The scent of danger drifts down on the wind, a mother elk stands over her newborn calf facing the source of the newly scented danger . Hooves are no match against tooth and claw but she is undeterred, she has a mothers instinct to protect her young no matter the cost. From the shadows of the forest a lone wolf slinks toward the new calf, the prospect of an easy meal drives him onward despite the warning barks from the now very defensive cow. The wolf darts in for the easy kill but is confronted by flaying hooves and a mothers wrath, he receives a hard blow to the shoulder which knocks him to the ground. Before he can regain his footing she is once again charging down on him with a vengeance, sharp hooves slice air inches from his muzzle, the once proud predator of the forest turns tail and retreats into the shadows to lick his wounds. Mother and calf touch noses and mew softly to one another in elk language, as the forest sounds return to normal.
In the natural world instinct plays a critical role in the survival of all species. The ability to react quickly and decisively in any given situation will determine if a predator succeeds on the hunt , or if the prey escapes with it’s life. But the instinct to protect young by the mothers of the world goes far beyond survival or the propagation of any species. This reaction to threat or danger is bordering on the extreme, I have seen a mother rabbit stand upon her hind legs and threaten a coyote in an attempt to protect her newborns. I was privileged to witness a grizzly bear turn tail and run from a mother badger who fiercely guarded her young. My own mother once stood with hands on her hips and fire in her eyes in defense of me against an irate adult male who soon decided that the fight wasn’t worth the pain she promised to inflict. The decision to put ones life in danger to protect the young does not lay only upon the mothers shoulders. I would gladly give my life to protect not only my own children but any who were in danger if the occasion presented itself. As a red blooded American male the right to stand up for the weak or innocent is one will gladly face and have on more than one instance. But for me to see the strength of the fairer sex and the ferocity with which they protect their young is truly one of the greatest gifts there is to behold. So to all the mothers of this world and to those who are not blessed with children but wish they were, my hats off to you and your unconditional love, integrity and undeniable strengths.. (Ina) Lakota for mother, (wopila,)THANKS. Hawk