Howl at the Moon

October’s full moon is coming in a few days and it’s called the Hunter’s Moon. How’s that for creepy, welcome-to-the-darkness vibes? And if the sound of howling joins in, well.

I’ve always been fascinated by wolves – maybe it’s Little Red Riding Hood’s fault, but this fairytale baddie captured my heart. Their social nature, enigmatic eyes and predatory skills are fascinating and beautiful. The wilderness in those howls sends shivers down the spine (as well it should).

It’s probably also Riding Hood’s fault that the species has been hunted almost to extinction, with the last wild wolf in Ireland said to have been killed in 1786 (long after they’d disappeared from England and Scotland). 

So it’s no surprise that I’m delighted to hear about re-wilding projects throughout Europe, as conservation experts bring back the apex predators. Not everyone is pleased, needless to say, and many farmers are up in arms (literally, no doubt) as they try to work out how to keep livestock – well – alive. But I wonder if we’re also falling back into our medieval roles to believe in superstition and cry wolf. 

This enemy has teeth, that’s the problem, and too many are still in our midst with sheep’s clothing. The haunting, hunted creature is also in my mind a lot recently with frequent news of credit cuts and foodbank pressures; billionaire rockets and Pandora Papers. Enough.

The wolf is at the door for so many. And killing it is not, and never has been, the answer.

Shivers down the spine…my reading of Wendy Pratt’s poem ‘Now the Wolf is in the Cul-de-Sac’