AR-News: (CA) Inspiring youth shows concern for animals through story

Wolves Ontario! info at wolvesontario.org
Fri Feb 27 11:50:56 EST 2004


www.durhamregion.com/dr/regions/whitby/story/1698488p-1999073c.html

Whitby teen takes top prize in story contest

Feb 20, 2004
David Blumenfeld, Staff Writer

WHITBY - Bronwen Hennigar has a heart for wolves.

The 14-year-old student from Whitby will be among a group of young
authors from Ontario and Quebec honoured on Valentine's Day for writing
one of the best wolf tales for Earthroots.

Earthroots, a grassroots organization dedicated to the preservation of
Canadian wilderness and wildlife, encourages students to enter its
annual Wolves Ontario! Story Writing Contest and share their love for
both the animal and the environment.

"I love animals and I just feel everyone's equal and everyone has the
same values, and who's to say animals can't think or feel
emotions...that they don't feel pain and shouldn't get the same respect
as humans," said Bronwen, a Grade 9 student at Father Leo J. Austin
Secondary School.

"I like writing stories and I like wolves, and I always try to help out
Earthroots, like handing out anti-snare posters in the school, and
pamphlets and petitions to protect the Algonquin wolf."

Bronwen said she entered the contest once in the past, but because of
the high number of
entries, she never thought she would win. Her story, 'Walking with
wolves,' tells the tale of a hunter who falls in love with a pack of
orphaned wolf pups he encounters in the wilderness.

"I like all animals, but wolves are probably my favourite...they really
are like a family. They remind me of a human family. They interact with
one another...sometimes they have conflicts, and other times they play
with each other and stick up for one another," she said.

Bronwen has also written to, and gotten replies from, former and current
prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin about animal preservation,
the environment and the Kyoto Protocol.

Bronwen's mother, Sharon Hennigar, said it's important her daughter is
passionate about wildlife.

"I'm very thrilled for her and proud of her," Ms. Hennigar said about
her daughter's contest win.

"Bronwen is an animal activist and environmentalist. She's very much
interested in zoology.... We're very impressed that she's involved and
encourage her on in the endeavours. I think if she focuses and channels
it in the right direction. Good things will come of it."

Bronwen says she has her sights on becoming a biologist specializing in
wolves, but in the meantime she is just appreciating the fact her story
was picked as a winner from among all the entries.

All the young authors who won will be awarded a certificate of
recognition, a plush wolf toy and a copy of the book 'Never Cry Wolf'
autographed by author Farley Mowat, Earthroots's patron and contest
promoter.

Fourteen-year-old Bronwen Hennigar of Whitby won first prize in her age
category in Earthroots' annual Wolves Ontario! Story Writing Contest.
This was her winning entry.

Walking with wolves

The moon was a pale yellow, and the black night sky glittered with the
stars that shone down on a silver figure. The moonlight shone down on it
and it became clear what it was: A female wolf with eyes as bright as
the moon and fur whiter than snow but with a silver shine.

She threw back her head and howled, a long howl that seemed to bounce
off the moon and into the valleys below the mountains, echoing on. She
stopped and perked her ears up toward a rustle in the bush.

A black male came up beside her, his fur as black as night and his eyes
a winter grey. He flattened his ears and licked the white wolf's muzzle
as she held her head and tail high.

Then they both perked their ears up and looked down upon the forest
below them and the mountains. In the forest clearing, a man stepped out
with his gun and a bag. He was carrying tools used for killing wolves,
like snares, poison and guns.

The wolves stood motionless, watching this strange creature out of his
element. Then the white wolf threw back her head and howled a howl so
beautiful yet wild that even the trees seemed to hold their breath.

The man stopped and looked up and saw the wolves. Wondering why they
weren't running away, he put down his bag and searched for his gun. She
would make a perfect coat and the male would make a good rug, he
thought.

He found his gun and smiled while he aimed at the white wolf. She seemed
to be still while watching him, not bothering to move. It seemed like a
painted picture, the starry night and the full pale moon in the
background and she standing under it.

He pulled the trigger and the white wolf fell to the ground, but not
before their eyes met and, for a moment, the man seemed hesitant to
fire.

The black wolf looked back at his fallen mate and licked her muzzle,
trying to bring the body back to life.

The man fired again and the male fell beside his mate.

The man went up the mountain and stuffed the bodies into his bag. He was
thinking of how much to sell the pelts for, when he heard a small
yipping coming from the bush. At first he ignored it as he skinned the
animals, but then he walked over and reached into a small hole under the
bush.

He gently pulled out a little brown wolf pup with big blue eyes that
seemed to look into his soul.

He pulled out his gun and pressed it to the pup's head. He went to pull
the trigger but then the pup looked up at him with the same innocence
and cuteness of a human baby. He couldn't fire, and wondered whether the
wolf's life was the same as his, if wolves thought and felt emotions.

The small pup curled up by his feet and fell asleep. He dropped his gun
and picked up the
pups, forgetting about the skins.

He held the pups close to his chest to keep them warm from the winter
winds. He walked
through the snow to his truck and gently placed the pups in the seat
next to him and turned on the heat. He turned on the truck and sped off
toward his house.

When he got home he put newspaper down in a corner and got out a plate
and put some meat on it. The pups sniffed it and licked it, but they
weren't eating meat yet. He tried to get them to eat something. He was
scared that they'd get sick and wondered how long it had been since
they'd last eaten anything.

He got on the Internet and read about wolves. In the wild, these pups
would not yet have been introduced to regurgitated meat, and for now
they depended on their mother's milk.

He got out a bottle and placed the pups in his arms. He held them like
he would a baby. He gave the pups the milk and soon they were off to
sleep.

He soon fell asleep by the warm fire with pups in his arms as the cold
winter winds rustled against the trees.

More winning stories can be read online at www.wolfpups.org.




--
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Melissa Tkachyk, M.E.S.
Wolves Ontario! Coordinator

Wolves Ontario!
A Project of Earthroots

401 Richmond St. West
Suite 410
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8, Canada

phone: (416) 599-0152
fax:   (416) 340-2429

www.earthroots.org - Main Earthroots website

www.parkalert.org - Park Alert! Campaign
www.wolvesontario.org - Wolves Ontario! Project
www.oakridgesmoraine.com - Oak Ridges Moraine Campaign
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earthroots is non-profit, grassroots, environmental organization
dedicated
to protecting wilderness, wildlife and watersheds through research,
education and action. Earthroots has 12,000 supporters in Canada.

Ontario Parks under threat! Find out more at www.parkalert.org





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