I was out very late last night walking the dog. She was nervous and touchy and very interested in something up on the steep hill going into the forest before us. I wouldn’t let her off the lead; it was dark and I didn’t fancy standing out in the rain waiting for her to return after an extended foray chasing deer up in the woods. I got the distinct impression that whatever was up there was not deer, however. She does not paw the ground and whine like that when she catches the scent of deer. It felt like there was something very different looking down on us from the woods; something that was sending the dog into a circle of frenzy, alert and desperate to follow. Later on – at around ten o’clock – a single gunshot echoed across the valley. I was left wondering what on earth a hunter could be shooting at; the month of March being well outside the hunting season and men from the village very rarely shoot at foxes or badgers late into the night. Could he have been shooting at the one thing we have been hearing more and more about recently in these parts? If so, then it is quite possible that today, there is one less wolf roaming around these mountains and one more mate waiting for his safe return. Hunters feel they have every right to shoot at wolves round here – I hear reports of at least 200 sheep being killed since they came over into France from Italy ten years ago but still, I do not think it is right; this place has become more magical because of them and I have become wilder. The balance seems to be closer to tipping back into a true alignment since they came and I have been nourished by their presence, however strange it may feel to have unseen eyes looking down at me from the hillside at night whilst I am out walking the dog.