Julie of the Wolves

by Jean George

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What do the wolf signals - biting, nose, ears - mean in "Julie of the Wolves"?

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When the wolves want to express their admiration and homage towards their leader, they bite him gently under the chin.  To signal his approval in response to their expression of love, the leader wags his tail and bites the top of the underling's nose.  Miyax first witnesses this behavior when Nails and Silver approach Amaroq in this manner.  Nails spanks the ground with his forepaws and carefully takes Amaroq'a jaw in his mouth, and "the leader bit(es) the top of his nose.  Silver, who is Amaroq's mate, licks his cheek and "lovingly bit(es) his lower jaw".  Her mouthing "charge(s) him with vitality", and his tail flashes high as "he noes(s) her affectionately.

Miyax then learns that when a wolf pulls his ears together and back, he is expressing fear and submission.  Jello does this when Silver shoots "a fierce glance at him" when he makes a move to join the puppies surrounding Amaroq.  Silver later presses her ears forward aggressively towards Jello, demonstrating her dominance and forcing him to perform the lowly task of remaining behind to "babysit" the pups while the others go to hunt.

The puppies express express their respect for their leader a little differently than the adult wolves.  Instead of biting him under the chin, they approach him, lie down before him, wagging their tails vigorously and "gaz(ing) up at Amaroq in pure adoration" (Part 1).

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