No pups are watched over more carefully than by their own wolf mothers. When the mother must eventually leave with the pack to hunt, however, her pups are cared for by a pup-sitter, usually an aunt or a two- or three-year-old sibling.
The invaluable role of this guardian is to protect and teach the pups as they explore the environment of the site where they will remain until the hunting party returns. Ever vigilant, no movement by the youngsters goes unnoticed by their caretaker. Relentless in their play, pretend hunting, and stalking, the young pups practice their skills and establish their dominance. “I like to think that the guardian is passing on a little extra wolf wisdom to her young charge,” relays artist Judy Larson®.
The entire wolf pack takes part in educating the young in the ways of the family: respect the elders and cooperate with the pack; play when you can, hunt when you must and rest in between; share your affections, voice your feelings and leave your mark. And don’t forget about Judy Larson’s Hidden Spirits. Within this image you will find the paw prints left behind from the pack members to whom these lessons have been taught in the past.
“The Lesson” is the fourth offering in Judy’s “Tribute to Wolves” series. The first three offerings include “The Alphas,” “Brothers and Sisters,” and “Looking for Love.”