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Twas the Night Before Christmas

Tim Mowry / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / December 24, 2004

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the sod house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a spruce grouse.
The Super Cubs were all warmed up, ready to take to the air,
In hopes that Governor Frank soon would be there.

The wolves were all nestled down snug in their beds,
While visions of aerial gunners danced in their heads.
Momma was already asleep and I in my musher's hat,
Had just settled down on the Styrofoam seat for a midnight chat.

When out in the dog lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the outhouse to see what was the matter;
Away to the woodshed I flew like an Iditarod husky,
And grabbed an armload of firewood that smelled sort of musky.

It was cold, probably at least 40 below,
Giving the Northern Lights a beautiful glow;
When, what to my ice-fog-filed eyes should appear,
But  a Super Cub, with shotgun barrel sticking out the window in the rear;

With hair as white as snow and a face that was fire-engine red,
I knew in a moment that this was not Senator Ted;
The Super Cub flew low over the cabin,
While the man holding the gun started jabbin';

"Now, wolves and bears and golden eagles, too,
You're all predators and we're after you;
You can run and you can hide but it's no use,
You're history in the name of caribou and moose!"

With a beaver hat on his head and caribou mukluks on his feet,
The Guv was proof that animals are good for more than just meat;
A 12-gauge and a bag of slugs he had flung on his back,
Making him look like a wolverine about to go on the attack.

The mad twinkle in his eyes was downright scary,
The veins popping out of his head made him look like Dirty Harry;
While some may not think that politics and game management mix,
They obviously hadn't bought in the Murkowski fix;

The Alaska Board of Game, though, is a different story,
Those guys go along with it no matter how gory;
If the Guv says its needs to be done,
They're more than happy to provide the gun;

Predator control is the official name,
And to some it's nothing more than a game;
Flying around shooting wolves from the air,
There are some who question whether it is fair;

But the Guv doesn't listen to the animal-rightsers' cry,
It's Alaskans, not Outsiders, he's trying to satisfy;
The threat of a tourism boycott doesn't scare him,
Murkowski has never been scared to go out on a limb;

So to the Fortymile country and Nelchina Basin we go,
Because that's where the state's ungulate numbers are low;
In the name of Alaskans who are trying to keep their families fed,
It's an unwritten law of the North that wolves are better off dead.

News-Miner staff writer Tim Mowry can be reached at tmowry@newsminer.com or at 907-459-7587

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