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Escape to a Wilder Wild

by Carin Knutson
Kids' Fall 2008

Not long ago, a powerhouse of a wolverine named M3 won our hearts, and we began to imagine what it would be like to be one. Our make-believe wolverine lives far to the north in deep snow and freezing cold many months each year, where she is trying hard to cope with her changing world . . .

Escape to a Wilder Wild

With a limp rabbit in her jaws, a wolverine charges into a forest clearing. She stops by a fallen tree that is partially covered in snow and digs to uncover the opening to her den. She wiggles her furry brown body through the small opening and scurries to a storeroom, where she drops the rabbit beside other food she’s been saving for a time when she won’t dare leave her den.

Then, she turns and runs back outside. She travels quickly on her wide snowshoe-like paws. Her long, curved claws make it easy for her to climb over anything in her path. She seems unstoppable.

What does stop her is a not-from-an-animal smell – the smell left behind by logging trucks and other vehicles that travel roads running through her territory. The smell of exhaust means danger to her – the danger of large, fast-moving monsters on wheels. Logging roads and highways cut through the areas where the wolverine roams. In some places, people have built bridges over busy highways or passages underneath them to help keep animals safe. But this wolverine’s territory has no passageways so she must be careful. She waits at the edge of the road and when she does not hear or feel anything unsafe, she races across.

About the Author

Carin Knutson is an editor at Patagonia. She lives in Ventura, with her husband, son, daughter, two dogs and three cats (no fish, reptiles, amphibians or wolverines).

Artwork: Jeremy Collins