What would you do ? (5) The Solution

“What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys’ comic called “Boys’ World”. This was a publication, obviously, aimed at boys, and first appeared on January 26th 1963. There were 89 issues before the comic was merged with Eagle in 1964. The last issue of “Boys’ World” came out on October 3rd 1964.

I used to buy “Boys’ World”, and this was mainly for the front cover which always featured a kind of puzzle. It was called “What would you do ?” and was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”. Here’s the situation:

And the correct solution given on page 2 of the comic is:

“There was only one possible thing the trapper could do. He shot one of the attacking wolves. The rest of the pack, ravenous with hunger, turned on the fallen beast. This gave the man time to make a dash for the safety of his cabin.”

The trouble is that I just don’t think that that would work. We know a lot more about wolves nowadays than we did in 1963. Wolves are known to be extremely loyal to one another and I cannot imagine that their first reaction to one of their number being shot would be to eat him, no matter how hungry they were. I know that a wolf will fight and kill a rival from another pack, but he would never eat him, even if he himself was starving. In that case, why would he devour a colleague from his own pack?

And they’re all so sweet and cuddly. Here’s Mummy Wolf:

And here’s Baby Wolf:


Filed under Canada, History, Humour, Literature, Personal, Wildlife and Nature, Writing

15 responses to “What would you do ? (5) The Solution

  1. How could “Boy’s World” be wrong on such an important issue? By the way, do you know if “Boy’s World” might have been an offshoot of “Boy’s Life” which was published in the U.S.?

    • “Boys’ World” was published by Longacre Press Ltd who I believe were the same company as Odhams, a large English publisher of comics. I found the story at:

      The part which concerns the era of “Boys’ World” says:

      “Odhams didn’t expand its comics publishing until 1959, when it acquired Hulton Press, publisher of Eagle, Girl, Swift and Robin as well as a number of magazines and newspapers. For a time it was known as Longacre Press. In 1961 it merged with Fleetway Publications, and in 1963 Fleetway merged with a number of other publishers to form IPC, but Odhams remained a distinct sub-company until 1968.”

      It doesn’t seem to me that there was any connection between “Boys’ World” and “Boy’s Life” beyond the similar names, and even IPC was primarily a British company:

    • I think it’s just that in sixty years we know a lot more about wolves than we ever have. They are clearly intelligent animals with a well developed social hierarchy and I would think that they are unlikely to react as Boy’s World thought they would. I just hope that I never get the chance to participate in any experiments to prove or disprove the two opposing theories.

  2. Has any nutcase gone out and tested this theory? 🙂

    Take care, John!

    • I don’t think so. You’d have to be a very high grade nutcase to put your theories to that kind of test.
      I found an article in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attack).
      There is a lot of really interesting material on different types of wolf attack, with one sentence which is particularly interesting:
      “Wolf biologist L. David Mech noted that humans’ upright posture is unlike wolves’ other prey, and similar to some postures of bears, which wolves usually avoid. “

  3. Hmmm … you do bring valid points regarding wolf behavior into the equation, John. Now me being a hunter with camera only, would not even dare try this experiment out. I think most natural species are loyal to themselves. Now again I could be wrong. What do I know? Happy Easter!

  4. Just think how many young boys went out into the wilderness thinking they were safe form wolf packs with only one bullet. How many ended up devoured as a result I wonder!

  5. Where does that leave us, John?

    • A good question. I would still go for the standard response to a predator. Back away. Don’t meet his gaze. OR, if that doesn’t look to be working, make yourself look big and shout a lot. The relevant bits of the Wikipedia article would be
      “humans’ upright posture is unlike wolves’ other prey, and similar to some postures of bears, which wolves usually avoid”, and, in the Predatory Attacks section:
      “In some such cases, a cautious wolf may launch “investigative” or “exploratory” attacks to test the victim for suitability as prey. Such attacks are not always pressed, as the animal may break off the attack or be convinced to look elsewhere for its next meal. “
      So, your best bet is to shout very loud, make yourself very big, and to hope that the wolf had a very big meal about half an hour ago.

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