NC Archives - StoryCorps

“The Wolf Was His Best Friend:” Remembering Henry Kendall

Growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO, during the 1950s, Judd Esty-Kendall remembers a childhood surrounded by animals. There were farm animals, such as pigs, chickens and guinea hens, as well as a variety of wild ones: falcons, raccoons, and even a flying squirrel named Peanuts that he kept in his room.

Henry Kendall with one of his falcons. Courtesy of Anita Kendall.

They belonged to his father, Henry, a salesman and World War 2 veteran who took in wild animals in his spare time.

But there was one animal that stood out the most.

At StoryCorps, Judd told his son, also named Jud, about the special bond Henry developed with a full-blooded wolf named Peter.

Henry Kendall with Peter the wolf in St. Louis, MO, circa 1962. Courtesy of Jud Esty-Kendall.
Jud Esty-Kendall with his father, Judd Esty-Kendall, and daughter, Makai, in Durham, NC, on September 29, 2018. Courtesy of Jud Esty-Kendall.
Top Photo: Henry Kendall and his son, Judd Esty-Kendall, with Peter the wolf in their backyard in St. Louis, MO, circa 1962. Courtesy of Jud Esty-Kendall.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Originally aired April 5, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.