July 05, 2010

Domesticating wolves in Sons of Tucson

In Sunday's episode of Sons of Tucson, titled Dog Days of Tucson (airdate: 7/4/10), Ron brings a stray "dog" home to be his boys' pet. He then learns it's a "Sonoran black wolf" and it may be dangerous. He asks his fellow store clerk Mike (Michael Horse) about it:RON:  Hey, hey Mike. Listen, I got a quick question for you about wolves.

MIKE:  Oh, that's right. You got a question about animals, ask the Indian. We've got a spiritual connection to nature, huh? Ancient wisdom handed down from our forefathers. How come nobody ever asks me about the stock market?

RON [whispers]:  I don't know.

MIKE:  Okay, so the wolf is a majestic creature known as much for its cunning as for its savage beauty. It's a very misunderstood animal.
After a brief interruption:RON:  Hey, Mike, okay. I got it. They're awesome, beautiful animals. What I need to know is, can you domesticate them?

MIKE:  Oh, sure. Native people have been doing it for thousands of years.

RON:  Really?

MIKE:  You bet. Works out great. Right up to the time they turn.

RON:  Turn.

MIKE:  Yeah. One day they're your best friend. Then all of a sudden [snaps fingers]--they go feral. Rip your throat out. Happens every time.

RON:  Every time?

MIKE:  Well, not--yeah, every time.

[Ron runs off to save the boys.]

MIKE:  Hey, did you see Project Runway last night? Jillian is totally out of control.
Comment:  This is a decent exchange. It plays with the stereotype that Indians are wise and close to nature--undercutting it somewhat but also reinforcing it.

I might've undercut the stereotype a little more. Maybe with something like this:RON:  Where did you learn so much about wolves? Did you have one when you were a boy?

MIKE:  Are you kidding? Those dirty fleabags are dangerous. No, I read about 'em in the National Geographic.
Incidentally, there's a Mexican wolf, but there's no such thing as a Sonoran black wolf.

I believe Mike's advice about wolves is reasonably accurate. You can try to domesticate a wolf, and sometimes it'll take. But they may turn on you at any time.

For more on the subject, see Michael Horse in Sons of Tucson and TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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