A Howling At Twilight
All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel.
Another old painting, dredged up from the dungeon (all right, from the pile of canvasses under my bed) and added to my Wildlife gallery. For anyone to whom this looks familiar, it’s a painting of the cover of Barry Lopez’s Of Wolves And Men:
It’s one of my all-time favourite books, about one of my lifelong fascinations: wolves. Lopez’s approach to the subject is a perfect meld of art and science, discussing the myth and reality of the wolf in prose that illuminates like moonlight on a clear winter’s night. This is one of my favourite passages:
Wolves are extraordinary animals. In the winter of 1976 an aerial hunter surprised ten gray wolves travelling on a ridge in the Alaskan range. There was nowhere for the animals to escape and the gunner shot nine quickly. The tenth had broken for the tip of a spur running off the ridge. The hunter knew the spur ended in an abrupt vertical drop of about three hundred feet and he followed, curious to see what the wolf would do without hesitation the wolf sailed off the spur fell the three hundred feet into a snowbank, and came up running in an explosion of powder.