While walking home from the bus stop this week, a 13 year old Norwegian school boy stumbled upon four wolves. In the end, it may have been his love of heavy-metal music that saved his life.
Walter Eikrem listened to music on his mobile phone as he often does as he made his way home from school in the southern Norwegian town of Rakkestad last week. The path leading from the stop where he catches the school bus to his family's farmhouse traverses a gently sloping hillside. All of a sudden, he made out something grey on the hillside. "At first, I thought it might have been the neighbor's dogs," he later told TV2, Norway's largest commercial broadcaster. What he actually encountered, though, were four wolves.
"I was afraid they would attack me," Walter said. But he didn't let his fear show. Remembering his parents' advice, Walter pulled the earphones out of his mobile phone, turned the volume all the way up and blasted heavy metal music over its miniature speakers. At the same time, he yelled as loud as he could while flailing his arms about to scare off the pack of wild animals.
"The worst thing you can do is run away because doing so just invites the wolves to chase you down," he said. "But I was so afraid that I couldn't even run away if I'd wanted to."
The plan worked. Eikrem said he was able to drive away the wolves by playing the song Overcome by the American hard-rock band Creed. "They didn't really get scared," Walter said. "They just turned around and simply trotted away."