Of Wolves and Mothers

A cold Sunday dusk in January, and I take my four-year-old daughter, Arielle, to see wolves. We walk the Northern Trail’s footpath where it curls downhill towards Aurora Avenue’s north-south traffic. I want Arielle to enjoy wolves as much as I do, and so we journey into the Woodland Park Zoo’s tundra and taiga exhibit, a seemingly unbroken swatch of hillocks and white spruce, black spruce, paper birch, and aspen that obscure fences and camouflaged moats.

A long time before Arielle’s birth, I was a zoo docent who wheeled a display cart laden with mountain goat skulls and a…

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