The Sickness of Long Thinking

19 Oct 2016


"A few years ago I found an abandoned wolf cub. I suppose it's mother had been killed, or may have been driven out of the pack. I tried to raise it like a dog. For a while it was happy. It was like a pet, you know... affectionate. It would lick my hand and roll over, wanting to play. But then it got older, and the playing stopped. It remembered it was a wolf, not a pet. It stared in to the distance. Then one day it was gone. The Chippewa have a word for it - it means 'the sickness of long thinking'.You cannot tame a wild animal, because it will always remember where it is from, and yearn to go back."


The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney


Chippewa is an alternate spelling of the Ojibwe tribe of North America. According to Ojibwe oral history and from recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the St Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec. They traded widely across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated, and knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, and then south in the Americas.


"The grandfathers and the grandmothers are in the children; teach them well." - Ojibwe.


Are you yearning to go back somewhere?



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