Wolf Confessor

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Wolf Confessor


On through the fog now, down to the shallow river bed-
My paws they ache and I, I’ll wash this fever from my head.
Foul beast, he tricked me now. No more a hunger in his gut-
My deeds have filled the mouth, that conned these open eyes to shut.


Oh no you never do me any favors, just draw me a line.


Along the mountain side, I came across a lonely sheep.
“Your jaws should open wide, my bones would surely break your teeth”
And I listened to her word as she threw me from the rocky ledge,
Down to the valley below, her faith that I was surely dead…


Oh no you never do me any favors, just draw me a line.
But still you say, “Look among the stars child, look into the water.”


I once believed that there was good in the world.
Reason could get you anything you deserved. Now, I don’t know.


So I learned my lesson there, and made my way back into town
To eat my fill of the dead, and to live my life without a sound.
But under watchful eye, I felt a danger slowly creep.
A silence haunts me now as the hunter surely draws his bead.


Oh no you never do me any favors, just draw me a line.
But still you say…


The Wolf as Confessor - Russian Folktale
'He managed somehow to get to the shore, and ran about the woods with an empty stomach. He starved for a long time, then could not bear it any longer, went back to the village, and saw some carrion lying near a barn. "That's fine," he thought. "When night comes I shall at least eat some carrion." For bad times had come upon the wolf; he was glad to have a meal of carrion. Even that was better than to have one's teeth chattering from hunger and to be singing wolfish songs. Night came; the wolf went to the barn and began to gobble the carrion. But a hunter had long been lying in wait for him with a couple of good bullets made ready in advance; he fired his gun and the gray wolf rolled on the ground with a smashed head. And that was the end of the gray wolf.'

From March 10th, 1973 Seminar with Talcott Parsons (Brown University)

Question (Mr. Martel): Are you optimistic about the future?

Parsons: In that respect, yes; the long future. Oh, I think I'm basically optimistic about the human prospects in the long run. We have a great deal of abject pessimism about it. (And it looks by the clock like we'd better stop.) But perhaps one closing point. I was a student in Germany just at the height of the vogue of Oswald Spengler, author of The Decline of the West [Der Untergang des Abenlandes, 1918] and he didn't give the West 50 more years of continuing vitality after the time in which he wrote. He gave it much shorter shrift. In fact, he said that for all practical purposes it already was over and that its last culturally significant event was the break between Wagner and Nietzsche. Well, it's more than 50 years later now, and I don't think the West has just simply declined. He was wrong in thinking it was the end.

Question (Mr. Dupree): Did we close the tape with the words "the end"?

Parsons: (chuckling) Oh. That's very interesting.

Martel: We in the seminar thank you very much.

[End of transcript]