Ragnarok seems close enough these days–”a wind-age, a wolf-age, ere the world’s ending”. But is it really wolves that we need to worry about?
After all, wolves do have some pretense to nobility. Wolf-warriors were a thing, back in the good old days. “Wolf” was often part of someone’s name. If a wolf shows up and rips your throat out, you could imagine still retaining a sense of personal dignity, maybe even respect.
As Sean puts it in his self-named saga (the second book, The Well Of Time, is still coming along; thanks for asking):
I knew that wolves were really great, essential parts of the ecology and all, and should never, ever be hunted from helicopters. But I didn’t feel the same way about wargs.
Well, it turns out I don’t feel the same way about coyotes, either. A pack of them killed more than half our ducks and geese in one night (leaving the bodies, for the most part; so much for the notion of animals as noble savages who waste nothing). They’ve made hit-and-run raids on our chickens in broad daylight. We’ve had to get part of our house’s back wall reframed recently, leaving us virtually open to the elements for a while. Let me tell you, hearing coyotes howling in the night with nothing between you and them but a thin sheet of plastic tends to give you a new perspective on your place in Nature.
Wolves may be fierce and noble. Coyotes lurk and sneak and lure other animals in, then surround them. They attack on the run, like the animal kingdom equivalent of a drive-by shooting. If a coyote did rip your throat out, it would probably be from behind.
So I’m thinking that a better name for what we’re going through now is a Coyote Age. The world is under attack, yes, but for the most part not openly. Most of the action is disguised. The air and water are full of poison. High-sounding policies lead to nothing but hunger and disease. People who speak the truth are censored, while lies are repeated over and over until free thought is destroyed. You can imagine George Orwell saying, “Hey, I was less than forty years off!”
This is not a good time for trust. Even our own leaders (in what used to be called the West, at least) are on the side of the coyotes, pretty much. If we’re lucky, they may follow in Wiley’s footsteps and construct elaborate contraptions that wind up failing and causing their own destruction. We still need to worry about the fallout, in that case.
If they’re more like real coyotes, the going will be even harder. A wind-age, a shield-age. Keep yours up!