Félix, the man who dreamed of being a Wolf
Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente would have loved to have been a Wolf and to be able to howl to the full moon. And here at Kukuxumusu we have tried to fulfil his dream by making a drawing of it. We have been talking to the youngest of his three children, Odile, who is the person in charge of the Foundation which bears his name and where she has recently set up the first forest outdoor school in Spain.
The 14th of March is remembered each year as the day that Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, naturalist and true friend of the wolf and indeed of every other kind of living animal, died in a tragic light-aircraft accident while working in Alaska. That very same day in 1980, the famed naturalist celebrated his 52nd birthday. He was filming one of his renowned animal documentaries and alongside him, two cameramen and the aircraft pilot also lost their lives on that fatal day.
That tragic day when Félix died close to an Eskimo settlement, his daughter Odile was only seven years old. Nevertheless, she still holds many deep memories and recollections of her father.
“He used to arrive back home from his exotic travels with his suitcase filled with curious objects… I remember an Inuit figure made from the bone of a whale… which left a deep impression on me…and he would often tell us of the many curious types of people he had met on his travels and of people who lived close to nature…” Odile relates from her office at the Foundation headquarters in Madrid.
As Félix is someone whom we have always loved and respected, at Kukuxumusu we made a drawing of him in collaboration the Foundation that bears his name and which was created in 2005 to promote and preserve the work of this naturalist who lived ahead of his time. We have stamped the drawing on a T-shirt which can be obtained from our online shop.
Odile explained how the origin of the phrase came about: “In an interview which had been done with my father he was asked what kind of animal he would like to be reincarnated as. He responded that if such a possibility really existed, then he would like to be reborn as a wolf”.
She continues in a certain way with the work of her famous father in directing the Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente Foundation. From here she enthusiastically promotes a passionate love of nature – something that was instilled in her from a very early age.
“My father passed on a love for the wilderness, the natural free world, its magic… He himself had come from an early childhood reared in rustic surroundings as he used often reminisce himself. He had no schooling until he was nine years old, because his parents had wished to give him a different kind of education. He grew up in Poza de la Sal, in the province of Burgos, a land of shepherds and with a long tradition of oral legends and tales” relates Odile in a reflective nostalgic tone.
Perhaps inspired by both her father’s and her own early years, Odile has set up through the Foundation, an innovative and ambitious project: the so-called Forest Outdoor Schools.
Ever since 2005, some twenty boys and girls from the ages of 3 – 5 attend each day this special school which exists without any school desks in Cerceda (Madrid). Here the children learn some essential questions about life, about their own natures and their own self-esteem. They acquire some psychomotor activities by climbing trees, crossing rivers, searching out bird nests…and all thanks to the influence of Félix, the man who wanted to be a wolf.