There is violence within the silence of the ponderosa timberline.
Hiding beyond the border of white briar and blue columbine
the steel spring-jawed 'engine' awaits concealed in the trapping line
to snap and lay its teeth upon the beautiful wild canine.
There's a concealed intruder awaits beyond the timberline,
hidden amongst tall birch and ponderosa pine.
Silence is now broken: there's howling from the timberline.
Blood flows amidst the beauty of white briar and blue columbine.
A timber wolf climbs the slopes beyond the timberline
seeking out the highest rock above the ponderosa pine.
A lonesome howl, so primeval, heard down throughout all time,
called for his lost mate who cannot make more than the softest whine.
The melancholy wild-call echoes throughout the timberline,
one lover calls another now beyond briar and blue columbine.
But the cold steel-jawed 'engine' has a far stronger embracing bind
than the call any love may hold on another's missing kind.
Is humanity merely callous now or are we merely fools
that we can't save ourselves if we cannot save our wolves?
When the call of the wild is silenced beyond the timberline,
will that violence then be turned upon the loved of yours and mine?
This is not a photo but an exceptional painting by a friend Jan Martin McGuire, wildlife painter.
The "steel spring-jawed engine" is a gin-trap, the word ''gin'' thought to have evolved from long ago when all mechanical devices were called ''engines''. Banned now in many countries as unnecessarily cruel. Trapping season of course does not coincide with flowering briar and columbine but there's many a trapper been unable to get back to his trapping line for one reason or another, and these armed steel traps lie in wait until finally sprung by any unsuspecting animal which dies a slow agonising death.
|Bear leg-hold trap. Pic ex Wikipedia.|
Editor's note: I have edited to read "blue" rather than originally written as "red" Columbine as the red is generally native to Eastern North America, and wolves are more associated with Central or Western States where the native columbine is the blue variety.