chilling us, thrilling us, and trying to talk to us, through howls.
LEGEND AND THE HUNTER TRILOGY
by David Wood
Legend is a novel about men and wolves, man and nature, or, more importantly, man's place in nature. It is the story of a lone wolf called Cloudwalker, his pack slaughtered, his life as a lone survivor harsh, and yet his whole being dedicated to saving other wolf packs from the men who trap them and kill them for revenge, sport, their furs, or the thirty five dollar bounty per wolf their deaths bring in Minnesota at the time of the story. The men who hunt wolves, and one man who wants to protect wolves, interact with this lone wolf, this legend among man and wolf, who will touch their lives like a brand. It is a story of survival, spirituality, and the community of wolves under the burden of extinction at the hands of humans.
The Hunter Trilogy begins with the novel Legend, which takes place in Minnesota around 1960-1965. It involves a man named Dean Hoover, a college graduate who goes into the woods to commit suicide after a horrific family tragedy. Before he can kill himself, however, he crosses paths with a very large wolf, and a change comes over him like nothing he ever experienced before.
Another man who becomes aware of the wolf is a hunter and trapper named Jessie George Custer Armstrong, a man they call Cutter because he can skin a wolf faster than anybody else, a man who once had a vendetta against wolves and now wants the large wolf as his trophy.
The giant wolf is known, to other wolves, as Cloudwalker, Snaretripper, Dogslayer, Thundersnarl, and Winddancer. He is larger than a normal wolf, the last survivor of his pack, who wanders from territory to territory, closing traps and leaving his urine scent to warn other wolves away from poisoned meat. He has a vendetta of his own, determined to thwart the humans who try to kill his kind.
Another wolf in this story is Rabbitrunner, a young member of the Pawsore Pack, who is unaware of the slaughter of his kind by men. His life is occupied by hunting, sleeping and roaming with his pack across their territory, never realizing there is an encroaching danger. His story follows the daily and annual changes that would normally occur in the pack. But though his life follows a relatively normal existence for a wolf—they call themselves Hunters—he goes on, unaware of a distant storm that will affect them all.
These four lives circle each other, pass each other, like planets orbiting the same sun, and though they are not aware of the others’ existences, they feel the pull of something bigger than them all, leading them to a final destination.
Legend is the first book, followed by Hunter, the sequel, which describes the characters as their lives continue under circumstances that will change them forever. The concluding novel, Guardian, will bring the characters together in a showdown, a last chance for redemption, for survival, and for the existence of the natural world.
This first book, Legend, came out at the end of 2012. It has been published by Sirena Press, www.murmaid.ning.com. The second book, Hunter, came out last year, 2015. For more on Hunter, go to www.rabbitrunnerlives.com . The final book, Guardian, will be out in the next year or two. If you like wolves, if you believe what they stand for, you may want to read The Legend Trilogy.