Tag: wolves

The company of wolves

Thursday, 8 August, 2019

“Our writer spent 30 hours traveling with arctic wolves and gained a new appreciation for these predators of the tundra.” National Geographic’s Inside the harsh lives of wolves living at the top of the world is memorable for its text by Neil Shea and the photographs by Ronan Donovan.

To get this image of wolves picking at the remains of a muskox, “Donovan placed a camera trap inside the carcass. The pack returned to feed on and off for a month.”

photographs by Ronan Donovan


The Company of Wolves

Monday, 11 March, 2019

“You are always in danger in the forest, where no people are. Step between the portals of the great pines where the shaggy branches tangle about you, trapping the unwary traveller in nets as if the vegetation itself were in a plot with the wolves who live there, as though the wicked trees go fishing on behalf of their friends — step between the gateposts of the forest with the greatest trepidation and infinite precautions, for if you stray from the path for one instant, the wolves will eat you. They are grey as famine, they are as unkind as plague.” — Angela Carter

Wolves


Halloween horror tale

Tuesday, 31 October, 2017 0 Comments

Five werewolves came down from the cold North at the end of October. Old wily werewolf sniffed the fallen leaves and filtered their decay for a scent of humanity blown through by the recent storms. His younger mate lazily curled back her lips, exposing eager fangs, and looked back at the three cubs, their yellow-gold eyes filled with soullessness.

“Well,” she said, a note of impatience in her whine. “What did you find?”

Old wily werewolf stared into the dark, paused, and then spoke.

“I found hints of smoke and toast and traces of rosemary,” he said. “There was an unmistakable aroma of peat and aged birch and, if I’m not very much mistaken, bacon.”

The last word sent a jolt though his pack and they began to bark at the Hunter’s moon.

“Shut up!” he snarled. “Listen.”

“Listen to what?” the cubs cried in unison.

“Listen to me,” old wily werewolf commanded. “I have a plan.”

And he explained that the scents told him a story of an old woman living alone, just a night’s run from where they lay. She would be eager for company and the sound of three hungry cubs outside her door would evoke a natural empathy. From what he knew of human nature, she’d adopt and feed them, and then wily werewolf and his wife would slope by and kill her.

“And can we chew on the bones?” the cubs queried, their yellow-gold eyes now filled with psychopathic love.

“Certainly, lads,” said their mother. “And we can all live in her cosy house for the rest of our lives.” Together, they raised their faces to the sky and howled with joy.

Down the valley, the old woman had just finished her prayers beside the fireplace when the wind carried the werewolf voices down the chimney. “A hungry family by the sound of it,” she said aloud to the empty room, “I have just what they need.” So she got up, her back aching with the labour of almost nine decades, and began to take down the werewolf traps from the wall. Three small ones, and two big ones.

Halloween horror


The wolves among us and around us

Sunday, 3 September, 2017 0 Comments

Homo homini lupus est is a Latin proverb meaning “A man is a wolf to another man.” And this truth is a lesson that life teaches again and again. The proverb’s wisdom is incorporated in Wolves, one of Louis MacNeice’s best-known poems. He wrote it in 1934 and it’s often viewed as a meditation on that dark decade and an expectation of the horrors that were to come, but treating Wolves merely as a relic of those days doesn’t do it justice because the idea of wolves lurking on the edges of civilization goes far deeper than any specific historical period. “He’d remind you of a wolf,” my mother would say when viewing a particularly lupine individual prowling past her front window.

Louis MacNeice was a Northern Irish poet and a member of the lyrical generation of that included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis. Born in Belfast on 12 September 1907, he died in London on this day, 3 September, in 1963.

Wolves

I do not want to be reflective any more
Envying and despising unreflective things
Finding pathos in dogs and undeveloped handwriting
And young girls doing their hair and all the castles of sand
Flushed by the children’s bedtime, level with the shore.

The tide comes in and goes out again, I do not want
To be always stressing either its flux or its permanence,
I do not want to be a tragic or philosophic chorus
But to keep my eye only on the nearer future
And after that let the sea flow over us.

Come then all of you, come closer, form a circle,
Join hands and make believe that joined
Hands will keep away the wolves of water
Who howl along our coast. And be it assumed
That no one hears them among the talk and laughter.

Louis MacNeice (1907 – 1963)

Wolf