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The Call of the Wild

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in The Call of the Wild and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"The Wolf and the Dog" by Marie de France
(from Marie de France: Fables, © 1987)
Summary: In this poem a wolf and a dog contrast their lives.

Excerpt from The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, ©1993
Summary: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, an author who has spent years studying dog behavior, defends anthropomorphism--the belief that animals have human-like motivations, characteristics, and behavior.

"The Man Who Was a Horse" by Julius Lester
(from Long Journey Home: Stories from Black History, © 1972)
Summary: Like Jack London, the cowboy in this story understands that to truly understand a wild creature, a human has to put himself in the creature's place.

"The Wolf Said to Francis" by A.G. Rochelle
Summary: This poem imaginatively recreates a meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and a wolf.

"Unsentimental Mother" by Sally Carrighar
(from Icebound Summer, © 1953)
Summary: Sally Carrighar spent about ten years in the arctic studying Eskimos and arctic wildlife. In "Unsentimental Mother" she offers this account of the first few weeks in the life of an Arctic seal.

"Long Duel" by Robert Murphy
(from The Phantom Setter and Other Stories, © 1966)
Summary: This short story poses the question: To what lengths might a person or animal go to avenge the death of a hero?