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A Collection of Short Stories as Told by the Animals of Yellowstone

June 17, 2016

Sandhill Crane
It was a misty morning on Blacktail Pond, the sun was rising, somewhere around 5:30 am. The water was warm, the air was cold, and the mist enveloped us. My wife and I looked up to notice the humanity alongside the road. Our loud neighbors, the Canada Geese and the Ruddy Ducks were splashing about as the humans exclaimed, “Look! I see two Sandhill Cranes!” That’s when we realized that they were observing our every move through their scopes. They lingered for a little while and then were on their way.

Black Bear
There I was, minding my own business along the banks of Elk Creek, munching on my favorite flowers when two van loads of humans started a bear jam. What’s a bear jam you ask? It’s when all of the people stop dead their tracks, cars lining the street and causing traffic, to see me in my cinnamon-colored glory. I could charge at them and cause some serious damage, but they respected my space and remained at least 100 yards away. They even backed up as I moved towards them. I noticed that they were taking my picture, and I tried to smile, but my butt was itchy, so I had to stop and scratch along a log. That seemed to send them on their way.

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Humans watching me. ~Black Bear

Gray Wolves
Here we were, my brothers, sisters and me, all snuggled in our den overlooking Slough Creek. We peeked our heads out of the den to see what was happening. We noticed people were everywhere with their scopes checking us out. We’re pretty sure that we saw that biologist lady, Kira Cassidy, who put those radio collars around our family members’ necks (apparently, they really need to know where we are at all times). We also remember one time when dad came home pretty groggy and missing a whisker. He told us that the scientists use darts filled with a sedative in order to do some tests and learn more about us. They take the whisker to study our diets. We couldn’t believe that they could learn so much from such a little piece of us. We decided it was time to make an appearance and step outside into the sun. I was easily spotted because of my dark color, but my sister was able to hide because she’s gray and blended in with the ground around us. The adults in the Slough Creek pack took off to explore the area. We heard a rumor that one of them spotted some Bighorn Sheep and chased them for a bit. We guess he was testing them to see if they could be dinner (but I like elk better). After a few hours we all decided it was time to rest, which I guess was boring for Kira and her friends because we noticed that they packed up and left.

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I don’t understand why so many humans like to watch my every move! ~Gray Wolf Pup

Bighorn Sheep
Today was an exciting day. We were minding our own business, out for a stroll along the hills over Slough Creek when one of those wolves decided to encroach on our territory. Our family stuck together and started running. The chase lasted for a bit, but we’re pretty sure that he knew he was no match for us. We know these hills and are able to outrun those wolves on this rocky terrain. He gave up and wandered away to find a new adventure.

The Circle of Life
Last night, while those crazy teachers from North Carolina were sleeping, other people were still out driving. It was so dark outside and suddenly I looked up to see two bright lights coming at me. I tried to move out of the way, but couldn’t move fast enough. Before I knew it, I was on the ground and rangers were helping me get to a safer resting place. I know I’m not the first bison this has happened to, and I won’t be the last, but hopefully the humans will watch out for my brothers and sisters in the future. As I drew my last breath, I realized that my death would serve a purpose for the many other species living in Yellowstone. The ravens would be able to feed their young, the coyotes would not starve, and perhaps a grizzly will enjoy a tasty meal.

Uinta Ground Squirrels
What a happy day! My siblings and I were running free in the meadows along the Specimen Ridge Trail. We love to nibble on the wildflowers that grow freely above our systems of tunnels below the ground. When we went for lunch today, we found a group of very kind teachers sitting amongst our food. They seemed to be studying and learning about the flowers in our neighborhood. We didn’t mind because there was so much to go around and they really seemed interested in what they were doing. After a little while, they continued on their hike and I’m pretty sure that they ran into a few more of my relatives farther along down the trail.

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What are these strange humans doing spending so much time looking at my lunch? ~Uinta Ground Squirrel

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alyssa Schneider permalink
    June 18, 2016 11:49 am

    How is it possible to learn about a wolf’s diet from a whisker? Why not take a different sample?

  2. Leah Buckley permalink
    June 19, 2016 8:17 am

    What a fun filled day!

  3. Jaimie Rudder permalink
    June 19, 2016 5:22 pm

    Learning in the great outdoors and in the middle of a field of wildflowers 🙂

  4. Lindsay Pinheiro permalink
    June 20, 2016 4:53 pm

    I find it really fascinating how scientists can learn information in regards to the wolf’s diet just by their whisker! It says in the post that you could “learn so much” from the whisker, which leads me to wonder what other neat things does the whisker tell scientists about the animal?

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