The NHS has welcomed an agreement to hand maternity care to the wolves. Long recognised as the ideal animal for raising children, the successful bid was supported by references from Mowgli and a furry Siberian child who walks on all fours.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was impressed by the canine bid, which will include the construction of new medical centres. "They presented us with a very strong pack, although there was one howler in there", explained Lansley.
The tender was meant to include a hospital made of brick, but the wolves had proposed a straw facility, built by pigs. Lansley was impressed at how quickly the wolves rolled over when rubbed: "We've reached a compromise, and work has already started on a new clinic made of sticks. Mr Wolf has assured me, after much huffing and puffing, that it's definitely going to be an infirmary."
Despite recent cuts to NHS spending, ministers have been confounded by people giving birth at pre-budget rates. But wolves offer a number of savings, as Lansley divulged. "One wet-wolf can suckle up to ten babies at once, and their warm, fuzzy fur saves on both heating and laundry budgets. They're also great role-models for our young. There's no better lesson in economics than the weakest being all gobbled up."
The scheme has faced problems. A similar project at St. Laurie's House Hospital was closed after an outbreak of Lupus, and a consultant paediatrician has been fired after being found in a ward bed dressed as a granny. Several nurses have been suspended, accused of moon-lighting.
Press attention to the high-profile project puts the animals under a lot of strain. Some wolves have tried sneaking in dressed as sheep, but it's been too much for one of them. Scattering reporters on his Harley Davidson, wearing a jacket emblazoned 'Lone Human', the bandana-wearing Nurse Gray hasn't been seen since last week. Lansley was sympathetic: "He's getting on a bit, in dog-years. It's a text-book mid-wife crisis."