Garrison Keillor: We're at Wolf Trap near Vienna, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. (HOWL), a national park for the performing arts so the park rangers you see are actually performers. (Sue Scott: There's a place for trash-over there) bringing the arts and nature together-- and the wildlife sit in the woods and listen (WOLF LISTENS), bright eyes shining in the underbrush, listening to opera (TR TENOR), so when the wolves are mating here (OPERATIC WOLF HOWLS, TRIO) they use motifs from grand opera. You see wild swine standing in line for the opera. (POLITE HOG MURMURS). Afterward they head out for a bite of truffles (SNUFFLING), racoons watching from the trees (SFX), owls (SFX), possums (SFX) even the ordinary robin (SFX) sing at Wolftrap (ROSSINI "Thieving Magpie").
Even insects pick up bits of music from the stage (CRICKETS DOING ART SONG) (MOSQUITO 'BOLERO') -- mosquitoes love opera because it has blood in it -- bees, on the other hand, are team players, so they're more influenced by the symphony (BEE BUZZES BEETHOVEN). The ducks are wild about Beethoven. (DUCKS CLAMORING, "BACH, BACH, BACH") Sorry. The ducks are wild about Bach. (DUCKS DOING "JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING") And the frogs for some reason go for French music. (FROGS SING "LA VIE EN ROSE") And wild turkeys, for some reason, sit in the trees and sing along (TURKEYS, SINGING SAME TUNE), but they're always flat, and so they have to be shot. (SHOTGUN BLAST) Which keeps the singers on the stage on their toes. (TR TENOR MOVES PITCH HIGHER)
At Wolf Trap we are under a roof, a few thousand people under the pavilion -- the Republican section -- they are in need of shelter these days -- and up there on the grass are the Democrats who have bought cheaper seats so they could donate the difference to support the kind of public radio programming they have come to know and trust.
GK: The democrats are enjoying wine out there (CORKSCREW AND POP AND POUR), and the kids are having a good time talking about the North American Free Trade Agreement (CHILDREN MURMURING) --but there's always the odd child who goes off to play with the wolves-- (WOLF VOCALIZATION) and is raised by wolves and comes back years later, having become a lawyer (SNARLING). And up there with them and getting the grass roots story is the host of This American Life, Ira Glass.
Tim Russell (IRA): Hi. I'm Ira Glass. Today our theme is children who are totally unlike their parents. And I'm here on the lawn at Wolf Trap. With my dad. Or someone I think of as my dad. But in fact he's a wolf. And he lives here at Wolf Trap.
Fred Newman (WOLF): Hello son. Nice to have you back.
TR (IRA): It's weird that you're a wolf and I'm not. I never thought about it growing up, but now I do. A lot. And it must have been weird for you too. To have a child on two legs. Without a lot of body hair. A child who could never learn to howl. Aoo. Aoo. See? I still can't do it.
FN (WOLF): We never thought much about it. Your mom and I just wanted you to be happy and we wanted to keep you out of the arts.
TR (IRA): I wanted to be one of you. But not in a hairy way. I liked the yellow eyes. I remember a lot of alpha males skulking around. And it's weird, because you'd think there would only be one. But there were a bunch of them. I felt threatened. But also empowered. It made me sensitive, in an aggressive way. It also made me nervous. And that's why I talk the way I do. Me. Ira Glass. I was raised by wolves. This is my story.
FN (WOLF): I don't know what you're talking about.
TR (IRA): Children who feel weird with their parents -- that's the story from up here on the lawn. More coming up in the second act. Of This American Life.
GK: That's the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Stay here long enough and you too, can become a performing artist. That's Wolf Trap. A different kind of national park.