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Search the Community: Showing results for tags 'therianthropy'.
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Today, me and my family went to a wildlife centre. It was really nice - we're broke most of the time and don't have a car, so outings like that are a rare occurrence for us. The centre we went to was pretty small, but had a lot more animals than I thought it did. I checked the website beforehand to see what they had there, but it turns out there was a lot of animals there that weren't on the site; I suppose it hadn't been updated in a while. And because of that, I had no idea there were wolves there until I was practically face-to-face with them. I'd love to be able to say something clicked, and there was an instant recognition and kinship there... but I'd be lying. They weren't interested in me at all. They weren't interested in any of us. They seemed very happy for captive wolves - they had plenty of space, and there was obviously a very strong bond between the wolves there. I assume they were related. But it was busy and there was a lot of noisy children, and the wolves went over to the private part of their enclosure before I could even get a proper look at them. They were smaller than my subspecies and darker, but still familiar enough to make me feel homesick. I wanted to howl to them. I wanted to go sniff their butts and greet them like a wolf should. I wanted them to see me as one of them. But, of course, they didn't. To them, I'm just another human being waddling about in a weird, hairless ape body. They can't see my phantom ears or snout. Of course they can't. I stuck around for a while feeling a kind of awkward longing, as well as that anticlimatic disappointment you get when something doesn't end up anywhere near as poignant as you were expecting. Then... well, I walked off. Looked at the other animals, took some pictures - you know how it goes. It really was a great day. My family went off to the toilets so I got some time to myself. I wandered back over to the wolves' enclosure, since it was quieter and I was hoping they might be more active if there wasn't a bunch of screaming children everywhere. They weren't really, but there was one who was lying out in the open. I looked at them for a bit. I think they were looking back at me, but who can say? Could easily be wishful thinking. I'm not disappointed I saw them at all. That's not what I'm saying... I've always wanted to see a wolf. That was the first time I've seen one since I awakened. It was just... bittersweet. I liked being able to see them, but at the same time it reminded me of how far removed I am from them. I'm never going to have a pack again, never going to hunt or run through the forests or sniff butts or chew bones or pounce around like a great big fool. Odds are, I'm never going to really know another wolf. I could theoretically, one day, if I can get my ass through college and then get lucky enough to get a job working at a wildlife centre or zoo like that. Maybe. But I'm not going to pin any hopes on it. But I have my dogs. And I have my human family. And I have the memory of my old pack. That's enough for me most of the time, and I'm sure it will continue to be so. I'm sure. ... ... ...Bittersweet indeed.
When it comes to my identity, I've always trusted my gut. Sure, I've been biased in the past, I've been wrong, but I don't really mind being wrong if it eventually leads me to the truth. Questioning yourself is important, of course, but sometimes letting yourself be is just as vital. Question too much, and you lose sight of the feelings that made you identify as you do in the first place. Still, there's some gut feelings I've mostly ignored in the past, just because they seemed irrelevant, illogical or too much like wishful thinking. Some of these gut feelings are things I used to feel sure of, but have now let slip into the background as they've lost relevance to how I see myself. Others are things that seemed too "perfect", like my subconscious was trying to fill in the gaps. One such thing was the gut feelings concerning the past life I believe I had - and remember vividly - as a grey wolf. I can remember my family, and how we lived, but there was other things too that I "remembered" but never seemed to entirely add up. I remembered my pack mates' fur colours, but when I researched further it seemed unlikely that those fur colours were accurate. I remembered living in a certain place, taiga forest surrounding a lake, with mountains in the distance. I remembered certain animals, certain plants, the general climate and weather patterns. All easily things that could be just my mind filling in the plot holes, trying to turn some vague recollection into a narrative I could understand. Some gut feeling told me I lived in Finland or western Russia, but I had no idea how a wolf could even know that. So I never looked further into it. I just accepted it as some inner machination of my brain and moved on. It seemed far-fetched that I'd truly remember something so specific anyway. But then... I can't remember exactly what I was doing, but I ended up searching for images of Finnish landscapes. It looked so, so much like what I'd seen in my dreams. Which doesn't say much on it's own - there's plenty of places with trees, lakes and mountains, right? - but still, I decided to pursue it further. So I looked up Finnish wolves. And then I felt that ever-familiar punch in the gut. They look just like me, and my pack mates. The varieties of colour in them matches up perfectly. I've always imagined my fur being quite yellowish, which isn't something seen in most wolf subspecies. I'm certainly not an expert on canine genetics but after doing a little research, I found that such colouration is called "phelomelanism" and, quote: "Wolves of this color are found more frequently in eastern Finland and in Russia." The source that says this also included a picture of a wolf with that kind of colouration, taken in Finland. Here's some other images of similarly coloured Finnish wolves: 1, 2, 3, 4 For comparison, here is a drawing I did of how I picture my theriotype. The markings are bolder than how I actually imagine them - call it artistic licence - but the base palette is very similar. There are also Finnish wolves with more typical colouration, such as these: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Those match well with how I remember some of my pack mates. I specifically remember being shot from some kind of aerial vehicle. Aerial hunting is illegal in most places, but has been used frequently to control wolf populations in Russia. I couldn't find any information on aerial hunting in Finland, but I know that wolves have been heavily prosecuted there in the past and continue to be widely hunted despite there being so few left in the country. There's also the fact that the fauna and flora I remember matches up perfectly, as does the climate. It just adds up so well. It's almost eerie how accurate it is.