What is it with wolves and <the> howling?

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Rabbit Jude and fox Nick are watching footage of two wolves capturing a jaguar. Nick:
-- Bet you a nickel one of them is gonna howl. [both wolves start howling] And there it is. What is it with wolves and the howling? It's like...
Zootopia, cartoon

I think "the" refers to a wolf's houling, not someone else's or houling in general. Is that right? Thanks.
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Vic, yes, the use of "the howling" means it is clearly referring to the wolves' howling - the howling that wolves do. If it was any other kind of howling, that would be "first mention" and no "assumed context" and therefore couldn't justify the definite article.
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