F course, you all know to what branch of the Dog family Old Man
Coyote belongs," said Old Mother Nature, and looked expectantly at
the circle of little folks gathered around her. No one answered.
"Well, well, well!" exclaimed Old Mother Nature, "I am surprised.
I am very much surprised. I supposed that all of you knew that
"Do you mean that he is really a true Wolf?" asked Striped Chipmunk timidly.
"Of course," replied Old Mother Nature. "He is all Wolf and nothing
but Wolf. He is the Prairie Wolf, so called because he is a lover
of the great open plains and not of the deep forests like his big
cousin, Howler the Timber Wolf.
"Old Man Coyote varies in size from not so very much bigger than
"In his habits, Old Man Coyote is much like Reddy, but being larger
and stronger he is able to kill larger animals, and has won the hate
of man by killing young Pigs, Lambs, newly born Calves and poultry.
Because of this, he has been and is continually hunted and trapped.
The Prairie Wolf who is as clever as Reddy Fox.
"Old Man Coyote is a good father and husband and a good provider
for his family. He and
"Old Man Coyote has one of the strangest voices to be heard anywhere, and he delights to use it, especially at night. It is like many voices shouting together, and one who hears it for the first time cannot believe that all that sound comes from one throat.
"His big cousin, Howler the Gray Wolf, sometimes called Timber Wolf—is
found now only in the forests of the North and the mountains of
The Timber or Gray Wolf, so long dreaded by man.
"Howler and Mrs. Wolf mate for life, and each is at all times loyal to the other. They are the best of parents, and the little Wolves are carefully trained in all that a Wolf should know. Always the hand of man has been against them, and this fact has developed their wits and cunning to a wonderful degree. Man in his effort to destroy them has used poison, cleverly hiding it in pieces of meat left where Howler and his friends could find them. Howler soon found out that there was something wrong with pieces of meat left about, and now it is seldom that any of his family come to harm in that way. He is equally cunning in discovering traps, even traps buried in one of his trails. Sometimes he will dig them up and spring them without being caught.
"When Wolves hunt in packs they have a leader, usually the strongest or the smartest among them, and this leader they obey. In all the great forests there is no more dreadful sound than the howling of a pack of wolves. There is something in it that strikes terror to the hearts of all who hear it.
"The color of Howler's coat usually is brownish-gray and that is
why he is called the
"My!" exclaimed Peter Rabbit, "I am glad Howler doesn't live around here."
"You well may be," said Old Mother Nature. "He would make just about one bite of you, Peter."
Peter shivered. "Are Old Man Coyote and Howler friends?" asked Peter.
"I wouldn't call them exactly friends," replied Old Mother Nature.
"All branches of the Dog family do one thing: they walk on their
toes. They never put the whole foot down flat as does Buster Bear.
And, as you have already discovered, all branches of the Dog family
are very smart. They are intelligent. Hello, there is Black Pussy,
the cat from Farmer Brown's, coming down the Lone Little Path! I
suspect it will be well for some of you smallest ones to get out
of sight before she arrives. She doesn't belong over here in the
Green Forest, but she has a cousin who does,
Yowler the Bob Cat.
Shall I tell you about Yowler and his cousins
"We'd love to have you!" cried Happy Jack, speaking for all. Then, as Black Pussy was drawing near, they separated and went their several ways.